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Monday, February 11, 2013

Cool Chess Stars from Brooklyn Castle Movie Walk the Red Carpet in LA

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012

Hi everyone,
Photo: Brian Schulz

Three stars of the highly acclaimed documentary, Brooklyn Castle, walked the red carpet last week at the 44th NAACP Image Awards in LA. Brooklyn Castle, the story of IS 318, the Championship chess team was nominated for the Best Documentary award. Pobo "Pobama" Efekoro, Rochelle Ballantyne and National Master Justus Williams flew from NY to LA for the star-studded ceremony, according to a nice report at the USCF website.

"To walk on the red carpet with Rochelle and Justus was exhilarating," Pobo said, "We were experiencing the the vibe of what it was like to be in Los Angeles, to be a movie star. And its something that the three of us will cherish."Meeting the rapper Common was a highlight. Rochelle, who aims to be the first female African-American chess master in history, said, "I respect him so much not only for his lyrics but for all he does in society." According to Pobo, upon introducing themselves, Common asked if they knew a guy named Maurice. "Our eyes lit up. 'You mean (Grandmaster) Maurice Ashley!?' He nodded. That was a very cool moment."
Justus wore a tailored Kenneth Cole suit picked out by his grandmother and mom. Rochelle said her mom chose her gold dress. Originally Pobo wanted to look "extravagant" but "my mom along with my coworkers decided I should dress formally. I had a dark brand new suit and a gray, black, and blue striped tie. I think it worked out." Rochelle, who will be attending Stanford in the Fall, said: "LA is so beautiful, I feel like I was born to live in California."

Find more photos from the event at this USCF gallery and read all previous Chess Blog posts on Brooklyn Castle here.

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