Is Barron Trump a chess grandmaster? Internet wishes 'certified' player on 15th birthday based on bogus claim
Former president Donald Trump's only son with Melania Trump, Barron, is celebrating his fifteenth birthday. Many took to social media to wish the youngest child in the Trump family while lauding his skills in the game of chess. Rumors have long persisted about Barron being an expert chess player. But is it true? Is Barron Trump an actual chess grandmaster?
According to Snopes, the rumor that Barron was awarded the title of Chess Grandmaster, first started circulating in mid-October 2018, when many social media accounts echoed the claim. Some of the tweets also included other outlandish facts -- that Barron Trump had an IQ of 146, that Donald Trump himself had studied chess under leged Bobby Fischer and was himself a celebrated chess player, and more.
As such, many took to repeating these claims about Barron's chess skills when they took to wishing him a happy birthday on social media. One user wrote, "@insectshelf3 Barron has more intelligence than his dad the former guy; the Kid’s got spunk and a world known chess ♟ master." Another tweeted, "Our former First Lady was a class act. Barron Trump was speaking fluent Slovenian and French at age 3. He now speaks 5 languages and is a chess master. The young Trump is being raised by MelaniaTrump, not a nanny... #sundayvibes #SundayMorning." One user tweeted, "Can we wish Barron a Happy Birthday? 15 and a certified chess-master!"
Our former First Lady was a class act. Barron Trump was speaking fluent Slovenian and French at age 3. He now speaks 5 languages and is a chess master. The young Trump is being raised by MelaniaTrump, not a nanny...#sundayvibes#SundayMorning pic.twitter.com/WUTwpVdF24— Michael Nöthem (@mikandynothem) March 14, 2021
Can we wish Barron a Happy Birthday? 15 and a certified chess-master! pic.twitter.com/Jlqy0yddB8— Dongald Trunk (@DongaldTrunk) March 20, 2021
However, Snopes notes that the claim that Barron Trump was awarded the title of Chess Grandmaster first came up in a satirical article from The Daily Chronicle in October 2017. The article in question is now defunct, but the claim continues to make its rounds on the Internet.
According to Snopes, the article had stated, "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."
The article also stated, "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."
Snopes also "double-checked" the World Chess Federation's database of over 1600 Chess Grandmasters and confirmed that Barron Trump was not listed among them.
Snopes also notes that had Barron been awarded the title for real in 2017, it would have been newsworthy, not just because he was the son of a sitting president at the time. He would also have been the youngest person to ever achieve that honor. However, that record is still held by Sergey Karjakin, who was awarded the title in 2003 when he was 12 years and seven months old.