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The Strange Politics of Peter Thiel, Trump’s Most Unlikely Supporter

The Republican Party’s new trade-loving, free-thinking, gay, Christian, antiwar, rich-as-hell, naturalized-citizen, Silicon Valley hero.

When Peter Thiel has the first move in a chess game, he lifts his e2 pawn, the fifth from the left and the one directly in front of his king, and advances it two spaces. It’s an aggressive tactic, putting the bishop and queen into play, which is why Thiel likes it.

The king’s pawn, as it’s known, was the preferred opening by the American chess grandmaster Bobby Fischer. And even though Thiel considers the move more perilous than another popular opening, the queen’s pawn, he’s made it his go-to. “It’s the attacking move,” he explained last year. “If you’re short of world champion level, I always enjoy increasing the risk involved and the volatility of the game.” The comments, made at an event at George Mason University, were revealing. If you’re a few rungs down from the biggest players, he seemed to be saying, it doesn’t hurt to create a bit of chaos.