In mid-October 2018, dozens of social media
accounts started circulating the claim that Barron Trump, the youngest son of President
Donald Trump, had been awarded the title of Chess Grandmaster:
The tweets pushing this rumor also made several other outlandish claims: Some held that Barron
Trump had an IQ of 146; others maintained that Barron’s father Donald Trump studied
under chess legend Bobby Fischer and was himself one of the most celebrated chess players of
all time. Many of these tweets were also accompanied by the accusation that the mainstream news
media was ignoring the many chess-related accomplishments of the Trump family.
While it’s true that mainstream news has largely ignored these stories, that circumstance
isn’t due to any perceived bias. These reports were left uncovered for the simple fact that
they were untrue. The claim that Barron Trump was awarded the
tile of Chess Grandmaster stemmed from an October 2017 satirical article published on
the web site The Daily Chronicle: Everyone knows Barron Trump is the smartest
President’s kid ever. Or should we call him First Son?
Either way, Barron has been awarded the prestigious title of Chess Grandmaster this week from
the International Board of Chessmasters … This should be no surprise considering who
is father is. Donald Trump is one of the highest ranked and most celebrated American chess
players of all time. In the 1970s and 80s, Donald Trump studied
under the tutelage of players like Bobby Fischer. Eventually, he won hundreds of chess tournaments
abroad before retiring at the ripe old age of 40.
Although the Daily Chronicle website states that they are “All About The Facts, Not
Feelings” on their About page, they acknowledge that they publish satirical content in their
privacy disclaimer. We double-checked anyway and found that Barron
Trump was not listed among the 1600+ Chess Grandmasters in the World Chess Federation’s
database. If Barron Trump were truly awarded such a
title at the age of 11, it would have been newsworthy not only because he is the son
of a president, but also because he would have been the youngest person to ever achieve
that honor. Sergey Karjakin holds the record for youngest Chess Grandmaster, having been
awarded the title in 2003 at the age of 12 years and 7 months.