Demis Hassabis

Demis Hassabis, CEO and Co-Founder of leading artificial intelligence company DeepMind. Known for his pioneering work in the field of neuroscience-inspired AI, Hassabis is also a chess player of exceptional standard, who achieved the level of master aged 13 and captained England’s Junior Chess teams.

 “As a young chess player I learnt how to solve problems, how to make plans and devise strategies, how to deal with the intense pressure of competition, and how to imagine and visualise possible futures. Playing the game seriously at such a young age was an extremely formative experience and the transferable skills I honed through chess have continued to influence and inform all aspects of my life. That’s why I’m always very encouraging of children being taught chess as part of the school curriculum, and particularly proud to support the work of Chess in Schools and Communities.” 

Rachel Reeves MP

Rachel Reeves MP for Leed West is a former British Girls U14 Chess Champion, she is passionate about the game and its real life applications.

“I first learnt play chess at 7 in school, I loved the challenge it gave me. I can remember one instance when I was playing a boy at school and his friend approached the board and sneeringly remarked- oh your playing a girl you should win- It incensed me and so of course I had to go on to beat him, which I did!

Chess taught me how to plan ahead, anticipate my opponents moves and think strategically. Skills I have gone on to use in my political life.”

 Lord Mark Price

Lord Mark Price is the former Managing Director of Waitrose and former Minister of State for Trade and Investment. Whilst he does not come from a chess playing family, he appreciates the valuable skills it imbues in young people.

“During my time a John Lewis, I decided I would teach my daughters the game of chess. I recognise three lessons that I wanted to pass on through chess.

Learning how to lose graciously

Learning how to plan and think in an abstract manner

It also teaches you to be proactive, in life and in chess you must grab the opportunities that present themselves”