Brooklyn Castle to Air on PBS

Brooklyn Castle to Air on PBS

| 19 | Misc

The award-winning chess documentary "Brooklyn Castle," which follows the successes and financial hardships of powerhouse I.S. 318 in New York City, will air this Monday on PBS. Check your local listings for the exact time.

PBS representatives said they are expecting more than two million viewers for the broadcast premier, which is part of the station's POV (Point of View) documentary series. The film grossed more than $200,000 in limited release, but won several awards at numerous film festivals.

The 2012 film comprises one year in the life of I.S. 318's chess team, and examines Coach Elizabeth Vicary's teaching style, administrator John Galvin's fight for funding, and several stars of the championship-caliber squad.


Team members and coaches (photo courtesy Elizabeth Vicary)

Foremost in the film is middle-schooler Pobo Efekoro, who is part chess player, team cheeleader and budding politician. Director Katie Dellamaggiore also chronicles trend-setter Rochelle Ballantyne, who seeks to become America's first African-American female chess master.


Team members practicing en route to a tournament (photo courtesy official web site)

Teachers and chess educators may be interested in the resources PBS has created, such as a discussion guide and an opportunity to host a free community screening. "After watching Brooklyn Castle with my wife, an Elementary School teacher herself, we were inspired and motivated for not only her school to host a screening, but to encourage as many schools as possible within our district to host showings of the movie for their students and teachers" said IM Daniel Rensch, Vice President of Content and Professional Relations for

Visit for all the details. The DVD version also had a PDF of's curriculum guide.

FM Mike Klein

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Mike Klein began playing chess at the age of four in Charlotte, NC. In 1986, he lost to Josh Waitzkin at the National Championship featured in the movie "Searching for Bobby Fischer." A year later, Mike became the youngest member of the very first All-America Chess Team, and was on the team a total of eight times. In 1988, he won the K-3 National Championship, and eventually became North Carolina's youngest-ever master. In 1996, he won clear first for under-2250 players in the top section of the World Open. Mike has taught chess full-time for a dozen years in New York City and Charlotte, with his students and teams winning many national championships. He now works at as a Senior Journalist and at as the Chief Chess Officer. In 2012, 2015, and 2018, he was awarded Chess Journalist of the Year by the Chess Journalists of America. He has also previously won other awards from the CJA such as Best Tournament Report, and also several writing awards for mainstream newspapers. His chess writing and personal travels have now brought him to more than 85 countries.

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