DeepMind backs Chess in Schools and Communities

Press Release | 28 September 2017


Leading AI company to host Round One of London Chess Classic at Google


LONDON: Chess in Schools and Communities today announced the release of tickets for its annual flagship event, the London Chess Classic. Round One of this year’s event will be hosted by leading artificial intelligence company DeepMind, at Google’s headquarters in London.




The London Chess Classic, now in its ninth year, is the UK’s largest chess event and sees the world’s grandmasters converge on London in the final leg of the Grand Chess Tour. A roster of world-class talent is already confirmed for this year’s event, including World Champion (and the highest rated player of all-time) Magnus Carlsen and UK number one Michael Adams, who will feature alongside other international players from the world’s top ten. The tournament will run from Friday 1st – Monday 11th December.


The Chess in Schools and Communities (CSC) charity, which has introduced chess into classrooms in over 800 state schools across the UK, has garnered significant additional support for this year’s London Chess Classic with the backing of DeepMind. The neuroscience-inspired AI company, which was bought by Google in 2014, will host Round One of the Classic (on Friday 1st) at Google’s St Pancras offices.


DeepMind co-founder Demis Hassabis will make the ceremonial opening move on behalf of one of the grandmasters. Hassabis, himself a child chess prodigy, who achieved master standard at the age of 13, is a strong advocate of the game’s ability to instil confidence, inspire creativity and develop mental agility.



DeepMind will also be supporting CSC in local London schools in the lead up to the Classic. As well as the world’s chess superstars, the Classic hosts 1,000s of children from the CSC initiative, a nationwide scheme that uses chess as a means of aiding children’s educational and social development. A number of age-grade and amateur tournaments run alongside the professional event.


Round One will be followed by a rest day, so the charity has time to transition to the traditional venue, the Olympia Conference Centre, for the remainder of the tournament. Play will recommence in Round Two on Sunday 3rd December.


Malcolm Pein, chief executive of Chess in Schools and Communities, said, “The support of DeepMind, a company dedicated to increasing our understanding of intelligence, is incredibly important to CSC. Demis’ chess prowess as a child, his love for the game and pioneering role in the advance of artificial intelligence makes him a wonderful role model who conveys the message to children in our programme that chess can be a launch pad to success later in life. We both believe there are natural synergies between the problem solving skills, patience and perseverance required in chess and the ability to thrive in an increasingly complex world.”


Tickets to see the world’s best players in action at Google’s UK headquarters are free but there is a limited number available.


Fans can apply for tickets here and will be notified if their application has been successful by 17th November.


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