For media enquiries related to Chess in Schools and Communities,
please contact: James Gwinnett Brazil
17 October 2017
For Immediate Release
London's Best Business Minds To Compete For Prestigious Chess Title
London’s business elite to compete alongside world’s best chess players in the London Chess Classic Pro-Biz Cup 2017 charity fundraiser. Demis Hassabis, Co-Founder of leading artificial intelligence company DeepMind, is the first amateur player confirmed. Hassabis will partner with UK’s number one player, grandmaster Michael Adams, while World Champion Magnus Carlsen will also compete. Former World Champion Garry Kasparov set to return to London and play. The London Chess Classic marks the final leg of the Grand Chess Tour 2017, a circuit of prestigious international events inspired by Kasparov. LONDON: Some of the capital’s greatest business minds will go head-to-head this autumn, competing alongside the best chess players in the world.
Chess in Schools and Communities (CSC) announced today that applications are open for amateur players to compete in its annual Pro-Biz Cup fund raiser, part of the charity’s flagship event, the London Chess Classic.
In the Pro-Biz Cup, the elite of the business world are invited to pit their wits alongside and against the world’s top chess grandmasters. Amateurs team up with professionals, playing in pairs and making alternate moves in a battle on the board and against the clock.
Magnus Carlsen, the World Champion (and highest-ranked player of all time), and Michael Adams, the UK’s number one player, are among the high-profile players who will compete for this year’s coveted title. Amateur players can also bid to partner with former World Champion Garry Kasparov, who will make a return to London to play.
Confirmed as the first amateur player is Demis Hassabis, Co-Founder of leading artificial intelligence company DeepMind, who will partner Adams. Better 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.
Hassabis will be undertaking other activity in the build up to the London Chess Classic, giving local school children insights into the complex field of AI. The students of UCL Academy, sponsored by University College London, where Hassabis earned a PhD in cognitive neuroscience, will benefit from his expertise as he discusses the relationship between chess and technology and promotes the benefits of the game in developing skills that can help children thrive in business. DeepMind’s support of CSC also extends to the company hosting the Pro-Biz Cup 2017 and first round of this year’s London Chess Classic at Google’s UK headquarters, while volunteers from DeepMind are being trained to teach chess to children.
Hassabis commented, “Chess has had a remarkable impact on me, providing a fundamental and logical planning process to all areas of my life, whether in business or anything else. It is a remarkable tool for giving children meta-skills, which can help them throughout their lives. Planning, problem-solving, coping with pressure, an understanding of the hard work that it takes to excel at something; all of these are lessons that children can take into other fields, such as business and science. Chess is an incredible training ground for the mind.”
Joining Hassabis at the Pro-Biz Cup will be one of the world’s most celebrated chess players. Former World Champion Garry Kasparov will make his first moves in London since retiring in 2005. The London Chess Classic marks the final leg of the Grand Chess Tour 2017, a circuit of prestigious international events inspired by Kasparov.
Malcolm Pein, chief executive of Chess in Schools and Communities, added, “This year’s Pro-Biz Cup is set to be the best yet with three of the world’s brightest minds and the grandmaster chess elite competing. Demis’s support for the charity’s mission is based on his personal experience as a young man and means a huge amount to us. He and Mickey will be the pair to beat.”
Chess in Schools and Communities is now accepting applications for participants to compete in its Pro-Biz Cup 2017. Anyone wishing to take part is invited to bid for a slot by making a donation to the charity via the event’s dedicated page londonchessclassic.com/pro-biz . All money raised goes to the CSC charity.