Tuesday, February 7th, 2017.

Excelsior’s Executive Principal Craig Taylor takes on chess champion pupil Ana-Maria Miron

A leading chess expert will play up to 30 Excelsior Academy pupils, parents and teachers at the same time in a grand challenge of his skills.

Malola Prasath, Director of the Enhance Institute of Chess Excellence, will need all his renowned tactical nous to take on all comers in a celebration of the cerebral game at Excelsior.

Pupils from Rainbird Primary through to Excelsior College have been honing their skills to tackle Malola who is a champion of chess in schools for the World Chess Federation, promoting its powers to boost mathematical, critical thinking and cognition skills.

And above all else, it will be a fun event for pupils, parents and teachers on Wednesday February 15th to test their mettle against a top player on the checker board.

To whet pupils’ appetites for the battle ahead, Executive Principal Craig Taylor has arranged for a screening of the film ‘Magnus’ charting the life of Norwegian chess prodigy Magnus Carlsen, so good that he played ten chess games blindfolded – and won them all.

Craig said: “The aim is for Malola to play against all 30 of our players at the same time, moving from table to table in the Exhibition Hall.

“It’s a real challenge for him and a great learning experience for us. Chess requires complex strategic thinking, plus considerable concentration but is also a game that anyone can learn and you never forget how to play, no matter what age you are.

“Our pupils are up for the challenge of playing such a top player in such an unusual and fun way.”

Craig took time for some practice ahead of the big day going head-to-head with pupil Ana-Maria Miron, 15, in the boardroom. Ana-Maria is a chess champion in Romania and soon demonstrated her skills with a decisive, but hard fought victory!