Not on board
Though I have known him for 20 years, this is news to me. Indeed, when the combined DfESDepartment of Work and Pensions chess club won both the Civil Service Cup and League last season, we did so without the help of any of the current DfES bosses.
Some may have feigned an interest when Charles Clarke was Secretary of State and advocating chess in education, but they all seem far too passionate about their territory to focus on a mere board game. Sudoku may be another matter, of course.
Chair, Education and Employment Chess Club 27 Myddelton Square London EC1