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Colas & Black Headline Cleveland Scholastic Print E-mail
By Sharan Subramanian   
December 2, 2014
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Kenneth D. Hale , James Black & Tony Dunlap
While Northeast Ohio was preparing to witness the return of “King James” to the Cleveland Cavaliers, the chess community in Cleveland hosted two princes of the chess world— National Masters James Black and Joshua Colas— at the 3rd Annual Cleveland Scholastic Open, held on October 18th, 2014.

The tournament, which was hosted by the Delta Alpha Lambda Chapter of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity and held in association with Invest in Chess (www.investinchess.org), a chess advocacy initiative, broke all registration records with 163 students from all around Ohio and Michigan who attended the event.

At the tournament, even though Colas and Black ultimately lived up to their titles by finishing 1st and 2nd in the high school section, respectively, the outstanding play of several of Northeast Ohio’s top scholastic chess players didn’t go unnoticed! In particular, a seasoned player named Joel Jaffe showed strong form throughout the tournament, holding Colas to a draw and preventing him from obtaining a perfect score of five points. James Black played fabulously as well—his only loss of the tournament was to Colas.

The other sections saw also saw fighting chess! In the collegiate division there was a tie for first place between NM Gabriel Ewing, Jonathan Clinton, and Joshua Reinarts, in the grades 5-8 section Alan Liu, Diamond Abdus-Shakoor, and Dorian Smalley shared the spotlight at the top, and in the grades K-4 section Charisse Woods won clear first.

The Cleveland Scholastic Open offers a wide variety of scholarships to the winners of the high school division and job internships for the champions in the collegiate section. This year was no exception—colleges that offered scholarships to the winners included the University of Maryland (Baltimore County), the University of Akron, Alabama A&M University, and the Cleveland Alumni Group of Hampton University. Likewise, similar to the previous year, a job internship with GE was offered to the victor of the collegiate section!
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Kenneth D. Hale  Josh Colas & Tony Dunlap
While National Masters James Black and Joshua Colas were in Cleveland, they did their part to promote chess and its benefits by  conducting a simultaneous exhibition at the Richmond Town Square Mall, and also by speaking to a group of young individuals at Ginn Academy, touting the positives of playing scholastic chess and emphasizing why each of them should individually invest in chess.

Prior to the tournament, Black said that he wanted to “help others realize they can do anything and become anything,” and Colas expressed his wishes to “[share] his experiences.” We’re sure that they both achieved their selfless goals of promoting chess and we thank them for the many ways in that they inspired all of us!

On the whole, the 3rd Annual Cleveland Scholastic Open was a truly remarkable event and on behalf of Invest in Chess and the Delta Alpha Lambda Chapter of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, I would like to thank everyone for coming to the tournament. We all play a very important part in promoting chess and raising awareness of its academic and practical benefits, and the passion I see for the sport is what keeps me continually motivated to give everyone the chance to discover a love for chess themselves.

To read the full interview Invest in Chess conducted with James Black and Joshua Colas prior to the tournament, please click here.

To learn more about what happened at the 3rd Annual Cleveland Scholastic Open, please watch this  segment by “TV 20”:

We look forward to seeing you at the 4th Annual Cleveland Scholastic Open in 2015!