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Women and under represented groups
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David



Joined: 29 Apr 2006
Posts: 768
Location: Sefton Park, Liverpool

PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2006 5:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Louise wrote:
The 4NCL experiment of a female board did not work. How could it? The match captains ran out of women who would play. Maybe like me they didn't want to get selected for the wimmins board. I refused point blank to participate in that league and got into a few arguments due to my refusal to comply with this patronising rule


On the contrary, the wimmin's board, or reserved place for a woman, works rather well. It's not an ideal end-state, and it doesn't work ideally. But it's a huge step forward from what went before. As far as I'm aware, most women players welcome the opportunity it affords. Imagine what the 4NCL would look like if the requirement were terminated; imagine what many women players would say. In any event, there's no obligation for any specific woman to accept a place purely on the basis of her gender. If the woman is a strong enough player, she could make the team and make another board available to a woman. On one occasion to my knowledge, a 4NCL team fielded seven women and one man. I thought that was pretty witty.

Louise wrote:
If I or another person doesn't merit selection on ability then they shouldn't be chosen for a team. With 4NCL usually all that happened was that the bottom board was occupied by a woman who then played another female. Hardly progression is it?


If merit was the only criterion, far fewer women would be granted an opportunity to play. That cannot be a sensible way to stimulate chess amongst women. The whole point of positive action - and it isn't 'positive discrimination' by another name - is to take practical steps to roll back the legacy of disadvantage. A 'reserved place' system is one such arrangement. Women have suffered discrimination by men for generations; in many areas of social and economic life they still do; and in some countries of course, women enjoy few practical rights and live under the threat of male violence. These days, most (but far from all) of the obvious discriminations have been outlawed or disappeared in modern Westernised societies; the inclusion of women in chess is part of that process. Structural consolidation of those gains is the best way of ensuring against slippage back to an earlier age. The fact that one relatively weak woman often plays another on Board 8 in the 4NCL is not how anyone would prefer it to remain long-term. But here and now, it's trivial compared with symbolic significance of ensuring women have some space within organised chess events, and a motivation to strive for more.

Louise wrote:
ECF might like to consider carefully how to change the general organiser attitude towards female players rather then hiding them in the background. What next! Clubs for gay people, clubs for disabled people


If chess organisers or anyone diminishes the contribution that women can make, they should be opposed. ECF and every chess club should have zero tolerance towards sexist discrimination and attitudes. Sadly such behaviour still exists, and is likely to continue for some time. One way to drive out such attitudes from the game is to ensure women become a prominent part of the chess community. That requires positive action because it won't occur on its own.

On the formation of clubs by disadvantaged or minority groups, I can't see ECF has a role in promoting them. 'Women's only' chess clubs are fine by me if some women wish to organise themselves that way. Gay chess clubs too, on the same basis. There are gay football teams; all-Asian cricket teams; women's hockey clubs; Afro-Caribbean basketball teams and so on. Clubs are the way like-minded people get stuff done. But I don't think ECF should second-guess peoples' preferences. Recognise such clubs if they arise of course Smile

David
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JacksfullofAces



Joined: 25 Nov 2006
Posts: 74
Location: London

PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2006 8:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

David wrote:
Women have suffered discrimination by men for generations; in many areas of social and economic life they still do; and in some countries of course, women enjoy few practical rights and live under the threat of male violence. These days, most (but far from all) of the obvious discriminations have been outlawed or disappeared in modern Westernised societies; the inclusion of women in chess is part of that process

Yes we all see the results of the so called equality of today. Besides child rearing and running a house the women are all expected to earn their share of the house keeping. It seems to me that all that modern liberal thinking produced is a larger burden then women endured 50 years ago when one person could earn enough to keep a household.

As for symbolism in chess I don't want to be a woman player. I AM A CHESS PLAYER. I'm not going to join a segregated minority and don't want to be part of anything so patronising. I also have Ethler-Danos Syndrome so should I search for a club that only has people with this disabling syndrome or maybe just female sufferers?

I can play decent chess and have trashed 150s. I don't need to be told that I would get less opportunity through being female. Frankly if any man gets in my way he had better watch out as I will not tolerate discrimination positive or otherwise.
Louise
Fortune favours the bold
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huntingdon



Joined: 26 Nov 2006
Posts: 20
Location: London

PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2006 8:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

David wrote:
The fact that one relatively weak woman often plays another on Board 8 in the 4NCL is not how anyone would prefer it to remain long-term.

David


David
The problem is that 4NCL started in 1993, but you only have to look at this season's fixtures to see that in the majority of matches not only is the woman on board 8 but that they are playing another woman. Is that really progress?

Also can you let me know the difference between positive action and positive discrimination? Okay one gives an advantage to a group that would otherwise be treated unfairly and the other would give an advantage to a group that would otherwise be treated unfairly.

Gary
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Craig Mnure



Joined: 04 Sep 2006
Posts: 104

PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2006 10:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JacksfullofAces wrote:
I don't need to be told that I would get less opportunity through being female. Frankly if any man gets in my way he had better watch out as I will not tolerate discrimination positive or otherwise.


So are you happy to accept that there will continue to be a very low proportion of women players Louise?
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David



Joined: 29 Apr 2006
Posts: 768
Location: Sefton Park, Liverpool

PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2006 8:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Huntingdon/Gary wrote:
can you let me know the difference between positive action and positive discrimination?


Positive action is a term used in Employment Law (and elsewhere) to describe those lawful selection practices that seek to address the under-representation of certain groups in the workforce - principally on the grounds of gender, ethnicity, disability and in N Ireland especially, religion too. Positive discrimination is the unlawful selection or exclusion of a person on the basis of some named characteristic. So, it is lawful to increase the proportion of police officers from ethnic minorities by recruiting them disproportionately compared with white candidates. But it is unlawful to advertise for black police officers, or state that 'only those with visibly dark skin will be considered'.

The principles at stake are 'fairness', and 'reasonable behaviour in the common interest'. But for those with little sympathy for either concept, the two terms mean the same thing: inevitable discrimination in favour of someone against another. Indeed, the philosophical distinction is often blurred in practice. But the practical outcomes are usually clear enough when we apply the test of 'fairness' and 'the common interest'. So, favouring the recruitment of black or Asian police officers must mean equally competent white candidates are rejected; but the balance of the police force now better reflects the composition of society as a whole. The fairness of the latter outcome is judged in law to outweigh the apparent 'unfairness' of the specific recruitment process. But choosing blondes over brunettes, or Brummies rather than Scousers, is deemed discriminatory where the criteria for exclusion are, say, 'dark-haired' or 'scouse accent'.

Exactly these same issues have been fought out, and remain a source of tension, within the MP selection processes of both main political parties. And they have sharply divided opinion in the selection of sports teams in South Africa. This latter case shows that majorities can be disadvantaged and under-represented too. Only positive action in South Africa has been able to roll back the legacy of apartheid. Without it, nearly all the powerful and privileged positions in the nation’s affairs would still be occupied by Whites; and the sports team in rugby and cricket would be all-white too. For this reason, I’ve never been able to regard Kevin Pieterson as anything other than a selfish and shabby racist carpet-bagger who has no place in the current England cricket team Sad

Women constitute majorities in the health and education services; yet the vast majority of senior posts are held by men. Some schools in the inner-cities have a majority of ethnic minority pupils, but an all-white teaching staff. Does positive action imply that, in addressing such imbalances, non-competent people should be appointed? It implies no such thing. Successful candidates must always “meet the criteria” for the post in question, not the same as “the best qualified”, whatever that might mean. This matter comes sharply into focus when discussing admissions policy to our elite universities. Should the social advantages bestowed by a private education on admission to Oxbridge continue to exclude the vast majority of well-qualified pupils from the state sector? Or can positive action lead to a fairer solution in the common interest? If you think the debate here is fraught, you want to follow it in the United States Rolling Eyes

And so to chess. Obviously the selection of teams in the sport isn’t covered by employment law. But it is played in a society that values and promotes equality of opportunity; hence the desire to boost chess-playing amongst women by appropriate action. The matter is complicated in chess because we assume that, although women players generally are not as strong as men, this is not a natural state-of-affairs but a legacy of past exclusion and discrimination. In short, women can be as good as men at playing chess, given the opportunity over time. We point to Judit Polgar as the supreme example; and to the rise in the number of women in the ranks of GMs and IMs over recent years. The direction of travel seems clear: encourage women to play chess, and their performance will improve; in the long-term, it will match that of men. So, the argument runs, where possible let men and women play together in open tournaments and in the same team, taking positive action to ensure this.

Chess therefore sees itself differently in gender terms from, say, athletics. Even though the world’s fastest woman over 100m can run faster than 99.9% of all men, no woman can run faster than the fastest 2,000 men. And even though the performance gap has closed dramatically over the past century, no one believes it will ever close completely: men generally will always run faster than women generally, roughly 10% faster in fact. For this reason, we never see a competitive mixed relay event, or any other mixed event. Presumably no one doubts the different physical capacities of athletes, by gender. The relevant scientific evidence appears to support this; so no one contests the need for gender-specific competitions.

Similarly in chess, the evidence from neuroscience - in truth, still in its infancy - suggests that there are also gender-specific differences in cognitive capacity; most notably, in spatial awareness including pattern recognition, triggered by the extent of earlier exposure to testosterone, the male hormone. This probably won’t be the only factor, but pattern-recognition activities of the chess-maths-music combination reveal huge gender imbalances towards men, only some of it accountable to past discrimination against women.

My personal belief, therefore, is that far more women have the potential to play chess to a far higher standard than now. Indeed, at club/county/4NCL level, it is possible to imagine equality of performance over the long-term. But at the very highest level, the science makes me doubt that women will be able to compete. Judit Polgar does not, alas, refute my pessimism: her life-experience is unique, not to say ‘freakish’, and may never be repeated. That said, she remains an inspiration and a triumph for women - and for me[n] Smile

David
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billyboy62



Joined: 15 Jun 2006
Posts: 155

PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2006 10:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i have been following this debate with intrest as somebody who is classed as disabled i do not expect to be treated any differant than everybody else 99% of the time i am not i am treated like every other chess player.But because of the damage AS has done to my neck and spine the odd idiot thinks its funny to laugh or nudge his mate and say look what i am playing its normally a stupid thing for them to do as they are the games i normally win lol
back to the debate about women in chess a lot of girls play up to the age off 11/12 but for some reason most then drop out never to come back does anybody know why this happens has any research been done into it

how will women chess players ever be treated the same when fide has titles such as wgm wim wfm my understand is to get 1 off these titles takes less ranking points than a normal title if i am wrong i appologise
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JacksfullofAces



Joined: 25 Nov 2006
Posts: 74
Location: London

PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2006 2:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Craig
I would rather fewer women played chess then tolerate being treated as needing positive whatever in order to play the game. It is simple. If you can't stand the heat stay out of the kitchen.
I dislike todays trend to ensure diversity. I have a half Asian brother a half Chinese sister and none of us are interested in getting the correct ratios for certain jobs, activities and other things.
Being a woman has never hindered my progress in businness. I have only had trouble with the chess establishment and their progressively liberal ideas.
I don't think Judit is a freak or a one off. She has my admiration for being a very strong minded highly focused competitive individual. She has never been interested in wimmins chess.
I also dislike female titles. The sublimal message is -girl don't expect to earn a male title here is the consolation prize.
Neither do I expect special treatment for having EDS and I emphasise with the poster who suffered stupid comments. Maybe his opponents have a disability requiring a lobotomy.
While we are making allowances for human fragility maybe I had better discuss testosterone. Isn't it amazing that guys playing me enjoy staring at my large bust? Some claim it is a distraction to their game. Dear me do some men need special treatment for too much testosterone? Twisted Evil
Louise
Fortune favours the bold
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billyboy62



Joined: 15 Jun 2006
Posts: 155

PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 11:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

last night i was playing in our local darlington league as i was sitting at my board this pleasant asian lady came and sat down she was my opponent what a nice change it made from my normal chess match unfortunatly her pilidor was not up to scratch and i won the game
as we were looking at the game afterwards we got talking she is new to chess she has played a bit online but this is her first season off over the board chess she has really enjoyed it so far and everybody has been really nice to her.They have helped her write down her scoresheet properly as she still has problems with writing down the right squares a bit off a problem last night as we play on wooden boards that are not marked i offered to change to a rollup board but she said this was good practice for her
i spent a hour with her after the game showing her a few ideas and just encouriging her to stick at it as improvement will come.my kindness will probably come back and bite me in 2 years time when she wipes me off the board lol Smile
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JacksfullofAces



Joined: 25 Nov 2006
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Location: London

PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 12:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Billy
You sound like a great club player. I'm sure that lady will return to your club Smile
Louise
Fortune favours the bold
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billyboy62



Joined: 15 Jun 2006
Posts: 155

PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 5:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

she was not a member off my club louise she was my opponent from the richmond team if a club off only 6 players like richmond can produce a lady player surely everybody else must be able to
thats why i said it will come back to bite me i can see it now richmond 2 darlo2 deceiding match and i get wiped out by said lady lmao
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JacksfullofAces



Joined: 25 Nov 2006
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Location: London

PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 7:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LOL Billy. Anything can happen and my fathers says "no good deed goes unpunished"
Placed 7th in 180 SNG today
Louise
Fortune favours the bold
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Neutron Star



Joined: 06 Apr 2007
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2007 11:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have to say I agree with Louise. Women should play chess on exactly the same basis as men, with no special favours. Otherwise you get into discrimination.

In the leagues I play in, women players turn up from time to time, and they seem to be played in grading order just as the men are. For example Natasha Regan at Ashtead is treated as a 169 rather than as a woman player.

I'd like to think it can only get better in future.
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