If it were the case that women were at a distinct disadvantage to men then I would concede that it is right and proper that there should be a special category of women's ratings such as we have now.
My intuition tells me that any advantage that exists is as a result of nurture
and not nature
. But I accept that there are may conflicting arguments and I don't feel comfortable enough to make a qualified judgement and prefer to err on the side of caution.
I'd certainly like to hear more, but I have to say that Kosteniuks arguments are really quite poorly set out. For example....
Kosteniuk wrote:Don't forget physiological reasons: men can much easier afford to focus only on one thing in life. If a boy decides to play chess professionally, or at least give it a few years to "try his luck", he can think only about chess, wake up and go to bed with only chess in his mind. On the other hand, one cannot contest that girls by their nature must have a different approach to life, probably mostly due to their biological "clock", girls must start early to think about founding a family or else it will be too late, and those are precisely the young years that you need to become strong at chess.
Kosteniuk fails to consider the amount of childless chessplaying men who were captivated by chess at a young age and sacrificed (unknowingly at the time) other life opportunities in their pursuit of this activity. It seems to me that any gender difference here is purely about lifestyle choice and not about any distinct mental or physical differences.
We should also understand that competitive sports is not something that many women like to do since it's very nervous and physically demanding, and requires constant travel.
There you have it, Kosteniuk tell us women like the easy life. I don't believe that for one minute, Kosteniuk advocacy is pretty poor.
Physical strength and therefore the ability to concentrate and thus not to make mistakes is higher in men's chess and that's also another reason why, in the long term, men are showing greater results.
Does Kosteniuk confuse physical strength and endurance ?