# Protesting Sexism at a Chess Tournament?

Duchess64
Debates 02 Feb '17 21:50
1. 02 Feb '17 21:503 edits
At a major open tournament in Gibraltar, Hou Yifan, the women's world champion,
intentionally lost her last round game, resigning after only five moves.
Evidently, she did it in order to protest perceived sexist bias in her pairings.
Hou Yifan later apologized.

Here seems to be the basis of Hou Yifan's complaint about sexist bias:
Women were only a small minority of the field in this open tournament.
But Hou Yifan was paired with seven women in the first nine rounds.
This seems extremely improbable if the pairings were done by a gender-blind computer.
So Hou Yifan suspects that the tournament officials intervened to keep
pairing her with as many female opponents as possible. Is that sexist?

Here's a statistical analysis by someone at the ChessBase website:
"I can give you a statistical analysis. Among the 83 players who had a
score similar to Hou Yifan (ie. pool of potential opponents), 17 (20.4% )
were female. However, this doesn't mean she has a 20.4% of being
paired against a woman in any given round. That's only true initially.
Once she's paired against a few women, these women are removed
from the pool of potential opponents, and the proportion of women
among potential opponents becomes even smaller. For example, after
she was paired against women 6 times, the probability for it to happen
a seventh time was only 14.3%.

With all that in mind - if the pairings are fair - the probability to be
paired against a woman seven or more times out of ten is: <drumroll>
(17/83 x 16/82 x 15/81 x 14/80 x 13/79 x 12/78 x 11/77)*10!/(7!*3!)
Which is 0.056% (1-in-1,779)

Now, we go to Bayesian probabilities and ask ourselves, what is more
likely: that this sequence of pairings was created as a part of honest
pairings (which, as we know is 1-in-1779) or that the organizers
deliberately skewed the pairings? Each can answer to himself. "

Until this incident, Hou Yfian had avoided nearly all controversy, apart
from her decision to boycott FIDE's upcoming 2017 world championship
'knock-out' tournament in Iran to protest sexist bias in the format.
Hou Yifan pointed out that FIDE has long ago rejected holding 'knock-out'
tournaments to determine the open (men's) world champion, and she
believes that the women's world championship deserves the same format.

By the way, I feel certain that Hou Yifan made her decision to protest on her own,
not in obedience to any instructions from China's chess authorities. Contrary to a
Western stereotype, the top Chinese players today are free to run their own careers.
At the same tournament, Ju Wenjun (the world's second highest rated woman) defeated
Hou Yifan in their game and was among the top players going into the last round.

Hou Yifan might have known that her form of protest (throwing a game)
would result in many people accusing her of poor sportsmanship.
Did Hou Yifan do the right thing in protesting perceived sexism?
2. 03 Feb '17 01:09
Originally posted by Duchess64
At a major open tournament in Gibraltar, Hou Yifan, the women's world champion,
intentionally lost her last round game, resigning after only five moves.
Evidently, she did it in order to protest perceived sexist bias in her pairings.
Hou Yifan later apologized.

Here seems to be the basis of Hou Yifan's complaint about sexist bias:
Women were only a ...[text shortened]... ing her of poor sportsmanship.
Did Hou Yifan do the right thing in protesting perceived sexism?
Yes, It was indeed biased. I think you made your point after 9 paragraphs. So, what am I supposed to about it??
3. no1marauder
Humble and Kind
03 Feb '17 01:16
Originally posted by Duchess64
At a major open tournament in Gibraltar, Hou Yifan, the women's world champion,
intentionally lost her last round game, resigning after only five moves.
Evidently, she did it in order to protest perceived sexist bias in her pairings.
Hou Yifan later apologized.

Here seems to be the basis of Hou Yifan's complaint about sexist bias:
Women were only a ...[text shortened]... ing her of poor sportsmanship.
Did Hou Yifan do the right thing in protesting perceived sexism?
Statistically unlikely things sometimes occur. I was under the impression that most tournaments use software to determine pairings; what did the TD of the tournament say (I assume he was made aware of the allegations of sexism in the pairings)?

It was poor form to resign a game in five moves to protest the actions of the TD anyway; it punished a blameless opponent by depriving them of playing a game against one of the best players in the world.
4. Suzianne
Misfit Queen
03 Feb '17 02:072 edits
Originally posted by Duchess64
At a major open tournament in Gibraltar, Hou Yifan, the women's world champion,
intentionally lost her last round game, resigning after only five moves.
Evidently, she did it in order to protest perceived sexist bias in her pairings.
Hou Yifan later apologized.

Here seems to be the basis of Hou Yifan's complaint about sexist bias:
Women were only a ...[text shortened]... ing her of poor sportsmanship.
Did Hou Yifan do the right thing in protesting perceived sexism?
What do you care?

I notice she did not mention racism, and apparently, according to you, this is reason enough to negate everything she says about sexism.

Or does this opinion of yours only come up when white women talk about feminism?
5. 03 Feb '17 02:312 edits
Originally posted by no1marauder
Statistically unlikely things sometimes occur. I was under the impression that most tournaments use software to determine pairings; what did the TD of the tournament say (I assume he was made aware of the allegations of sexism in the pairings)?

It was poor form to resign a game in five moves to protest the actions of the TD anyway; it punished a blameless opponent by depriving them of playing a game against one of the best players in the world.
http://en.chessbase.com/post/gibraltar-flash#discuss

Brian Callaghan apparently denied that anyone had manipulated the pairings in order
to compel Hou Yifan to play a statistically unlikely high number of women.
At the ChessBase website, most posters so far seem skeptical of his explanation.
Some people have called for the tournament organizer to release his pairing algorithm
so that independent testers can attempt to replicate the pairings.

At the ChessBase website, most posters so far seem sympathetic toward Hou Yifan.
A few posters even apparently believe that Hou Yifan's being judged by a different
standard than, say, Bobby Fischer, who was known for his extreme forms of protest.

I note that by throwing her last game, Hou Yifan gave up the opportunity to tie for the
15000 GBP prize offered to the top woman player, which went to her countrywoman Ju Wenjun.
6. 03 Feb '17 02:34
This controversy has overshadowed a brilliant win (with a queen sacrifice) by Hou Yifan
over French IM Borya Ider. Enjoy!

http://en.chessbase.com/post/gibraltar-rd07-2
.
7. 03 Feb '17 02:421 edit
Originally posted by Duchess64
This controversy has overshadowed a brilliant win (with a queen sacrifice) by Hou Yifan
over French IM Borya Ider. Enjoy!

http://en.chessbase.com/post/gibraltar-rd07-2
.
If womem want to do something about sexism in chess, 2 out of the top 5 chess players need be women.

Until women can break into the highest levels of chess, there will be a deserved stigma.

Not that there are not a mass of women chess players much better than me, a poor guy who started dabbling at chess at the age of 38.
8. 03 Feb '17 02:431 edit
Originally posted by Suzianne
What do you care?

I notice she did not mention racism, and apparently, according to you, this is reason enough to negate everything she says about sexism.
Or does this opinion of yours only come up when white women talk about feminism?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intersectionality

Even if Suzianne had the willingness, she evidently lacks the intelligence to comprehend that article.
9. 03 Feb '17 02:45
Of womem want to do something about sexism in chess, 2 out of the top 5 chess players need be women.

Until women can break into the highest levels of chess, there will be a deserved stigma.

Not that there are not a mass of women chess players much better than me, a poor guy who started dabbling at chess at the age of 38.
Eladar (RHP rating 1539) is extremely deluded when he fantasizes that there are not
many women chess players stronger than he.
10. 03 Feb '17 02:48
Originally posted by Duchess64
Eladar (RHP rating 1539) is extremely deluded when he fantasizes that there are not
many women chess players stronger than he.
You didn't read my last paragraph.

I know I suck at chess. Compared to the very best, so do all women.
11. 03 Feb '17 02:54
You didn't read my last paragraph.

I know I suck at chess. Compared to the very best, so do all women.
I just read a story that said 99 out of the top 100 chess players in the world are men
12. 03 Feb '17 03:04
You didn't read my last paragraph.

I know I suck at chess. Compared to the very best, so do all women.
OK, reading a bit too fast, I overlooked the 'not' in Eladar's 'Not that ...'

The main, though not the only, explanation for the small number so far of women among
the world's top chess players is the much lower participation of women than men in chess.

Michael Redmond (whom I have played) is the only non-Asian to become a 9 dan professional in Go.
Go is dominated by Chinese, Japanese, or Korean players. Westerners dislike drawing
any conclusions about Western inferiority, however, preferring to explain this by saying
that far fewer Westerners than Chinese, Japanese, and Koreans play Go seriously.
13. 03 Feb '17 03:12
I just read a story that said 99 out of the top 100 chess players in the world are men
Actually, as of 1 February 2017. Hou Yifan, rated 2651 FIDE (peak rating 2686 FIDE) has
dropped out (barely) out of the top 100 rated list in the world. She has the 9th highest rating in China.
14. 03 Feb '17 03:19
Originally posted by Duchess64
OK, reading a bit too fast, I overlooked the 'not' in Eladar's 'Not that ...'

The main, though not the only, explanation for the small number so far of women among
the world's top chess players is the much lower participation of women than men in chess.

Michael Redmond (whom I have played) is the only non-Asian to become a 9 dan professional in Go. ...[text shortened]... this by saying
that far fewer Westerners than Chinese, Japanese, and Koreans play Go seriously.
You also overlook two very important factors when it comes to physical differences between the sexes....

Brain diffetence for IQ. Wjatever the reason, men are more extreme when it comes to IQ. There are clusters of men who are much dumber than most women just as there are clusters of men much smarter than most women.

Another physical advantage is that men visualize better and concentrate on one thing better.

It is not simply a more men play chess than women thing.
15. 03 Feb '17 03:21
Originally posted by Duchess64
Actually, as of 1 February 2017. Hou Yifan, rated 2651 FIDE (peak rating 2686 FIDE) has
dropped out (barely) out of the top 100 rated list in the world. She has the 9th highest rating in China.
Scratching for 2?

That's pathetic.