While all the attention in chess right now is about the 2017 World Blitz & Rapid Championships in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and no
player from Israel is participating, I see a different kind of problem which no one talked about. The total prize funds for both events are $2 million to be divided 75% ($1.5 million) for World Blitz & Rapid Championship to 25% ($500,000) for Women's World Blitz & Rapid Championship.
As big of a discrepancy this is, it is much better than the ratio of most Classical World Championships, where the ration are anywhere between 10-1 to 20-1. It makes no difference if you are men or women as the expenses for hotels, airfares, meals, coaching, etc. are the same. For most women, even if they finish near the top at most events, after subtracting the expenses, they come out at a minus.
According to many statistics in the United States, for every $1 a man makes, a woman makes 60 cents. This ratio is way better than
chess. Some immediately pointed out the fact that women are generally weaker than men in chess at the top level. By that same logic, women should make a lot less than men in Grand Slam tennis where men play best of 5 sets while women play best of 3. In addition, can the top 3 women tennis player beat a top 100 male tennis player? So why are they getting equal money? So the question is why women in chess do not demand for equality?
Even though I retired as an active player long ago, in my current capacity as coach, author, lecturer, commentator, etc., I would not
accept invitations to any events which I do not get pay at least as much as my male counterpart. I would also not accept any book, video or coaching job deal with inferior pay structure just because I am a woman.
I demand to be paid what I am worth, and because of this, I am among the highest paid chess professionals in the world, male or female. But until chess professionals unite for the same vision and direction, nothing will change. As of right now, no one has pointed this out. If not now, when?