Page last updated at 08:28 GMT, Saturday, 10 May 2008 09:28 UK

AM's Spassky Hay chess challenge

Boris Spassky (left) playing Bobby Fischer in Germany in 1970
Boris Spassky (L) was one of the world's top chess player for years

He may try to make shrewd political moves, but Welsh Assembly Member Peter Black could be facing checkmate.

The Liberal Democrat AM for South West Wales is among 20 challengers to face former world chess champion Boris Spassky at the Hay Festival.

Mr Black, who used to be in his university chess team, will be raising money for charity.

The Russian famously lost the world championship to American Bobby Fischer at the height of the Cold War in 1972.

Victory for Fischer in that showdown in Iceland ended 35 years of Soviet domination at the top of the game.

But while Spassky's next opponents at the festival in Hay on-Wye, Powys, may be less well known, they will include the AM who 20 years ago won the west Wales chess league.

Peter Black
If I can do 10 moves I will be happy
Peter Black AM

Today Mr Black plays only for fun and he said he was not holding out much hope of beating the 71-year-old.

"It will be interesting to see how many moves I can make," said Mr Black, who is also a councillor in Swansea for the Cwmbwrla ward.

"If I can do 10 moves I will be happy.

"When I played at university, I'd say I was above average. Now I'd say I'm well and truly average.

"But just to play opposite Spassky will be fantastic. It will be fun."

The 20 chess players who will take on Spassky have volunteered for the task on 25 May.

The former champion, who learned to play chess at the age of five, will move around all of the players' chess boards, making one move at a time.

Mr Black is hoping to raise money for the charity ChildLine.

The chess match of the century
09 Aug 02 |  Europe
Ex-US president leads Hay line-up
05 Apr 08 |  Mid Wales
Chess legend Fischer dies at 64
18 Jan 08 |  Europe
Iceland grants Fischer passport
21 Mar 05 |  Asia-Pacific
Fischer 'must be deported to US'
15 Mar 05 |  Asia-Pacific


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