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Women's Chess

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The term "women's chess" has always bugged me. I figured now that the FIDE women's world championship final is underway in Elista, Kalmykia it was a good moment to share. The games in top women's events are more aggressive, more tactical, and have a much higher percentage of decisive results than top open (i.e. "men + Judit Polgar") events. This fact is occasionally trotted out to say that women players are more aggressive than men.

What is ignored in these arguments is that the average rating in top women's events is over 200 points lower than that in top open events. Open events of similar average Elo (2450) are just as tactical and decisively inclined as women's events. 2400-rated players are simply more aggressive and make more mistakes than 2600-rated players. That means more tactics and more excitement, if that's the word.

The FIDE time control and the tension of a KO and a world championship makes for more errors, as we saw in game one of the final between Stefanova and Kovalevskaya yesterday. White throws away a pawn for no compensation and loses a horrible game (if well played by Stefanova). When someday we look back and list the crimes of the current FIDE administration, let us hope we do so from a day when world championships once again mean great chess.


In my mind, the KO format is less of a sin than the ridiculously short 2-game matches. Can you imagine a tennis match at Wimbledon being decided by a single set of two games? In case of a tie they would play another two games to 40, and if still tied they would play another two to 30? If still tied they would play a single game to 30, but if the non-server brings the score to deuce (s)he wins? If this sounds ludicrous it's because it is, but no more so than the current situation at the WCC ("World Crap-shoot Championship")!

I have to admit to enjoying the womenīs events, because they make it easy for a lazy person like me to watch "more tactics and more excitement, if thatīs the word" chess.

But the concept of Womenīs World/European/whatever Chess Champion always makes me think of a competition for Worldīs Tallest Dwarf. Respect to J. Polgar for saying "Iīm no dwarf".

i think womens chess is growin in popularity which should b we need more women playin chess im a big fan of womens chess in usa mayb someday there will a women chess champion against men competition

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on June 4, 2004 3:17 AM.

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