Bono recently met one of the all-time great chess masters in Dublin, Garry Kasparov, and talks about the visit in a letter that was posted today on Kasparov’s election website.
Yep. He’s running for President of FIDE, the World Chess Federation.
And in the letter, Bono expresses his support for Kasparov to get the position, while also reminiscing about his own chess-playing dreams as a child in Dublin:
I met the great man recently in Dublin, and heard he was running for President of FIDE. I can’t think of a more luminous mind to take that position. I became a child again in his company. I badgered him about the titanic match of 1984 between himself and Karpov – while all he wanted to talk about was Ireland and sub-Saharan Africa. Looking back, the arrival of puberty and learning to play the guitar may have hampered my dexterity in the game. It is not like riding a bike, I have recently discovered. But sitting there in the Clarence across the table from Garry Kasparov, inside my head I found myself rattling through my game-plan, my opening strategy, and calculating just how many moves I could hold out before his check-mate. Three.
The two must’ve met in late March; the Irish Chess Union says the visit happened from March 28-30.
Bono and Kasparov have been linked before: In 1993, then-U2 manager Paul McGuinness reportedly bid £15,000 at a charity auction in London and won a match against world chess champion Gary Kasparov — a match that he said he would pass to Bono. It was never reported whether or not that match ever happened, making it one of the great U2-related mysteries.
But, based on Bono’s words, I’m betting the match didn’t take place. He would’ve written about it if it had.
(Photo by Francesca and used via Creative Commons licensing.)