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Youth Squad in 10 Downing Street

June 18, 2003

The Scottish Youth Squad defeated a team of MPs in the UK Houses of Parliament on June 18, 2003. The team was received by Cherie Blair at 10 Downing Street before watching Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons followed by the match on the Terrace overlooking the Thames.

The No 10 reception was commemorated by Chess Scotland's
inauguration of a trophy for "Scottish Girl Chess Player of the Year". This
trophy, to be competed for annually, is called, "The Cherie Booth, Q.C.
Award", by kind permission of Cherie Blair, who presented it to Youth Squad player Louise McNab of Aberdeen at the reception. Louise, 15, was the youngest player to represent Scotland in an Olympiad when she played in Bled, Slovenia in October. The trophy, a silver salver, has been generously gifted by Atholl Antiques of Aberdeen.


CS Youth Squad MPs
Joe Redpath (Edinburgh, 2110)
Alan Reid (Argyle and Bute, Liberal Democrat - 2130)
Daniel McGowan (Tiree, 2030)
Dr Julian Farrand (Ombudsman - rating 2072)
Steven Tweedie(Airdrie, 1985)
Evan Harris (Oxford West and Abingdon, Liberal Democrat
Colin Hall(Perth, 1950)
David Kidney (Stafford, Labour)
Christopher Macdonald (Stirling, 1870)
Sir Teddy Taylor (Rochford & Southend East, Conservative)
Louise Macnab (Aberdeen, 1695)
Richard Younger-Ross (Teignbridge, Liberal Democrat)

The games      Photo page


Alan Reid v Joe RedpathThe MP line up was headed by former Scottish Olympiad player Alan Reid who still plays for Oban in the Richardson Cup and opened the Oban Congress in November 2002. Teddy Taylor was a well known figure in Scottish politics holding the Glasgow Cathcart constituency until 1979. The MPs installed a very strong "ringer" on Board two in the shape of Dr Julian Farrand, the retired Pensions Ombudsman. Dr Farrand played for England in the Glorney Cup in 1952!

This match follows the successful Youth Squad v MSPs which took place in September, 2002.

Report by Rod Tweedie: Delighted to report that the Youth Team won 5 – 1 against the MPs.
However, the score was not that important in the overall scope of the visit.
The whole event was a tremendous success and credit must go to all involve with particular mention of George Clarke and Peter McNab.
The Downing Street visit was obviously a highlight with all of the team now fans of Cherie Blair. The comments, particularly from one or two of the older boys were extremely complimentary.
The whole day went well with Prime Minister’s Question Time being extremely lively with a great deal of verbal jousting between the principal antagonists with Tony Blair coming out well on top after a very sticky period of intensive pressure from Ian Duncan-Smith.
Our thanks must also go to the MPs who participated in the Match itself. We were all received very warmly and I doubt that there could be any finer venue to play a chess match than the outside Terrace of the Houses of Common, overlooking the Thames across to the London Eye with the Parliament buildings providing a glorious backdrop.
Dr. Evan Harris MP for Oxford West and Abingdon, gave a witty and spontaneous welcoming speech, urging his parliamentary colleagues to try bribery with bottles of House of Commons whisky to gain an advantage, and if that failed to play slowly to at least give the impression that they were competing effectively. However the MP’s team were no novices and all of the matches were fiercely contested.
Particular thanks must go to both Dr. Harris and Alan Reid MP for Argyll and Bute who were particularly attentive throughout the evening and hosted an après-match supper in the members’ cafeteria.
For all of the team it will no doubt be a unique experience that will remain with them for the rest of their lives.

Comments from Joe Redpath: Well said Rod, agree with everything you have said.
I would also like to pass on my thanks to George Clarke and Peter McNab for all their efforts in arranging the match, without them it could not have gone ahead.

As I said in a previous post I was rather apprehensive about the whole trip, but I can say that I have a great time and especially enjoyed the visit to 10 Downing Street. Cherie Blair was very friendly and welcoming to us all and I have changed my opinions of her somewhat since the visit! She genuinly seemed like a very nice woman.

On the chess side of things the match was, as Rod said, very well contested (particulary on the top 3 boards). There was little doubt that we would win the match, but the 5-1 scoreline certainly shows that the MP's put up a good fight.

It was a fantastic trip which I shall remember for a long time.

Thanks from CS President John Glendinning:(pictured right with Peter McNab) "A few days after the match between MPs and the youth team and with continuing publicity in different areas of Scotland, it's clear what a stunning success the event was. On behalf of Chess Scotland, I'd like to thank:

George Clarke and Peter Macnab for creating the idea and being willing to commit considerable time and energy to pursuing it to such a successful conclusion

George made most of the arrangements with the House of Commons, expending a great deal of time and energy in explaining the ideas and pursuing details up to the last minute with his contacts in the House. He also pursued the press both before and after the event with promotional information.

Peter - with extensive help from his wife Kamala - in arranging the visit to Downing Street, and the logistics of the visit with the players and their parents. He also pursued the press for the Downing Street event for which 3 television crews turned up!

The players for being such fine ambassadors for Scotland.

The parents for their enthusiasm in attending the event and meeting their entire costs, and those of the players, in travelling to and staying in London.

Alan Reid MP and Evan Harris MP - for accepting the idea of the match and putting together the team, and creating such a memorable event at the House. And for joining the team at various times during the day.

Laure Thomas, Evan Harris's secretary, for bearing a great deal of the administration of the event at the House - without doubt a considerable extension of her job description!

Grandmaster Ray Keene and IM Craig Pritchett for travelling to the event to report it {for the Times and Herald respectively) - and analysing one of the most competitive games (Evan Harris MP v Steven Tweedie) for some time on the Terrace.

Peter and George are already thinking what the next event should be ...."




Joe Redpath, 17, Edinburgh, Royal High School, Rating-2110
* At age 4, learnt to play chess.
* At age 7 played in his first competitive game.
* A regular competitor in the Glorney Cup (for u-18)
* Plays regularly for Slough C.C. in the 4NCL probably Europe's strongest league.
* Plays in both East and West Scotland Tournaments.
Daniel McGowan, 16, Tiree, Tiree High School, Rating-2030
* At age 6, started competitive chess.
* In 1995 played in his first International, against Wales, in Inverkeithing.
* From 1995 - 2000, played in u-12 and u-14 in home Internationals.
* From 1997 - 2002, played in European and World Youth Championships.
* In 2001 played in the u-18 European Team Championships in Hungary.
* In 1999, played as part of a British team in the World Open in Philadelphia.
* In 1996, played Nigel Short - lost! Witnessed Nigel's win against Gary Kasparov.
Steven Tweedie, 15, Airdrie, St Margaret's High, Rating-1985
* At age 6, started playing chess at Alexandra Primary School and Airdrie YMCA.
* At age 7, won the Scottish u-8 Championship.
* At age 14, played for Scotland's team in the u-18 European Youth Tournament.
* In 2002, board 2, for the Scottish team in the Glorney Cup (8 nations) Swansea.
* For (2 wins/3 draws) voted Scottish Player of the Tournament. FIDE rating 2137.
* In 2002, represented Chess Scotland in the u-14 section, in Spain, and won 6 / 11.
* In 2003, board 3 for Holy Cross in winning the Spens Cup and SNCL Div. One.
Colin Hall, 15, Perth, Crieff High School, Rating-1950
* At age 4, learnt to play chess.
* Played in European & World Youth Championships from age 9.
* First represented Scotland in the European u-10 Championships in Estonia.
* Regular competitor in the Scottish and the British Annual Championships.
* Runner-up in the British 2002 u-18 Championships in Torquay.
Christopher Macdonald, 13, Stirling, Dollar Academy, Rating-1870
* At age 4, learnt to play chess.
* At age 7, won his first International Cap, with 116 Caps to date.
* At age 11, the youngest ever winner of the Stirling Club Championship.
* At age 12 the youngest Scot to hold a FIDE rating now 2019
* At age 12, captained Chess Scotland's u-12 and u-14 in Home Internationals
* At age 13 the youngest ever to play at top level in the Scottish Champs. (2003)
* Played for Scotland in five European and World Youth Championships.
Louise Macnab, 15, Aberdeen, Robert Gordon's College, Rating-1695
* At age 11, learnt to play chess
* From age 13 a regular member for the London Barbican team in the 4NCL
* Played twice in both the European and World Youth Championships.
* Captained the Scottish Girl's team in European Girl Championships.
* The youngest ever Scottish girl to hold a FIDE rating (currently 1924).
* In 2002, the youngest ever Scot (m. or f.) to play in the World Chess Olympiad.
* Nominated for title of Scottish Player of the Year in two of the last 3 years.


Further Information:

Peter Macnab: or George A Clarke:



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