Dirk Jan ten Geuzendam (Editor of NIC which published Short’s article) & Nigel Short
Shelby Lyman on Chess: ‘I Have Faced It All My Career’
Column c2236 for release June 8
Sunday, June 14, 2015
(Published in print: Sunday, June 14, 2015)
Sexism refers to the discriminatory notion, and practice, that one gender is inferior to the other. It is ubiquitous in patriarchal societies such as ours.
Competitive chess, in which there is a direct and prolonged mental and physical confrontation between the sexes, often lasting four or five hours, is fertile ground for the phenomenon.
During the late ’80s, I watched a prominent grandmaster sweep the board after losing to a woman player. Strong women players were a rarity at the time,
A New York University student told me of a similar incident that occurred after she had won a casual game from a male student in the school’s rathskeller during the same decade. It is likely that it was not the beer he had been drinking, but the divine nectar of male superiority that had led to that very “masculine” display.
Her interest in chess waned after the incident.
Interviewed by Leon Watson in the English newspaper theTelegraph, Sabrina Chevannes, a British women’s international master, describes her experience as a woman chess player: “Chess definitely has a problem with sexism, I have faced it all my career.”
She told Watson that women players face constant sexual jokes and insults during tournaments and, as a result, many drop out.
“I’ve been asked if I want to play in the junior section,” Chevannes told Watson. “I’ve even had men refuse to believe I’m there to play.”
Full article here.