London, May 26 : Former world chess champion Boris Spassky is gearing up to take on 20 opponents simultaneously in a live match at the Hay Festival.
Among the 20 challengers will be Ian MacNab, based at the Rothera Research Station, comedian Dom Joly and Liberal Democrat AM Peter Black.
MacNab, a field assistant with the British Antarctic Survey on Adelaide Island, Antarctica, said that he was not "very optimistic" about winning, adding that Spassky did not have "much to be afraid of".
"I would describe myself as an amateur, but I was quite good as a teenager," the BBC quoted MacNab as saying.
MacNab, a field assistant with the British Antarctic Survey on Adelaide Island, Antarctica, will not be personally present at the festival in Hay-on-Wye, Wales because he is spending the winter in a 21-strong team who are carrying out a long-term monitoring of environmental and maritime changes in the region.
The news report also says that Liberal Democrat Black, who used to be in his university chess team, would be raising funds for the charity ChildLine during his match.
Spassky is also set to talk on Monday about the 1972 match in Reykjavik that he lost to American Bobby Fischer, who died aged 64 in January.