Saturday, August 28, 2010

Joshua Colas Simul at Westchester Chess Club

Even though many of you have not met Joshua in person, you have met both him and his dad through this blog.  My first encounter with Joshua was when he was 7 years old and rated around 1100.  He gave me a good scare before blundering in my time pressure.  I knew this was a kid with talent, and sooner or later he would go sailing right past me.  It was less then two years later when his rating crept by mine.  Then it just flew by me.  The last time I beat him was August 26, 2008.  That ended a 6 game losing streak against him.  Two weeks later on his birthday a new losing streak would begin.

In the mean time his rating has risen substantially and in October he will be representing the United States at the World Youth Championships in Halkidiki, Greece.  Qualifying participants have to pay their own way.  Between airfare, meals and hotel for his dad and him it's quite an expense.  The chess coordinator from his school has been spearheading a fund raising drive.  The Westchester Chess Club helped out by hosting a simul at the club on Wednesday, and asked participants to make a donation towards his expenses.  He played 15 people who ranged in rating from 1100 to 1750.  Participants contributed over $600 and the club contributed another $200.  He had 10 wins, 4 draws and 1 loss.  His lone loss was to Jacob Spitzer, rated 1719.

I decided I was not going to play in the simul, but would come and take pictures instead.  I figured I've played him enough times in tournaments.  I did not need to play him in a simul too.  I have very little patience with simuls.  It's hard enough sitting still and staying focused in a game where I have the opponent's undivided attention.  It's even harder in a simul when it may be several minutes before the player gets back to my board.  Little did I know that my next opportunity to lose to him would come the next night at the Marshall Chess Club.

Here are some pictures from the simul.

Young and old played against Joshua.
Joshua going head to head with his dad.
Yes he beat his dad.
Thinking about his next move.
Jacob Spitzer, only one to score a full point.

If anyone would like to contribute towards Joshua's travel expenses and coaching tax deductible contributions can be sent to:

White Plains Foundation for Public Education
3 Milford Close 
White Plains, NY 10606.

Write "Joshua Colas — Chess" in the check's memo line.

I have made a financial contribution.  I also contributed a few more rating points with this game on Thursday night.  


I would like to say that beating me in the first round helped inspire him in his second round win against a 2200 and his third round draw against a grandmaster.  Somehow I don't think the former had anything to do with the latter, but one can hope.  The loss sure didn't do anything for the rest of my evening, but that is a whole different story.


Anonymous said...

I enjoyed seeing his story come to the big screen in Searching for Bobby Fischer. He is one talented kid and I hope he goes on to be world champ some day or at least US champ.

Go Joshua!

Polly said...

Anon: That's Joshua Waitzkin in "Searching for Bobby Fischer". A wonderful story, but different Joshua!

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Anonymous said...

This kid looks like the right one. I have bad eyes though.

Liquid Egg Product said...

Joshua's been getting a fair amount of pub recently...he's pretty exciting.

A couple nights ago, I had a dream that included were chatting with an IM regarding some esoteric chess stuff. It was way over my head, so I got bored and started cleaning off your White Rooks, which had greasy belly button lint all over them.

Then a lot of a people in the tournament hall got pissed because they were playing the same annoying 80's song repeatedly.

Polly said...

LEP: LOL that's quite some dream! I wonder if it has any significance on how I'll do this weekend.

Polly said...

Anon: No offense I think you need to get your eyes checked. Joshua Waitzkin from Searching for Bobby Fischer is white. Joshua Colas is African American. Also Joshua Colas wasn't even born when Searching for Bobby Fischer came out.