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An Elitist Game?

User Rating: / 11
Written by Administrator   
Friday, 13 September 2013
By GM Daniel Gormally

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The Woman's World Championship has just started, with Hou Yifan taking on the reigning champion, Anna Ushenina.

On paper this is a bit of a mismatch, but Ushenina is underrated, as she won a big knockout to get the title. Hou Yifan won the first game with Black, after being under pressure in the opening, while the second game was a rather dull draw. It does seem likely that Yifan will regain her title, but the reality is she's some way short of the male elite.

Judit Polgar of course blazed the trail for women's players, and the fact they are playing for big money these days in the girls events is mostly down to her, but it's a shame that she remains a class apart from any woman before or since. I don't see anyone coming behind Yifan who can challenge the guys.

The reality is that chess remains more or less an exclusively male event. No wonder it's so hard for chessplayers to get a girlfriend. You have little chance of getting anyone unless you are rated over 2700, especially if you look like me

It's quite depressing how few girls there are in chess, especially in England. It's easy to say get into schools and encourage girls to play, but in fact plenty of younger girls tend to play in chess clubs at school, but then give up when they become interested in boys and make-up. Also the peer pressure of chess not being considered a cool game by their friends doesn't help.

It's even worse when you think of ethnic minorities. Sabrina Chevannes, who is of mixed-race origin, recently made a woman grandmaster norm, which is great, but I can't think of a single young black male who plays chess to a high level in this country. That's a sad fact.
WIM-elect Sabrina Chevannes

Again it may be peer pressure, but we should get into schools in poorer regions and get these kids playing. The two goals for English chess should be more ethnic minorities and girls playing, not just private school white boys.

GM Daniel Gormally is open for chess lessons. You can contact him using this This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Other posts by GM Danny Gormally:

Does hard work in chess pay off?
World Cup Final preview
World Chess Cup Semi-Final preview
World Chess Cup Quarter-Final preview
World Chess Cup 1/8-final preview
Why are Russians so good at chess?
British Champs-2013
Ghent and now the British
I'll never be fat again!
Lessons learnt!
The sad case of Borislav Ivanov: Part II
Does Anyone Have a Cure for Anger Problems?
The Depth of Chess
Fundraising in chess
Nurturing a Chess Prodigy
The Sad Case of Borislav Ivanov
4NCL Impressions: no country for old men - Part II
4NCL Impressions: no country for old men
One move, one line - Part II
One move, one line
Candidates Final Review & Preview of Upcoming World Championship Match
Would Carlsen have beaten Capablanca?

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Comments (4)
1. Written by O_x on 07:28 13 2013 .
...Mariam Mansur and the Dedijer sisters are like currently the hot ones. Too bad, theyre already famous on fb and internet :p
2. Written by This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it on 22:46 13 2013 .
"...the reality is she's some way short of the male elite." - Rubbish! 
Hou Yifan is only 19 yrs old and may still reach "the male elite" strength. Moreover, his inference is that Yifan will beat Ushenina.  
If the media supported women's chess like they support men's chess there would be more women in chess.
3. Written by This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it on 00:07 16 2013 .
Fascinating. You should get back on Facebook to share this kind of insight with the adoring masses mate :)
4. Written by O_x on 15:39 16 2013 .
TM (troll master)
Guys! guys... Say no more. 
What say U settle this like man-to-man & chess-to-chess...?! Aye? :x 
we cant wait to see the match.! :eek 
its. . .! 
FM James VS GM Gormally  

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Last Updated ( Friday, 13 September 2013 )
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