Barack Obama wins U.S. Presidency!

Barack Obama

Illinois Senator Barack Obama has been elected the 44th President of the United States of America handily defeating Arizona Senator John McCain. In this historic event, it turns the page in another chapter of Black history. Having only been declared eligible to vote in 1964, this is a historic moment resonating throughout the African Diaspora. While there is jubilation and hope, many challenges are ahead. These challenges were seen during the campaign when hate-filled rhetoric and hyperbole dominated segments of the campaign.

Despite much of the negativity, Obama ran a well-oiled campaign and raised an unprecedented amount of campaign money fueled by an online engine that included YouTube, Facebook, MySpace and countless blogs. What is interesting is that the campaign run by the Obama team resembled a chess game that was efficient, focused and powerful. The Senator from Illinois presented himself as a steady tactician and master strategist during the 21-month campaign. In one of the televised debates, Senator McCain reasoned that Obama didn’t know the difference between strategy and tactics. He was clearly wrong.

It is no surprise that Obama has supported chess initiatives and recently mentioned the success of the Harlem Children’s Zone. He may be the first President who may have spoken openly about the merits of chess. If this is any indication of the support chess will receive by the Obama administration, then the United States Chess Federation needs to leverage this support into tangible programs to promote chess and education.

Congratulations Barack Obama!

Senator Barack Obama on the Harlem Children’s Zone


  1. The laudatory wave has already begun around the world celebrates the victory of Senator Barack Obama. Following is an e-mail I have received from GM Maurice Ashley. It was an touching exchange between he and GM Dmitry Gurevich who gave praise to both Obama and Ashley.

    Dear Maurice,

    Yesterday was a great day for those who believe in the American Dream! And one of the true elements of this dream is that your talent and intelligence is more important than your race and origin.

    And then I thought about you. Like Barack Obama yesterday you made history 9 years ago by becoming first African-American chess Grandmaster!

    Perhaps you had to overcome different kind of odds. Most of chess GMs in United States came from the former Soviet Union. We had on our side tradition, supports of our families and friends and later the Government of the country. But Maurice, you had to rely on your own!

    We know, that perhaps becoming a Grandmaster is no less difficult than becoming a successful University professor and prominent politician.

    It’s possible, if you had chosen a different path in your life you could become a president of the United States.

    But who knows, maybe it’s still time? ๐Ÿ™‚

    All the best!


    Here is my response:


    That is one of the nicest emails I can remember receiving in my whole life! I can always remember how nice you have been to me in my career, particularly the low points when you encouraged me by saying not to chase norms but to simply get better and the rest will take care of itself. Those words of encouragement meant a lot to me; I have repeated them often to others (while referencing you, of course). You never know how your words will touch another. You have indeed touched me again today. Thank you. In the spirit of the age I will share them with the wider community of players. We can all come together in this new time.

    By the way, I was born in Jamaica so the US presidency was never in the cards. But I have always believed that all things are possible, and that race (or anything else) should never stand in oneโ€™s way. Success is earned through hard work, effort, and the kindness of those we meet along the way.

    Sincerest thanks,


  2. Hail to our new Chief! Please everyone let us remember him in our prayers of protection and guidance. He has quite a job ahead of him.


  3. Now he has to make sure Iran also gets the nuclear weapon like Israel and USA itself.He has to stop Israel expanding insifde the legal country of Palestine and withdraw troops from Iran and Afghanistan and stop preaching a fake terror war and that will be real change.

  4. I have been hearing people assert that the racial barrier is smashed. In fact such a notion was placed on the front of the November 5th New York Times. On the contrary, race is still a very powerful determinant of a social order in America. To believe that all problems are solved because Barack Obama was elected President, is naive indeed. Are we saying that we needed this election to make this determination? If it were really true, it would have been evident before his election. It was not and is not.

    Black men will remain victims of racial profiling, police brutality, still be carted into jails at alarming rates and will struggle to find jobs. These are not excuses for failure, but reality. The idea that anyone can excel if they have talent and intelligent is an old argument, but it’s certainly not completely accurate. In this society, there is still racial exclusion and even Obama would have had problems getting a cab 21 months ago. However, the spotlight was on America and there was a realization that this society would be ridiculed if they choose someone other than a man who is eminently-qualified for the position.

    I believe Obama will provide a model of a strong, resolute, sharp and honorable man. There are many like him (some even sharper), but why have we not seen them? Obama has been on the scene for years and those of us in the Black community knew about him, but most seem to believe he appeared out of thin air. It is an indictment on the way the U.S. media portrays the Black male. There are so many positive stories being missed. The image of Obama family breaks so many stereotypes that it will have an immeasurable impact on the perception Blacks have of themselves and others have of them. Let’s hope for the best.

  5. Obama’s election is a wonderful day for America and indeed the entire world. I have long been a supporter of his (in his successful run for the U.S. Senate, and now the presidency). I have also been a zealous opponent of the current president, who is undoubtedly the worst president in history. For over a year and a half, I wrote a blog called BeatBushBlog. It’s still at but, having failed to beat Bush, I stopped posting in April 2005.

    This campaign has really opened my eyes to the issue of white privilege. There’s a great essay on that subject at It blows my mind that the same people who thought Dubya was perfectly qualified to be president, and think Sarah Palin is too, think Obama is not. Indeed, the Republicans even managed to turn Obama’s considerable plusses into minuses. Obama never talked about being a graduate of Columbia University, and President of the Harvard Law Review no less, because that would have fed into the “elitist” meme. (Bush being a C student, McCain being in the bottom 1% of his college class, and Palin taking six years to get a bachelor’s degree apparently show how “un-elitist” they are.) McCain transformed the fact that Obama is loved by millions of people around the world into him being a “celebrity” like Paris and Britney; apparently the president is supposed to be hated around the world, as Bush is. And then McCain, having attacked Obama for his “celebrity” and inexperience, selected Palin as his running mate, an ex-beauty queen so vacuous that she reportedly thought Africa was a country, not a continent – . And I guarantee you that if Michelle Obama, rather than Cindy McCain, had become a drug addict and stolen drugs from the charity she ran (see ) , you would heard of that a thousand times and people would have been demanding to know why she wasn’t in jail. The double standard is amazing.

  6. Fred,

    It was a heavily-contested election with so many twists, turns and contradictions. All of the things you said were well noted. However, all those issues will be chronicled in countless books and it should make for interesting reading. I believe people will be amazed once they sit back and reflect on the entire 21-month campaign. Amazed at how well Obama ran his campaign, but also amazed that John McCain and Sarah Palin got 47% of the popular vote.

  7. More like 46%, but yes, it is a mystery to me how they got that much. As you know, I’m a white guy, and I am puzzled by what reason, other than race, would motivate someone to vote for McCain-Palin over Obama-Biden. As best I can figure it out, part of it is overt racism (my mother-in-law, for instance), part latent racism (people who think they’re not racist, but unconsciously set the bar at very different places for whites and blacks), part single-issue voters (McCain and Palin love the unborn!; Obama doesn’t!), and part of it is people who live in a Faux News alternate universe where they are fed (and unquestioningly swallow) bizarre reasons that they must vote against the Democratic candidate and for the Republican candidate (Bill Ayers! Reverend Wright! ACORN!).

  8. I suppose one could also, taking the “glass half full” perspective, argue that the election results show that most people are not racist. I haven’t seen the final numbers (and even those are fallible, since some people lie to pollsters and say they voted for the winning candidate even if they didn’t), but projections before the election were that Obama was going to get a larger percentage of the white vote than any Democratic candidate since Carter in 1976. I think, though, that given how (deservedly) wildly unpopular Bush is (a record-low 20% approval rating in one recent poll), and how closely McCain is tied to Bush, that had race not been a factor, Obama would have won a popular vote blowout (over 60%). I also think that some of the McCain-Palin attacks on Obama were thinly veiled racism (he’s scary; he’s different from us; he pals around with terrorists; we don’t really know who he is) that one wouldn’t have seen directed at a white candidate. Thankfully, a majority of the electorate saw through that sleazy nonsense
    It is true, though, that the Republicans have been so successful at demonizing Democrats that in many states a majority of the people will vote for almost any Republican presidential candidate over almost any Democratic candidate, irrespective of race. See Thomas Frank’s book What’s the Matter with Kansas?

  9. Congratulations people of color…you just broke through the glass ceiling!

    As chess players, we have many role models that have clearly demonstrated to us that there are no legitimate excuses before the Goddess Caissa and the truth of the 64 squares….now the rest of the world can toss their excuses for not living to their fullest potential aside and BE!

    My tears today are for those stalwarts who did not live to see the fullest fruits of their labors….

  10. Where can I find info on Baracks chess game. I heard he was an avid chess player and getting more involvement amoung the youth with chess in Chicago. Anyone know anymore info?


  11. The election of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States of America is indeed a major milestone on the issue of race. Let’s be clear, there is no more powerful position in the world than US President, and a black man will soon have that position. That’s why my 83 year old African American mother, and her 89 year old sister were all but incoherent with emotion when the networks started calling the Obama victory at 11PM eastern.

    Of course his victory does not mean that racially discriminatory behavior is now extinct in the US. It does mean, however, that it has been conclusively demonstrated that it is possible for an individual of any background, to map a path to any goal in this nation… and achieve that goal.

  12. Daaim this Barack this Barrack that is a wait and see game. Do we have a thread on Kamsky – Topalov?I would welcome that

  13. Here is the real deal on America–

    Every time we do something you tell me America will do this and will do that . . . I want to tell you something very clear: Don’t worry about American pressure on Israel. We, the Jewish people, control America, and the Americans know it.” – Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, October 3, 2001

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