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Ladies/Girls Chess - Mike Scott - 05-09-2013

Is there a CS director with specific responsibilities for promoting/looking after ladies/girls chess?

While I am against the blatant sex discrimination that happens in chess, as the increased opportunities girls have over boys is unfair and has not worked, I am obviously not against what it is trying to do i.e. increase the number of female players. Clearly increased numbers of players is in itself a good thing but I suspect also that to achieve it one needs to improve some aspects of the way chess is played (less BO?) and that will in itself attract others. What those 'aspects' are is the million dollar question and needs I think someone dedicated to finding the answer.


Re: Ladies/Girls Chess - FPetrie - 10-09-2013

Morven Petrie here, i've lost my log in details so i am currently using my mums account.

At which point Mike, have you seen the increased opportunities for girls over boys? At every tournament i have been at, which is a lot over the years, i have seen many more chances for boys. Yes girls get there own tournament, but may i point out the fact at every single tournament girls are outnumbered by boys by quite an amount. It can be quite daunting for a female in this position. If females were treated equally by certain people, not naming names, then maybe we would not need a separate tournament.


Re: Ladies/Girls Chess - Andrew McHarg - 10-09-2013

How are there "many more chances for boys"? I disagree - a boy of equal strength to a girl in a Chess tournament is significantly less likely to win a prize than the girl (if there is a top girl prize on offer). Surely - therefore - it's the other way around?

That there are many more boys playing Chess is more a reflection on the social norm of Chess being a game that is more likely to interest boys than it is to do with girls not having the opportunity to play it. Awarding prizes specifically for female players is trying to give an added incentive for girl players to take part, when really the only incentive required is a love for the game. Girls are not inherently disadvantaged as far as their ability is concerned, only by the social constraints that are deeply embedded within our culture and our society that they themselves actively participate in creating. If girls don't have that love to the same extent as boys (on average), then I hardly think a female-only prize is likely to change much. And this is backed up by the fact that even despite offering female prizes very few female players play Chess.

I'm all for getting more girls playing Chess, just as I'm all for getting more boys playing Chess. But the reason for the gender imbalance has far more to do with choice than opportunity.


Re: Ladies/Girls Chess - FPetrie - 10-09-2013

Andrew I haven't played a lot of events for a while but I'm not aware of a significant number offering girls prizes. therefore I don't think the argument that girls are more likely to win prizes is correct.
I agree that the main reason to play should be love of chess, not gender based prizes, most girls would agree, however the point Morven made is valid, over the number of years I have played, I have experienced a number of negative comments if I have beaten stronger players, and not because I was a lower grade, every comment has been about my being female, while this seems to happen less now there are still a number of players who think it ok to disparage, and discourage female participation. I have heard recently a young boy being praised for beating an adult significantly higher graded, but when same player was beaten by a girl, she was greeted with the comment - you were lucky, until this stops completely there will still be a need for 'girl only' events where girls can relax and focus on the love of the game and not feel they are constantly being judged on their gender


Re: Ladies/Girls Chess - Andrew McHarg - 10-09-2013

Well I agree with that, but I don't think it's something specific to Chess, and therefore not something that Chess organisers can really fix themselves. Everyone involved needs to consider how they treat their fellow players, irrespective of gender. I certainly think Keti is a strong role model for girls in Scotland and clearly demonstrates what can be achieved if one sticks at the game.

In fact, Keti is a prime example of exactly why girl-specific prizes and whatnot are simply not required. I'd even go as far as to say that such prizes are demeaning and condescending to girls, because they are suggestive that girls can't compete with boys and so need their own sets of prizes and titles to make them feel special. Equality should mean equality. What we have isn't equality.


Re: Ladies/Girls Chess - HelenMilligan - 11-09-2013

The rewards for girls who do play chess are pretty generous, it seems to me (as a major exploiter of the opportunities, over the years). I was always a couple of hundred points weaker than the boys/men my age and yet got the opportunity to go to various junior (girls) events, European Women's team events, Olympiads, women's norm events... not to mention being allowed to play in events such as the British Championship, purely on the basis of being female (I've never been strong enough to qualify as a male). I've also been able to take advantage of reduced or zero entry fees in tournaments, based on my purely female wfm title (I am also a CM but that doesn't get you a lot!). I'm all for women's equality but I'd be a hypocrite to claim I've lived my chess life by that rule. Even now I get to play in Women's Senior events. Special treatment? Indeed. And if that doesn't persuade girls to play then I don't know what will. Women are capable of being equal at chess. I don't have, or need, a wBSc and a wPhD (such things were on offer about 150 years ago...).