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White Plains Eighth Grader Bound For World Chess Championships

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – Joshua Colas , an eighth grader at Highlands Middle School, is bound for the 2011 World Youth Chess Championships in Rio de Janerio, on Nov. 17 where he said he's excited to take on his competitors in an 11-round tournament.

"The first time it felt like a once in a life time event," Joshua, 13, said of qualifying for the 2010 World Youth Chess Championships in Greece. "I never thought I would make it that far. But then I did, and all my work paid off. This time, I was blessed to make it again."

Joshua will spend the next few weeks reviewing his game with Giorgi Kacheishvili, a grand chess master who instructs Joshua. The middle schooler hopes to scrutinize his mistakes and win the tournament.

"I think that's everyone’s goal," said Joshua, who has won four national youth tournaments.

Joshua is ranked third nationally and 43rd internationally among his peers. He said he enjoys chess, regardless of the pressure of competition.

"I love chess because chess refers to life. In the game, if you make a mistake you have to pay the consequences. Chess shows me you should always think before you make a choice," he said.

Joshua was introduced to the sport through his father, Guy Colas. After a year's practice, Colas said he was no longer able to win against his son.

"I think it's really his patience and composure," said Colas, who has lived in White Plains for 16 years. "There'll be 10 minutes left at the competition and my heart will be beating like crazy. He looks at the clock and acts like there's still two hours left and ends up winning."

Last December Joshua was named a chess master and became the youngest black American to earn that title in the U.S. He said he hopes to become a grand master, the highest title given to chess players, before graduating from high school.

Although the Colas family has raised enough money to send Joshua to Brazil, the White Plains family is still looking for assistance with a few details. Further details on how to help finance Joshua's trip to the world championships are available on his website.

Do you have any good luck wishes for Joshua? Join the conversation below.

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