The world chess federation has barred all trans women from competing in all-female tournaments Over ‘unfair advantage’ concerns over ‘unfair advantage’ concerns.
The International Chess Federation (FIDE), the world chess federation has issued new guidelines stating that any player who has transitioned from male to female ‘has no right to participate in official FIDE events for women’ until further analysis is completed, which could take up to two years.
The decision, which was announced on Monday and will take effect on August 21, has sparked outrage among supporters of trans rights, who have labelled it “pure bigotry and persecution,” while others have termed it “offensive to women.”
Trans players will still be allowed to compete in open tournaments, but not in female-only competitions, which were developed to encourage more women to join the sport.
Angela Eagle, the Labour MP for Wallasey, wrote: “There is no physical advantage in chess unless you believe men are inherently more able to play than women – I spent my chess career being told women’s brains were smaller than men’s & we shouldn’t even be playing – This ban is ridiculous & offensive to women.”
Katy Montgomerie reacted to the rule change angrily, tweeting: “In banning trans women from chess the insane anti-trans lobby has fully revealed their hand.
“They don’t just believe that sex is a non-material immutable binary, they also think that women are intellectually inferior. Which is what we’ve been saying they believe from the start.”
Trans player Yosha Iglesias, who is recognized as female by FIDE, called the federation’s decision “heartbreaking.”
The 35-year-old from France told The Times: “There’s no biological advantage whatsoever. It’s not about biology, it’s about sociology, psychology and it’s about sexism, it’s about aggression [from FIDE].
“They say they are not against trans people, they are fighting to protect women’s sport, even though they don’t care at all about women’s sport.”
Iglesias also tweeted: “So FIDE just published (yesterday) a list of anti-trans regulations, like it was ‘the biggest threat of women in chess.”
“Can someone tell me what qualifies as an official FIDE event? Will I be allowed to play in the French Championship in 3 days? The European Club Cup in September?”
She later wrote: “If you want to help women in chess, fight sexist and sexual violence, give women in chess more visibility and more money.
“Don’t use trans women players as scapegoats. We contribute to the development of women in chess. We are women in chess.”
India Willoughby, a transgender journalist, tweeted: “This is insane. Trans women were banned from playing women’s CHESS by the International Chess Federation. Pure bigotry and persecution. How can you justify this @FIDE_chess?”
The National Center for Transgender Equality wrote: “Really? Chess? This is so insulting to cis women, to trans women, and to the game itself. It assumes that cis women couldn’t be competitive against cis men – and relies on ignorant anti-trans ideas.”