Edward R Murrow School, Brooklyn, New York. An unconventional group of kids at an unconventional school located in the heart of the most unconventional city in America is making headlines. With a chess club. In The Kings of New York, writer Michael Weinreb spends a year with the Murrow chess team, from cash games in Washington Square Park to state tournaments in Nashville, bringing to life an eccentric cast of characters. Meet Sal, Lithuanian self-proclaimed stupid, lazy genius ; Ilya, a shy Ukrainian immigrant; Oscar Santana, a Puerto Rican teen; Nataliya, the only girl on the team; and coach Eliot Weiss a former pro ice-hockey player turned maths teacher. They re a true cross-section of New York- immigrants, natives, rich, poor, black, and white, kids who couldn t be more different except when it comes to one thing chess. The Kings of New York is the story of how these eight boys and girls battle their differences to come together as a team, and how they face their victories and disappointments. Above all, it s the story of a group of gifted misfits searching for the silence and order and strange beauty that can be found within those sixty-four squares on a chess board.
Michael Weinreb's work has appeared in the New York Times, the Boston Globe, the Los Angeles Times, the Dallas Morning News and ESPN.com. In his career as a journalist, he has been named best sportswriter in Ohio by the Associated Press, nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and cited three times in The Best American Sports Writing anthology. He lives in New York City.