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  1. 13 Oct '09 23:25
    Just read this article, from the American newspaper the Wall Street Journal, that favors abolishing different titles for women, like the Woman Grandmaster (WGM) title. The argument given is that such titles are inherently sexist, and that women now have greater access to chess and training resources, so the division between men and women players is expected to narrow, making the different titles obsolete.

    I wonder though, given the nature of chess as an international competition, whether the WGM and IGM type titles are really antiquated. There are countries with intolerant attitudes towards women in general, probably in chess too. In the first world the title might be sexist and antiquated, but perhaps it has some value (ex., providing validation for women to play too) in areas where civil rights are less expansive. Perhaps there are nations with male competitors who wouldn't want women involved in chess at all, and such titles and separate tournaments are a way to soften their disapproval. Fischer and Kasparov certainly had their say on the subject.

    I'm not a tournament player, so I thought I'd ask for others' insight on this. Thoughts?

    Article link: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703298004574457393421190888.html?mod=WSJ_hpp_RIGHTTopCarousel
  2. 13 Oct '09 23:30 / 2 edits
    Disagreed.
  3. 13 Oct '09 23:37
    You mean you think women's chess titles are a good idea? Why?
  4. 13 Oct '09 23:45
    Originally posted by Tigerhouse
    You mean you think women's chess titles are a good idea? Why?
    Yes, there is some statistic that I do not know, something along the lines that the top 0,2 % chess players are GrandMaster; I think the top 0,2 % of female chess players should we Woman GrandMaster. And we indeed can go into a sexist discussion, arguing that the titles are there because women are too weak to compete for men's titles, but look at Judit Polgar, blablabla, which is just nonsense as well.

    (I hope my viewpoint is somewhere in these lines)
  5. Standard member SwissGambit
    Caninus Interruptus
    13 Oct '09 23:57 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Tigerhouse
    Just read this article, from the American newspaper the Wall Street Journal, that favors abolishing different titles for women, like the Woman Grandmaster (WGM) title. The argument given is that such titles are inherently sexist, and that women now have greater access to chess and training resources, so the division between men and women players is expect sj.com/article/SB10001424052748703298004574457393421190888.html?mod=WSJ_hpp_RIGHTTopCarousel
    I'd have to agree with the article. Women's titles are fairly silly and outdated. IIRC, there are some who hold the WFM title, yet are only rated around 2000. It should take a rating of at least 2200 to hold ANY kind of "Master" title.

    I don't think the mere presence of women's titles does much to soften the hearts of chauvinistic countries. More likely, they probably just view them as an unwelcome attempt by outsider nations to change their culture.
  6. 14 Oct '09 00:00 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by SwissGambit
    I'd have to agree with the article. I don't think the mere presence of women's titles does much to soften the hearts of chauvinistic countries. More likely, they probably just view them as an unwelcome attempt by outsider nations to change their culture.
    I haven't read the article but this seems to me like a irrelevant argument...
  7. Standard member SwissGambit
    Caninus Interruptus
    14 Oct '09 00:06
    Originally posted by heinzkat
    I haven't read the title but this seems to me like a irrelevant argument...
    Which part is irrelevant? Please clarify.
  8. 14 Oct '09 00:08
    Originally posted by SwissGambit
    Which part is irrelevant? Please clarify.
    What do "chauvinistic countries" have to do with some women's titles in chess? Do you think Iran will change its nuclear policies due to FIDE awarding titles to women? What does one have to do with the other
  9. 14 Oct '09 00:10 / 1 edit
    Perhaps I am not reading your message properly, my eyes have closed two hours ago. Also I meant "article", not "title".
  10. Standard member SwissGambit
    Caninus Interruptus
    14 Oct '09 00:13
    Originally posted by heinzkat
    What do "chauvinistic countries" have to do with some women's titles in chess? Do you think Iran will change its nuclear policies due to FIDE awarding titles to women? What does one have to do with the other
    I was responding to Tigerhouse's 2nd paragraph.
  11. 14 Oct '09 00:14
    Originally posted by SwissGambit
    I was responding to Tigerhouse's 2nd paragraph.
    Hadn't read that either, see
  12. 14 Oct '09 00:15
    Should've stayed out of this topic, clearly, continue, ignore my bright contributions
  13. Subscriber Paul Leggett
    Chess Librarian
    14 Oct '09 00:26
    Originally posted by heinzkat
    What do "chauvinistic countries" have to do with some women's titles in chess? Do you think Iran will change its nuclear policies due to FIDE awarding titles to women? What does one have to do with the other
    You would be surprised. Bill Cosby got major grief because he allowed the Cosby show to be aired in Apartheid South Africa, when his peers and other public figures wanted him to block it.

    What happened was that his show became the most popular show on South African television, and it is now considered to be a significant reason for the softening of public attitudes about race in South Africa, and helped lay the foundation for the end of apartheid.

    The point is that very often non-government social organizations and other public forms of expression and recognition can have a significant influence on countries and cultures, no matter how hard a country's government tries to stop it.

    Personally, I would be surprised in the extreme for chess to have that kind of influence, but I have been very surprised before.

    Paul
  14. Standard member wormwood
    If Theres Hell Below
    14 Oct '09 00:39
    sometimes I wonder what's the point of having any titles to begin with. would hockey be different if the players were awarded titles like 'grandmaster of hockey'? grandmaster of tennis?

    it's like different color belts in martial arts, a bit childish.



    Daniel: Hey, what kind of belt do you have?

    Miyagi: Canvas. JC Penney, $3.98. You like?

    Daniel: [laughs] No, I meant...

    Miyagi: In Okinawa, belt mean no need rope to hold up pants.

    [laughs; then, seriously]
    Miyagi: Daniel-san...

    [taps his head]
    Miyagi: Karate here.

    [taps his heart]
    Miyagi: Karate here.

    [points to his belt]
    Miyagi: Karate never here. Understand?
  15. 14 Oct '09 00:50
    I've just read the article.
    I think this question is best answered by female chess players.

    Do they want their own titles?

    I can confirm they play just as good as men having lost over a
    dozen games OTB to women. I am ahead OTB v women by one win.

    (I thought Vera Menchik was the first female GM - perhaps not).