Friday, October 30, 2009


Grandmaster Obama

This is fun-ee!

The World Chess Federation today announced that Barack Obama had become the world chess champion, nudging aside former undisputed champion Viswanathan Anand of India.

The news surprised some in the chess world, because Obama has never participated in tournament play. But FIDE officials said they felt certain Obama could become world champion if he ever decided to try.

Others were less surprised. Hungarian grandmaster Judit Polgar noted the world championship is just the latest in a string of triumphs for the American president. She cited his receipt two years ago of the Nobel Peace Prize. That award — for which Obama was nominated just a few weeks into his presidency, and a mere five years after he held the title of state senator in Illinois — was only the first in a series of accolades to come his way.

It was followed several months later when the International Mathematical Union bestowed on Obama the Fields Medal, often referred to as the Nobel Prize of Mathematics. The Fields is supposed to be given to individuals not over 40 years of age. The prize committee decided to waive the requirement, said the IMU's László Lovász, because some members had seen a "60 Minutes" interview in which Obama had done a rough percentage calculation in his head, and were impressed.

Read the rest here.

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