Do you want MEN to dictate what WOMEN should do in CHESS?
This morning, I was asked about my opinion regarding women in chess and should women's events/titles be stripped. Here was my answer:
I wrote 2 extensive articles about this issue:
“WHY IS THERE A NEED FOR SOME ALL-GIRLS' OR WOMEN’S CHESS TOURNAMENTS?” - Chess Daily News
This is probably one of the top 5 questions I have most often been asked
Why I chose to look ugly, and the reasoning behind it! - Chess Daily News
Here are the reasoning behind it, something I never talked about.
Many people like to give their firm "opinions" without knowing or understanding the many serious problems. Therefore, I strongly suggest everyone to read the two articles above.
I am the victim (multiple times) of horrendous decisions made by "uninformed people" in charge. For example:
* 'Why can't I defend my (Women's World Champion) title in 1999 literally right after giving birth? Why do I need more than a "few days" to recuperate from giving birth to my first son?' or
* 'It is a big advantage to play against men only so let's punish the woman who chose to play against men exclusively' or
* 'No woman is or should be allowed to play in the "Men's" World Chess Championship so let's ban the first woman who qualify for the cycle'.
These have ALL been official FIDE decisions against me.
I can go on but I think you get the idea. Obviously, these ridiculous assertions and decisions were made by people who are not women and have no understanding of the many challenges that women faced and are still facing today. One day, the gap will be closed and things may be different. But it should not be up to men who arbitrarily make these decisions.
Since 2002, my foundation and I have organized and sponsored chess events, as well as trained / helped thousands of girls. Many of these girls are now FMs and IMs with GM norms.
We have awarded over $5.5 million in prizes (scholarship, cash, and other prizes, etc.). More than 50% of this amount have gone to girls. The level of girls participation since then went up about 10 times according to Mr. Frank Niro, former ED of the USCF based on the data. So have the playing levels, they went up dramatically. I also have 45+ years experience as a player / trainer / sponsor / organizer (of more than 760 rated tournaments). Therefore, I am writing from personal first hand experience.
We can get more girls into chess and raise the bar. I have done it with little help. So it can be much bigger with the full power and resources of FIDE (national federations) behind it. But let the people with experience do this. This should never be a political decision.
My suggestion is "Let women be women! Let women choose what they want to do, how they want to do, when they want to do it, or if they want to do it!" If there are women like my sisters and I who want to take chess to another level, great! But if women just want to play chess and enjoy the game, let them! Men should not dictate what, when, how or if women "should" do anything.