Game of Kings: A Year Among the Oddballs and Geniuses Who Make Up America's Top HighSchool Ches s Team
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A year with the boy geniuses of the nation?s top high school chess team, now in paperback with a new afterword
Edward R. Murrow High School has long been one of New York?s public-education success stories, a school where there are no varsity sports, and the closest thing to jocks is found on the powerhouse chess team.
Award-winning sportswriter Michael Weinreb follows the members of the Murrow chess team through an entire season. Weinreb delves into the history of chess in America, following the stories of greats such as Bobby Fischer, for whom the world within the chessboard is as easy to comprehend as the world beyond it is difficult.
departure, the team waited outside the school with its bags packed and ready; the alumnus never showed up. He called Weiss and told him he couldn’t book the flights on time; they weren’t going. A team from Cleveland won the championship. Weiss, who had already called for a substitute, had to slink back into his classroom and start teaching again. “I was very depressed for a long time after that,” he says. “I realized I shouldn’t rely on anybody. I should just do this myself.” The following year,
thousand dollars (most of it Goldhirsch’s own money, since he does little fund-raising), and is run entirely out of Goldhirsch’s apartment /office, where he maintains a part-time secretary to help him run his businesses. A few years back, Eliot Weiss signed on as a member of the board of directors for the Right Move, and since then he’s used these tournaments as both a source of supplementary income (the directors are paid a nominal amount for running the tournaments) and as a recruiting tool for
running clock. Where is Landon Brownell? What could he be doing? Was he afraid, as Sal had joked a few minutes earlier? Was he sick? Was he asleep? Was he lost somewhere within the catacombs of the biosphere? There is nothing for Alex to do but sit there and watch the clock and watch the games going on all around him. When Brownell finally does show and settles into his seat after offering his hand to Alex for a limp pregame handshake, he does not hesitate. He pushes a pawn straight ahead,
stewing and chattering in hushed Russian. And with that, the whole tenor of the 2005 Supernationals has changed, because suddenly there is a threat to Murrow, a grave and serious one at that, and it comes from Landon Brownell’s own school, Catalina Foothills in Tucson, which has fielded five players rated over 1800 this week, most of them trained by Robby Adamson himself. And now it has stood in the face of the beast, just as Adamson assured them they could do. He had told them this before they
is unbearable, and in the snake pit of Washington Square there is no respite from the heat. It slices straight on through the shade trees and chars the asphalt and beats down upon the chessboards and then just lies there. A man saunters past tugging a listless mutt tethered to a makeshift leash and a cooler full of cold drinks stacked on a dolly. “Water one dollar, Snapple a buck fifty,” he is saying, and on a day like this it seems like as good a deal as you’ll find in the entire city. So the