ABC to discuss chess ‘racism’ because white goes first

A former Australian chess representative has blasted the ABC for wasting taxpayer's money on "bullshit" as a Sydney radio show prepares to discuss if the game is racist.

John Adams, 38, received a phone call from an ABC radio producer on Tuesday afternoon about a segment for James Valentine's afternoon program on ABC Sydney on Wednesday.

The economist, and former Australian Chess Federation representative, was mystified by the request during the health pandemic and its economic fallout.

"They called me up and asked whether I was the John Adams involved in chess. Then they said with everything going on, they wanted to have a conversation about white going first - and the racial context of whether white should go first," he said.

"I said I'm no longer involved but I passed them along to another person."

He then posted about the bizarre call on Twitter, which attracted hundreds of retweets and comments.

"The response to the tweet showed that common sense is prevailing. 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 bullshit."

James Valentine, saxophonist and ABC 702 presenter at Camelot, Marrickville.
James Valentine, saxophonist and ABC 702 presenter at Camelot, Marrickville.

In his place, Kevin Bonham, a chess expert, will appear on the show.

Mr Bonham said there would be serious implications in elite-level chess if white is not allowed to go first.

"There are complex patterns that require white to move first," he said.

"At the casual and club level, it does not matter which colour starts the game."

The ABC has been contacted for comment.

 

 

Originally published as ABC to discuss chess 'racism' because white goes first


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