Ep. 41 (S3 Premier): IM Justus Williams on Chess Improvement, Brooklyn Castle & More


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For this Season 3 Premier, Neal spoke with IM Justus Williams. Justus is featured prominently in the 2012 chess documentary Brooklyn Castle, which chronicles the famous chess team from Intermediate School 318 in Brooklyn, NY. At age 12, he was the youngest African American to achieve the NM title. Currently, Justus runs Black Squares Chess, which brings the game to kids in underserved communities. Some of the talking points from this episode include:

  • Justus's quest for the GM title
  • Behind the scenes info from Brooklyn Castle & the IS 318 experience
  • A technique to improve tournament results when facing critical positions
  • Why Justus prefers chess study using physical books over computers
  • How playing in Washington Square Park helped his development
  • Is it possible to get a good slice of pizza outside of NY?🍕

Links for IM Justus Williams:

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