Books | Sports

September 24, 2009

Nobody's Pawn

Over the past 30 years, Eliot Weiss has patiently built one of the greatest chess programs in the country

Nick Matros

It was two and half two years ago that sportswriter Michael Weinreb published The Kings of New York: A Year Among the Geeks, Oddballs, and Genuises Who Make Up America's Top HighSchool Chess Team. In creating a book-length narrative on a board game—a task hailed by one reviewer as "something once thought impossible" —Weinreb proved high drama and enveloping glory are by no means exclusive to the sports clichés that have so typically (and so boringly) defined competition in the American high school.

Set at Edward R. Murrow High School, a Brooklyn public school consistently ranked as one of the country's best, The Kings of New York (renamed Game of Kings for paperback) follows the school's venerable chess team—consistently ranked the best—as it tries for yet another championship. While the story is about the oddballs and geniuses, their success is inevitably a function of their coach, a 50-something math teacher at Murrow named Eliot Weiss. Weiss's program began humbly some 30 years ago as a chess club. As of current writing, his juggernaut of a chess team has won 10 straight New York State chess championships and seven national championships, four of them consecutive.

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- Sports
- posted on Sep 22, 09
Eliot Weiss

Good interview. Well done. Thanks Nick.

Article by Nick Matros

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