Dominic Cummings

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Richard James
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Dominic Cummings

Post by Richard James » Tue Nov 05, 2019 12:47 pm

From the latest New in Chess, a game played by a teenage Dominic Cummings.

A member of Durham Chess Club recalled that 'his singular aggressiveness came across even then in both his chess and his general demeanour'.


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Matt Mackenzie
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Re: Dominic Cummings

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Tue Nov 05, 2019 1:12 pm

Ah, had wondered about this - I was based in the NE in the mid-late 1980s and vaguely recalled a player with that surname.

(though he had evidently given up serious play by the early 1990s, as the official ECF grading site leaves no trace)
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Re: Dominic Cummings

Post by Adam Ashton » Tue Nov 05, 2019 1:57 pm

Lots of clever people like chess but will never dedicate enough time to it to become strong players. Publishing his losses for no particular reason seems rather bad form to me.

Might be a useful contact for the ECF if he retains an interest in the game, hope someone takes note.

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Re: Dominic Cummings

Post by JustinHorton » Tue Nov 05, 2019 4:04 pm

Adam Ashton wrote:
Tue Nov 05, 2019 1:57 pm
Publishing his losses for no particular reason seems rather bad form to me.
I'm not a great admirer of the magazine and am yet to see the latest issue, but at least in principle I can see the point of publishing games of people currently in the public eye who we didn't previously know were players.
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Re: Dominic Cummings

Post by NickFaulks » Tue Nov 05, 2019 4:35 pm

Adam Ashton wrote:
Tue Nov 05, 2019 1:57 pm
Publishing his losses for no particular reason seems rather bad form to me.
True, but what I gleaned was primarily not who lost, but that it was recognisable as a serious game of chess. So often that is not the case with celebrities who present themselves as chess players.

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Re: Dominic Cummings

Post by Adam Ashton » Tue Nov 05, 2019 7:27 pm

JustinHorton wrote:
Tue Nov 05, 2019 4:04 pm
Adam Ashton wrote:
Tue Nov 05, 2019 1:57 pm
Publishing his losses for no particular reason seems rather bad form to me.
I'm not a great admirer of the magazine and am yet to see the latest issue, but at least in principle I can see the point of publishing games of people currently in the public eye who we didn't previously know were players.
This is quite true and I havent seen the article so perhaps I was hasty. Though looking at the NIC site under its section headlines it does write "Viktorija Cmilyte-Nielsen is another chess player having a political career, but being in politics doesn’t ­necessarily make you a good chess player, as Dominic Cummings proved."

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Re: Dominic Cummings

Post by Jonathan Rogers » Wed Nov 06, 2019 10:37 am

I find this all quite amusing. Cummings, the man who walks around swearing at idiots, whilst himself carrying papers around in plastic bags and yelling to the Leader of the Opposition across the halls of Westminster, mistaken at first to be some mad man from the street; that Cummings - he used to be a chess player!

In some senses, he evidently still is.

But he gave up; and that to me is interesting. Not so much that he was never all that strong, and some way short of Viktorija Cmilyte-Nielsen (that much is true of almost everyone who is not a chess professional). But Cummings has seemingly left it all behind him; as far as I know, he offers no trace of this aspect of his past (I can see a blog post where he mentiones Carslen and Kasparov in the context of chess and computers but that gives nothing away personally). Only others speak of rememberng him playing chess. No comparison then with George Osborne, who (like many Tory MPs) still hankers after memories of his school days, which in his case meant having been at the same school as attended at various times by at least three future grandmasters, and that probably seemed important in his circles because it was at least three more than from Eton.

No, Cummings seems to be quiet about his own youthful forays into competitive chess, and what does we suppose he would say if anyone asked him now to be a guest celebrity at, or otherwise support, a chess event? My money would be on "Chess? Which fu***ing loser cares about fuc88ng chess? Who makes a difference playing so%%ing chess? Chess is for f**k**g commies and weirdos who can't get out of bed". And closes the door behind him, plastic bags swinging wildly.

Kasparov once explained why he got nowhere as a politician: there were no rules, especially not in Putin's Russia. So his chess skills were largely inapplicable. Putin could decide that all his own pieces were queens, if he wanted it. Cummings too has succeded in an area of life where facts and rules are not so important, or at least not to him. Facts? They don't matter - what matters is what you can persuade other people to believe. Rules? They don't matter unless it seems likely that your opponents will be organised enough to take matters to court and win when they get there.

So is it surprising that he left the chess world behind him? Not at all. Even grandmasters who lose interest in facts and rules seem to stop playing, though it need not stop them making money from the game in other ways.

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Re: Dominic Cummings

Post by Andy Stoker » Wed Nov 06, 2019 10:44 am

<Like>

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Re: Dominic Cummings

Post by JustinHorton » Wed Nov 06, 2019 10:57 am

Jonathan Rogers wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 10:37 am

Kasparov once explained why he got nowhere as a politician: there were no rules, especially not in Putin's Russia. So his chess skills were largely inapplicable.
Might be a few more reasoms than that to be honest
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Re: Dominic Cummings

Post by Roger Lancaster » Wed Nov 06, 2019 12:15 pm

Jonathan Rogers wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 10:37 am
No, Cummings seems to be quiet about his own youthful forays into competitive chess, and what does we suppose he would say if anyone asked him now to be a guest celebrity at, or otherwise support, a chess event? My money would be on "Chess? Which fu***ing loser cares about fuc88ng chess? Who makes a difference playing so%%ing chess? Chess is for f**k**g commies and weirdos who can't get out of bed". And closes the door behind him, plastic bags swinging wildly.
LOL, I suspect this might tell us more about Jonathan's political inclinations than anything else. Seriously, though, right now I think he's a sufficiently controversial figure that there won't be a queue of chess organisers asking him to be a guest celebrity. But, in the future, who knows?

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Matt Mackenzie
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Re: Dominic Cummings

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Wed Nov 06, 2019 2:04 pm

Of course, nothing is stopping somebody (whether in an official ECF capacity, or otherwise) gently inquiring of him if he still retains an interest in our great game.
"Set up your attacks so that when the fire is out, it isn't out!" (H N Pillsbury)

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Re: Dominic Cummings

Post by Roger Lancaster » Wed Nov 06, 2019 2:09 pm

Matt Mackenzie wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 2:04 pm
Of course, nothing is stopping somebody (whether in an official ECF capacity, or otherwise) gently inquiring of him if he still retains an interest in our great game.
Although now might not be the best time - rumour has it there's some other national event where he's involved, :)

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Re: Dominic Cummings

Post by John Upham » Wed Nov 06, 2019 4:08 pm

Adam Ashton wrote:
Tue Nov 05, 2019 1:57 pm
Might be a useful contact for the ECF if he retains an interest in the game, hope someone takes note.
A positive role model as "Dom" might appear at first glance (not) to be, I can't imagine too many ECF persons wishing to go anywhere near him.

David Cummings, on the other hand, would be a very welcome contact.

To see "Dom" in action watch Malcolm Tucker in "The Thick of It" : a truly unpleasant and untrustworthy character.
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Re: Dominic Cummings

Post by Paul McKeown » Wed Nov 06, 2019 4:25 pm

Roger Lancaster wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 2:09 pm
Matt Mackenzie wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 2:04 pm
Of course, nothing is stopping somebody (whether in an official ECF capacity, or otherwise) gently inquiring of him if he still retains an interest in our great game.
Although now might not be the best time - rumour has it there's some other national event where he's involved, :)
Is he not supposed to be undergoing surgery sometime about now?

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Re: Dominic Cummings

Post by John Upham » Wed Nov 06, 2019 4:27 pm

Paul McKeown wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 4:25 pm
Roger Lancaster wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 2:09 pm
Matt Mackenzie wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 2:04 pm
Of course, nothing is stopping somebody (whether in an official ECF capacity, or otherwise) gently inquiring of him if he still retains an interest in our great game.
Although now might not be the best time - rumour has it there's some other national event where he's involved, :)
Is he not supposed to be undergoing surgery sometime about now?
Is he undergoing a personality implant ?
British Chess News : britishchessnews.com
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