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Murrow High School In Brooklyn Brings Home National Chess Championship

Members of the national champion Edward R. Murrown High School chess team (credit: CBS 2)

Members of the national champion Edward R. Murrown High School chess team (credit: CBS 2)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Checkmate!

A high school chess team from Brooklyn is No. 1 in the country after beating out thousands of players from teams all across the U.S.

“It was pretty intense so it’s kind of a relief,” Edward R. Murrow High School chess team member Anita Maksimiak told CBS 2’s Alice Gainer about the competition.

The National High School Chess Championship was held last weekend in Nashville. The victory marked the eighth national title for the school.

The coach of the team from Murrow High, which is located in the Midwood section of the borough, said the game teaches players discipline.

“When you defeat somebody in chess you’re defeating more than just a game, you’re defeating the person as a whole,” chess coach Eliot Weiss told CBS 2’s Gainer. “It’s what they call the academics of the mind.”

“Feels great. I mean, I’m proud of these guys. We put in the work all year,” chess team member James Black told Gainer.

The first-place team is made up of players from all over the globe who attend the school. Maksimiak is the only girl.

“It’s kind of nice because there’s not as much drama as there would be with other girls,” Maksimiak told CBS 2’s Gainer.

Many on the team have been playing for years, honing their skills.

“I started when I was 8. My dad, he bought a chess set from Kmart and he just wanted a partner to play with,” Black told Gainer. “My dad doesn’t like to play me anymore.”

The team’s new trophy is on display along with the seven others captured by the Edward R. Murrow High School chess team. Its last win was in 2007.