Judit Polgar on chess and politics at Monocle’s ‘The Foreign Desk’

by ChessBase
6/27/2021 – In the latest episode of Monocle 24’s ‘The Foreign Desk’, host Andrew Mueller delves into the parallels between chess and the political arena. To do so, he was joined by Judit Polgar, the strongest-ever female chess player; David Edmonds, author of ‘Bobby Fischer Goes To War’; and Dana Reizniece-Ozola, the current Managing Director of FIDE.

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Chess and politics

MonocleMonocle 24 is Monocle’s global radio station, featuring live shows and podcasts covering news, foreign affairs, business, culture, design, urbanism, food and drink, print media and more.

Monocle magazine was launched in 2007 to provide a briefing on global affairs, business, culture, design and much more. Today, Monocle is published 10 times a year out of their HQ at Zürich’s Seefeld and theirr editorial base at Midori House in London. Monocle has an extensive network of correspondents in cities such as Milan, Bogotá and Paris, as well as bureaux in Tokyo, Hong Kong, Los Angeles and Toronto.

The Foreign Desk

Presented by ​Andrew Mueller, Monocle 24’s flagship global-affairs show features​ expert guests ​and in-depth analysis of the big issues of the week. Winner in the ‘best current affairs’ category of the 2018 British Podcast awards.

Episode 391 - Checkmate: Chess and politics

Sometimes art imitates life; sometimes games do too. And parallels between chess and the political arena have existed for centuries. But are there really any similarities? How was the game used as a pawn in the cold war? And could the chessboard once again become a soft-power battleground? Andrew Mueller speaks to Judit Polgar, David Edmonds, and Dana Reizniece-Ozola.


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The Foreign DeskDavid Edmonds (born 1964) is a radio feature maker at the BBC World Service. He studied at Oxford University, has a PhD in philosophy from the Open University and has held fellowships at the University of Chicago and the University of Michigan. Edmonds is the author of Caste Wars: A Philosophy of Discrimination and co-author, with John Eidinow, of Wittgenstein’s Poker: The Story of a Ten-Minute Argument Between Two Great Philosophers and Bobby Fischer Goes to War: How the Soviets Lost the Most Extraordinary Chess Match of All Time.

Dana Reizniece-Ozola, born in the town of Kuldinga in 1981, began to play tournament chess in her early childhood. In 2001, Dana Reizniece-Ozola became Woman Grandmaster. After completing her studies, she became the director of a technology hub specializing in space engineering. At the same time, she got involved in politics, joining the conservative Latvian Union of Greens and Farmers and being elected as a Member of Parliament in 2010. From 2010 to 2011, she served as Parliamentary Secretary in the Latvian Ministry of Transportation. From 2014 to 2016, Dana Reizniece-Ozola held the position of Minister of Economics. In 2016, she was appointed Minister of Finance.

Dana Reizniece-Ozola is the current Managing Director of FIDE.

About Bobby Fischer Goes to War

Bobby Fischer Goes To WarIn Bobby Fischer Goes to War: How the Soviets Lost the Most Extraordinary Chess Match of All Time, BBC journalists David Edmonds and John Eidinow detail the match and its high-stakes geopolitical context.

National Public Radio (NPR), an internationally acclaimed producer and distributor of noncommercial news, talk, and entertainment programming, has interviewed the authors of the book.

Edmonds and Eidinow tell the station's Liane Hansen how the Fischer-Spassky contest was custom-made for the modern world media. What it lacked in excitement, the match easily made up for in Cold War hype as a cerebral battle of superpower talent. Extensive television and newspaper coverage ensured that citizens of both nations tuned in and read up on every game.

With a cast of behind-the-scenes characters worthy of a U.S.-Soviet summit, the Fischer-Spassky match is revealed in the book as one of the defining moments in Cold War history.

Bobby Fischer Goes to War: How the Soviets Lost the Most Extraordinary Chess Match of All Time - Publisher: Ecco Press, Publication Date: March 2004, Binding: Hardcover, Language: English Pages: 368 Dimensions: 956x578x118 125, ISBN: 0060510242.


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