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Waller ISD Takes on Chess Master

Photo of WISD Jude Acers visit Feb. 26 Waller ISD (WISD) chess enthusiasts experienced a rare opportunity to meet and play International Chess Master Jude Acers thanks to the assistance of Daikin. Acers is known as one of the greatest chess players in the world and is the world record holder for playing the most opponents in a simultaneous exhibition. WISD students in any grade level who know how to record their chess moves had the opportunity to sign up to play against Acers.

“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for me. I couldn’t pass it up,” one WISD student said.

The idea for Acers to visit WISD started when Daikin employees met him during a trip to New Orleans. After telling him about the WISD Chess Tournament and the relationship Daikin had with the district, Acers mentioned he would love to play the students. Daikin decided to sponsor, in collaboration with Waller High School Math Teachers Amanda and Scott McLeod, an exhibition match where Acers would play multiple students at one time. Daikin handled all the accommodations to bring Acers to WISD, as well as provided all chess boards, snacks, and sound system for the event.

“Daikin has a fundamental business philosophy to help our community,” Daikin Communications Manager Wendy Hall said. “Our employees wanted to build a chess club and connect to our community and local school.”

Acers began the exhibition by telling students about his passion for chess and gifting each student the opportunity to download $1,000 worth of free chess books. He proceeded to move from student to student making initial chess moves at 5 p.m. Acers played 35 students with the last game ending around 8:45 p.m. As he played, Acers gave advice on best chess practices while joking with students when they played great moves against him. At the end of the event, he mentioned that the group of female players were the best he had ever played. Dora Canaan was the last student defeated and did not make the win easy for Acers. He also complimented Erik Cornejo and Justin Forsythe for their tough games, saying he could have been in trouble had they made one move differently.

“We jumped at the chance to have our students meet an international chess master,” Amanda McLeod said. “He did not want to play any adults, but wanted to focus on the students and give them the opportunity.”