It makes wonderful reading that Stuart Wheeler, who hit the offence headlines last week with his claim that women come “absolutely nowhere” against men at chess, poker and bridge thus lacking the competitive edge to succeed in business, has come unstuck. For a moment I almost had to agree. It is rare to come across professional female card sharks or board players, whatever the relevance between that and making money. However, on hearing this, the Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury Rachel Reeves went one step further. She challenged the UKIP treasurer to a game. Since then he has been fossicking around looking for a proxy. Obviously he fears defeat and what that would mean for his image and UKIPs with it!
Okay, so Reeves was a national under-14 champion and obviously knows her moves, but the fact that he is approaching people of the ilk of Raymond Keene, a grandmaster, is telling. Maybe her next tactical move should be to offer him a draw.
Chess Draw Offer Etiquette
“A player wishing to offer a draw shall do so after having made a move on the chessboard and before stopping his clock and starting the opponent’s clock. An offer at any other time during play is still valid but Article 12.6 must be considered. No conditions can be attached to the offer. In both cases the offer cannot be withdrawn and remains valid until the opponent accepts it, rejects it orally, rejects it by touching a piece with the intention of moving or capturing it, or the game is concluded in some other way.”