Hangin outed

    It was on Tuesday, November 29th, 2005, during the first 15 minutes of the Fred Wilson’s Chess Fm show, that a dear friend and colleague inadvertently exposed my secret identity. Fred read Matt Traynor’s open letter about the recent Kramnik, Topalov and FIDE debacle. Now I know how outed CIA agent Valerie Plame felt when journalists Robert Novak and Judith Miller blew Valerie’s cover. I sat stunned when Fred Wilson uttered the following words: “I would like to read a letter that appeared in Chess Today on Sunday November 20th. It was written by Matt Traynor, who was Hangin on ICC." 

  Upon hearing these words I felt like I was kicked in the stomach. At first I tried to deny this claim. I was unsure how to deal with my secret identity being blown. I was unsure about how other super heroes could exist with their true identities being known. As far as I know, no super heroes’ cover has ever been blown. It has long been rumored that Superman is a mild mannered reporter for the Daily Planet and that Batman is a mild mannered, millionaire philanthropist.

     I’ve known for years the true identities of both Superman and Batman.  I could have been bitter and blown their secret identities. However, I decided to follow the lead of fellow award winning, journalist Bob Woodward, who decided to keep Valerie Plame’s identity a secret.  I could have continued to deny my secret identity, but I thought why not blaze a new trail and make it easier for other super heroes to come out of their closets and expose their true identities. 

    I knew that Valerie Plame was going to retire because her cover was blown. I also felt that I might have to retire from chess. However, I thought that even though my cover was blown, I could fall back on my super powers. I decided go to forward knowing that everyone knows that Chess Super Hero, Hangin is really mild mannered, cobol programmer Matt Traynor. 

   In a way my outing has lifted a huge weight off my shoulders. It has freed me. The words “Hangin, who disguised as mild mannered cobol programmer, will fight for truth, justice and the caissic way. How will the outings of my true identity affect the balance of power in the chess world? Well that remains to be seen.  The question now is whether or not the exposing of my secret identity will lead to a federal investigation. I doubt it, but it would not surprise me. Many have wondered if I was upset with my dear friend and colleague Fred Wilson. I can honestly say No. I was shocked, but I realize my outing was inadvertent.

   Besides agreeing with my letter in ChessToday, Fred Wilson said some very complimentary things about me. He said I have a good chess library and that I am a good chess player. Fred and I did play once at the Krush vs. Skripchenko match in New York City. Fred gave me a lesson, never to be forgotten. Fred paid me the greatest compliment, when he said, “Hangin is au gratin”.  At first I was confused by this statement, so I looked it up, as I am apt to do. Au Gratin – means to be covered with breadcrumbs and sometimes butter and grated cheese, and then browned in an oven. This is probably the nicest thing anyone has ever said about Hangin. This entire episode has taught me a very valuable lesson. It taught me to always stay grounded. Don’t worry,  I will continue my chess pursuits.


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Hangin - Chess Reporter
Hangin makes chess today - 11/20/2005
Valerie Plame affair - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plame_affair