Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017.

Gold medal chess player Ana-Maria Miron

Chess players from Rainbird Primary through to Excelsior College showed strategy and skill to land a host of medals at a Newcastle tournament.

Dame Allan’s school staged the tournament in partnership with the Enhance Institute of Chess Excellence, Newcastle, with around 25 competitors locking horns over the chess board – some players from the Northumberland Chess Association.

For most Excelsior pupils, it was their first experience of tournament conditions. Chess is enjoying a revival in Excelsior with clubs throughout the academy.

It is hoped that an academy-wide competition will be played before the end of the summer term.

Excelsior star players at the Dame Allan’s event were Ana-Maria Miron and Ronan McGowan – both awarded gold medals for their exceptional play.

Every other Excelsior player received a silver or bronze medal for their participation. Drama teacher Andrew Davison accompanied the young players to the event with teacher Tony Carville, supported by Phil Leaver and Christine Carr.

“Chess champion Malolaprasath TS was there on the day teaching the pupils how to score, work the timer and how to get used to the world chess championship rules they were playing,” said Andrew.

“All of the games the pupils played were started from points copied from actual world championship games.

“It was a great experience for our pupils, some of which had only been playing chess for three weeks before they went there.

“They were all engaged with the games they were playing and showed great levels of concentration.”