Chess master blasts the ABC for ‘wasting taxpayer money’ in debate about whether the game is racist

ABC asks listeners to consider if chess is RACIST because white goes first – and the extraordinary question they asked a champion about the rules

  • ABC preparing to hold a radio debate about whether the game of chess is racist 
  • A former Australian chess representative refused to be part of the discussion
  • He says it’s an ‘irrelevant topic’ with all the problems that are facing the world
  • Social media users have also criticised the idea calling it a waste of tax money

A former member of the Australian Chess Federation has blasted the ABC for preparing to hold a debate about whether the game is racist.

John Adams says ABC is wasting tax payer money by holding radio debate about whether chess is racist

John Adams, 38, claims a radio producer from the publicly-funded broadcaster phoned to ask if he would take part in Wednesday’s discussion focusing on why the white side always gets to go first under the rules of the strategy game.

Astonished by the request, Mr Adams took to Twitter shortly after to scold the ABC for wasting taxpayer’s money on ‘irrelevant topics!’

‘The ABC have taken the view that chess is RACIST given that white always goes first!’ he posted.

‘They are seeking comment from a chess official as to whether the rules of chess need to be altered!

‘Trust the taxpayer funded national broadcaster to apply ideological Marxist frameworks to anything and everything in Australia!’

Issues regarding racial inequality have been thrust into the spotlight since the death of African-American man George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police in May.

Two men are pictured in Sydney's Hyde Park rugged up and enjoying a game of chess during a frosty winter's day

Two men are pictured in Sydney’s Hyde Park rugged up and enjoying a game of chess during a frosty winter’s day

The shocking incident triggered mass protests across the globe and has even sparked calls for statues of historic figures to be torn down if they’ve been linked to racism.

But Mr Adams says bringing the game of chess into discussions of structural racism is a bridge too far.

‘With all the drama resulting from COVID-19, I am amazed that the ABC is broadcasting on irrelevant topics!’ he said.

Hundreds of outraged Twitter users also took aim at the public broadcaster for entertaining the idea that the strategy game is racist.

‘People want the national broadcaster to focus on bigger issues. People are struggling with the economy, with their health, with the lockdown. They don’t want their money wasted on bulls**t,’ one person wrote.

Another said: ‘The ABC are perpetuating this cancel culture.’

‘The only thing I’m surprised about is this call didn’t happen in the USA … It’s time to stop giving oxygen to this bulls**t,’ others added.

The ABC is set to host a radio debate about the racial undertones of chess on James Valentine's afternoon program on Wednesday

The ABC is set to host a radio debate about the racial undertones of chess on James Valentine’s afternoon program on Wednesday

While Mr Adams has refused to take part in the debate, Australian chess expert Kevin Bonham is set to discuss the matter on James Valentine’s afternoon program on ABC Sydney.

‘The funny thing is that at social to even lower club level, having white or black makes zero difference to average results,’ he said.

‘The advantage starts kicking in around middling club level and becomes stronger at the highest levels.’