A grand final with a Grand Master!
Yesterday, our school lived through a very exciting and interesting experience. As we celebrated the conclusion of the first year of Chess-within-the-curriculum, we were honoured to host Mr Bartlomiej Heberla, a Polish national who is already a Chess Grand Master at the tender age of 27!
The programme started at the school main hall with a small presentation about the history of chess. It was then time for the highlight of the day when Mr Bartlomiej Heberla was to play simultaneously, blindfolded against four participants. His opponents were two students, Timothy Portellli (Form 1) and Mikhael Cutajar (Form II), winners of our in-house chess tournament, Mr Camilleri, a parent of one of our Second Formers, and Mr Mark Saliba, our school P.E. teacher.
This activity was a first for our school, and we were very happy to note how well it was received by the numerous students and parents, around three hundred that attended. It was also exciting even for Mr Heberla himself and the three officials from the Malta Chess Federation who shared with us their joy and enthusiasm as to how the event itself unfolded.
At the end of the formal programme, Mr Alex Farrugia, the teacher who is responsible in implementing this study within the curriculum, compiled a feature depicting the main events and competitions, both on a school and national level, in which our students participated. Then, the Headmaster and Colin Pace, Chess Champion of Malta, Mr Robert Zerafa, Mr Joe Gauci and Mr Heberla distributed certificates, gifts and trophies to all the participants, and the winners of each and every category.
The second part of the event was held in the school yard. Four sets of about fifteen tables were set in rows so that the Grand Master together with three Maltese champions could play simultaneously against students and parents. It was so interesting to see the enthusiasm and the anticipation of both young and adults alike, to try to give their very best and challenge a chess master. The event took a festive mood as food and drinks, brought over by the parents themselves, were distributed among those present.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who helped in the realization of this unique event. When we introduced chess in our curriculum, we needed to find a basis for our decision. Yesterday's celebration definitely confirmed that our decision was undoubtedly a positive one and that is already giving us tangible results.
Chess Championships: Chess_Championship.docx