From Unsung Hero to Sung Hero

by admin on October 12, 2012

I’ve posted about this before, but I think it’s worth another mention. Next week, on October 19, the documentary Brooklyn Castle will open in two theaters in New York: Lincoln Center and the Landmark Sunshine. (I’m not a New Yorker, but even I have heard of Lincoln Center!) They will be followed by four theaters in California the following week.

“Brooklyn Castle” is about the remarkable chess team at Brooklyn’s I.S. 318, an inner city public school where the majority of the students live below the poverty line. Nevertheless, they have become a chess juggernaut. As I’m sure many of you know, they won the national high school chess championship this year even though they are a junior high school!

The chess guru at I.S. 318 is Elizabeth Spiegel, chess blogger and journalist and now the manager for the New York Knights in the U.S. Chess League as well. As I’ve mentioned more than once, she is also a former student of mine, which means I had absolutely nothing to do with her success but I’m allowed to bask in her reflected glory.  😎

I’m thrilled to see Elizabeth go from being an unsung hero to a sung hero. At the same time, it’s killing me that I haven’t had a chance yet to see “Brooklyn Castle,” and probably won’t get to for a long time. However, those of you who live in major metropolitan centers may soon have the chance. The website has a list of all the theaters the movie will be playing at through November. The list includes Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Washington, Boston, Chicago, Minneapolis, St. Louis, etc. The rest of us can at least console ourselves by reading about I.S. 318 and Elizabeth in the new book How Children Succeed by Paul Tough.

Go, Elizabeth! Go, I.S. 318! And go, chess!!

P.S. For New Yorkers: There will also be a special “sneak preview” screening of the movie at the Walter Reade Theater in Lincoln Center on Thursday, October 18. For information on tickets ($13 adults, $9 students) go to

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Willy October 13, 2012 at 9:45 am

I can’t wait! The trailer looked great.


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