Did Donald Trump insult the U.S. chess community with recent comments in Pennsylvania?
One of Donald Trump’s signature lines at rallies has been that the United States doesn’t win any more. "Folks, we don't win anymore, right?" he said in June in an event in the Woodlands, Texas. "We don't win anymore. We don't win! We don't win on anything."
More recently, during an Oct. 10 rally in Ambridge, Pa., Trump offered a variation on that theme -- and the U.S. chess community wasn’t happy about his remarks.
Trump was in the midst of criticizing international trade agreements, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership. He said he supports the idea of bilateral agreements, saying that such deals would make it possible for the United States to threaten to withdraw, then renegotiate on more favorable terms before the agreement expired.
Trump went on to say that with multilateral pacts like the TPP, "you can't terminate -- there's too many people, you go crazy. It's like you have to be a grand chess master. And we don't have any of them." (You can see it here, around the 19:45 mark.)
Trump’s statement sounded wrong to us. The Trump campaign did not respond to an inquiry, but as it turns out, it is wrong. In fact, the comment provoked anger and ridicule within the chess community, which knows that the United States is currently on a roll in international competition.