I wanted to bring your attention to a film that looks really good.
Imagine a school where the cool kids
are the chess team… welcome to I.S. 318
You can find the story by watching Brooklyn Castle. From the trailer, it looks like it’s about a poor predominantly African American junior high school that has won more national chess championships than any other school in the country. As funding for schools is continuing to get cut, while entitlements continue to drain school coffers, it’s a great story about how children are persevering. As I’m personally invested in chess, I’d love to see this film with my son. It doesn’t look like it’s coming to Portland anytime soon, but when it is, I look forward to seeing it.
Speaking of African Americans in chess, check out this informative post by GM Maurice Ashley: Transformative Chess Practices. He has eight steps to help you improve in chess. I notice that a lot of his advice has to do with openings. I think he’s right (haha…and you’d assume that, since he’s an International GM and I’m not even rated!)–knowing the openings is the easiest way to get better. If you know the openings, you can easily put yourself ahead in either material or position very early on in the game. I think there’s an MMA linkage here. In MMA, they say 80% of matches go to the ground, but 100% start on the feet. It’s the same thing–100% of chess games involve an opening sequence, but you only have to know pawn endgames if you manage to get that far!