Hi I am a Sexist Jerk

Shelby Lyman on Chess: Pawn-in-Mouth Disease
Sunday, May 17, 2015
(Published in print: Sunday, May 17, 2015)

Nigel Short, the usually witty and insightful English grandmaster, plunged off a very high cliff into a very dark void beset with more than a few pitfalls when he suggested recently that women’s brains were not suitable for playing chess.

He explained: “I don’t have the slightest problem in acknowledging that my wife (Rea) possesses a much higher degree of emotional intelligence than I do.”

He was not claiming, he said, that women’s brains were inferior, only different.

Less controversial explanations focus on women’s conflicting social roles and sexism.

Short received a sharp rebuff from Amanda Ross, manager of a chess club in London, who gleefully drew attention to Short’s record against the legendary woman player Judit Polgar.

“Judit Polgar, the former women’s world champion, beat Nigel Short eight classical games to three in total with five draws. … She must have brought her man’s brain,” Ross concluded with obvious glee.

A few days ago, Short was crushed by Garry Kasparov in a combination blitz, rapid match of 10 games in St. Louis, Mo., by a score of 81/2-11/2.

Was Short distracted by the lingering controversy?

Or, as Ross might conjecture, had he left his male brain at home?

Full story here.

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