Archive for July, 2014

Political correctness and female chess players

Hot on the heels of chess base’s report on a highly dubious piece of statistical analysis of female chess players – see here for the full story – xkcd’s Randall Munroe, normally so reliable, has weighed in with an equally spurious piece of statistical analysis complete with political correct drivel about the nature of ‘women’s chess’. You can see the cartoon here.

So, what has XKCD got wrong? Well, statistically he presents a graph which purports to show that there has been a big change in the strength of female players in recent years. But there are a couple of things wrong with it. Firstly Polgar is not a female player. She only plays open, has only ever played open. SHE does not consider herself to have anything in common with the other female players in the world, so I don’t particularly see why we should either – except that it makes the graph look good. Secondly, all active female players except the Polgars were awarded an additional 100 FIDE points each some years ago. Take those points away and, again, with the exception of Polgar, things don’t look so good. Award them retrospectively to all the non-active players who didn’t receive the bonus when it was dished out and again, things don’t look so good.

Anybody who would like to argue that Polgar should be on this list, she is, after all, female, should then look at the really woeful politically correct but completely ignorant diatribe by Randall that accompanies the statistics. He says:

For a long time, sexism, a lack of role models, and institutional hostility largely kept women from pursuing serious chess careers. With the expansion of women’s tournaments and prizes starting in the 1970s, this has begun to change.

WTF?! Honestly, take it from somebody who was in the game. Chess was NOT sexist! There was no institutional hostility. Far from it. As for the idea of promoting WOMEN’s tournaments, the whole rationale of which is that women are INFERIOR. Arrggghhhhhhh! How does Munroe possibly think that this is the way to make things change. Nothing demonstrates how much worse it is to have ‘women’s chess’ than the very fact that Polgar is the only one to become a real player and she is the only one to have refused to be a girl. She is the only one to make it, and she did so specially and only by boycotting the very tournaments that Munroe claims are making the difference he sees. She wanted to be a real chess player. Not one playing in the handicapped section, which is what women’s chess is. And note, that if, as presumably Munroe thinks, Polgar is a ‘role model’ not ONE of these other women followed her lead. NOT ONE! They have all explicitly announced their inferiority by playing in the sheltered tournaments for women. Women who aren’t by definition, apparently, able to cut it intellectually with the men.

RANDALL MUNROE, I am so very disappointed with you!

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July 10, 2014 at 8:16 am 1 comment


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