"A true pathfinder, David MacEnulty is always finding new and creative ways to teach my favorite game. He is simply one of the best chess teachers in the world."
Bruce Pandolfini, renowned chess coach and author; portrayed by Ben Kingsley in Searching for Bobby Fischer (Paramount, 1993)
"Their future began when he taught them to pick up the pieces."
The original A&E movie, KNIGHTS OF THE SOUTH BRONX , which premiered on December 6, 2005, is the inspiring story of a remarkable man. Starring Ted Danson, the film is based on the experiences of David MacEnulty – dedicated teacher,
exceptional scholastic chess coach, and the principle author of the Think Like A King Chess Workouts Series – as it shows how he was able to use chess to transform the lives of a group of inner city New York schoolchildren.
Working in a large, south Bronx elementary school (CES 70) – located in the poorest congressional district in the nation -- MacEnulty discovered that chess provided an extraordinary educational tool to build student self-esteem and the skills critical to success in academic life and beyond. Using chess, MacEnulty connected with his students and taught them important lessons in thinking, and in life. Ultimately, these underprivileged students outplayed opponents from private schools and other domains of privilege, winning state and national trophies on a regular basis. And for many the first time, these students tasted pride, and the pure joy of victory – plus the crucial understanding that success comes with hard work.
In honor of David and his
remarkable accomplishments, the publishers of the Think Like A King Chess Software System joined with the A&E Television Network to sponsor a contest. More than $100,000 of Think Like A King software was donated to schools nationwide, so that educators
would be able to use chess to teach better thinking skills.
Between November 7, 2005 and January 4, 2006 teachers and administrators from public, private school (grades K-12) and home school groups across the nation entered their schools to win the software. One school from each state and the District of Columbia
were awarded rewarded $2000 worth of Think Like A King software. That’s enough software to equip every computer at school with all the tools needed to make chess a School Sport - and use chess to teach kids critical thinking skills!
To the many schools across the country that entered the A&E Think Like A King National Chess Challenge, we offer thanks for their wonderful, heartfelt essays about how they are using, or would like to use, chess to improve their students' lives.
The contest is now over – and here are the winning schools from each state! We congratulate each of the winners for their efforts to use chess to improve their students’ lives, and for being inspired by the Knights of the South Bronx to write such heartfelt essays.
And we applaud all the educators across the country who cared enough about their students to enter the A&E Think Like A King National Chess Challenge. We hope that their commitment to kids – and to chess will continue, and that they will consider the Think Like A King School Chess Software System an important tool.