Critical Thinking (2020) - full transcript

The true story of the Miami Jackson High School chess team which was the first inner city team to win the U.S. National Chess Championship.

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---
And Cardinals' Mark McGwire

hit the record breaker
last night.

Homer number 62
to continue his hot streak.

We got our own hot streak here in Miami.
It's gonna hit 95...

Sicilian Defense, okay?

Okay, let's see
if I can get it right.

Let me do it one more time.

Sicilian Defense, okay?

Here goes.

E4, c5.

Knight f3.



D6.

♪ I say, the bridge is over ♪

♪ The bridge is over
Biddy-bye-bye! ♪

♪ The bridge is over
The bridge is over, hey, hey! ♪

♪ The bridge is over The
bridge is over Biddy-bye-bye! ♪

♪ The bridge is over
The bridge is over ♪

♪ You see me Coming in de
dance With the spliff of sensei ♪

♪ Down with the sound
Called BDP ♪

♪ If you want to join the crew
Well, you must see me ♪

♪ You can't sound like Shan
Or the one Marley ♪

♪ Because Shan and Marley Marl
Dem a rhyming like they gay ♪

♪ Picking up the mic, man ♪

♪ Dem don't know
What to say ♪

We ain't got no milk.



- Man!
- I ain't getting none neither.

You don't get no allowance
until you beat me. Got it?

- I don't play.
- Fine.

I could use $5 anyway
for snacks.

Let's go.

You know my first move.

All right.

Come on,
you look a little scared.

No, I'm not.

Check.

Now, go wash that bowl
you dirtied.

Man, you always
on the fucking couch, man.

Yo, Jason.

Yo, Lou, I gotta bounce.

- I gotta go to Lamar.
- I got you.

Yo. Hey, yo!

Yo, yo, yo!

Hey, you ain't seen me running back there?
Come on now.

You got a pass?

You're not really
gonna try and give me

a used lunchtime pass
this early in the morning now?

That's fuckin' cold.

- And no eating on the jitney!
- Mmm-hmm.

What's up, Sed?

Same old.

How's your pops?

Same old.

Anything I could do?

I'll take a piece of that
sandwich if you're offering, shit.

You see, I would though, but Ray already
skimped me on the platanos, dawg,

so I can't even
be going that way.

I got these pythons to feed.

Fat-ass. Whatever, man.
All right, man.

Yo, Ito,
wait up, man.

- Speed up, Sed.
- Wait up.

Drag your fat ass through.
You hear me?

Man, slow down.

What?

Nothing,
just don't look at the board.

- Huh?
- Just don't look at the board.

Come on, who's the wise guy?
Who's the wise guy?

Are you guys
ever gonna grow up?

- Nope. Not this year.
- Yeah, I didn't think so.

All right, now, people, this is
gonna be very basic for some of you,

but for the fish,
or the newbies as I like to call you,

this is gonna be eye-opening

because what you've got
is 64 squares,

32 pieces, it doesn't matter
how rich or poor you are,

what Ivy League school you
may go or you may not go to,

what prison you hopefully
never set foot in,

because chess
is the great equalizer.

Okay, now in the opening,
white always moves first.

Now, I wonder what old white
guy thought of that rule, right?

I know you hear me.

So, white has
multiple openings,

depending on his
opponent's strength.

Then black is gonna counter
with a choice of defenses,

- and then you're off to the races, my friends.
- Oi, oi, oi.

Hear what I said?

Hey, Mr. Medina.
Nice of you to show up, my man.

- You are so very welcome, Mr. T.
- Where were you?

I was in the yard.

I was playing a couple of
fishies for their lunch money.

Come on, man.
Please don't tell me you're gambling.

The last thing I need
is for Kestel to come in

and give me grief
for that too. Come on!

My bad. Check me out.

Look, these underrated matches
ain't getting us nowhere, Mr. T.

- "Aren't." Aren't getting us anywhere, Roddy.
- Aren't.

And since when are you too good
to play your peers, huh, man?

- They aren't our peers anymore.
- Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa.

So, now... Now you think
you can go up against people

who've been playing since they
were in diapers? Okay, okay.

Hold on, hold on.
Check me out.

Ain't no diapers here, Mr. T.
Don't do me like that.

Please, please sit down, sit down.

Good to know.
Just sit down, please. Sit down.

I'll never be able
to unsee that. That's...

All right, people,
so the first proof today is gonna be

the Scandinavian Defense.

And it goes a little something like
this, all right?

So, white plays e4,
black attacks aggressively to d5.

And then
black pawn down. Okay?

So, the queen violently takes.

Now, this breaks
all the rules for beginners

because you never bring out
your queen too early.

Roddy, what's the other rule?

Um, you never move the same
piece twice in an opening.

- Duh.
- Thank you, thank you. Beautiful.

And now,
let's do it over again.

And what do you make of that,
Mr. Paniagua?

- Yo, get the fuck outta here.
- Did you wake up?

He's ordering platanos
in his dreams and shit.

Oh, hey. Hey, watch the mouth,
watch the mouth.

Mr. T, please,
just cut me some slack.

I was working
mad late the whole night.

If I was your boss, I would,
but I'm your teacher

in the easiest elective
in the history of electives.

How much more slack
would you like, Mr. Paniagua?

Huh? Just show up, stay awake
and you pass, man.

- Little more?
- No, come here, come here, come here.

Come up and show me your best opening.
Come on, stud, crush me.

Come on, big shot.

- This is why I was sleeping.
- Come on, big shot.

This is why I was sleeping
'cause I was saving it for this.

- Watch what's gonna happen.
- I'll call you out next so don't play. Don't play.

- E, V4. Boom.
- Very basic.

So, I'm gonna call you out
on little basics as well.

- Basic to basic.
- Oh. Okay, okay.

- That's fancy. You wanna see some defense?
- Oh, look at that.

Developing a bishop instead of the knight.
Somebody's paying attention.

- I should be teaching actually.
- So, I'm gonna counter with this little defensive move.

- What you got? What you got?
- Okay, that's good.

- But I already got this.
- Oh, no, no, no, no.

No, no, no,
no, no, no.

- Why no?
- No, he's trying to scholar's mate me.

Hey, come on.
Trying to scholar's mate me?

You do that, and I'll chase your
queen all over the damn board, man.

- Oh, okay.
- Save that for some fish. All right, guys, guys.

Hey, hey, can you go over the
Legal's mate again for me, please?

- Can you do that?
- I got you, Mr. Martinez.

All right, so, uh,
what do we have here?

Rivera here refused to answer Mr. Rochelle,
then he took a swing at him.

Oh, whoa, whoa,
Mr. Trouble.

Come on, go inside and wait by my
desk, all right? Come on.

- Hey, that new kid look weird.
- Go, go.

- Thank you.
- What's good.

Come on, man.
Come on.

My class is not detention,
Miss Kestel.

- No?
- No.

No, I'm running a legitimate
elective here, okay?

These kids
have real potential.

Hello?

Okay, well,
they're not what you think they are.

I mean...
Well, maybe that one is.

- Oh.
- Come on, come on.

Guys, guys, please,
a little respect.

Man. Whatever, man.

As long as their ranking
and our G.R. goes up,

you can have them playing
marbles for all I care.

And I got you
this elective.

So, if I need a babysitter
because some kid is messing

with another kid's chances
of actually graduating,

I expect
you'll accommodate me.

I do, I do.
I got your back.

- I do.
- Great.

And as attendance has been
your one area of true greatness,

I'd suggest you focus
more on the fact

that it's dipped
this past month.

Well, a student was deported.

I'm sorry, but Immigration has a way
of messing with attendance numbers.

Just keep the bodies
in the seats.

Well, look, if you hired me
just to fill up bilingual quota,

you're underestimating me, okay?

And more importantly, them.

Just keep the bodies
in the seats.

You know, I'm a good teacher.

I am a good teacher.

- Paniagua.
- Here.

So, Rivera?

Well, remaining silent, I mean,
it certainly is your prerogative.

Again,
T droppin' some Bobby Brown.

Can you not?

Oh, yeah, okay.

That makes sense.

Cool?

Now, Michael, you got
two choices here, okay?

One, do nothing,

or play chess.

I swear. I swear
there's gonna be one day

one student says,
"Yes, Mr. Martinez, chess!"

Of course, yeah.

All right, guys.
Hey, guys, guys.

I want you to review
scholar's mate for me

- on your own, all right?
- Shit.

What, I have to listen to
Ito's Haitian music to be cool?

- I'm Dominican, jit.
- Dominican, whatever.

Hey, yo,
can you pass my queen?

Yo. Yo, Jungle Book,
I'm talking to you.

Hey, you don't hear me
talking to you?

- Pick up the queen, jit.
- Yo, Ito, I got it, man. I got it.

No, it's all good, it's all good.
So, you know what?

'Cause I was telling Jungle Book
over here to pick up my queen

from the fucking floor
like I told him to.

- Bro, leave the kid alone.
- Shut up, bitch.

- Sit down.
- I'm talking to him.

Come on, come on.
Hey, hey.

Come on. Come on.
Come on, man.

You're going to hit somebody because
they won't pick up your plastic queen?

- Come on, Ito.
- If that's what it takes.

- Come on, man.
- You see, it was right there on the floor.

Ito, Ito, I don't want
to be judgmental, man,

but when you talk
garbage like that

you sound straight up
ignoramus, my man.

Oh, snap!

Hey, Cornelia and Roddy,
one more outburst, and I swear...

Come on, man, straight up.

You're gonna start a fight, you're
gonna put a beat down on your classmate

'cause he won't pick up
your queen?

Come on, Ito, man.

Come on, think it
through, buddy.

Think it through, okay?

Best case scenario,
he picks it up for you.

Worst case scenario,
he gets a black eye

and he picks
a vendetta against you

for the rest
of your life, man.

And the rest
is consequences, okay?

Like chess,
a game of consequences.

How about that, huh?

Come on, Ito,
Overtown is not a place

you want to bring out
consequences, buddy.

You're a smart kid. Come on, man, seriously.

All right?
All right, people, come on, come on.

Set up, reset your pieces
for me, okay?

And I got a little bit
of homework for you.

I want you to look up
the definition

of "zugzwang"
for me tomorrow, okay?

All right, you're dismissed.
Get out of my class. Get out.

Let's go, come on.
I am out of here.

♪ Or would you really
Jump on my return ♪

♪ Just to hear me say
How much I miss you ♪

♪ Would you accept me back? ♪

♪ Baby ♪

♪ Or would you turn
Your back on me? ♪

♪ Would you forgive this... ♪

Yo! Dumbass!

My shit better not be broke.

Yo, pick it up!

You're buying me a new Walkman,
you skinny piece of shit.

Man, speak English, Cuban!

Yo, you may not
speak English,

but you buying me
a new Walkman.

Yo, Lawanda.

What, you got a problem?

Man, yeah, I got a problem,
this motherfucker right here.

No, no problem.
Sorry, sorry.

- Sorry.
- No, ain't no sorry.

Ain't no problem no more.

It's like
a war out there.

Yeah. Except this was a kid
just walking home from school.

We'll have counselling available
for your students if requested.

Well, thank you.
Thank you for that.

I will say,
well, unfortunately,

it's not a total
shock anymore.

Hey, do you guys know,
um, about Pablo Neruda?

- Mmm-mmm.
- Um, from Family Matters?

No, no, no, that's Urkel.

And how I know that's what you meant is...
Is beyond me.

But no, um...

every time a young person
is killed around here...

it makes me think of the
words of, of Mr. Neruda...

who wrote,

"I do not know
how or when,

"but from a street,
I was summoned."

And, um...
I don't know.

I think the poem is about,
you know, being liberated

and just breaking loose,

and finding that thing,
you know.

And now, there's so many
times I think about it

with its relation
to the violence around here.

I don't know,
but it helps me...

I mean, the class
is almost over.

I mean, what's the point?

Hey, I'm sorry, Mr. T.
You know, I...

I just had a rough night.
You know how work can get.

You were working
overtime again?

Yeah.

Yeah, go.

All right, people,
listen up, listen up.

We got a tournament
coming up in a couple of days.

We need four players
to qualify.

So, we need to start
really considering

if we're serious about
what we're doing here or not.

We're serious, Mr. T.

Then we start by showing up.
Right, Mr. Paniagua?

Can you come here for a second, please?

Look, my man,
if you oversleep again,

you're gonna have to find
another elective, okay?

I'm sorry.

I just... I just
can't do it anymore.

Yo. Don't give up on him, Mr. T.
He'll come around.

I've always liked
your attitude, man.

But we need a fourth player.

No offence to Jaren, but he ain't
gonna be of much value to the team.

Oh, come on, Cornelia.

Why does she tag
all my boards like that?

Come on.

Listen, I was thinking
maybe I could go talk to Gil

about coming back
to the class.

You mean the guy who quit
when you punched him in the face

after he stepped
on your brand-new sneakers.

You mean that guy?

Hmm. Yeah.

I was still gonna
ask him anyway.

Go give it a shot,
Mr. Roundtree.

Good luck with that.

I'll let you know
how it goes.

Later, hater.

You've got to, uh...

You can't shoot the pedestrians,
you have to shoot the aliens.

And the giant alien
in the background,

we got to shoot, like,
50 times before he dies.

Relax. All right?

Why are we playing
with the star team?

I just shoot aliens and people, man.
I don't know.

Get that gun in.

- You got it.
- I got it, I got it. Okay. I got, it, I got it.

Watch out, watch out.
Watch your back, watch your back.

Yo, I didn't mean to step on your
foot, all right?

I know.

I was an ass
so I overreacted.

- I was just...
- Get him! Get him!

I was dealing
with some stuff at home.

I just wanted to say
I'm sorry.

- Good shot.
- Thanks.

It's not like
they were Jordans.

Yo, Nike Air's moving
up tempo and shit. Watch.

- Let's go.
- Look, Gil...

What are you doing?
Let's go, man. Let's go.

Look, we need you back.

I'm serious, man.

Look, me, you, Ro, Ito,
we can be something special.

All four of us,
that's a team.

All right. But can you
not punch me, please?

Promise.
It won't happen again.

- Look, see that one.
- That was your fault.

- That was entirely your fault, man.
- Okay, okay.

Are you kidding me?

- Watch him! What are you doing?
- Okay.

You suck.

I'm gonna take your rook
because you suck.

You should have been
paying attention.

Look, I'm gonna let
my clock run down.

Gonna take it home.
Where you gonna go?

I'm gonna take that,
I'm gonna go here.

And it's done.
That's checkmate.

That's mate in four.

Good game.

Checkmate.

Checkmate.

- Good one.
- Thank you.

- That was good.
- Yes, thank you, sir.

- Good game. Yeah.
- He's back!

Uh... Really?

Uh... Okay.

♪ Man, I'm back on the scene
If you know what I mean ♪

♪ And I can show you
How to mate ♪

♪ With just a king
And a queen ♪

Oh, that was wrong.
You didn't have to do him like that, Gil.

You didn't have
to do him like that, Gil.

That was nasty, bro.
You nasty.

Your butt's itchy.

Please fucking do, man.

Yo, stop!

Would you please?
Would you please?

Hey, that's dumb.

That's why I love him,
'cause he does dumb shit.

Unbelievable.

Okay.

All right, class,

today, we're going to look at the
most beautiful game in chess history,

and it's called
the opera game,

authored by Paul Morphy.

Now, Morphy was an American,

born in New Orleans
in the 1800s,

who once said...

Hey, we're twins.
We're twins.

Who said, "If the
chess board superseded the poker table,

"then all Americans' morals
would change like that."

And Paul
Morphy played this game in 1858

in a real opera,
watching a real opera,

against two opponents,
a duke and a count.

And he played white,

and Paul Morphy played e4.

The duke countered with e5.

- You never want to play your games, do you?
- Then Morphy attacked the pawn

with the knight.

So, the duke counters with d6,

and you get
the Philidor Defense,

which opens up
this corridor nicely.

Who the hell is that?

"Who the hell is that?"

Yeah. Who the hell is that?

Only... Only one
of the greatest

French creators
of modern chess,

who said, "I like...
I like the pawn

"because the pawn
is the soul of chess."

And he plays that pawn to e4,

and so he's occupying
the center.

So, the duke then
moves down the bishop to g4

with the old routine of pinning
the knight to the queen.

So, Morphy pawn takes,
bishop takes, Morphy takes.

And then,
the duke recaptures.

How about that, huh?

So, white bishop goes to c4.

And this is very interesting.
What is happening here, people?

What is happening here?
What is this? What is this?

What is Morphy
threatening here?

What is he
threatening here?

Cornelia,
you want to come up?

No, I'm good,
but thanks, though. No.

Cornelia,
how am I gonna get you out

of the 500-rated club
if you don't come up?

Okay, it's up to you, girl.

It's up to you.
Like, I can't do it for you.

All right, who's gonna come?
Gil, is that you?

You wanna comment
on why Morphy would do this?

Uh, threatening
checkmate on f7.

That's right, my man.
Very good.

And so what is black's
only option here?

Uh, I think it would be
the g-knight to f6,

blocking checkmate,
blocking the queen.

Yes, sir. Yes, sir.
I like...

- Ooh! I like your style, my man.
- Thank you.

So, Morphy now counters
very interestingly

'cause nobody would have
done this except Paul.

He moves the knight to c3.

Now, that was
a brilliant move.

But Steinitz,

the great Austrian chess master,
went off on Morphy.

He was like...

What a shmuck.
What a putz.

That is
the stupidest mistake ever

'cause he should have
played right here

for the strongest move ever.

But why didn't he, guys?

Why didn't he?

Why didn't he, Ito?

That was a killer move,
no doubt,

but I just feel like Morphy was more
of, like, a finesse player.

- You feel me?
- That's right, that's right.

Man, that's right.
'Cause he was an artist.

Morphy was an artist,
not a butcher.

He was more interested
in development

than he was in material gain.

I forgot to put
the queen back.

All right, so bishop plays g5,

developing and communicating
the back rank.

Then the duke plays
pawn to b5,

threatening the bishop,

and this starts
a freaking blitz.

Because now, Morphy brilliantly
plays the knight and takes.

Duke takes,
Morphy takes again.

And we got
the old checkaroonie.

So, the duke plays the knight
to d7 to block that check.

And white
long castles queenside

and attacks that knight.

Black rook doubles down
on the forces.

And what about
this rook here?

What about this rook
doing nothing here?

Huh? Cornelia?

Cornelia, what about
this rook right here?

I don't know, bro.
Stop asking me.

All right, all right.
I'm sorry, I'm sorry.

Ito, Ito,
come up, come up.

Show me... Show me what we
should do with that rook

- to get it involved.
- I mean...

You can move the rook
up to e...

Oh, no, no, no.

- Oh, my...
- That's horrible. That's garbage.

I don't wanna look.
I don't wanna look.

Please tell me that's not
what he's doing.

- I don't want to look.
- Oh, no, look.

Rook to d7, taking off the knight.
Bada-bing.

- Another sacrifice. Another sacrifice.
- Oh, yes, yes!

Another sacrifice.

That's right.
That's right, Sed.

Very smart, my man.

So, rook takes.

Right?
Black rook takes d7.

And now, finally, the only piece
not doing anything in this game,

the white rook,
moves to d1,

bringing the last of the
resources into the game.

So, black queen
goes down on e6

to relieve the pressure.

Morphy's tried to do a little
queen-on-queen action right here.

- Gil?
- He could, but not when you're pressing your opponent,

so Morphy wouldn't do that.

Yes! So, what did
Morphy do then?

What did Morphy do then?
Do you know? Do you know?

- Yeah.
- Then come up.

I think what he'd do is...

bishop takes the rook

on d7.

Checkaroonie.

- Up down. Downtown.
- Whoo!

All right. Really good.
Really good, my man.

Now, Roddy for the counter.

I got you.
Step aside. Step aside.

The black knight to d7.

And just like that.

Nice. Nice, my man.

So, this is the beauty...

This is the beauty
of Morphy's game

that is recognized
by all the chess masters.

This is where
his brilliance comes in.

Because who else would
have thought of this move?

But to move the queen here
for the check.

Hold on. Time out.
No, no, no, time out.

- What are you doing? What are you doing?
- Boo!

Why? Why "boo"?
Why "boo"?

- What's wrong with you?
- That is whack.

Why is it
a whack move, Sedrick?

Don't just talk to me, man.
Show me.

That's a free queen!

Free queen!
The knight just takes it.

I don't know how
you're playing chess,

but you're off today, Mr. T.

That's official.
This move is whack.

You're right, you're right.
It'll be a whack move, smartass.

It would be.

No, no, it would be
a whack move,

it would be
the stupidest thing ever.

That would be the unthinkable

because we never give up
a free queen, right?

Never. Not a good player
gives up a free queen.

Unless...

Unless you know?

Unless you know?

You know?

Unless it's for a checkmate.

Ha!

I didn't even see that.

So, you see,
Morphy sacrificed all his pieces

and still won
against a whole entire army

because material advantage
is not everything, people,

and certainly not in chess.

That Morphy dude
is a genius.

He sure was, man.
He sure was.

But you know what? This is that
whole thing I keep telling you guys

about history.
That thing in history, man.

Written by winners.

Or the people with the means.

Oh snap. Mr. T about to drop
some vitamin K, huh.

Oh, you best believe.

Because, you know, there was
this great Latin chess player,

Raul Capablanca,

known to be the greatest chess
player by all chess players.

And yet, how come
we don't know about him?

How come we know that
chess was invented in India,

perfected in Persia,

but not know
that it was modernized

by a Spanish guy named Maura?

Yo, Mr. T,
can I ask you something?

Yeah, go ahead, go ahead,
go ahead, Roddy.

How come they always
paint us out and rewrite us?

Okay, I'm only allowed to give you
so much Latin and black history

because our contributions
into the making of America

is dictated
by the Board of Ed,

whose books are made and
controlled in the state of Texas,

but... But who's
counting, right?

But I'm gonna ask you...
I'm gonna ask you

that whenever you don't see
a familiar image

that you feel like
you can relate to,

and whatever it is
that you're moved by,

that you dig deeper than your
dusty, old Britannica Encyclopedia.

Word, Mr. T. For real.

Because we, people of color, have
been everywhere since time immemorial.

And if you pick up one of these
bad boys and you open it up

and you don't
recognize yourself,

I hope you realize
that this was their oversight,

that this was their mistake
to paint you out.

I need to see you and Mr. Paniagua
in my office, please.

- Yeah? What about?
- Just need to ask him a couple of questions.

Ito, Ito.

Hey, Sed. Sed and Roddy,
can you...

Can you start
a practice game for me?

Yeah, I got it, Mr. Martinez.
I got it. MARTINEZ: Come on, buddy.

We gotta go.

- Ooh! What you did now?
- You're in trouble.

I didn't do nothing.

It was you!
What you snitch at?

Me? I don't snitch.
You just get caught, big dawg.

Shut up!

- It's okay, man.
- Just wanna talk to you.

Your, uh, principal said
that the two of you had a beef.

No beef, no beef.

It was in my class,
and I was there, okay?

All right,
put those things away.

It got resolved.

Hey, we're not
interested in you anyway, man.

We're interested
in the neighbor of yours,

that Andre Lamar.

You know who I'm talking about?

Listen, man, I...

Ito, Ito, look, if you know
something, speak up, son.

Again, we're not
interested in you, man.

- Until we are.
- All right, I think we're done here, gentlemen.

Hey, look,

if you could just help us out
and point him out to us.

Okay.

Well...

If you think of anything that
might bring justice to your friend,

- all you gotta do is call.
- Gentlemen, it's time to leave.

We'll be the guys
with the mirrored shades on.

Thank you.

Ito, I'm sorry you had
to go through all that. You okay?

Ain't nothing new
for me, Mr. T.

Don't worry about it.
We'll take care of this.

Just go back to class.

The board's rejected our bid
to pay for the Regionals.

"Our bid"?

Your bid.

So, the board is fine
spending $400 on footballs,

but not with sending kids
on a road trip

to improve their minds?

Right?

It's not a question...
I just wanted

to hear it out loud,
that's all.

We host tournaments here,
in case you've forgotten.

Yeah, but this is...

This is team Regionals.

I mean, kids like this
from places like Dade County

don't ever make it
to team Regionals.

Then it shouldn't be
too hard for them to swallow.

Really?

Really? What the fuck's
the matter with you, huh?

You know, one of these days
something's gonna happen

that's gonna make me feel like

maybe I don't need
this bullshit job.

And you know what? That day is
gonna really suck for you, okay?

Is that a threat, Mario?

No. No, it's not.

We have chocolates.

Chocolates?

You could start a drive.

I see kids
outside the supermarket

- doing this sort of thing all the time.
- Wait, wait. You're serious?

You're serious? I mean,
these kids just had a deported player,

another kid murdered
this semester,

and you're giving them
fucking chocolates?

This is what I have.

Well, fine. You know what?

Give up on them,
let their parents give up on them,

let the whole system
give up on them.

But you know what?
I sure as shit ain't, okay?

Aren't.

You're done?

Not with them.

Good.

Then don't be.

'Cause once that fire goes out,
it never comes back.

Two of them were asking
questions about homeboy and shit.

Fuck all that though.

So, um, the Regionals
are coming in two weeks,

so it's gonna be $25 to register
each one of the players.

Then, on top of that,
we've got gas, food, a chaperone.

So, I think it's gonna be
about $300 each.

And, um, luckily,
school has donated

these 300 chocolate bars
to help us raise the funds.

Come on. Get the fuck
out of here, Mr. T.

Hey, come on. What did I tell
you about your mouth, man?

I'm sorry, but nobody
is gonna buy chocolates

from a bunch of hood rats.

I'd buy it
from a hood rat like you.

I mean, look at your
pathetic little face.

I'd buy a ton off of you.

Now, let's do the math.
Come on, let's do the math.

Do a little learning today, huh?
What have we got?

Four of you who qualified

times $300

equals what, Roddy?

- That's, um...
- That's $1,200, okay?

Total, right?
Divided by 300 chocolate bars

is what, Sedrick?

- Exactly.
- $4...

Shut up.

...a bar, okay?

You raise that
and we'll be golden.

Well, Mr. T, that's crazy.

You can get them down
for a quarter at Publix.

Well, therein lies
your hurdle, huh?

Um, I'm gonna get more.

- My God!
- No, this is for the arcade.

- What?
- Hey, hey, hey.

- Don't freaking touch me.
- You want one?

- Hey!
- Not on my shoes!

- Yo, Chanayah.
- What now?

Your mom better have some
seriously backed up sinuses

if she comes home and doesn't
realize what's going on.

No shit.

Yo, you guys really think people
are gonna buy cookies for $4?

Yo, it's a charity event.

You eat 'em
and you get high.

- It's not rocket science.
- Hey.

Don't use up
the rest of my stash now.

Too late for that.

Oh, man. We're gonna
be here all day.

- Oh, God.
- Okay, okay.

- Come on.
- That's just...

That's the good stuff.

I know. But they've been
under my watch for 24/7.

- Uh-huh.
- They were selling pot cookies

outside the supermarket.

Well, no, I didn't
hear about that.

- They're your responsibility, Mario.
- Okay.

- Keep them in line.
- I will, I will, I will.

Okay.

- I got it, I got it.
- It's on you.

Okay.

- Mr. T...
- So, now... Now, I'm lying for you.

Mr. T, I understand
and I take full responsibility.

And what?
What, that makes it okay?

That makes it okay? You were dealing drugs.
Are you fucking kidding me?

Huh?

That's my boss.
She's not just your principal,

but obviously,
you don't care.

We didn't say that.

But that's exactly what you said
when you went out like that.

I mean, you know,
in all fairness,

all there was was some
cookies, and your chocolate,

and a little bit of pot.

That's funny to you guys.
That's funny.

Listen to me, okay?

There is a rainbow of colors
at this table, myself included,

that need no help
having the police

come knocking at our doors.
You hear me?

First of all,
it was just weed, all right?

It's an illegal substance that could get
you a lot of serious jailtime, my friend.

Yo! You need to
shut the fuck up already.

That's...
That's what you want?

Is that what you want, guys?

You want to end up
like that poor sucker

that nobody gave a half shit
to set his ass straight?

Huh?

Tell me, tell me, tell me 'cause I'll
just stop wasting my time on you.

We're sorry.
We messed up.

It was a mistake.

Yeah, we was just
a little fucked up.

The mouth.

Sorry, sir.

All right.

All right, guys,
look, look, look,

I've saved up some money
for a rainy day.

Let's call this tournament
a rainy day

and your last chance,
all right?

Pick you all up Saturday
morning 6:00 a.m. sharp.

Anybody doesn't show up
on time, they stay behind.

♪ Okay, hey ♪

♪ Running that shit
Look at me, running concrete ♪

♪ That's like the roadrunner
Or that's the... ♪

♪ With the dude... ♪

Hey, guys, guys,
I just want you to know,

when you play
an official tournament,

there's not gonna be any
communicating with each other.

No talking to your coach
during the game.

So, there's no verbal,
no signals, no nods.

Nada. You hear me?

Especially no physical contact
with your opponent.

Got it. All right.
What about incidental contact?

I didn't
say anything about incidental.

I don't even know
what that would be.

You're just trying
to use big words.

Yeah, you are. Yeah.

If I was trying
to use big words,

I would say
it was putrescent back here.

Wow!

What that mean, though? What that
mean, though? What that mean, though?

- What that mean, though?
- The smell of decaying flesh.

- That's what it is?
- What? What?

Oh, my God.
Yo, I tell you what, though,

it smell like straight up
open ass back here.

Come on. We gonna die, Mr. T.
Please, bro.

- Please, bro.
- Open a window then.

Open a window?
I'm go flying out, Mr. T.

- Don't open a window then.
- Oh, my God.

Oh, guys, I'm done
with your whining.

I'm really done with it. I'm gonna drown you out.

Next stop is South Regionals.

Jump on the beat,
jump on the beat.

♪ Ah, ah ♪

♪ Steady on the mic
I get tight ♪

♪ Don't mess with me
'Cause chess is life ♪

♪ Got to do your thing ♪

♪ Got to do your thing ♪

♪ Got to do your thing ♪

Yeah.

♪ Uh ♪

♪ Got to do your thing ♪

Uh, I called
a couple of days ago

to register
for Miami Jackson.

This is a chess tournament.

Right. Mario Martinez
registering for Miami Jackson.

Right there.

It's a $100 registration.
No refunds.

Absolutely.

- Here you go.
- Everything you need to know is on there.

The matches are over there.

And the minute that you lose,
you leave the tournament area.

- Tournament policy.
- Not a problem.

And we won't be losing.

I can see
this is your first time.

Come on, fellas, let's go.

Hey, come here, come here.

Hey, fellas, fellas,
come here, come here.

Come here, come here,
come here, come here.

Look, if you're
feeling uncomfortable,

just remember that your mind
can be your weapon. Okay?

And if you're
still feeling uncomfortable,

just remember that at
some point in the game

your boy Dustin Diamond
over there

is going to be sitting
no more than two feet across

from gangster-ass Ito
over here.

So you tell me who you're
gonna put your money on.

That's right.
So, let's...

Let's go up there and teach these
punk chumps how to push some wood.

- Come on, let's go.
- Yeah, go, go, go, go.

Let's go, let's go,
let's go, let's go.

Good game, man.

Checkmate.

Hmm.

Ooh.

And now, we have a team
of grafters to deal with.

Yeah, but how many
ghost tournaments

did your dad pad
your ratings with?

'Cause I looked up those
tournaments and they don't exist.

Let's hope you don't
get disqualified. Take care.

Draw?

Do I want to draw?

Yeah,
take this draw, man.

Take one for the team, Ito.

Ito, you get
half a point. Take it.

Take it.

Take it. Take it, take it.

Nah. Yo, we came to win.

Excuse me. Absolutely no
communicating with either team.

Gentlemen,
behind the ropes, please.

Can I ask if my team
needs a draw?

Yes, but you can
only ask that.

Can I get up just to stretch
my legs real quick?

You don't have
to ask permission.

Perfect.

Ouch!

Was that legal?

Incidental contact.
Unintentional.

Thank you.

Sorry about that, man.
My bad.

Okay, that's enough.

Hmm.

Check your clock.

Ito got zugzwanged.

- Zugzwang?
- Mmm-hmm.

No matter where he moves,
Ito's gonna lose.

It's on me, guys.
I told him not to take the draw.

What are you sweating it for?
We're up by half a point.

Just got zugzwanged.

- Ito.
- I know. I know, I know.

- No, Pine Crest got 16.5, we got 17.
- What?

We won. That's right,
that's right. We won.

I won the first round, though.
You seen what I did?

- That's what I'm saying.
- That's what I'm saying.

I still pulled...
I pulled my shit together.

Come here.
I'm proud of you, bro.

You was doing
your thing today.

- Oh, you're proud of me? So you should be.
- Yeah, big dawg.

- You should be proud of me.
- Yeah, man, you was doing your thing.

You was doing your thing.
Doing your...

- Get your ass...
- Ew!

- Oh! That's disgusting!
- Ew!

Ew!

This is some
contaminated shit.

No shit. And you're
swimming in it, dawg.

Yo, you know that's how
superheroes are made, right?

- Yeah.
- Skinny motherfuckers

jumping in
on this toxic waste shit.

At least I don't be like,
"Check your clock,"

and then my opponent
zugzwang's the shit out of me.

I know what Martinez was
trying to say now, all right?

- I should have taken the draw.
- Yeah.

- You're happy?
- Yeah, you should have,

but now
it's celebration time.

- Celebration?
- Pizza, pizza!

- We got the pizza hot and delicious.
- Here you go.

- Yes.
- Okay.

Come on, guys. Oh, my God.
It smells so good.

Look at that. Whoo!
Come on, help yourself.

Come on. come out
and get some pizza.

- I don't know.
- Mmm. That's good.

Come on.

Come on, Godzilla.

Oh, Jesus! Oh, man!

Come on, come on, come on.

You got a problem, man.
You're always naked.

- You got into that swamp thing, yo.
- Oh, my God, you got a problem.

He is a swamp thing, yo.

Hey, check me out, though.

Watch out, world,
we're coming for you.

Radioactive style.

- Nah?
- I'm gonna have to get my lead blanket.

- That's for sure.
- Get me one.

Get me one.

Hey, don't break
that trophy.

- I'm not breaking it.
- How come you're not celebrating?

I'll celebrate
when we win State.

That's when I'll celebrate.

- Oh, yeah?
- Yeah.

All right.

Do you wanna hold
my trophy, bro?

You don't wanna hold it?
Hold my trophy, bro.

No, no, that's a trick.
Don't fall for it.

- Jesus Christ!
- Come hold my trophy, bro.

Come on.

I'm gonna have
to resign, man.

Shut up, shut up.
I'm trying to get the tip right. Stop.

You guys
don't even know.

You can't even get it
anatomically correct.

You better hope
he doesn't wake up.

Well, that's one way
of avoiding a tie, huh?

Draw is for people
who are too weak to go for it.

Gotta control
your own world, Mr. T.

Whoa! Where did you
hear that from?

It's something
my pops would say.

Look, I don't want

to contradict your dad
or anything, but I think...

I think draws
can be underrated

'cause, for one thing,
they guarantee you don't lose.

I just want
you to know I hear you.

All your inspirational
moments and stuff,

corny as shit for sure, but...

I appreciate
where you're coming from.

Don't tell me you're getting
all sensitivo on me now.

Nah.

Inspired, maybe.

I mean, it's the dumb shit
you say sometimes.

"The dumb shit"?

Just being out here,

it's messing with my head.

What do you mean?

I lost my mom
when I was six.

Right in front of me.

A hit and run.

Pops has been
in a shell ever since.

Negative.

- It gets hard, you know?
- Yeah, I'm sure.

And confusing.

When you're younger,
everybody feels bad, even the cops.

Eighteen now...

people are not sure
what to make of you anymore.

They forgot you got
frozen back there.

So, you find something you're good
at, work hard at it...

Yeah.

...take back your universe
and say, "Fuck you, universe."

Shit.

I lost my son, uh...

about five years
and two months ago.

John Wayne Martinez
was his name.

"John Wayne"? For real?

You're really on
to this American dream.

No, no, it was...

It was much more
than a dream.

Well, at least
he was anyway.

How did it happen?

Stray bullet.

You know? One inch to the left
or one inch to the right

and, uh...

Maybe he would've...

I don't know.
The universe, man...

The universe is too big
and hard to control sometimes.

From a street
they were summoned.

Look at you.

Look at you, quoting
poetry and everything.

I pay attention.

Hey, so what do you say...

What do you say,
you and I play one on the side of the road

for all the Sunkist
in the cooler, with ice.

- All right?
- And the front seat?

Let's not get ahead
of ourselves.

- All right?
- Hey.

Let's just play this
and see...

And then we'll think
about that.

Regional champs, baby.

Whoo!

Oh!

Time to jump in
and cannonball!

- Holy fuck!
- Whoo-hoo!

Where you been?

Chess tournament, Fort Myers.

We won.

Won what?

Tournament.

Took first place, too.

I taught you better
than that. How much?

I mean, just enough
to cover our costs.

Plus, a trophy

for the school to display up with the
old football ones when you went there.

So, you come in here bragging 'cause
you broke even and, what, won a trophy?

You know
who won the Heisman?

Huh?

Charlie Ward.

Who's that?

Exactly.

I mean, at least
you can hang damp clothes

on an old workout bench, right?

But a trophy?

Shit.

This book...

This book ain't gonna
teach you nothing

but how to play
like a pussy.

- Old positional chess theory.
- Positional what?

Boy, don't come
into this house

with that goddamn
Oprah bullshit.

It's about intimidation,
all right?

Play to win.
Everything else is bullshit!

All right.
So, let's play

for all the sodas
in the fridge.

Boy, sit your ass down.

And you put
no soda in the fridge.

I put the damn soda.

Back at you.

What, you giving away
free pieces now?

- Just fond of my rhythm.
- Rhythm, huh?

Looks like you can't
hear the music.

All right.

So, what? That's supposed
to mean something?

Check.

I don't have time
for this shit.

You know, Ma dying
didn't just crush you.

Shit.

Papi, it is hot
as hell in here.

You don't got the AC on?

I understand you're trying
keep the couches new and shit,

but I'm gonna have to peel
my legs off the plastic.

My nuts are sticking
to my thigh.

What did he say?
What did he say?

Put some ice in your ass, bro.

You got anything else
you want to complain about?

Yo, Sed?
What the fuck, bro?

- Well, what happened?
- I lost my job, my mom threw me out.

I lost my job
listening to your ass.

- Listening to you, homie.
- At the garage?

Yeah, no shit
at the fucking garage.

Where the fuck else
will I work, huh?

Let's go outside.
Let's go outside.

Let's take it outside.

I went to that
dumbass tournament, dawg.

'Cause of you, bro,
for chess.

A fucking waste of time.

Yo, but... But check me out,
we won, though.

Nigga, won what?

What did we win, huh?

Stop it.
You sound like my pops, man.

Nigga, I work hard
for my money every day, man.

Day-to-day for those 70 cents
to get to that school bus.

You gonna compare me
to your dad, nigga?

Look, Ito, I feel you,
but, yo,

our team is being taken seriously now, man.

- Come on.
- This is serious.

Our bullshit world is serious.

- It's wake-up time.
- Man, wake up to what?

Fucking getting
my shit in order.

- Chess is...
- What "shit," bro?

Fucking money
in my pocket shit, Roddy.

What?
You don't know about that, huh?

- I don't know about...
- No, you don't know about that.

- Bro, you don't work every fucking night...
- Everybody here knows

- about that, man.
- ...getting into that shit, bro.

You don't know about that, man.
What am I gonna do, huh?

What am I gonna do, huh?
What am I gonna do?

- Calm down, man.
- Ask for help.

Ask for help.

It's bullshit.

We here, man.

Come on.

It's about all I could take
for this night, all right?

Nerves can't take
much more of this.

I'm out.

- Come on.
- I'm out too.

Look, Ito, Ito.
Listen, listen.

We're here for you.

We're brothers.

Just don't stress, man.

I got you.

Your little club, right?

Yeah, little club, man.

I!

Paniagua!

Oelmy Paniagua.

Yeah, that's me.

Apartment 2B. Parents divorced.

Pops went back to D.R.,
your mom's moved in with her boyfriend.

She pays the rent, though.

And you and your brother
basically live for free,

trying get yourself
through high school.

It's a common story.

How the fuck do you
afford yourself?

What, you're stalking me now?

Something like that.

Hit me up, Paniagua.

Come on,
you need the money.

♪ Oh, let me Paniagua ♪

Okay. Okay, people.

Look at all the new fish here.

I guess you guys
like chess, huh?

Who would've thunk?

Look at that. Anyway...

People, I wanna... I wanna get
your attention please, everyone.

Yeah, let's give out
some congratulations here,

for our four prodigies
who beat Pinecrest.

Thank you. How 'bout that.

How 'bout that.

Hey, the trophy's out front too
in the case.

Check it out at your own convenience, okay?
Front and center.

There's gonna be another one
there soon when we take states.

- States?
- No way, no way. Oh.

Hey, guys, guys.

I know you deserve to be
at that competition,

but I don't think the school is
going to be able to afford it.

I just don't think so. We got...
We're $1,300 short, man.

It's just not...
It's not gonna be possible.

- What?
- Yo, did you let them know

that's the first trophy
this school has won

- in the last four years?
- I know.

- Thank you.
- I know.

I know, but with all
these registration fees

and this being
a two-day tournament,

you got...
It's like, $450 each.

- I mean, that's a lot to ask.
- Come on, Mr. T,

- It's a lot to ask.
- It's not even that much.

They spend more on these bullshit "Just
say no" programs no one listens to.

- Right, but...
- If we were preps

over at Pinecrest, they got to
stay at a four star Marriott.

- No, don't get bitter.
- Where we stayed

our shitty little pool
had formaldehyde in it.

Yeah, and we still won.

- Exactly.
- Come on, guys.

Champions adjust, okay?

We don't give away our power
and we move on. We just move on.

Now that's bullshit, Mr. T.

- Is it?
- Mr. T, no one cares.

And you know what this self-help
is getting real tired and you know it.

Okay, all right.
You're right, you're right.

The self-help is done. So, you know what,
you take matters into your own hands.

Find a way to bridge
that gap with the cash

'cause I am totally
out of funds.

I'm out. Seriously.

So, good luck,

keep it legal, please,
and find a way.

- Dude looks broke.
- Cornelia, you present?

- No.
- Thank you.

Coming forward.
George, what you got?

Go ahead, go ahead.

You wanna come attack?
I'll defend with that knight all day.

Hey, fellas,

what time is it?

Money time.

I love it, baby.
I love it, baby.

You guys all come down to the
park to experience chess, right?

Well, experience it,

with real champions.
Real champions.

How we... How we doing, Gil?
How we doing? How we doing?

Close to checkmate so not bad.

My people come here
to have a good time,

and you take their money?

How you doing?

I haven't seen you in a minute.

Thank you for coming.

No, you can't do that.
Who the fuck is this...

Bro, bro. Bro, fall back.
It's good.

- This is a Cubano park.
- Yeah.

You wanna play
with your peoples.

You know what part
of town that is.

Hey, we're just here
to make some money.

So, you're a hustler now.

- I mean, yeah, as long as they...
- Okay, okay.

How much you wanna play for?

Who? You? Oh, hell, no.

I'm not here to take your money, Alberto.

No, no, no.
I know I can't beat you.

But my friend, Marcel,
who just came from Cuba,

I mean, he plays a little.
Over there.

Oh, word?

Wanna call him over?

Marcel.

I'm gonna take
his money for sure.

You ready, my friend?
Check this out, check this out.

We gonna go right here.

Taking too long.

Move, move.

Are you watching the same game?

What game are you
watching, dude?

Right there, baby.
Come on, baby. Back up.

Adios, Alberto.

Back up, back...
Yo, I'm gonna take all your pieces, bro.

I will take
all your pieces, bro.

- I'm gonna take all your pieces, bro.
- He doesn't know how to play.

All your pieces bro. I'm
gonna take all your... Every single on.

Every single one.

Nah.

See?

No, no, no. My money.

I beat you. You lost.
You have to pay me now.

Hold on, hold on. I thought you said
you didn't speak English, my friend.

That doesn't matter, bro.
You lost, you have to pay me.

- Yeah, it does matter, bro.
- Give me my money.

You just hustled us, bro.
Get the money then.

- Alberto!
- Come get it.

That's my homie too, bro.
That's my homie too.

Just give him the money.

Where do you
go to school?

I don't go to school yet, man.
I'm new here.

- How old are you?
- Eighteen.

What's your chess rating?

Twenty-three hundred.

- Yo.
- You know what, man?

It was just one move, bro.

Double or nothing.

- No.
- Double or nothing.

I'm ready.

- Let's go.
- I can beat him. I can beat him.

- I can beat him.
- Let's go.

All right, 2,300.

All right.

How much do you have?

27.75.

- It's not so bad.
- Total.

I knew it was a setup.

That kid's probably a pro.

He wasn't pro,
they just got lucky, I promise.

Why risk it? We went in there...

- We would've made more.
- No, we would not.

- Yes, we were.
- We need...

What's this? A drug deal?

- How you doing, Mr. Roundtree?
- No, sir.

Not at all, no. We were just pooling
out money for the next tournament.

Pooling your money
for next tournament, huh?

Yes, sir.

So how is Sedrick pooling?

'Cause he damn sure ain't
pooling for this household.

Four teenagers counting money
at my damn living room table.

Don't. Don't touch our money,
all right?

You better get out of my way

before I give you an ass whooping
your mama would approve of.

Give us our fucking money!

Oh, so you man enough to talk to
me like this in my own house, huh?

- That's it?
- Mr. Roundtree, please.

All right. Look. Look, girl.

Just 'cause you're giving up
your ass to my son in my house

don't give you the authority
to talk to me in my house.

Yo, watch you mouth, man.

- Or else what?
- Watch your fucking mouth.

What you gonna do? You better
get this chick out of my house.

- Chanayah, enough.
- I was agreeing with you.

Just go the fuck home. Yo, man,
everybody get the fuck out.

I'm sorry.

Fuckin' bullshit.

Oh, I sure would love to see
what you gonna do now...

Now that you think you got it
all under control.

Oh, and you could
get out of my house.

Get out!

Fuck this house.

- Boo!
- Whoa!

Hey, Chanayah.

Um... I was just, uh...

Camping?

Yeah. Just for the...
Just for the night.

Um...

I just wanna say I'm sorry.

I got caught up
with the bullshit.

Pops and...

You ain't deserve that.

I'm sorry.

You know, when we were little
whenever there was a problem,

your mama used to say, "Oh, you
know, he ran up on the roof again.

"With his flashlights."

And you would be like...

"Yeah, well...

"as soon I... I'm allowed
on my block, I'ma keep going."

You're an asshole, Sed.

And if you ever raise your voice
to me like that again,

I will beat that ass,
not a question.

A statement.

Is that clear?

Clear.

Okay.

It's like, when you're a kid,
you wanna do something great.

And then you're just
hoping for a job

just so you can
be like everybody else.

My mom used to always tell me

to be done with this place.

Put it behind me.

Make something of myself.

That's what I'm gonna do.

Well...

I mean, we made it to the top.

Right?

I'm sorry.
That was a fucking stupid joke.

I just... You were talking about
living on the roof, so...

Nah, nah, I get it.

- That was stupid, I'm sorry.
- I... I get it.

It's... It's funny.

Uh, kind of.

Well, I'm gonna
stay with you tonight. So...

What, here?

I was... I was...
I was gonna get, uh, a hotel.

Oh?

With all of that money, huh?

Well, I'd like to stay with you.

You know, like when
we were kids, so...

Look, I'll even let you leave
your flashlights on.

Are you gonna join me or what?

I love you.

I love you a lot.

I know.

Yo.

Paniagua!

Yo, Paniagua.

They got you out here working
the corners now, man?

I'm doing my thing, Donny.

Shit, man.

Looks like your thing
is working this corner.

What's up, man.
Look out for me, man.

Come on, dawg.
Take care of me, man. What's up?

I may be new, but
I know it's a 20.

Come on, man. I know it's 20, too.
But goddamn, man,

I've been watching you
since you was fuckin'

chasing fucking ice cream trucks
and all kind of shit, man.

- Come on, man. Just one time.
- This is the last one.

Yo, Ito, we're good?

Yo, we was just talkin'
out here.

Ain't nobody talkin' to you.

You bein' a nice guy?
Givin' old junkies deals?

Motherfucker, we dealin'
drugs here.

We're here to make money.
You hear?

We ain't doing no favors
for nobody, you feel me?

This shit we do here
kills people.

Fuck 'em.

- Pickle!
- Come on, man. Goddamn, man!

Get your ass up, Donny!

Don't fuck up my spot.

Eye on the prize.

Stay focused.

Feel me?

I got you.

Good.

So come on down

to Hialeah Park for the
Bahama stakes January, 6th...

Get your car clean,
Jackson chess team!

Get your car clean,
Jackson chess team!

Get your car clean,
Jackson chess team!

- Get your car clean, Jackson chess team!
- Look at you guys.

Get your car clean,
Jackson chess team!

You guys are so entrepreneurial.

Hey. It's fantastic.
What you guys...

Hey, uh, where's Ito?

Yo,
he's dealing with some personal shit.

What kind of personal shit?

Nothin'.

Nothin'? Come on. Come on. You guys
would tell me if you needed help, right?

You'd tell me?

- Yeah.
- Yeah.

- Okay, so...
- Oh, no.

What's Roddy doin'
over there?

...entering what's
normally a tournament for more

academic-type schools?

Hmm. You mean more choggy.

Holy hell.

Chanayah,
you got change for a 10?

Oh, my goodness.
Oh, my God. All right.

So, we are here
to do, um, what exactly?

We're here to raise $1,300

to offset our cheap public school
system that's a little broke.

Oh, so you're
funding this yourselves?

Like I said, we were hoping

our Principal Kestel
at Miami Jackson...

So much for our low profile.

We were hoping she was gonna hook
us up and get some school funding,

but I don't know,
she probably needs like

a fresh new pair
of rims or something.

Hey, Roddy.
Roddy, hey. Hey.

Come here.
Come here.

What did you just say?

I told them you're
a great human being.

Oh, you're such a liar.

Everybody, we're at $325
per kid.

$325? Seriously?

I can't believe you guys
were able to do that.

Least we could do is hit
a Red Lobster or something.

That's the universal web
for success right there.

Well, I'll tell you what.
Tell you what.

You guys win State
and I promise you

I will take you to an all-you-can-eat
Red Lobster dinner on me.

- Oh...
- Now that's what I'm talking about!

Chanayah,
I'm trusting you to keep him on point.

Hi, bro.

Positional, huh?

Thank you.

Hey, yo, Domino Park.

You done registering?

Yeah. I am.

Okay, good.

Let me show you around.

What, you better...
That better do something

'cause that's embarrassing.

You're embarrassing.

Yo, Mr. Martinez.

Look.

This is the guy. Um...

Looks like homeboy
got his ass beat.

Marcel.

Yeah. This is the Cuban
I recruited over at Domino Park.

Hey, bro, Gil,
look who it is.

You know, I see him. What's he doing here?
You go to school here now?

Yeah. Now he does.

Okay, now that everybody knows who he
is, can somebody please tell me

why he's in my class?

Mr. Martinez, this is the guy who
rode Rodelay's butt at Domino Park.

Looks to me like
he got his own butt whipped.

No offence, Ro,
but it was a masteration.

Yo, it's not a thing,
'cause my game was off.

You got masterated.

- I don't know what that means.
- Exactly. Nobody does.

Mr. T, look,
he's here to join the team.

- For real?
- Yeah. Come on.

Um, I have been
playing since I am little.

And I have learnt all the moves and
learnt from the chess masters in Cuba.

I have written down
all my moves and, um...

Because in Cuba,
you know, we don't have many books

and no computers.

But... I would like
to join the team.

If you can share what you know...

I can share maybe the
little that I know...

...you know,
with them.

D5 takes e4.

- Wait, what?
- Wow.

Pawn, g6.

Bishop, b6.

King...

King takes d8.

Oh, he checked me.

Pawn takes queen at g6.

Damn.

Uh... D pawn takes knight.

I can't play.

- Unbelievable, man.
- That's amazing.

Mr. T, we're serious now.

I know.
I know. I know.

I'm gonna call you
"Marcel Duchamp"

'cause he was a great painter, and your
stroke is genius, little...

Incredible.
Amazing. Come on.

Everybody, welcome Marcel
to the team, please.

Yo.

We come in peace.

What up?

What's up?

You got the chain on.

Yeah, I got it.

You look good.

Who is this guy?

That's our new star.

This is Marcel.

He's like Bobby Fischer
with a busted lip.

I was gonna say, we'll get you this shit, man.

Actually, Stanley Cruz kinda
style, man.

Come on, man.
More like Willy Chirino, you know?

Hey...

Yo, who is this fucking guy?

Look, look, look.
We can go five deep now.

We gonna need
all hands on deck.

Come on.

Come on, man.

I'm good homie.
I'm good.

Right. But check it out,
we got the money to do the tournament.

- Yeah.
- Come with us.

Yeah, but it's like I said,

I gotta start thinking
about my future this year.

Who the fuck is these
little niggas, Dre?

Fuck y'all doin'?

Uh, they were just stoppin' by.
They're on...

They're on their way out
right now.

Leavin' right now.
Ain't y'all leavin' right now? Let's go.

- We just got here.
- Hold on, hold on. These are your boys?

- No. No. No.
- Hey, yo. Don't talk to my boy like that.

What you doin'?
Let's go. Let's...

- Are you for real, bro?
- Let's go, bro. Bounce.

Nah, man. Ito...

Go, man!

Go!

This is not
what friends do, man.

That looks mad wrong
on you, Ito.

Keep that in there.

I'm not fuckin'
with you, Ito.

I like the way you do things.

This ain't no fuckin'
birthday party.

Pick that shit up
and go back outside.

Oelmy Paniagua.

So now you're dealing for him?

We got a lot of these, bro.

Y'all do this for a living?
Hmm?

Do this for a living.

For a living? For a living.

For a living,
we lock people up.

Particularly people that do
what you do.

I...

I ain't seen anything and I'm
not doing anything illegal

in those pictures. I don't know
what you guys are talkin' about.

- Oh, so I...
- I don't know.

So I guess he's declining, huh?

Yeah, looks like he declined.

Oh, well,
we'll see you around.

See you soon, Papi.

Miss Kestel, look, I know you
wanted to talk to me,

but I really gotta
get on the road.

I'll walk with you, Mario.

- One more...
- Look, it's not necessary.

Everybody ready?

Oh, yeah, pretty much.
Packing up the car and what not.

Oelmy there? Paniagua?

I don't even know what I'm going
to do with that kid, Miss Kestel.

Those detectives came by
to see him yesterday.

They said if he's not in their
station house on Saturday,

they'd issue a warrant
for his arrest.

Yeah, but the tournament's Saturday.
If he misses it, we're gonna be out.

- Exactly.
- We'll have to freakin' forfeit.

That's why I told them,

if they came within a football
field of screwing up our tournament,

I'd ruin their fucking lives

faster than they can say
"Policemen's Ball."

Pardon my French.

On the bright side,
it appears your car wash fundraiser

got some great coverage
on the local news here.

About that, look, I was there.
I told the kids, I said,

"Be careful what you say
to the press, 'cause..."

I didn't see it, but...

an official
at a major airline did.

They've offered to sponsor your
flights to Nationals if you win State.

Wait, wait. You're serious?

Corporate America actually
gives a goddamn about our kids?

Apparently so.

And I can't help
but be impressed myself.

Okay, thank you.

You're a decent teacher, Mario,

is what you are.

Now go kick some preppy ass.

to you too.

- Shouldn't you guys be in class?
- Put the bags in the car.

Oh, come on, guys.

Come on. I told you to pack up
the wagon. Come on, seriously?

- My bad.
- Forget it. We're going to be late.

Thanks a lot.

- All right.
- Go ahead. Go ahead. Get in. Get in.

- I got it. I got it. I got it.
- All right.

Yo, but a field trip
on a school day, though.

- That's what I'm talkin' about.
- Yeah.

Yeah. We gonna do this.

Sure.

I thought you said
we're gonna win this.

We're gonna do both.

And damned if we ain't!

Ito!

Yo, so you back?

Hey, I'm just here to make sure
your newbie can handle himself.

He been practicing.

Yeah, you know,
just 'cause I want to feel

like I earned my stay
at this weekend safari,

you know, I got my part.

It's all good.

It's all good.
We got it covered.

- Right here.
- Hey, Ito, Ito.

Come on.

- Hey, guys, you mind?
- Yeah.

I got it. I got it, Marcel.

Hey, uh...

I just don't want you throwing
away all your potential

on that stupid gamble, okay?

I know... I know...
I know you think I'm corny, I know.

But behind this square guy, is somebody
who hit rock bottom several times, man.

I just want you to know
it's a tough climb, but...

But it can be done.

So, uh...

when you talk to these cops,
I hope you do the right thing,

otherwise you're going
to be fucked.

Mr. T, I'm fucked if I do
and I'm fucked it I don't.

Oh, no. No.
You're fucked if you don't.

You understand?

You're Zugzwanged.

Stuck between two bad moves.

And there's always a move,
right, Mr. T?

Until there's not.

All right, everybody.
Load up! Come on.

We got an extra body here, so I need
somebody to be the sacrificial lamb.

Who's that gonna be?

I guess... Hey, Roddy,
I guess that means you. Come on.

Nah. Can Marcel do it?
He didn't... He's a newbie.

Well, he's already in the car.
Come on. You're here.

- For real?
- 'Cause you're smaller.

You're more compact.
You're potable.

Come on.

Yeah. Just get in there.
You'll be comfortable.

And you can sleep
the whole ride.

- You good?
- No.

Enjoy the ride, Rodito.

Win or lose.
Red Lobster's on you.

What? I can't hear you.

I can't hear you.

Right, guys, you ready?

Guys.

Guys, guys, I know some of you
are allergic to a draw,

but a draw earns us
a half point. Okay?

A loss if gonna get us nothing, nada...

Okay? Seriously.
This is a marathon.

Every half point
and point matters.

Choices and consequences, man.

And when life gives you
a shit sandwich,

don't say, "Why me?"

Say, "Try me!"

Yes, sir!

Whoo!

Shit.

That's a good move.

Kaitlyn, right?

Sike.

Excuse me.
Behind the line.

- I'm sorry.
- Thank you.

Good draw, good draw.

Oh, you again.

Get there.

Yeah.

How's Marcel doing?

Check.

Check.

Oh...

Yo, Florida State champions,
are you kidding me?

Yeah, incredible, man.
Amazing.

- Yeah.
- And all because of those two draws, you know.

Look, I know how
hard that was for you, man.

- Thank you for that.
- Mmm-hmm. Mmm-hmm.

Hey, guys. Look, I know hugs
are kinda lame in the hood,

I know. But in the real world,
they're kinda nice.

So, come on, what do you say?
Can you humor me, please?

Mr. T, Mr. T, we did it.

Come on. Would you just please?
For me?

Huddle, guys.
It's not gonna hurt. Come on.

Close your eyes, Roddy.

We want to thank
our higher power

for not only making us the
first team from day to rank,

but the first team from Miami
to ever be State Champions.

Mmm-hmm
- And, um...

Oh, yeah. I almost forgot...

We want to thank our higher
power for getting us sponsors

who are donating

six round trip tickets to sunny Los
Angeles, California for the Nationals.

Another round of lobsters, we're going to Cali!

Yo. Yo. Yo.

Crazy, huh?

Yeah, so I'm gonna be straight with you,
just 'cause of the love I got for you

and everybody else.

I think this moment
right here

is the happiest I ever been
in my life.

No, for real, man, for real.
I mean, Red Lobster, State Champs?

I'm goin' out on top, baby.

- Goin' out.
- Yeah.

Yeah.

You know...

It's about seeing
the whole thing, right?

If chess gave us
one thing, it was that.

And how's it working out for you
workin' for this Andre guy?

Come on, dawg.
Everybody knows the deal.

Look, man, I'm just
trying to do my King's Gambit

in real life.
Get in, get out.

Real quick.
Just for the temporary, all right?

Temporary.

Yeah.

Ito, you're my brother...

But this is a mistake.

You know it.

Maybe so.
But it's mine to make.

Go out there, man. Do your thing.
All right, go get it.

I'll look out for Chanayah
for you, all right?

Yes, I'm very proud to...

To be here with a bunch of kids
that nobody would have expected

to be going to
the National chess tournament.

And, uh, they're going to
be representing the, uh...

Sunshine State of Florida.

Oh, my God.
Look at Martinez.

Did he just put his finger
in his ear?

So much better when people
ain't scoping this shit.

Where you think they went?
Hmm?

- Who?
- Who?

- Yeah, who?
- Motherfucker...

something's off here.

You feel that shit?

Shit. I don't know.

Nah. Some shit don't feel
right in this motherfucker.

Why the fuck you laughing
so much, Don?

Donny. Shut the fuck up, Donny.

This motherfucker got a Walkman on
here, no music playin'?

Shit.

The fuck is that about, Ito?

Ladies and gentlemen,

in just a few minutes we'll
reach our cruising altitude

and it's about five hours,
17 minutes to Los Angeles.

Oh, yeah,
Marcel's gonna be back there.

You got your seatbelt on, bro?

- Yes?
- Um, is my seat...

- Is my seat really a raft?
- A life preserver.

I'm sure you'll be fine.

Oh, no.

In the ocean? On this?

- Is this your first flight?
- Yeah.

It's all of ours.

Then how about I give you all free
headphones for the movie to celebrate?

- Yeah.
- All right, okay.

- Welcome aboard, gentlemen.
- Thank you.

You think that waitress was
hitting on me, bro?

Bro, not even
in your dreams, man.

- But just relax.
- Yo,

you know she's not
a waitress, right?

I don't know, man.

I just know I'm in love.

What is that? For you?

It could be my friend's girl.
I'm looking after her while...

Oh, word?

One of your checker buddies?

Have a seat, kid.

Who's that? Sedrick? Huh?

Ooh.

Sedrick's got that fire
Puerto Rican bitch.

What?

You mad?

Ain't like your boy's rolling with
an exuberant amount of fillies.

I mean, it's the motherfucking
checkers team,

- you know what I'm saying?
- It's chess, nigga.

What the fuck were you doing
talking with two DT's

outside my spot,
motherfucker?

It's chess, motherfucker.
It's chess.

- Oh.
- Oh, I want to see you, man.

Now let me welcome everybody

to super Cali swagilistic sexy ella dopeness.

Hold on, guys.
Guys, let's be serious. Look.

There's some good teams here.

- Oh, yes, there are.
- He's right.

Julia Masterman,
Dalton from New York.

- That's some private school.
- The best.

- Look, and all the players are averaging in the high 2000s.
- Mmm-hmm.

- Never mind Akopyan, Mr. T.
- Who's that?

Harutyun Akopyan.
Dude's unbeatable.

- Won the last three years in a row.
- Unbeatable.

But don't worry. Don't worry.

'Cause you're not playing him
in individuals, all right?

That's all he plays. Got it?

Come on, guys.

We can beat any punk ass fish
we need to.

Yeah, look at you
getting all gangster on us, huh?

That is right, homie.

That's right, man. He's right.
We can do this.

We can do this. Okay?

- All right, boys, what's the plan?
- Kick some ass.

That's right.
That's right.

So hold your head up high
and take in a deep breath,

'cause you already
got the knowledge

and the moves and the strategy,

now it's just about that thing.

That intangible.

That part of you
that you bring to the game.

Like Roddy, that class clown

that's always covering up
that intelligent, thoughtful guy

that the teachers and parents
always complain about.

Gil, that guy that never
really fit in,

but fucking he's here, man.

And Duchamp,

those impeccable manners
and that handshake,

odd as it may seem, I know
your daddy instilled it in you.

The need to rise above.

Then there's Sedrick.

Against all odds,

Buster Douglas, February 11,
1990 round motherfucking 10, Roundtree.

Okay, guys.

So just bring you
to this game.

And I promise you...

I promise you these kids are in

for something
they've never seen.

Okay?

So now we just gotta use
that thing.

Okay, go, go, go.

Guys, go.

Players, please take your seat.

Shake your opponent's hand...

and white,
make your first move.

Checkmate.

Good match.

Yo, what are you doing?

It's okay. It's okay.

We need the half point.

He knows.

Let it go. Let it go.

He's gotta take the draw.

You had to, man. Thank you.

I know...

Come on, guys.

Hey, guys. Guys.

Come here. Psst!

Hey, just so you understand,

Julia Masterman's
got 19 team points,

we got 18 and a half.

Marcel...

if you win this,

you're going to be
United States national champion.

You got that?

If you don't win,

we're not going to make it
to team championship,

- but, hey, then we got next time. Don't worry.
- It's the team, chill.

We got this.
Marcel's a definite win.

- Who's he playing?
- Hmm.

Harutyun Akopyan.

- Wait, what?
- Yeah.

- I thought you said he was in the individual?
- I know.

But we are now,

because Marcel here
got the highest score.

Right. The top two highest
individuals play each other.

Yeah, but nobody's
beaten Akopyan.

Yeah, well, he's never come
face-to-face with Marcel Duchamp.

You got this.

Maybe.

Hey, that wasn't a question.

Duchamp, you think
you can win this?

Yeah. I can beat him.

This is your time to shine, man.

- The final individual match...
- All right.

...will feature
newcomer, Marcel Martinez...

Right, go, go.
Get out of here.

...and returning champion...

Here, you hold this.
Why am I holding this?

- Seriously, me?
- Yeah, you.

Players, please take you seat.

- Take him out. Aggressive.
- We got this.

Good, 'cause he's using the Ruy
Lopez just like I taught him.

Akopyan's all book. I knew it.

- He's got that knight pegged.
- Hmm.

- May I use the restroom?
- Yes, you may.

You should as well.

- What's this about?
- No idea.

- Where they going? On a date or something?
- Shut up.

Tough position?

Maybe for you.

I like your confidence,

- but you know where this game is going.
- Yeah.

To my win column.

We come from the same
Soviet school.

Cuba comes
from the Soviet school.

Yeah.

But we don't have
the same style.

Ah, don't be stupid.

In a tie,
there's a point to share.

We will be champions.

You will be linked to me

and most certainly be
offered a scholarship.

Are you asking me to draw?

There's no shame in a draw.

My team needs a full point.

Half a point does
nothing for us.

Then you've made a decision.

- How're you holding up?
- I'm good.

My clock, it wasn't stopped
properly before the break.

Do you think we could
wind it back?

I'm sorry.

First, it's your clock,

and second it was your mistake for
not stopping the time correctly.

It wasn't set the way
I intended.

They were set the same
for both of you

from the very start
of the match.

And lastly, the match
is well under way.

- It can't be changed now.
- Ah!

Sorry.

You didn't stop the clock.

He's done. He's done, yo.

What is he doing?

Yo, why isn't he moving?

He's up on time and
he's letting his advantage go.

What the fuck is he doing, man?

Intangibles.

He's bringing
Marcel to the game.

Yo, they're bringing
in the firepower.

Marcel, rook.

Check.

Check.

Check.

- They're blitzing. Perfect endgame.
- Mmm.

Down to 65 moves,

Marcel Martinez defeats reigning champion Harutyun...

Oh, my God, this is great.

Marcel. Marcel, we won!

Mr. Martinez.

God, look at this.

Thank you so much. Thank you.

We did it, Mr. T.

- We did it.
- Yes, we did.

My father was the one
who gave me my first chessboard.

But I remember, it was
my mom who used to say,

"The universe is like
one huge street

"full of things
we can never explain."

One day you're walking down thinking
the shit you're in is never gonna pass.

And the next... it does.

I remember, she would say,

"We are born into things that
we don't have to become."

But I believe this is something,
we here,

are born to become.

From the streets
we were summoned.

From the streets
we were summoned.

I know for a fact that
in my daily life,

I see the impact of chess
one way or another.

And sometimes
I do earn a lot of money,

but then I realize why I did it,

and I know it has to do
with that. There's no doubt.

It's a special type of bond.

Most of my chess friends have
been my friends for life. So...

I think that I showed people
in my neighborhood,

in the projects that

there's another way to get out
than selling drugs or football.

To us, that was the only way
to get out.

That was it.

To me, I showed them
a different way to get out.

I enjoyed seeing the drive
that they all had.

So I had to make sure that
they all had the tools,

things they needed,

because I knew
what it would take

to get them from
the level they were at

to the level they needed to go.