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Why is there is a separate World Chess Championship for women?

23 January 2020 1:07 PM
Tags:
Shanghai
Chess
University of Texas
Refilwe Moloto
Women's World Chess Championship
Ju Wenjun
Aleksandra Goryachkina
Vladivostok
Alexey Root
The Women's World Chess Championship is underway. Here’s why we separate men and women when physical strength doesn’t matter.

The 2020 Women's World Chess Championship is well underway.

It’s contested by defending champion Ju Wenjun from China and Russian Aleksandra Goryachkina.

The match takes place between 3 January and 26 January in two parts, one in Shanghai and one in Vladivostok.

The competition so far has been exciting and evenly matched.

Woman holding queen over king in a checkmate position. Image: 123rf.com

Refilwe Moloto interviewed Alexey Root, a lecturer in education at the University of Texas.

Root teaches a course in “chess in education”.

Moloto asked why there’s a separate world chess championship for men and women when there’s no physicality involved.

Playing with both men and women is the norm… only about 10% of the tournaments I’ve played in have been restricted to women only.

Alexey Root, lecturer in education - University of Texas

You could ask the same question, ‘Why is there a South African championship?’ We like to compare ourselves to people who share some characteristics with us. South Africans like to know who the best chess player in South Africa is… and there’s also an interest in knowing who the best female chess player is.

Alexey Root, lecturer in education - University of Texas

In open tournaments… in the US, only about 14% are women, a record high…

Alexey Root, lecturer in education - University of Texas

Listen to the interview in the audio below.


23 January 2020 1:07 PM
Tags:
Shanghai
Chess
University of Texas
Refilwe Moloto
Women's World Chess Championship
Ju Wenjun
Aleksandra Goryachkina
Vladivostok
Alexey Root

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