"We have taken a difficult decision after many years of competition and wish our former opponents well. Should any teams desire to do so they will be welcomed with open arms into the Liberty Board Championships' inaugural event to be held in Miami in November of next year." Spokesperson Charlette Whuhihimes on behalf of the Board of US Grandmasters which is voluntarily dissolving post their final AGM in Chicago this weekend.
Tensions have been growing in the sport and the US Grandmaster's departure has been suggested in the sports pages of European and Asia-Pacific newspapers over the past three weeks. The decision has shocked many among in the usually staid sport's followers around the world.
"We don't play chess anymore," commented Taibi Bellos of Grand Rapids, Idaho. "The game's heritage is not something that can be ignored. We don't play games associated with terrorism or terrorist countries." Bellos, 54, held up a picture of the new Liberty Board at the launch of the World Liberty Board Association at a press conference in Chigaco's Hyatt Hotel.
WLBA's spokesman refused to answer any questions around rule variations or observations made by members of the media that there appeared to be the same number of squares on the Liberty Board as there were on the traditional chess set. Or respond to questions around the official colours of the Liberty pieces- red and blue rather than the customary black and white.
Aideen White, 74, snapped 'goddamn right' when a Swedish reporter asked her for her views on the origins of chess in Asia. "The Iranians are too chicken to play American football. Why should we play their games?"