A different kind of inequality


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?

Comments (1)
No. 1-1

Inequality is not the same than injustice.
In the market economy, the criterion of demand or viewership determines everything.
The proportions of earnings of male and female tennis players are similar to the proportions of viewership of both group of players.
Viewership of an event sometimes needs (requires) prestigious guests.
Prestigious of author increases demand of an book.
Your prestigious was built mainly from your sport achievements (WWCC), that are larger than most of your male counterpart. This is a reason, that helps you today obtain comparable money with men. But your position is exceptional.

According to Mateusz Bartel ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BjLoqfvqvog 5h55m20s, in Polish ):
"The viewership of Women's Polish Chess Championship 2015 was 4 times smaller than viewership of Women's Polish Chess Championship 2015. For this reason, the prizes for men should be 4 times larger than the prizes for women. That would be equitable. Of course, prizes are in summary very low. That's why the compromise was necessary and prizes for men should be only 2 times larger. This compromise was in force in the past. The equalisation of prizes during the Chess Polish Championship 2016 was a breach of contract and elementary unfair. It won't give anything good."
So much for the "same vision and direction" and understanding the problem of inequality and injustice.

Paradoxically, defeating a man by a computer raised the level of chess played by people, but reduced the attractiveness of chess for its outside world.
That's why, in my opinion, chess is losing popularity more and more over time. Chess tournaments are emoting increasingly narrower groups of people. This reduces the prize pools in tournaments and, as a consequence, gives the chance to organize relatively attractive tournaments by more or less rich authoritarian regimes. To organize on their own terms, which are often degrading chess players as people and citizens representing the Western system of values.
The problems described by Hanna Muzyczuk are much more important than the subject of your post.
Professional chess players representing the Free World primarily should answer the question, whether their love to chess is worth it.
If not, they should break up with FIDE and create their own organization.
If this organization will fall, it would be the end of chess as a sport discipline.
And perhaps it will be natural, that this will happen, if the market does not need .
any competition between chess players. Just like football in the USA.

Women's Chess