A Woman plays for the Russian Chess Championship
October 11, 2021 11:42 AM   Subscribe

Aleksandra Goryachkina is the first woman to qualify and play for the Russian Chess Championship and she's playing well. She won her first game, drew her second and was briefly in first place. There is a common misconception that chess is separated by gender like other sports. However while there are events that are only open to women, there are no events that are only open to men. National Championships in Russia and the United States are restricted to a handful of top players who qualify based on their Elo Rating or performance in qualifying events.
posted by interogative mood (12 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
 
It looks like the second link in your post is borked. But it's good to see a young woman getting to such a prestigious tournament. The chess.com profile was good.
posted by crossswords at 12:33 PM on October 11


This might sound strange, but it's good to see her not smiling in her profile picture. I swear that the confidence to not smile when you're concentrating - the confidence to ignore the feelings and comfort of others in general whenever you'd like - is close to a requirement for success in activities which require periods of long, deep concentration. You need to have a "go away" face, and you need people around you who will go away when they see that face instead of interrupting with, "Smile! You'll feel better!"
posted by clawsoon at 12:52 PM on October 11 [6 favorites]


Interesting you bring that up clawsoon, the picture from wikipedia of Judit Polgar also has her a bit frowny, deep in thought over a board, and I think it's a great way to depict chess players. Frankly, grinning while playing chess probably means you're doing it wrong.
posted by axiom at 1:29 PM on October 11 [2 favorites]


...borked

Better luck with this? (See also this.)
posted by BWA at 2:06 PM on October 11


Yeah this is the link.

https://chess24.com/en/read/news/goryachkina-s-dream-start-to-russian-men-s-superfinal


Not sure why Chess24 links are bad.
posted by interogative mood at 3:58 PM on October 11


Kudos to Goryachkina!

Chess is so hard, for some of us. I can’t imagine performing at her level.
posted by Don.Kinsayder at 4:51 PM on October 11


There is a common misconception that chess is separated by gender like other sports. However while there are events that are only open to women, there are no events that are only open to men.

I thought that also described most (all?) other sports. For example, women have played in professional hockey and golf and American college football.

Are there men's high-level sports leagues that are not open to women?
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 6:14 PM on October 11 [2 favorites]


There is a common misconception that chess is separated by gender like other sports.

The recent sponsorship debacle doesn't help the image of high-level chess as being ... less than interested in gender parity.
posted by Dotty at 11:22 AM on October 12 [1 favorite]


The recent sponsorship debacle doesn't help the image of high-level chess as being ... less than interested in gender parity.

FIDE got a breast enlargement company as its major sponsor for women's chess? Jesus H. Fucking Christ, FIDE.

Hmm, I wonder what the most predictable possible outcome of this would be?
“I’ve already seen comments online from people saying that they hope prizes for women’s events will now include breast enlargement,” another anonymous titled female player said. “I’ve seen jokes citing specific top players’ names as those who could be improved by it. Chess has struggled with sexism in the past, and this has done nothing to help prevent that.”
So now every girl wondering if chess might be a friendly place for her, and every parent wondering whether chess would be a friendly place for their girl, is going to have to know that this bullshit is part of the equation.
posted by clawsoon at 2:02 PM on October 12


The company manufactures breast implants that are used for cosmetic and reconstructive surgery. Their FIDE sponsorship and advertising has been focused on reconstructive surgery options for patients who have undergone a mastectomy for breast cancer as well as breast cancer awareness and women’s health in general.

It wasn’t that long ago that Women’s Tennis was sponsored by Virginia Slims cigarettes. Even now the Olympics are sponsored by CocaCola and McDonalds. Or consider the sponsors of the NFL like beer companies and the ads they show young men.

The moral outrage seems misdirected and lacking a basic understanding of the realities of sponsorship options or the messages being promoted by the sponsor.
posted by interogative mood at 4:29 PM on October 12 [4 favorites]


Good to know, thanks interogative mood. Sounds like the message hasn't gotten through to some fans (or people like me, which is mostly my fault).
posted by clawsoon at 4:39 PM on October 12


After round 6 (of 11) she’s scored 3 points (you get 1 for a win and 1/2 for a draw) and is 1 point behind the leader. Grandmaster Benjamin Finegold said that he expects her to get to the super GM level of 2700+ FIDE.
posted by interogative mood at 2:56 PM on October 14


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