Chess-playing MP?

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Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Chess-playing MP?

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Fri Sep 06, 2013 7:53 am

Princess Maria Sviatopolk-Mirski should have an opening named after her. I think Lembit Opik is an ex-MP as well, unless he got back in when I wasn't looking?

Simon Brown
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Re: Chess-playing MP?

Post by Simon Brown » Fri Sep 06, 2013 9:33 am

Kevin Thurlow wrote:Princess Maria Sviatopolk-Mirski should have an opening named after her.
i had no idea she was a Lord or Princess, but she wasn't very strong when she played at the YMCA in the 70s!

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Jon Mahony
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Re: Chess-playing MP?

Post by Jon Mahony » Fri Sep 06, 2013 12:20 pm

Paul McKeown wrote: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.
Seems fair enough to me - certainly not in the league of having your moat cleaned on the tax payer :roll:
"When you see a good move, look for a better one!" - Lasker

Alistair Campbell
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Re: Chess-playing MP?

Post by Alistair Campbell » Fri Sep 06, 2013 12:35 pm

Paul McKeown wrote:
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.
This.

There was a rather snide article on Alan's expenses in the Telegraph a few years back that betrayed a lack of understanding of the challenges of representing such a constituency. Perhaps the suggestion was that he should have swum home at night? Of course, an alternative would be to restrict MPs to wealthy individuals living in the South East of England.

Alan played a handful of times for Oban Chess Club (as my team-mate, as it happens) in the mid-2000s. Sorry to disappoint, but I don't believe he has played any weekend congresses for many years. Society seems to frown on elected representatives having visible leisure time.

John McKenna
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Re: Chess-playing MP?

Post by John McKenna » Fri Sep 06, 2013 1:00 pm

Sounds as if a certain MP's 'surgery' is being likened to the visits of a flying-doctor in the Australian outback. Why are face-to-face meetings with constituents paramount? Has the internet not reached the Highlands & Islands (and I suppose the postal & telephone services never really did either). The amount of gadding about by such MPs will be reduced if Scottish independence comes about as their homage to Westminster will no longer be required. (Those MPs who regard it not as homage but pilgrimage could always apply for seats south of the border but may not get much satisfaction - as if there weren't already more than enough 'Anglo-Scot' MPs.)
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

Giulio Simeone
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Re: Chess-playing MP?

Post by Giulio Simeone » Fri Sep 06, 2013 1:06 pm

John McKenna wrote: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).
Ha-ha John, some days ago Beppe Grillo, an italian politician (former comician), published a photo of him in front of a chessboard and I commented: "I don't think he's a very good player. During these last months, his strategical vision of the "game" was worth about 1600 ELO points, while some months ago I believed he was at least 2100"

Arshad Ali
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Re: Chess-playing MP?

Post by Arshad Ali » Fri Sep 06, 2013 1:42 pm

Giulio Simeone wrote:Ha-ha John, some days ago Beppe Grillo, an italian politician (former comician), published a photo of him in front of a chessboard and I commented: "I don't think he's a very good player. During these last months, his strategical vision of the "game" was worth about 1600 ELO points, while some months ago I believed he was at least 2100"
1600 isn't half-bad (for a politician): it means he can calculate a couple of moves ahead in simple positions, knows some of the mating patterns, a bit about the openings and endgames. Definitely nothing to be sneezed at.

I know that ex-Tory MP Alan B'stard -- in his reincarnation as Richie Richards -- did try to learn chess but failed abysmally.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DFsxi9lHuwQ
Last edited by Arshad Ali on Fri Sep 06, 2013 1:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

John McKenna
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Re: Chess-playing MP?

Post by John McKenna » Fri Sep 06, 2013 1:46 pm

Thank's for that Giulio, I like that Beppe is paying some attention to British politicians - an official of President Putin just announced that Britain is a small island that no one listens to, and Cameron just had a meeting with Putin!
Hi Arshad, we still have no idea which fuming Tory backbencher thinks Cameron is a 1200 player - Jesse Norman has been mentioned on here but there is no firm evidence, just speculation.
Last edited by John McKenna on Fri Sep 06, 2013 1:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

Arshad Ali
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Re: Chess-playing MP?

Post by Arshad Ali » Fri Sep 06, 2013 1:48 pm

John McKenna wrote:Hi Arshad, we still have no idea which fuming Tory backbencher thinks Cameron is a 1200 player - Jesse Norman has been mentioned on here but there is no firm evidence, just speculation.
Well, that's the first lead.

John McKenna
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Re: Chess-playing MP?

Post by John McKenna » Fri Sep 06, 2013 1:56 pm

I fear the lead will not produce a slam. By the way, the name B'stard is probably an allusion to all those Normans that the Anglo-Saxons found lording it over them after the Conquest in 1066.
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

Paul Dargan
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Re: Chess-playing MP?

Post by Paul Dargan » Fri Sep 06, 2013 2:47 pm

Re: Lembit Opik, definitely a chessplayer. I think I've written on here before that on occassion my father press-ganged him as a fresh-faced assistant brand-manager at P&G to turn-out for his team in the northumberland League - probably late 80's or early 90's. Hard to guage from the limited games I saw, but proficient at dealing with 120ish oppostion, so probably up-to 150-strength.

Paul

John Foley
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Re: Chess-playing MP?

Post by John Foley » Sun Sep 08, 2013 3:20 am

John McKenna wrote: made me wonder if Cameron plays any mind games (including cards).
David Cameron declared that he completed Angry Birds, which is not without intellectual challenge - estimating how far back to pull the rubber band when firing the chicken involves some physics. Maybe a chess player would not be so keen to fire missiles, reflecting instead on the consequences for the endgame.

Paul McKeown
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Re: Chess-playing MP?

Post by Paul McKeown » Thu Oct 10, 2013 11:56 am

Alan Reid asked a rather sensible question at PM's Question Time yesterday. See BBC iPlayer at 12:35.

James Toon
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Re: Chess-playing MP?

Post by James Toon » Thu Oct 10, 2013 2:27 pm

Jesse Norman describes himself as a "keen chess player". See this news item from his website in 2008, where he played in a simul against Spassky and also met Kasparov.

http://www.jesse4hereford.com/content/j ... cer-relief

He seems to be unknown to the ECF. But he was playing chess at university in the 1980s, when I knew him slightly.

David Sedgwick
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Re: Chess-playing MP?

Post by David Sedgwick » Thu Oct 10, 2013 4:30 pm

James Toon wrote:Jesse Norman ... seems to be unknown to the ECF.
I met him at the closing dinner for the London Chess Classic 2010.

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