Press Release: Democratic Conference Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins Honors Joshua Colas, Youngest African American Chess Master in History

Andrea Stewart-Cousins

March 26, 2014

Albany, NY - On Tuesday, March 25th, the New York State Senate passed a resolution, sponsored by Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins, to honor White Plains resident, Joshua Colas. Mr. Colas, who was in the Senate Chamber with his father Guy Colas as the resolution passed, earned the title of Chess Master in December 2010, becoming the youngest African American Chess Master in history at the age of eleven.

“As the youngest African American Chess Master in history and a six- time National Champion, Joshua Colas is an outstanding representative for the youth of New York State and a cherished member of the White Plains community. Today we honor his hard work and commitment to his dream,” said Democratic Conference Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins.

Since Joshua Colas took up the game in 2005 at just 7 years old, he has won six national championships, most recently the National Scholastic Chess Championship 10th Grade Division in December 2013. He has been selected to be part of the All-American Scholastic Chess Team every year since he won the National High School Speed Chess Championship in 2009.

In August 2012, Colas was listed in the National Chess Rankings as the top rated 13 year old chess player in the United States. He also is the reigning High School Chess Champion in New York City and New York State, winning both championships in 2013 when he was only a high school freshman. Globally, he has represented the United States at the World Chess Championships in Greece, Brazil, Slovenia, and the United Arab Emirates, and has recorded more than 1,000 rated wins.

Colas’ goals remain as high as his win count. He has won a full four-year college scholarship to the top chess college in the U.S., Webster University in St. Louis. He aspires to become the first-ever American-born African American Chess Grandmaster. Colas one day hopes to write a book to inspire other children to play the game.

"Joshua's accomplishments would be impressive at any age and he is a true example of what young people can achieve with hard work and dedication. His family and community deserve praise as well for their support and encouragement of him," concluded Democratic Conference Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins.