Top ranked chess player killed by his father in murder suicide

Thomas Elberling playing chess with Javier Rivera during a 2013 tournament at Chess Mates in Rahway

Thomas Elberling playing chess with Javier Rivera during a 2013 tournament at Chess Mates in Rahway

An internationally ranked 11-year-old chess player was killed by his father in an apparent murder suicide, according to Union County authorities.

Authorities say Jens Elberling, 48, shot and killed his son, Thomas, with a rifle late last week and then killed himself.

Their bodies were found Saturday by Scotch Plains police at a home on the 300 block of Jerusalem Road that Jens Elberling rented after wife filed for divorce.

Elberling and his estranged wife, Ke-Yen (Kate) Chou, were embroiled in a contentious divorce battle since May.

Thomas Elberling, the 11-year-old victim, was a world class chess player who was ranked fifth in his age group in the country by the United States Chess Federation.

Sources confirmed that Thomas Elberling was home schooled and played at Chessmates, in Rahway, and the Westfield Chess Club.

The parents clashed over a number of issues that spilled over into their son’s chess competitions, brought police to their home several times and created controversy about custody that had to be decided by the courts.


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