Added on 5/28/2017

Chess can be much more than just a game.  Remember the film "Brooklyn Castle?". The dedication of educators and a supportive community triumph over lack of money and build a strong chess team which wins the United States Chess Federation's national high school championship. It's a real story. And stories like this can happen when a community - this time online - gets together and decides to help a bunch of kids to keep their dream alive. Marty Grund, ICC's Vice President, took to heart the story of math teacher and chess coach Joseph Ocol and his kids.  And Marty called to action one of the most lively and engaging communities in ICC: the people of channel 97.  And channel 97 took Marty's call very seriously! Joseph, who had gone through many difficulties to keep up with his chess program, found in Marty and his channel 97 crew a strong support. And the story repeated itself!

Joseph went to the Super Nationals with his kids, and it was a great success!

Here is the letter that Mr. Ocol sent to Marty and to the ICC people who supported him and his team:

Dear Marty,

Please see a nice attachment, the best picture we've ever had as a chess team-- EXCEPT THAT YOU ARE MISSING HERE IN THESE VERY PICTURES.   But never mind, you and ICC will always be enshrined in our hearts, permanently!

We will remember you always and cherish all the experiences the team had in the Super Nationals. 

Had it not been for you for the ICC, we would not have made it.

Much bigger than the three trophies (that our team garnered in the Super Nationals) have been the intangible values and lessons that every kid learned out of his or her participation, something that can never be equated in numbers or in dollars.  

Every kid that you and ICC have supported has learned how it is to be thinkers and to be better persons in heart and in mind.  

Trophies and medals will lose their luster in the course of time; they know too well that it is in the stamina of character-- as shown by their daily lives-- that will make them the persons that this world needs in making it a better place to live.

In behalf of the Earle Chess Team, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for everything that you and the ICC, most specially the ICC supporters and donors, have done for the children and our chess team.  


Joseph M. Ocol Math Teacher and Chess Coach Earle STEM Elementary School Englewood, Chicago