Chess-playing MP?

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Arshad Ali
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Chess-playing MP?

Post by Arshad Ali » Mon Sep 02, 2013 12:34 am

Article in the Mail:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/colum ... mself.html
An exasperated backbencher fumes: ‘He’s not a chess player, he never thinks more than one move ahead. These mistakes are self-inflicted.’
Does anyone have the foggiest on who the MP might be? A chess player of sorts?

John McKenna
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Re: Chess-playing MP?

Post by John McKenna » Mon Sep 02, 2013 11:36 am

I've no idea, Arshad, but the "exasperated backbencher (who) fumed: He's not a chess player he (Cameron) never thinks more than one move ahead" made me wonder if Cameron plays any mind games (including cards). His government's self-inflicted defeat has a silver lining, in my view. If he sticks to his promise to stay on the sidelines (he can still cover their backs from Akrotiri with the Typhoons) it will show he is a 'democrat' and not the heir to Blair in the dirty tricks dept. Also, it leaves the Americans and the French (America's oldest ally) to mend their foreign fences. Let's not forget that Syria - like Mali - is a place of historical interest to the French and almost every country in the world today is of interest to the only superpower still standing since they love to have a military presence in the form of bases everywhere. These 'democratic' delays, by the way, do serve another purpose as they follow a dictum familiar to chessplayers - the threat can be stronger than the execution. If the Syrian military have to hunker down for fear of being caught in the open by an airstrike then the opposition get some breathing space.
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

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Matt Mackenzie
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Re: Chess-playing MP?

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Mon Sep 02, 2013 5:06 pm

It has been reported, however, that Ed Miliband *does* play chess. Just saying.......
"Set up your attacks so that when the fire is out, it isn't out!" (H N Pillsbury)

Colin Patterson
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Re: Chess-playing MP?

Post by Colin Patterson » Mon Sep 02, 2013 6:10 pm

The only chess players of any note are the Eagle sisters and Rachel Reeves ... isn't that still the case?

John Swain
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Re: Chess-playing MP?

Post by John Swain » Mon Sep 02, 2013 8:42 pm

Colin Patterson wrote:The only chess players of any note are the Eagle sisters and Rachel Reeves ... isn't that still the case?
The strongest player in the House of Commons seems to be Alan Reid, a Scottish Liberal Democrat M.P. who was nearly F.M. strength. See the thread:

http://www.ecforum.org.uk/viewtopic.php ... 62#p121104

Colin Patterson
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Re: Chess-playing MP?

Post by Colin Patterson » Mon Sep 02, 2013 11:38 pm

Thanks. I hadn't heard of him, but it would appear he's in a league of his own with that rating.

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Jon Mahony
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Re: Chess-playing MP?

Post by Jon Mahony » Wed Sep 04, 2013 11:00 am

John Swain wrote:
Colin Patterson wrote:The only chess players of any note are the Eagle sisters and Rachel Reeves ... isn't that still the case?
The strongest player in the House of Commons seems to be Alan Reid, a Scottish Liberal Democrat M.P. who was nearly F.M. strength. See the thread:

http://www.ecforum.org.uk/viewtopic.php ... 62#p121104
I seem to remember his name mentioned in a minor scandal involving two grand’s worth of B&B bills as parliamentary expenses, I wonder if they were during weekend congresses…
"When you see a good move, look for a better one!" - Lasker

Paul McKeown
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Re: Chess-playing MP?

Post by Paul McKeown » Thu Sep 05, 2013 1:02 pm

John,

Mentioned, but soon forgotten, surely? His constituency is not only one of the UK's largest, but is the least accessible, including many Hebridean Islands which are difficult to reach except by infrequent ferry, seaplane or small aircraft services. In the circumstances a larger B&B bill than for other MPs should only be expected. Unless he isn't actually supposed to visit his constituents.

John McKenna
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Re: Chess-playing MP?

Post by John McKenna » Thu Sep 05, 2013 1:55 pm

"Between the idea/And the reality/Between the motion/And the act/Falls the Shadow." I put it to you that all MPs' expenses are at best shallow and at worst hollow.

The original question (inspired by a Daily Mail article) posed was-

Arshad Ali >... "An exasperated backbencher fumes: He’s not a chess player, he (David Cameron) never thinks more than one move ahead. These mistakes are self-inflicted."

Does anyone have the foggiest on who the (fuming) MP might be? A chess player of sorts?<
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

John Cox
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Re: Chess-playing MP?

Post by John Cox » Thu Sep 05, 2013 3:34 pm

The Conservative MP Jesse Norman played in the British U-18 in 1979 and was quite a useful player in his youth - graded somewhere around 180, at a guess. I don't know how much he's played since, but he, I and Will Watson beat the GMs two years running at the London Chess Classic dinner, though of course Will did most of the heavy lifting.

Arshad Ali
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Re: Chess-playing MP?

Post by Arshad Ali » Thu Sep 05, 2013 4:11 pm

Is the (as yet unknown) MP's argument a valid one? That is, if Cameron could think like a chess-player, he'd be a more adroit politician? Would chess-players make good politicians? I wonder. Alternatively, if politicians learnt the game, would they be better at their job? Though I confess I don't exactly know what their job is. Handling constituents, taking part in parliamentary debates, serving on select committees, making promises to the electorate ....

David Gilbert
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Re: Chess-playing MP?

Post by David Gilbert » Thu Sep 05, 2013 5:01 pm

Matt Mackenzie wrote:It has been reported, however, that Ed Miliband *does* play chess. Just saying.......
Doubtful. During the debate on the Charities Bill in 2006 he said "I should say that I was never a chess player as a child as it was too complicated for me".

John McKenna
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Re: Chess-playing MP?

Post by John McKenna » Thu Sep 05, 2013 5:27 pm

Arshad Ali - "... serving on select committees..."

That's a good one - I've really enjoyed Margaret Hodge (Chair of the Public Accounts Committee) giving all the usual kinds of suspects who come before her a good tongue lashing, telling them how naughty they have been and how they must not do it again. That must really put the fear of retribution up 'em?!

On Monday the BBC mismanagement circus - past & present - are to appear before her fearsome committee and it will make interesting media theatre, no doubt, but have little or no real effect whatsoever. At best it's like firing warning shots across the sterns of treasure-laden pirate ships as they sail off to desert islands, in the opposite direction to the revenue ports that Queen Margaret indicates they should return their ill-gotten gains to.

PS Her wiki entry makes interesting reading, and it has been reported that her family's private company - one of the most profitable in the country - somehow seems to pay little tax here. Great person to be heading the committee, though, as she should know all the tricks and wheezes and can tell the recalcitrants not to make silly excuses for their misguided actions and to hang their heads in shame. Let's see if the former BBC high-fliers fight back or confess and swallow her momentarily-bitter pill before going off to recuperate in the lap of luxury for the rest of their salad days.
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

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Matt Mackenzie
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Re: Chess-playing MP?

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Thu Sep 05, 2013 6:34 pm

David Gilbert wrote:
Matt Mackenzie wrote:It has been reported, however, that Ed Miliband *does* play chess. Just saying.......
Doubtful. During the debate on the Charities Bill in 2006 he said "I should say that I was never a chess player as a child as it was too complicated for me".
Fair enough. I am sure both he and his brother were described as players during the Labour leadership contest, though.......

There might even be something about it on here :wink:
"Set up your attacks so that when the fire is out, it isn't out!" (H N Pillsbury)

Stewart Reuben
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Re: Chess-playing MP?

Post by Stewart Reuben » Fri Sep 06, 2013 2:21 am

Here are some people who are, or were, MPs, reputed to be chessplayers, but I don't have confirmation for all.
MPs George Osborne, Charles Clarke (ex), Angela Eagle, Maria Eagle, Dr Evan Harris (ex), Charlotte Atkins, Jacqui Lait, Sir Jeremy Hanley (ex), Rachel Reeves, Alan Reid, Frank Cook, Toby Perkins, David Milliband, Ed Milliband, Michael Foster (ex), Sir Peter Soulsby, Lembit Opik, David Mowat, Jesse Norman
lords - there are others
Lord Moynihan,
Lord Lyndon Harrison
Lord Hardinge
Princess Maria Sviatopolk-Mirski

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