Sunday, 16 October 2016

If you can't believe Donald Trump ...

As much as US politics interests me (I am an avid reader of US political blogs), I rarely post about it here. Unless of course there is a chess component, when I am more than happy to share.
In a recent speech Donald Trump discussed the complexity of handling multilateral trade agreements and stated "you have to be a grandmaster" to understand them (look at this link for further context). He then followed up with the claim that "We don't have any of them" (The "we" being the United States). Of course this claim is wrong (the US has 90 GM's), and the fact checkers action into action. Pointing out the errors in this statement, Politifact rated this as a 'pants on fire' claim, which I guess is fair enough.
Nonetheless I assume Trump did not make a statement he knew wasn't true, as it was more likely he just had no idea what he was talking about. The "stupid not dishonest" defence has been used by his team on a few other issues, and this may be another example. He may have confused Grandmasters with Chess World Champions (thinking of Bobby Fischer), but if so, he is ignoring the recent US win at the Chess Olympiad. And even if he was thinking of individuals, he must not be aware of GM Jeffrey Xiong, who is the current World Junior Champion.
Semi-surprisingly, one person who was critical of Trump's claim, and the whole Trump campaign in general, is Gary Kasparov, who has tweeted a number of criticisms of Trump over the last few months. Previously Kasparov seemed to share Trump's views on US foreign policy (and possibly still does), but Trump's praise of Putin (who Kasparov is strongly opposed to), is no doubt the deal breaker for Kasparov, no matter how many other opinions they share.


Anonymous said...

A more interesting question is how many of the 90 GMs were born/trained in the USA.

Though again, as one can say (as repartee) concerning just about anything in USA politics today -- why does it matter?

Anonymous said...

Does the 90 count active GMs, or all?

Seems that a 2372 rating is 100th actively in USA, so my guess is that the 90 GMs contain lots of inactives.

A/B said...

Wait a minute. A candidate was actually talking about chess?
Or was he just using chess as a metaphor? Kind of like saying we need people willing to do the heavy lifting, and then juxtaposing that we just don't have any grand weightlifters anymore.