A match between MPs and Lords, hosted by the Speaker of the House of Commons, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, took place in the Palace of Westminster on Wednesday 22nd March 2023. The match was part of CSC's UK vs Ukraine Solidarity Match and attracted interest from all political parties. Mickey Adams, the UK's top grandmaster, and Andrei Volokitin, Ukrainian Champion, played an exhibition blitz game before the parliamentarians took to the board. 

Sir Lindsay Hoyle and Vadym Prystaiko open proceedings

Opening the contest, the Speaker said "Chess is also a wonderful game of strategy that crosses boundaries of language, age, sex, culture and disability – which makes it the perfect sport for Grandmasters of two friendly nations, or even parliamentarians, to play." The Speaker of the Lithuanian Parliament, Viktorija Čmilytė-Nielsen – herself a Grandmaster - was on hand to advise Sir Lindsay on the opening move (1.d4), while Vadym Prystaiko, Ukraine’s Ambassador to the UK, replied 1...Nf6. 

Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves takes on Lord Bernard Hogan-Howe

The match between the parliamentarians was a hard-fought affair but the MPs, led by Transport Minister Jesse Norman and former England Junior players Maria Eagle and Rachel Reeves, finished convincing winners scoring seven wins and a draw and only conceding four defeats. 

Rachel Reeves receives the trophy on behalf of the Commons from CSC CEO Malcolm Pein

The match was held in great spirits, with Sir Lindsay stating that ‘Parliament and the UK are giving support to Ukraine in every way we can, as it battles against this illegal invasion by Russia. Enabling important cultural and sporting activities is another way of championing that,’. The event was supported by the All Party Parliamentary Group for Ukraine. 


Adam Afriyie MP, Maria Eagle MP, and Lord Winston, all in deep thought

CSC is actively campaigning to have chess recognised as a sport in the UK, as it is in nearly every other European country. This would allow the game to receive grass-roots support from the DCMS.