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Checkmate! ‘No cleavage’ dress code makes chess tournaments less sexy than ever
PUBLISHED: 08:09 EST, 9 March 2012 | UPDATED: 08:16 EST, 9 March 2012

In chess, the ultimate battle of wits, concentration is key.

So imagine trying to stay a step ahead while your opponent’s plunging neckline looms inches from your pawns.

A women’s chess championship taking place in Turkey is the first since strict rules were introduced to stop players flaunting their bodies.

The union’s general secretary, Woman Grandmaster Sava Stoisavljevic, brushed off suggestions that the new dress code might stop women distracting male opponents.

Instead, she said, the wide-ranging rules were brought in to restore a sense of decorum to the game after tournament bosses noticed many of the players were not wearing ‘proper clothes’.

‘I was here during three rounds and I’ve got an impression that we have to work much more on those regulations,’ Mrs Stoisavljevic told German website ChessBase.

She added: ‘Once, when I was working as an arbiter, I warned one player, even though there were no any rules at that time, because she kept coming to the playing hall dressed like someone who was going to the beach.’

And on players who like to show a little leg, she said: ‘It’s nice to see chess players with short skirts – they are very pretty girls. But I believe there should still be some limit.’

he European code makes no such demands, but others dictate that skirts should be no shorter than 5-10cm above the knee.


  • ‘In respect to shirts, the second from the top button may also be opened in addition to the very top button’
  • Clothes ‘should be crisp and show no excessive wear, no holes and shall be free of body odor’
  • High heels are in, flip-flops are out
  • The rules demand ‘a pulled-together, harmonious, complete look with colors, fabrics, shoes and accessories, for both men and women’
  • After two warnings, verbal and then written, ‘If a player is then still in breach of the Dress Code he/she can be send back to dress appropriately’
  • ‘Spectators not properly attired will have to leave the playing area’


Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar
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