By Marie LeBlanc, Community Partnerships Coordinator
Chess is not just a game of kings and pawns, queens and knights. For a group of middle schoolers from Brooklyn — and for thousands of other students here in DC and across the country — chess is a unique afterschool activity that impacts their lives both on and off the board. Catalogue nonprofit Chess Challenge in DC co-sponsored a sneak peek of the documentary film Brooklyn Castle last week, which profiles a student chess team from Brooklyn, New York, and invited Catalogue staff to have a look.
Brooklyn Castle tells the stories of five members of the chess team at a below-the-poverty-line inner city junior high school (Intermediate School/IS 318) that has won more national championships than any other in the country. The film follows the challenges these kids face in their personal lives as well as on the chessboard, and is as much about the sting of their losses as it is about the anticipation of their victories.