Chess Grand Master Maurice Ashley Kicks Off Speaker Series

More than 100 students honed their chess skills with International Chess Grand Master Maurice Ashley on Oct. 23 and 25 to kick off this year’s Aspire to Inspire speaker series sponsored by the Diversity Oversight Committee.

Mr. Ashley, the first African-American to be honored as a Chess Grand Master, shared his journey from growing up in Jamaica to becoming a world-renowned chess player, commentator, motivational speaker and entrepreneur. Throughout his address, Mr. Ashley used his “Learn Chess” smartphone app to help the students improve their game.

He also taught attendees several chess drills, intended to teach the game and provided tips and pointers along the way.

“Mr. Ashley’s enthusiasm and knowledge of chess was evident throughout both evenings and we are grateful to have had him kick off this year’s speaker series,” said PMHS Principal and Diversity Oversight Committee co-chair Jeannine Clark. “His engaging talk shows the power of hard work and dedication and his message was a perfect match for our theme: Aspire to Inspire.”

Stay tuned for the next speaker event later on this school year.