Sunday, November 16, 2008

Obama Palling Around with Chess Players?

More evidence has surfaced, beyond that already available, that Barack Obama’s administration will be the Chess Presidency. Friday’s New York Times confirmed that until the massive Secret Service security bubble closed in on him following his election, the president-elect got his hair cut at the Hyde Park Hair Salon, on Blackstone just north of 53rd Street. Those familiar with the neighborhood scene know that chess is played at that establishment, yet the obvious suspicion—that Obama may go to the salon to play chess—is never mentioned in the mainstream media. Why?

Considering that the Leader of the Free World can get his hair cut anywhere he wants, why does he go to this particular barbershop, if not to be around woodpushers? Is it just a coincidence that Obama patronized this salon? Are we to believe that the senator only went in for a trim and never once stopped to play a game of five-minute blitz? C’mon.

Let's face it: the 44th president likes chess.

You can understand why Obama has kept mum about his ties to chess. If his tenuous links to Billy Ayers were controversial during the campaign, imagine what would have happened had his connection to the Royal Game come to light. He would have been pilloried by the nation’s trogs, that's what. Just imagine: at the very moment he was being denounced as an elitist for his superior intelligence, Ivy League degrees, and impressive accomplishments, news of his affection for something as brainy as chess could have been the final nail in the coffin of his campaign. I can only assume it was a wish to keep his love of chess under wraps that led Obama to choose Joe Biden as his running mate rather than the obvious choice, Elizabeth Vicary.

By the way, if you want to reach Obama on his Blackberry, better do it soon.


chesslovers said...

hello...i am new chesslovers from indonesian.still learn and play chessgame.this is a good article for me and all chesslovers.thanks

Tom Panelas said...

Thanks for stopping by, chesslovers. I'm still learning to play, myself, though I've been at it for five years. Good luck.