Here is a list of politicians that play or played chess, or at least supported chess in some way.
US President John Adams (1735-1826) may have been exposed to chess from Benjamin Franklin while in France. John Adams wrote in his autobiography that his evenings in France were devoted to music, cards, chess, and backgammon.
US President John Quincy Adams (1767-1848), was a chess player who collected chess sets. One of his chess sets is displayed at the Smithsonian Museum of American History. He once purchased an ivory chess set and billiard table for his home in the White House. His political enemies (Andrew Jackson's democratic supporters) accused him of using public funds (it was Adams own money) to buy and install gaming furniture and gambling devices in the White House. It was part of a theme (negative campaigning) that may have cost Adams the election in 1828. John Quincy Adams said that chess was the best way to occupy time during long sea voyages. After a sea voyage across the Atlantic Ocean, he wrote that a game of chess surpassed all other resources for killing time at sea (James Madison, James Monroe and John Quincy Adams by William Stoddard). He may have learned chess from his father, John Adams, or Benjamin Franklin, who he stayed with while in France.
Spiro Agnew (1918-1996) was US Vice-President under Richard Nixon. He was a chess player. His yacht was always equipped with a chess set.
Alfonso XIII (1886-1941) was king of Spain from 1886 to 1931. He was a chess player and participated in chess tournaments throughout Spain.
Corazon "Cory" Aquino (1933-2009) was President of the Philippines. She was a chess player.
Yasser Arafat (1929-2004) was a Palestinian leader. He was a chess player.
Herbert Henry Asquith (1852-1928) was Prime Minister of the UK from 1908 to 1916. He was a chess player.
Clement Attlee (1883-1967) was a British Prime Minister. He was a chess player.
Arthur Balfour (1848-1930) was a British Prime Minister. He was a chess player.
Menachem Begin (1913-1992), President of Israel from 1977 to 1983, was a chess player. In September 1978, he played a chess game against National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brezinski at Camp David. Begin told Brezinski that the last time he played chess was in September 1940, when the NKVD (secret police) broke into his hiding place in Vilna to arrest him. Shortly afterward, Begin's wife passed by and said. "Oh, the two of you are playing chess. You know, Mr. Brzezinski, Menachem just loves to play. He plays all the time.
Robert N. Bodine (1837-1914) was a US Representative from Missouri. He was a chess player.
Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821) was an avid chess player.
Andrew Bonar Law (1858-1923), Prime Minister of the UK in 1922-1923, was a chess player. He once lost to Capablanca in a consultation game with Richard Barnett and William Rutherford.
Willy Brandt (1913-1992) was a former West German chancellor. He was a chess player.
Zbigniew Brzezinski (1928- ) was a National Security Advisor under President Carter from 1977 to 1981. He is a chess player. In 1997, he wrote a book called The Grand Chessboard.
Patrick Buchanan (1938- ) was a presidential candidate (1992 and 1996) and is a political commentator. He is a chess player but says he doesn't play anymore.
Aaron Burr (1756-1836), third Vice President of the United States from 1801 to 1805, was an enthusiastic chess player. (Source: The Book of the First American Chess Congress, 1857, p. 346)
US President George Herbert Walker Bush (1924- ) George H.W. Bush may not play chess, but in 1989, President Bush and his wife, Barbara, visited Budapest and was introduced to the Polgar sisters. A picture of George Bush and his wife with the three Polgar girls appeared on the cover of Inside Chess. In 2004, Boris Spassky wrote a letter to President Bush appealing to let Bobby Fischer go free and not be subject for arrest because he played chess in Yugoslavia. Spassky received no sanctions from the French government. (source: ChessBase magazine, August 10, 2004).
US President George W. Bush (1946- ) may not have played chess, but he posed for pictures with former world chess champion Garry Kasparov on September 23, 2008 in New York. One picture shows Bush holding Kasparov's book, How Life Imitates Chess.
Charles Carroll (1738-1832), Senator from Maryland and one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, was a chess player. He once played a chess game with The Turk, also known as the Automaton Chess Player, winning his game.
US President Jimmy Carter (1924- ) was a chess player. He wanted to become a chess expert after he left the White House. He bought numerous chess books and a computer chess program. He finally gave up on chess around 1997, saying: "I found that I don't have any particular talent for chess. I hate to admit it, but that's a fact." He hand-carved his own chess sets and contributed hand-carved chess sets to the Carter Center to be auctioned for charity.
Fidel Castro (1926-2016) was a chess player.
Catherine II (1729-1796), former empress of Russia, was a chess player.
Charles I (1600-1649) was king of England. He was a chess player.
Charles V (1338-1380) was king of France. He was a chess player.
Charles VII (1403-1461) was king of France. He was a chess player.
Charles XII (1682-1718) was king of Sweden. He was a chess player.
Salmon P. Chase (1864-1873) was the governor of Ohio, the Secretary of the Treasury, and the 6th Chief Justice of the United States. He was a chess player.
Jacques Chirac (1932- ) was French president from 1995 to 2007. He is a chess player.
Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965), twice British Prime Minister, was a chess player, along with his father, Lord Randolph Churchill (1849-1895).
Charles Clarke (1950- ) was UK Education Secretary and was a Member of Parliament. He is a chess player.
Henry Clay (1777-1852) was a chess player. He was a US Senator from Kentucky and US Secretary of State.
William "Bill" Clay (1931) was a US Representative from Missouri from 1969 to 2001. He is a chess player.
US President Grover Cleveland (1837-1908) was a chess player. In September, 1885, he visited the Eden Musee in New York while the chess automaton Ajeeb was being displayed. Cleveland's Vice-President, Thomas Hendricks, was with Cleveland at the time. Hendricks played Ajeeb and lost in a smothered mate. In 1893, he consented to become a patron for the New York Chess Congress (Columbian Chess Congress) and presented to the winner of the tournament a gold medal (British Chess Magazine, Volume 13, 1893).
US President Bill Clinton (1946- ) played chess while at Georgetown University. He played for the Georgetown University's chess team in 1968. He is a supporter of the Chess-in-the-Schools program and has met with Garry Kasparov. When Clinton contributed a President's Day recipe, his recipe was Lemon Chess Pie. His daughter, Chelsea, also plays chess and has played chess on the Internet. In his book, My Life: the Presidential Years, Clinton wrote: "...I had a cousin in Arkansas who played chess twice a week on the Internet with a man from Australia..." In 2007, Clinton wrote Giving: How Each of Us Can Change the World. He mentioned the Chess-in-the Schools program and how it was a classic example of a very good idea with no chance of becoming a reality without private support. Clinton pointed out that playing chess helps students develop thinking and analyzing skills, concentration, greater self-control, and self-confidence.
Viktorija Cmilyte (1983- ) is a member of the Lithuanian parliament. She was twice Lithuanian champion and is a Grandmaster. Her peak rating was 2536. She is perhaps the strongest chess-playing politician ever.
Bainbridge Colby (1869-1950) was Secretary of State from 1920 to 1921 under Woodrow Wilson. He was a chess player.
US President Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933) played chess. In his diary in 1886, he wrote, "played chess with Dal and beat him every game" (February 25). (Source: The Tormented President: Calvin Coolidge by Robert Gilbert)
William Crawford (1772-1834) served as Secretary of War and Treasury Secretary. He played chess. John Crittenden (1787-1863) was the governor of Kentucky. He was a chess player.
Ted Cruz (1970- ) is a former U.S. presidential candidate and Republican Senator from Texas. He may or may not play chess, but he has an $800 Barrister's chess set and board on display (king and queen set up wrong).
Henri Francois d'Aguesseau (1668-1751) was Chancellor of France. He was a chess player.
Valery Giscard d'Estaing (1926- ) is a former French premier. He is a chess player.
Richard M. Daley (1902-1976) was the mayor of Chicago. He was a chess player.
John Dickert (1861- ) has been the mayor of Racine, Wisconsin since 2009. He is a chess player.
Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881) was a British Prime Minister. He was a chess player.
Anatoly Dobrynin (1919-2010) was Soviet Ambassador to the United States from 1962 to 1986. He was a chess player. He occasionally played chess with Zbigniew Brzezinski.
Bob Dole (1923- ), who represented Kansas in the House of Representatives and as a Senator and was a presidential candidate, is a chess player.
Angela Eagle (1961- ) is a Member of Parliament. She is a chess player.
Edward III (1312-1377), was king of England. He was a chess player.
Edward VII (1841-1910) was king of England. He was a chess player.
Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890-1969) may have played chess. He acknowledged he received a chess set from a political supporter. In one of his speeches, he said, "...I am an indoor man and I find more relaxation in playing a game of chess." (Source: Dwight D. Eisenhower: Containing the public messages, speeches and statements of the President, 1953-1960/1, Volume 1)
Elizabeth I (1533-1603) was Queen of England. She was a chess player.
Elizabeth II (1926- ) is Queen of England. She is a chess player. Nelson Mandela sent her a chess set as a gift in 1996.
Farouk of Egypt (1920-1965) was king of Egypt. He was a chess player. His chess set is on display in the Royal Jewelry Museum in Alexandria.
Chaka Fattah (1956- ) was a US Representative from Pennsylvania from 1995 to 2016. He is a chess player.
Ferdinand of Aragon (1452-1516) was king of Spain. He was a chess player.
Robert "Bob" Ferguson (1965- ), the Attorney General of Washington State, won the Washington State Chess Championship in 1984 and 1987.
US President Millard Fillmore (1800-1874) played chess but did not encourage it with his son. In 1842, Millard Fillmore's son wrote to his father about how pleasant it was playing chess after a long day of studying in school. Millard Fillmore wrote back to his son and told him he would rather see him doing something else than playing chess while studying. He thought chess was too sedentary and that sitting all day playing chess would make you crooked (Millard Fillmore by Robert Scarry). In one letter that he wrote while in Florida, Fillmore mentioned that he played chess. He wrote, "In the evening he [Major General Thomas Jessup] suggested we play chess, a game of which I am most fond, but I found my concentration somewhat disrupted by the Indians he repeatedly saw lurking in the bushes behind me, and lost three games in a row." (The Remarkable Millard Fillmore by George Pendle)
US President Gerald Ford (1913- 2006) may not have been a chess player, but he did declare October 9th, 1976, National Chess Day.
Francisco Franco (1892-1975), Spanish dictator, was a chess player. He often arranged chess pieces on maps and boards to follow the progress of the war.
Hans Frank (1900-1946) was governor general of Poland in 1939. He was an avid chess player.
Felix Frankfurter (1882-1965) was a Supreme Court Justice. He was a chess player.
Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) was a chess player.
Frederick II (1712-1786) was King of Prussia. He was a chess player.
John C. Fremont (1813-1890), a presidential candidate, was a chess player.
Mark Funkhouser (1949- ) was the mayor of Kansas City. He is an avid chess player.
Muammar Gaddafi (1942-2011) was the former Prime Minister of Libya. He was a chess player. In 2011, he played a chess game with FIDE president Kirsan Ilyumzhinov in Tripoli.
Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948), leader of India, was chess player.
Carlos Garcia (1896-1971) was a former President of the Philippines. He was a chess player.
US President James A. Garfield (1831-1881) was a strong chess player. A Philadelphia chess column described him as a first-rate chess player in 1880. He played chess with Salmon P. Chase (1808-1873), who was Ohio Senator and Governor, U.S. Treasury Secretary, and Chief Justice of the United States. An article in Chess Life in 2003 suggests that James Garfield was perhaps the strongest chess player who was President. Author Arthur Hosterman, in Life and Times of James Abram Garfield, wrote, "At one time, he became a chess player. He enjoyed the game to the utmost, but perceiving that its playing carried him to late hours, he denied himself even the pleasure of this game."
Jim Garrison (1921-1992), famous New Orleans attorney, was a chess player. In 1964, he played Bobby Fischer in a simul in New Orleans.
George III (1783-1820) was king of England. He was a chess player.
William Gladstone (1809-1898) was a former British Prime Minister. He was a chess player.
Boris Godunov (1551-1605), regent of Russia, was a chess player.
Joseph Goebbels (1897-1945), was a German politician and Reich Minister of Propaganda. He was a chess player.
Mikhail Gorbachev (1931- ), former president of the Soviet Union, is a chess player.
Al Gore (1948- ), former Vice-President of the United States, is a chess player. He often played chess with his son.
US President Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885) was a chess player. There is a picture of him playing chess with Mrs. W.B. Dinsmore. He played chess at his army outposts and sometimes traveled 10 miles from his post to find a chess player. He may have learned chess while he was at West Point. When he found a chess player who was stronger than him in a match, he persisted in playing the match until he "tired out" his opponent, and finally beat him. William Crafts, author of Life of Ulysses S. Grant, wrote of Grant, "His characteristic persistency was illustrated at West Point not only by his application to studies, but by his playing the game of chess, of which he was fond."
Jules Grevy (1807-1891), former President of France, was an avid chess player and a great patron of chess.
John W. Griggs (1849-1927) was governor of New Jersey and US Attorney General under President William McKinley, was an avid chess player. (Source: American Chess Magazine, 1897, p. 467.)
Andrei Gromyko (1909-1969) was a former Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet. He was a Soviet diplomat for 50 years. He relaxed by playing chess.
H.R. "Bob" Haldeman (1926-1993), former White House Chief of Staff to President Richard Nixon, was a chess player.
Chester Harding (1866-1936), former governor of the Panama Canal Zone, was a chess player.
US President Warren Harding (1865-1923) played chess. William Kerr, who founded the American Flag Day Association and is considered the founder of Flag Day played a correspondence chess game with Harding. At the moment that Harding died in San Francisco, the Western Chess Championship, now known as the U.S. Open, was being played across the street at the Mechanics' Institute. A rumor circulated that Harding was poisoned by one of the chess players in the event.
Vaclav Havel (1936-2011) was a former President of Czechoslovakia. He was a chess player.
US President Rutherford B. Hayes (1822-1893) was a strong chess player, taught by his mother. He wrote about playing chess in his diary. He wrote "Somehow my faculties are so dull that nothing but chess seems to excite the attention..." He mentioned that his sister, Fanny, was a skilful chess player. His chess set is in the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center in Ohio. William Howells, in Sketch of the Life and Character of Rutherford B. Hayes, wrote, "His greatest amusements were fishing and chess."
Thomas Hendricks (1819-1885) was Governor of Indiana and US Vice President in 1885 under President Grover Cleveland. He was a chess player.
Henry II (1133-1189) was King of England. He was a chess player.
Henry IV (1553-1610) was King of France. He was a chess player.
Henry V (1387-1422) was King of England. He was a chess player.
Henry VIII (1491-1547) was King of England. He was a chess player.
Rudolf Hess (1894-1987) was Deputy Fuhrer in Nazi Germany. He was a chess player.
Ho Chi Minh (1890-1969), was President of North Vietnam. He was a chess player.
Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809-1894), Supreme Court Justice, was a chess player.
Henry Home, also known as Lord Kames (1696-1782) was a Scottish judge. He was a chess player.
US President Herbert Hoover (1874-1964) played chess. An acquaintance of Hoover remembered him as "a quiet, introspective nontalkative lad who played a little chess and a little checkers." (Herbert Hoover: A Public Life, by David Burner)
Mike Huckabee (1955- ) was the governor of Arkansas. He is a chess player.
James Huffman (1894-1980) was a Senator from Ohio. He was a chess player.
Abdullah ibn Hussein (1882-1951) was the king of Jordan. He was a chess player.
Kirsan Ilyumzhinov (1962- ) was President of Kalmykia from 1993 to 2010. He was elected President of FIDE in 1995.
Isabella (1451-1504) was Queen of Spain. She was a chess player.
Ivan IV, or Ivan the Terrible (1530-1584), Tsar of Russia, was a chess player.
US President Andrew Jackson (1767-1845) was a chess player. One source (Gerald Leavitt and Tom Standage) states that Andrew Jackson played chess against the Turk chess automaton. In The American Lion, by John Meacham, Jackson was described as an excellent chess player. He would sometimes observe his houseguests play chess and frequently directed the moves for one side or the other.
Shah Jahan (1592-1666), emperor of India who built the Taj Mahal, was a chess player.
US President Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) played chess. It was one of his favorite games. He started playing in his 20s and owned at least six nice chess sets. Dr. William Small probably introduced chess to Jefferson around 1762. Dr. Small was a professor of mathematics at the College of William and Mary who taught Jefferson. He usually played chess in the evenings with his friends. The earliest dated reference from Jefferson came from his diary on August 18, 1769, when he wrote "gave James Ogilvie to buy me a set of chessmen." Friends gave him chess sets or he gave them chess sets as presents. When he moved into Monticello, he was concerned about his ivory chess sets that had disappeared in the move. He collected chess books as well, and one of his favorites was Philidor's Analysis of Chess. He also had chess books by Greco and Stamma. Jefferson's hobby was book collecting and he had over 6,000 books in his library. His books later became part of the Library of Congress when the original Library of Congress was burned by the British in 1814. In his later years, he played Benjamin Franklin, also a keen player. He would write letters about Franklin and how popular he was in France because he played chess with beautiful or powerful women. Jefferson would tell friends that he and Franklin were equal in chess playing strength. He also told friends that he played four hour games of chess against James Madison. In 1784, Jefferson moved to Paris. Before leaving, he sold some of his chess books to James Monroe. When Jefferson was in Paris he joined the Salon des echecs chess club for 96 francs in 1786. He did not renew his dues in 1787, saying he was too busy. David McCullough, in his book on John Adams, says that Jefferson was so decisively beaten at the chess club that he never went back. Jefferson left Paris in 1789. Jefferson was elected President in 1801. His vice president was Aaron Burr, also an enthusiastic and strong chess player. They may have played chess together. Jefferson taught his grandchildren how to play chess at Monticello. Jefferson left two undated sheets of paper concerning chess. The sheets of paper were how to play an endgame with a Rook and Bishop against a Rook. The analysis came from Philidor's Analysis of Chess book. A letter of December 4, 1818 was his last writing on chess. It was about the recollection of Franklin and chess.
John I (1167-1216), King of England, was a chess player.
US President Andrew Johnson (1808-1875) may have played chess and was a checkers player. In debates, he would compare a bill to Maelzel's automaton chess player, as deceiving no person save those wishing to be deceived. (The Life and Public Services of Andrew Johnson, by John Savage)
Joseph II (1741-1790), Holy Roman Emperor, was a chess player.
Janos Kadar (1912-1989) was the General Secretary of the Hungarian Socialist Workers' Party. His only real hobby was chess.
Nancy Kassebaum (1932- ) was a senator from Kansas. She is a chess player. She chaired the Chess for Peace advisory board.
John F. Kennedy (1917-1963) may have played chess. He received a very nice chess set as a birthday gift in 1962 from a very close friend. In a Cold War statement, referring to the USSR, he said, "We play poker, they play chess." His son, John F. Kennedy, Jr., did play chess. There is a picture of John F. Kennedy, Jr. playing a game of chess while on a visit to Moscow State University Chess Club.
Nikita Khrushchev (1894-1971), USSR Premier, was a chess player.
Henry Kissinger (1923- ), former US Secretary of State, was a chess player.
Nikolai Krylenko (1885-1938) was the People's Commissar for Justice of the USSR. He was an avid chess player and promoter of the game.
John Lackland (1166-1216) was King of England. He was a chess player.
Fiorello LaGuardia (1882-1947) was the mayor of New York. He was a chess player.
Vytautas Landsbergis (1932- ) was a former President of Lithuania. He is a chess player. In 1952, he took 3rd place in the Lithuanian chess championship.
Vladimir Lenin (1870-1924) was a chess player.
Karl Liebnecht (1871-1919), German socialist leader, was a chess player.
US President Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) played chess. One of his chess sets is displayed in the Smithsonian. He may have played an occasional game at the White House. Some years before becoming President, Lincoln was playing chess with Judge S. H. Treat, Chief Justice of the Illinois Supreme Court. Lincoln's son, Tad, was sent by his mother to say dinner was ready. When his father continued with his chess game, Tad went over to the game and kicked the chess board off the table or laps of the two players. The judge was speechless, but Lincoln said mildly, "Come, Tad," and they walked away together to have dinner. (American Chess Magazine, Volume 2, 1898). Lincoln bought a chess set for his son Tad, which is on display at the National Museum of American History. In The every-day life of Abraham Lincoln, author Francis Browne wrote, "Mr. Lincoln was fond of playing chess and checkers, and usually acted cautiously upon the defensive until the game had reached a stage where aggressive movements were clearly justified." In Lincoln: The Biography of a Writer by Fred Kaplan, there is a story that Abraham Lincoln and a family friend, George Harrison. Harrison wrote of their time in the militia during the Black Hawk War, "We [Lincoln and Harrison] passed our evenings by jumping, playing checkers, chess, swimming our horses..."
Louis VI (1081-1137) was King of France. He was a chess player.
Louis XIII (1601-1643) was King of France. He was a chess player.
Louis XV (1710-1774) was King of France. He was a chess player.
US President James Madison (1751-1836), was a chess player who played several games against Thomas Jefferson. James Madison by Jeremy Roberts mentions that Madison was fond of chess, and that he studied the moves carefully, considering every step before proceeding. James Madison: Builder, by Abbot Smith, mentions that Madison once attended a fancy ball in Washington D.C., but spent the evening playing chess with John Quincy Adams.
Louise-Marie d'Orleans (1812-1850) was Queen of Belgium. She was a chess player.
Blaine Luetkemeyer (1952- ) is a US Representative from Missouri. He is a chess player.
John Major (1943- ) is a former British Prime Minister. He is a chess player.
Nelson Mandela (1918-2013) was President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. He was a chess player. He learned how to play chess in prison.
John Paul Marat (1767-1793) was a French revolutionary. He was a chess player.
Ferdinand Marcos (1917-1989), former President of the Philippines, was a chess player.
John Marshall (1755-1935) was Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. He was a chess player.
Karl Marx (1818-1883) was a chess player.
Bob McDonnell (1954- ) was the Governor of Virginia from 2010 to 2014. He is a chess player.
Angela Merkel (1954- ) is the current Chancellor of Germany. She is a chess player and collects large wooden chess pieces.
US President James Monroe (1758-1831) was a chess player and purchased chess books from Thomas Jefferson (including Philidor's manual of chess) when Jefferson departed for France according to James Monroe, The Quest for National Unity, by Harry Ammon. He played chess against Jefferson and Aaron Burr. Monroe was an avid player in chess, checkers, poker, whist, and dominoes (The Last Founding Father: James Monroe by Harlow Unger). The James Monroe Museum in Virginia has a chess set that belonged to Monroe.
Benito Mussolini (1883-1945) was an Italian dictator. He was a chess player.
Ralph Nader (1934- ) was a presidential candidate. He described himself as a good chess player.
Gamal Abdul Nasser (1918-1970), President of Egypt, was a chess player.
Benjamin Netanyahu (1940- ), Prime Minister of Israel, is a chess player.
Richard Nixon (1913-1994) may have played chess. However, in a 1983 interview, he admitted he never understood chess. Nixon declined to invite Fischer to the White House after Fischer won the world chess championship in 1972. Nixon did write to Fischer congratulating his victory over Tigran Petrosian in Buenos Aires.
Glenn Nye (1974- ) was a congressman from Virginia. He is a chess player.
US President Barack Obama (1961- ) plays chess. So does his wife, Michelle. A New York Times article stated that "Mrs. Obama and her brother were expected to fill their time with books, chess, and sports." Obama mentioned chess in his book Dreams from My Father and talked about learning chess from his grandfather and Indonesian stepfather. He learned chess around age 9 and played chess with his stepfather, Lolo Soetoro (1935-1987). In 2009, President Obama spoke at the New Economic School, a graduate economic school in Moscow and used chess as a metaphor. In his speech, he said, "The days when empires could treat sovereign states as pieces on a chess-bard are over." (source: Senauth, The Making of a President, p. 235). While in Moscow, Obama met with former world chess champion Garry Kasparov. In 2009, Henry Kissinger (a chess player) was interviewed by Spiegel Online. He said this of Obama. "Obama is like a chess player who is playing simultaneous chess and has opened his game with an unusual opening. Now he's got to play his hand as he plays his various counterparts. We haven't gotten beyond the opening game move yet. I have no quarrel with the opening move." In Afghanistan, Allied troops have been playing Osama vs. Obama "terror chess." The traditional pieces have been replaced with late terrorist Osama Bin Laden and U.S. President Obama as respective kings. The rooks have been replaced by the World Trade Center towers. The Statue of Liberty is the queen. A map of Afghanistan is superimposed over the classic checkerboard pattern. The chess board game was produced by an ex-Canadian Special Forces soldier.
Oscar II (1829-1907) was King of Sweden and Norway. He was a chess player.
George Pataki (1945- ) was the governor of New York from 1995 to 2006. He was a chess player.
Richmond Pearson (1852-1923) was a diplomat and Representative from North Carolina. He was a chess player.
Robert Peel (1788-1850) was a former British Prime Minister. He was a chess player.
Juan Peron (1895-1974) was a former President of Argentina. He was a chess player.
Rick Perry (1950- ) was the governor of Texas. He is a chess player.
Peter the Great (1672-1725) was a Russian Czar. He was a chess player.
Mohammed Phalavi (1919-1980), was the Shah of Iran. He was a chess player.
Philip II (1527-1598) was King of Spain. He was a chess player.
William Pitt (1708-1778) was British Prime Minister. He was a chess player.
US President James K. Polk (1795-1849) may have played chess. In one of his correspondence letters to Samuel Laughlin on May 9th, 1844, he wrote: "From what Cave Johnson writes, I think the recent occurrances (sic), on the chess-board, have decidedly improved my prospects." (Correspondence of James K. Polk, January-August 1844 by James K. Polk).
Grigori Potemkin (1739-1791) was a Russian statesman and a chess player.
Yitzhak Rabin (1922-1995) was Prime Minister of Israel. He was a chess player.
Fidel Ramos (1928- ) was the 12th President of the Philippines from 1992 to 1998. He was a chess player.
Jamie Raskin (1962- ) is a US Representative from Maryland. In 2013, as a state senator, he was caught playing chess during testimony on a Maryland new gun grabbing bill.
US President Ronald Reagan (1911-2004) may not have played chess, but he talked about chess with Mikhail Gorbachev during their summit meeting in Reykjavik, Iceland, the site of the 1972 world chess championship match between Bobby Fischer and Boris Spassky. In his diaries, Reagan wrote that he met with some school chess champions on May 23, 1983. In 1984, Victor Palciauskas of the United States won the 10th World Correspondence Chess Championship. President Ronald Reagan sent him a note of congratulations.
Dana Reizniece-Ozola (1981- ) is the Minister of Finance of the Republic of Latvia. She is also a Woman Grandmaster rated 2289 (peaked at 2355). She played for Latvia in the 2016 Chess Olympiad in Baku, beating world champion Hou Yifan in the final round.
Richard I (1157-1199) was King of England. He was a chess player.
Bob Riley (1944- ) was the governor of Alabama. He was a chess player.
Richard Riordan (1930- ) was the mayor of Los Angeles. In his spare time, he enjoys playing chess. He has a chess festival named after him.
Maximilien Robespierre (1758-1794) was a French politician and revolutionary. He was a chess player.
US President Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945) played chess. When Henry Ford was Roosevelt's luncheon guest at the White House, they would spend the whole luncheon hour playing chess. (That Man: an Insider's Portrait of Franklin D. Roosevelt, by Robert Jackson, John Barrett, and William Leuchtenburg)
US President Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) played chess during his hunting trips. He may have also played Ajeeb the automaton. In 1904 he invited the foreign masters that played in the Cambridge Springs chess tournament to the White House. He was rumored to have kept an astrological chart mounted on a chess board while in office. Theodore Roosevelt once described living on his ranch. "The long winter evenings are spent sitting round the campfire, playing checkers or chess, in the fire light." (Theodore Roosevelt: His Life and Work, by Frederick Drinker).
Karl Rove (1950- ) served as Deputy Chief of Staff under President George Bush. He is a chess player.
Sir William Rutherford (1853-1927) was a Member of Parliament and a strong chess player.
Anwar Sadat (1918-1981) was President of Egypt. He was a chess player.
Pierre Salinger (1925-2004) was Press Secretary under John F. Kennedy. He was a chess player.
Rick Santorum (1958- ) was a senator from Pennsylvania. He is a chess player.
Helmut Schmidt (1918-2015) was the former Chancellor of Germany. He was an avid chess player.
Chuck Schumer (1950- ), Senator from New York, plays chess.
Arnold Schwarzenegger (1947- ) was the governor of California. He is a chess player.
John Shafroth (1854-1922) was a Governor and Senator from Colorado. He was a chess player.
Richard Shannon (1839-1920) was a US Representative from New York. He was a chess player.
Natan Sharansky (1948- ) is an Israeli politician. He is a chess player. As a human rights activist in Russia, he kept himself sane during solitary confinement by playing chess with himself, in his head.
Sir John Simon (1873-1954) was a Member of Parliament, Attorney General, Home Secretary, Foreign Secretary, Chancellor of the Exchequer, and Lord Chanclllor. He was an avid chess player. In 1923, he drew with world champion Alexander Alekhine in a simultaneous exhibition.
Jason T. Smith (1980- ) is a US Representative from Missouri. He is a chess player.
Jan Sobieski (1624-1696) was King of Poland. He was a chess player.
Josef Stalin (1879-1953) was a chess player.
Harold Stassen (1907-2001) was the governor of Minnesota and a GOP presidential candidate. He was a chess player.
Peer Steinbrueck (1947- ) is a German politician and former finance minister. He is a chess player.
Robert Taft (1889-1953) was a senator from Ohio and presidential candidate. He was a chess player.
US President William Howard Taft (1857-1930) played chess as a child, according to the National Park Service visitor's guide for Taft's National Historic Site. He taught chess to his son. His son, Robert, was described as a slightly obnoxious whiz at chess. It was his favorite game. Doug Wead, author of All the Presidents' Children, wrote, "On April 17, 1900, the Taft family boarded the army transport Hancock, bound for the Philippines. President McKinley had just appointed William Howard Taft, Sr., as the civil governor of the island nation. Eleven years old at the time, Robert [Taft's son] had taught himself to play chess from a book. He promptly beat all the army officers on board."
Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand (1754-1838) was a French politician and diplomat. He was a chess player.
Josip Tito (1892-1980), former President of Yugoslavia, was a chess player.
Leon Trotsky (1879-1940) was a Russian revolutionist and a chess player.
US President Harry S Truman (1884-1972) played chess as a child, learning from his uncle, Harrison Young who was a strong chess player (Harry S. Truman: a Life, by Robert Ferrell and The Autobiography of Harry S. Truman by Harry S. Truman). Truman mentioned chess in some of his speeches. In 1947 he said, "International relations have traditionally been compared to a chess game in which each nation tries to outwit and checkmate the other."
US President Martin Van Buren (1782-1862) may have played chess and taught his son. His son, John Van Buren (1810-1866), greeted Paul Morphy when Morphy returned from Europe to New York in 1859. On May 29, 1859, at the University of the City of New York, it was John Van Buren who first toasted Paul Morphy and ended a testimonial presentation by proclaiming Morphy as "The Chess Champion of the World" to 1,500 guests. It was the first time that expression had been used. John Van Buren later wrote that he could not understand why men wasted time and thought on chess, even though he did play it. He considered politics the greatest game in the world and open to all.
Cyrus Vance (1917-2002), former US Secretary of State under President Jimmy Carter, was a chess player.
Victoria (1819-1901) was Queen of England. She was a chess player.
Earl Warren (1891-1974) was Governor of California and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. He was a chess player.
US President George Washington (1732-1799) owned an ivory chess set that is now housed in the U.S. National Museum in Washington, D.C. During the Revolutionary War, he was dining one day at headquarters when Mrs. Washington asked him what entertainment he had recourse to. George responded, "I read, my lady, and write, and play chess...."
William Weld (1945- ) was the governor of Massachusetts. He was a chess player.
Wilhelm II (1859-1918) was a German Kaiser. He was a chess player.
US President Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924) played chess. One of his chess sets is in the Smithsonian. Carol Dommermuth-Costa, author of Woodrow Wilson, wrote that Woodrow Wilson (called Tommy as a boy) and his father shared many hours playing chess and billiards.
Marmaduke Wyvill (1815-1896) was a Member of Parliament and a leading English chess master.
Boris Yeltsin (1931-2007) was President of Russia. He was an avid chess player and founded the Sverdlosk Chess Club.
Sam Yorty (1909-1998) served as US Representative from California and was mayor of Los Angles from 1961 to 1973. He was a chess player.
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