CHESS NEWS BLOG: chessblog.com

USA's Top Daily Chess News Blog, Informative, Fun, and Positive

hosted by Chess Queen™ & 12th Women's World Chess Champion Alexandra Kosteniuk

 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

'My big match with the chess-champion politician'

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011


Hi everyone,



We have this lovely feature from The Guardian with their journalist Stephen Moss catching up with a young and bright politician. 



My big match with the chess-champion MP


Stephen Moss


Why our chess-playing reporter couldn't resist playing Labour MP Rachel Reeves – and how he came unstuck thanks to the great Garry Kasparov.




Labour MP Rachel Reeves – a former under-14 UK girls champion – plays chess with Stephen Moss. Photograph: Sarah Lee for the Guardian

Labour MP Rachel Reeves was in earnest conversation with Garry Kasparov, the highest-rated chess player of all time, and Nigel Short, the best ever British player. Well might she be. She will shortly be facing me across the board.

The 32-year-old Reeves is a rising star in the Labour party, and was recently promoted to shadow chief secretary to the Treasury. She is even being touted as a possible future leader. Far more interesting, however, is that she was also once under-14 UK girls chess champion, and has today yesterday gathered together a galaxy of top chess talent in a crowded room at the House of Commons to promote Chess in Schools and Communities, a charity that aims to get children playing chess in the belief that it will foster self-discipline and teach problem-solving skills.

Reeves tells the assembled audience of kids, grandmothers and grandmasters that chess was the perfect preparation for politics, teaching you to stay one step ahead of your opponents. She says she has played very little since school, but has gamely agreed to play me, a decidedly average club-strength player but one who, unlike her, does play regularly.

We play a so-called "blitz" game – 10 minutes each for all the moves. Reeves is a little rusty, and within 15 moves I have a won position. We trundle on a little longer, but the game is done and I am swelling visibly. I have beaten the former under-14 UK girls chess champion!

We shake hands and prepare to leave the board. Just before we do, however, who should drift over but Kasparov. He quickly sizes up the situation – that Reeves, his host for the day and the new standard-bearer of chess in schools – has been walloped, and suggests a rematch. He will, he says, intervene on her behalf just three times.

We play again. The position becomes complex, messy. At first, Kasparov keeps his counsel, but as the game gets more interesting he can't help lending Reeves a hand. "I'm just offering general advice," he insists as her position improves while mine deteriorates. We are both horribly short of time, but there is no doubt she is on top. "Now final, final, final shot," says Kasparov as my position becomes dire. He has seen a way to win my queen, and Reeves eventually sees it too. Amid much laughter and applause I resign. "Good moves can easily be explained," says Kasparov. "They are just natural."

"I think that's one of the best games I've ever played," says Reeves with neat self-deprecation.

The Guardian has lost, but it is defeat with honour, and after shaking hands with the immortal Kasparov at the end of the game, it will not be washing for a month. (The moves from both games are shown at johnchess.blogspot.com.)


From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
Also see her personal blog at

Labels: , , ,

23 Comments:

  • At October 19, 2011 at 4:42 AM , Anonymous Sebastian Wolff, NY said...

    Golly I got confused with the caption at first sight! I thought the journalist was the girl - heh heh. Great. Politician chess player and woman. wow combination. I must show it to my daughters. Thanks for sharing Alexandra. You're such an inspiration always. Do well.

     
  • At October 19, 2011 at 6:10 AM , Anonymous Jessica Bentley, London said...

    Reeves is quite something I can tell you.

     
  • At October 19, 2011 at 7:16 AM , Anonymous Andre, Cologne said...

    "Good moves can easily be explained," says Kasparov. "They are just natural." That should be the quote of the year!

     
  • At October 19, 2011 at 7:20 AM , Anonymous saira fernandes, Madrid said...

    Rachel Reeves - interesting profile. Just goes to show girls CAN play chess and are not nerds or crazies. They excel at so much else too.I like women-chess-related posts on your website Chess Queen. You rock.

     
  • At October 19, 2011 at 8:20 AM , Anonymous andromedeis said...

    Interesting stories there. Chess - what a super gift from the gods

     
  • At October 19, 2011 at 8:26 AM , Anonymous Timothy Rodricks, Manchester said...

    Cool real cool

     
  • At October 19, 2011 at 8:26 AM , Anonymous Alexis Cochran, New Zealand said...

    Pretty lady - another one like Chess Queen - beauty and brains. Politics - wow man.

     
  • At October 19, 2011 at 8:53 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Can we have more of them please the girls who play chess and are in politics.

     
  • At October 19, 2011 at 9:03 AM , Anonymous Sanjay Gupta, New Delhi said...

    Finally Kasparov finds someone to have a conversation with. No wonder he helped her in the games.

     
  • At October 19, 2011 at 9:09 AM , Anonymous Maudlin Gomes, Liverpool said...

    Under-14 UK girls chess champion popular politician - now thats a first. Move over guys - girls are best.

     
  • At October 19, 2011 at 9:09 AM , Anonymous Maudlin Gomes, Liverpool said...

    This is so artistic. So beautiful. Wow.

     
  • At October 19, 2011 at 9:12 AM , Anonymous Maudlin Gomes, Liverpool said...

    (Sorry my second comment is for other post. I put it there also. new around here so bit confused.) By the way GM Kosteniuk you are quite jazzy, pretty, stylish and well brainy. Not a very common combination I must say. Good wishes from England. One of your newest fans.

     
  • At October 19, 2011 at 9:14 AM , Anonymous Mahipat, Dhaka said...

    Please where can I find such packages - why do I seem to find only girls who hate chess. I say 'chess' and girls go looking for someone else. But it seems there are girls out there who love chess. So... looking for a gf any help anyone...

     
  • At October 19, 2011 at 9:16 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Chica chica chica - mi corazon le roban

     
  • At October 19, 2011 at 9:21 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Las mujeres son los mejores

     
  • At October 19, 2011 at 9:28 AM , Anonymous andromedeis said...

    Isn't it interesting that both Gary Kasparov and Rachel Reeves have so many 'R's in their names? Someone please look up the Fide list for chessplayers with Rs in their names. Is an 'army' of R players going to become politicians around the world?

     
  • At October 19, 2011 at 9:32 AM , Anonymous Cruz, Rome said...

    Brainy babes are planning to rule the planet. Guys, give up. No chance.

     
  • At October 19, 2011 at 9:36 AM , Anonymous Haroun Abdul Qadir, Cairo, Egypt said...

    Please why are my comments not appearing on this site. I have written 10 comments. Do you have something against people from Cairo?

     
  • At October 19, 2011 at 9:49 AM , Anonymous Harold James Esquire said...

    Quite an interesting read. My congratulations to Ms Rachel Reeves. We need more such bright young people coming forward to help England. Thank you.

     
  • At October 19, 2011 at 10:03 AM , Anonymous Three Musketeers, Land of Hope said...

    Are they cloning you Alexandra?

     
  • At October 19, 2011 at 10:23 AM , Blogger Chess Blog Admin said...

    @Haroun Apologies. Sometimes we might have server outage - at your or our end - and your comment might disappear. But we make all effort to publish whatever comments we can. Usually, the later comments roll down as we might not look at comments posted after two days. We focus on fresh posts and comments every day. Happy Chess.

     
  • At October 19, 2011 at 11:08 AM , Anonymous Jean Pierre, Marseilles said...

    Model politician or chess player? You girls rock. Thanks for sharing Alexandra. God Bless.

     
  • At October 19, 2011 at 11:13 AM , Anonymous Jerry Adams, Newfoundland said...

    @Sebastian Wolff yups mate me too thought the MP was Stephen Moss! So much for being old fashioned.

     

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home