Rishi Sunak hopes to inspire a new generation of grandmasters, but he should broaden his horizons to other games for kids
When I first introduced my six-year-old to backgammon, his reaction was delight, quickly followed by confusion and suspicion. It has dice! Like Mousetrap! But also: loads of plain counters, an extremely non-intuitive board, and a conspicuous lack of mice, penguins or pies. Could this be – I could see the thought briefly rumple his perfect pink brow – an attempt to teach him something? Well, yes, my sweet boy, yes it was. Sorry. I think it’s sort of my job.
I mention this because Rishi Sunak, whose stance on backgammon I’m unsure of, is engaged in attempt to teach us all something by building the national interest in chess: with plans that reportedly include expanding instruction in schools, installing 100 chess tables in public parks, and financially backing the English Chess Federation.