‘Life of a King’… new chess film

Cuba Gooding is one of Hollywood’s finest actors. If you were watching carefully, you may have even seen him in Eddie Murphy’s barbershop in “Coming to America”. Later on, he played a number of memorable roles from Tre Styles in “Boyz in the Hood,” to Chief Carl Brashear in “Men or Honor,” to the more nefarious role of drug dealer Nicky Barnes in “American Gangster”. Each of his roles are played with passion and he has been an A-list actor for the better part of two decades.

Gooding has now embarked on a project certain to capture the attention of chess aficionados. A movie called “Life of a King” will remind us of movies such as “Fresh”, “Searching for Bobby Fischer” and the latest chess film, “Brooklyn Castle“. If you look closely, you can even see twists from “Boyz in the Hood”.

It profiles an ex-con Eugene Brown who gets a second-shot at life after 20 years in prison. Unexpectedly, he turns out to be a pillar in the lives of young men struggling between choices of high-crime and living a principled life. He shows young toughs a way out through the game of chess.

Yes… we’ve seen it before, but this story is real. For the past 30+ years, Brown has run the “Big Chair Chess Club” and his works have actually appeared here on The Chess Drum. Six years ago, he mentioned making a documentary on chess in the DC/Maryland area. That time has come. Support this effort!

New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/movies/movie/446049/Life-of-a-King/overview
Big Chair Chess Club: https://www.bigchairchessclub.org/


  1. The works of Adisa Banjoko (Hip-Hop Chess Federation), Orrin Hudson (Besomeone, Inc.), Principal Salome Thomas-EL (I Choose to Stay) and Mazi Mutafa (Words, Beats & Life) and many others could not be more aptly illustrated than in this movie. Looking forward to it.

  2. Daaim,

    I watched the Trailer and, man, I felt a tingle along my spine! This is fantastic stuff! Arguably, Cuba’s greatest (best ?) role since his Oscar-winning outing in Jerry McGuire!! BOOYAKKA!!!! Will be heading to watch it with many of our players here!

    PS: For the record, the first chess site I check everyday is yours before venturing elsewhere. Did I tell you before ? Keep up the great work. 2014 is going to be ultra special for the Chess community particularly the ChessDrum!

  3. Cuba is a great actor. If you have not seen, Murder of Crows, check it out. Have not been to the movies in the past 2 or 3 years but hope to see this one!
    Happy new news

  4. About time chess players coming home from prison that are now making a difference get their work and accomplishments represented in film rather than discarded for their past deeds. Being a convicted felon, I respect and appreciate this work. Cuba is a great artist and its nice to see him at his craft.

  5. I think this looks to be one powerful film. I am looking forward to viewing it. Cuba Gooding always brings passion to the screen in any role he chooses. On a sad note Bernadette Reddick passed away 2 days ago and arrangements are in the planning stage.

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