Originally published 10.2007
It isn’t bad enough that the only thing Republicans and Democrats can agree on is that they are the only ones who deserve guaranteed federally funded health care. Now the chess folks are at it. According to a lawsuit filed at the beginning of October, two officers of the nation’s most influential chess organization posted thousands of inflammatory messages on bulletin boards, over two thousand in the guise of one of their opponents, in order to swing an election.
I know what you are thinking. America has more than one influential chess organization? Indeed. And the United States Chess Federation (or Us Chafe) has been shaken by this scandal to its very ranks and files. Imagine the implications. We don’t know for sure how much “thousands” is, but let’s say conservatively that for every nasty post attributed to arch rival Sam Sloan, churlish chess chumps Susan Polger and Paul Truong posted only one other message. Four thousand posts over seven hundred and thirty days means that for two years someone was actually able to find five and one half things a day to say about chess! And many were obscene!
Okay, who among us in the throes of rutting sexual passion hasn’t shouted “Rook to queen seven! Mate! Mate!” But five times a day?
Please understand, I have nothing against Chess. From the moment Marco Polo brought it back from the Orient and pawned it off on the frail kids while he and his friends hogged the tobacco, right up to the invention of Electronic Hand Held Battleship, Chess has been the western world’s premier strategy game. No. My antagonism is not toward chess, but rather what these fanatical Fischers of Men would turn chess into. You see, the Truongs are from Texas.
Ring any bells? Rigging elections? Salacious gossip? Texas? I see Karl Rove’s hand in this. Clearly the chess board has become the next great battlefield in the war on terror. Once neo-con puppets Truong and Polger have control over Us Chafe, the game will begin to change. First, White will build a fence along its southern border. Next, Black’s pieces won’t have to be attacked at all. The random rook will just disappear from the game and turn up in an Afghan prison. The king won’t just rely on his own pieces; he will outsource various sets of squares to a bunch of privately contracted Parchesi pieces. Before long, Us Chafe will refuse to allow any other country’s chess set to have more than six pieces. They will threaten to bomb Candyland, because they have evidence that Lord Licorice is funneling IEDs through Lollipop Woods to the insurgents. The Game of Life will lose federal funding, because it refuses to designate a space for abstinence training. Sorry and Boggle will be declared an Axis of Evil. Lou Dobbs will go on a five day rant, because Uno is taking jobs away from good American card games. Then one day, Israel will bomb Chutes and Ladders, because its system of secret conveyence threatens to destabilize the balance of power in the region.
It is time for the Democrats in Congress to act! Let’s drag these spurious Spasskys into the light of day. Have Waxman get to the root of their actual intentions in time for the majority in Congress to pass a binding resolution of deep deep concern. If that doesn’t work–and it won’t–all I can suggest is that we move King’s Knight to Minneapolis Men’s Room and hope for the best.