Is chess really more complicated than checkers

Women and chess - chess connoisseur: "Women don't play worse than men"

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The successful Netflix miniseries “The Queen's Gambit” is dedicated to chess - and a woman who dominates male players. In reality, there is only one woman in the top 100 chess cracks. One reason for this is probably that far fewer women play chess than men, says Christine Zoppas from the chess association.

SRF News: Is the movie phenomenon that women can beat men at chess a pure fiction?

Christine Zoppas: It happens again and again that women beat men in chess. In fact, the chance for a woman is smaller than for a man to play among the top people at the forefront.

Can women play bad chess?

No. You can't say in general that women play worse than men. One reason, however, is certainly that far fewer women than men play chess at all.

Only four percent of the members in the world's chess clubs are women.

Currently, only around four percent of chess club members worldwide are women. 96 percent are men. In Switzerland, around 14 percent of the under 14-year-olds are girls, but the proportion of girls and young women is falling drastically among older people.

Why is that?

If you only knew ... At least: We have set up a working group that tries to find out why so many girls stop playing chess. Possible reasons could be that they no longer like to play with the boys when they get a little older or that they attach more importance to education than chess.

There are special women's chess tournaments for the youngsters. Does this make sense?

Many girls would certainly prefer to play among their own kind - but others would much rather compete against boys in tournaments. But it makes sense to offer the girls their own platform on which they can measure themselves against each other.

There are very different opinions in our association.

One argument against special chess tournaments for women is that the level there is much lower, so women have to train much less to do well - so they hardly reach a top level compared to men. Would you agree with that?

I understand this reasoning very well. However, the question arises as to when you weaken the girls because you let them play among you - and when you strengthen them when you let them play with the boys. This discussion is going on and there are very different opinions about it - also in our association.

Will girls and women one day be able to keep up consistently with the best boys and men?

I don't know whether it will come to that. However, I strongly hope that we can strengthen the girls' base so that one day it will come to that.

The interview was conducted by Isabelle Maissen.

SRF 4 News from December 7th, 2020, 6.45 a.m. srf / snep; gfem

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  • Commentary by Roger Ebischer (RO.Ebi)
    For a long time I have had the feeling that the women who take up such topics only reinforce the gender roles. At some point this topic has become ridiculous, so that the important topics are no longer taken seriously! It's a shame, because women are on par in most issues if they put in the same amount of effort - the men know that too. What sets us apart is the body and maybe the approach.
    Agree agree to the comment
    1. answer from Takeshi Kovacs (Envoy)
      Counterpoint: This topic is taken up everywhere, because unfortunately it is present everywhere. A lot of feminism has to do with expectations and possibilities, not ability.
      It's just uncomfortable that you read about it every day, but as long as these problems don't go away, it stays that way. Ignoring, looking away and staying silent has been tried long enough now :)
      Women have only been able to vote anywhere since 1971. which is an absolute shame for me as GenZ. Ugh, my dear CH.
      Agree agree to the comment
    2. Show answers
  • Comment from Daniel Bucher (DE)
    Man or woman can talk about everything nicely. Obviously men are better at chess after all. Then you can say it. Since it's not about physical strength, the best woman could compete against one of the best men and you can see who does it better. Is this a problem? A world chess champion should be the best, whether man or woman. There is no need for a separate category, otherwise a third category would have to be created for divers. The title would be worthless.
    Agree agree to the comment
    1. answer from Takeshi Kovacs (Envoy)
      Men have always had time to play chess. In relative terms, the average woman has not had the chance to do what she wants for very long.
      Because while the men were playing chess, the women had to clean, take care of the children, cook and not think too much.
      "The wife belongs in the house", "If a woman feels the need to get involved in politics, she can express her opinion indirectly through the husband" Arguments against Women's Suffrage, 1971.
      Agree agree to the comment
    2. Show answers
  • Comment from Alex Gilomen (PeacefulHawk)
    I'm also not that good at plaiting, knitting, sewing, decorating, etc. like most women I know. I never do these things because they don't interest me.
    That is neither good nor bad. I'm also miserable at chess, because I never do that either.
    We can now also complain that so many women are better at dancing and that it shouldn't be because of headlines.

    Let the genders do what they like to do.
    Agree agree to the comment

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