Women not cut out for chess

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IM Jack Rudd
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Re: Women not cut out for chess

Post by IM Jack Rudd » Thu Apr 23, 2015 9:31 am

Mats Winther wrote:
IM Jack Rudd wrote:
Mats Winther wrote:It is a question of biology, simply.
...he says, and then lists a whole load of stuff that is cultural and not biological in nature. Do you ever read what you yourself have written?
No, it is not cultural. There is no evidence that parents foster their children to behave in these different ways. They don't tell their son to spend time in his boy's room, absorbed in his hobby. Nor do they tell their daughter to chatter on the telephone for hours on end.
Culture doesn't need to be consciously imparted to do its thing.

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Andrew Walker
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Re: Women not cut out for chess

Post by Andrew Walker » Thu Apr 23, 2015 10:33 am

Further reading may be found at -
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Racism_in_Sweden

John McKenna
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Re: Women not cut out for chess

Post by John McKenna » Thu Apr 23, 2015 1:01 pm

Bill Porter wrote:
John McKenna wrote:
In chess Judith Polgar is a rare exception that proves a rule about the nurture of females but not their nature.
what rule have you used Judit Polgar to [archaic]prove[/archaic] [modern]test[/modern]?

(You may be confusing the archaic 'proving a rule' with the modern meaning of 'prove.'

eg using the term with its original meaning I might say "I'm looking for an exception to prove the rule that Nigel Short cannot be beaten by a woman."
Hello Bill,

The text of your post was a little garbled but I think I got the message.

I wondered if anyone would question my statement - thanks for doing so.

In answer (to what rule is it that Judith Polgar is an exception to?) I'll endeavour to explain by first saying that Mats Winther, above, paints a rough but reasonably ready picture of a prime difference in the nurture of females and males. It is in that respect that I believe Judith is an exception - to the rule that girls are nurtured differently to boys. That may not seems obvious initially, however, if you bear with me I'll elaborate - Judith was not nurtured in the same way girls, or boys for that matter, are normally nurtured. It is exceptional that the Polgar parents nurtured their three daughters in the way that they did and very exceptional in the sense that they had three females to try to improve and perfect their aim to produce world-class female chessplayers. Judith was the youngest and hence benefitted the most from the 'experiment' (as some have called it).

What would have happened if Judith had been born a boy?

We will never know the answer to that but may get an insight if the Polgar 'experiment' is ever repeated with different numbers and sexes of siblings, perhaps.

However, there is already at least one other chess playing family that may bear some comparison to the Polgars - the Paehtz family. The father Thomas Paehtz (b. 1956) is a GM, his daughter Elisabeth (b. 1985) an IM (2479, currently) and there is a Thomas Paehtz jr. (b. 1983) untitled (2345, inactive) who, if I assume correctly, is a third member of the family. (Take from that what you will.)

I take this - it is much more complex than simply making generalizations about the nature of the nurture of females, and males, in the societies in which world-class chessplayers are produced.

Regarding the 'nature' (as opposed to the 'nurture') argument as to what it is that makes the difference between females and males - other commentators in the Chessbase News articles about Nigel Short's controversial comments attempt to convince that there are also more important fundamental neurological differences in the nature of the brains of females and males. Those and other biological differences between the sexes are undeniable but that they categorically make it impossible for a female ever to be the absolute World Chess Champion is very difficult to maintain due Judith Polgar's achievements, as was also pointed out.

It has been said in the comments on Chessbase News that there are no women 100 m. sprinters in the top 1,000 sprinters in the world! Even if the figure of 1,000 is exaggerated I can easily believe that there are none in the top 100, whereas in chess Judith not only got into the top 10 players in the world she also participated in the equivalent of the Olympic 100 m. final and performed creditably against the men.

Finally, I'll just sum up by saying that the rule, to which Judith is an exception to, is that females are nurtured in way that does not allow them to achieve their full potential. Although it must also be said that Judith and her sisters were nurtured in an exceptional fashion that most children, male or female, never have access to.

Hope that makes my position a bit clearer.

John

PS In order not to be seen as biased I should also say that in the world in general most males, as well as females, are also unable to reach their full potential in whatever field they might wish to try. Economic survival is the primary necessity of modern humans and economic excellence is a thing much more coveted than almost anything else except for power. But, wealth and power are inextricably linked - like nature and nurture.
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

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Carl Hibbard
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Re: Women not cut out for chess

Post by Carl Hibbard » Thu Apr 23, 2015 7:43 pm

Mats Winther wrote:It is a question of biology, simply. Boys at middle school and early teenage spend much time in their boy's room and build model airplanes, or whatever. So they can spend time with a chess board, too. (That's what I did, studying Morphy's games. As a result, I have always been a strong club player.) Girls, however, are more interested in socializing. These facts are well-known. Boys are often much easier to deal with for their parents, whereas girls tend to be more difficult--arguing with their parents; staying out at nights, etc. Since boys have this autonomous character and are capable of "self-enployment", they are prone to improve their talents from an early age. A lonely girl is headed for psychic problems, whereas a boy benefits from loneliness. Today, a girl can socialize from home, too, which means that they spend all their time on social networks. They wake up in the middle of the night to look at text messages on the mobile phone.

This biological difference explains why men take the lead in all creative professions. The capacity of being alone, devoted to a hobby, or studying intently, is paramount for the development of diverse skills, including artistic skills. Although adult women often develop such a capacity, to a degree, the window for developing a strong passion for creative work is closed, which means that they cannot reach excellence. You must love to spend time in isolation, cultivating your skills. Women, generally, have no fondness for this, but they do it on account of society's demands.

This tendency to be a "free agent" is a central factor of European psychology, so it also explains ethnic differences of creativity. Arabs and Africans lag behind white people in branches of science, art, etc. They don't like to spend time alone in a room, but prefer to socialize. They are always "chatting". Many Third World immigrants to Sweden find it unbearable to study a dictionary and learn Swedish words. It is perplexing, because it takes a few days for a European man to acquire sufficient language skills in any language (after all, correct grammar is not essential). He just sits down in solitude and studies a dictionary. If this capacity for studious solitude is developed in early years, it brings great advantages.

M. Winther
What a complete load of utter nonsense.
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Carl Hibbard

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Carl Hibbard
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Re: Women not cut out for chess

Post by Carl Hibbard » Thu Apr 23, 2015 7:52 pm

I am tempted to just ban this individual for a week just because I can.
Last edited by Carl Hibbard on Thu Apr 23, 2015 7:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: It's ECF forum moderation time.
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Carl Hibbard

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IM Jack Rudd
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Re: Women not cut out for chess

Post by IM Jack Rudd » Thu Apr 23, 2015 8:28 pm

Image

David Robertson
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Re: Women not cut out for chess

Post by David Robertson » Thu Apr 23, 2015 8:51 pm

RED

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Mats Winther
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Re: Women not cut out for chess

Post by Mats Winther » Fri Apr 24, 2015 7:48 am

Comments are superfluous. The inane reactions speak for themselves.

I am reading a book by Rajiv Malhotra: "Being Different: An Indian Challenge to Western Universalism", HarperCollins 2011. He shows how the West's history-centrism drives it into claims of exclusiveness. It results in anxiety over differences which it seeks to resolve through projects of digestion in order to obliterate whatever seems challenging. Instead, says Malhotra, we must preserve difference with mutual respect--not with mere "tolerance". He alerts the reader to the grave dangers of a difference-negating "sameness" that is marketed worldwide by secular and religious streams in Western culture. The doctrine of 'sameness', the idea that everything is the same, cannot be used to guide our actions in this relative world. He says:

"The suggestion that difference must be seen as positive and be examined openly by all sides is often met with resistance from Indians and westerners alike. I call this resistance 'difference anxiety'. The term refers to the mental uneasiness caused by the perception of difference combined with a desire to diminish, conceal or eradicate it. Difference anxiety occurs in cultural and religious contexts frequently.
Such an anxiety seeks the relative comfort of homogeneous ideas, beliefs and identity. It runs counter to the natural world, where differences are inherent in the immense variety of animals, plants, flowers, seasons, rocks, and indeed at every level of the cosmos. I will argue that we must not try to erase differences but, rather, respect them--even celebrate them. First, however, these differences must be defined and acknowledged.
As a way of resolving difference, Western civilization is given to isolating the elements of other civilizations and placing them in its own conceptual categories--categories formulated by the 'white', 'Christian', and 'progressive' race. This categorization privileges the Western gaze and enables it to declare itself as the universal norm for others to emulate. It is a system for gaining control." (Kindle Loc. 480-489)

The doctrine of 'sameness' surreptitiously privileges Western thought as universal. Malhotra exemplifies with Christian proselytizers, in India, who deploy "inculturation" to give the appearance that they embrace sameness whereas what they truly believe is that the dharma traditions are illegitimate. It is a way of 'tolerating' differences ostensibly while paving the way for the elimination of difference through conversion. As a result, the universal potential of Indian thought is downplayed and ignored.

Western universalism espouses toleration. 'Tolerance' is the catch-word of today. Yet it is really a form of chauvinism that underlies much Western thought in its encounters with other cultures. "Tolerance is a patronizing posture, whereas respect implies that we consider the other to be equally legitimate" (Kindle Loc. 321-322). Malhotra says:

"I wondered aloud if anyone in the audience would like to be told at the upcoming luncheon that he or she was being 'tolerated' at the table. No husband or wife would appreciate being told that his or her presence at home was being 'tolerated'. No self-respecting worker accepts mere tolerance from colleagues. Tolerance, in short, is an outright insult; it is simply not good enough. I pointed out that this notion of tolerance had emerged from religions built on exclusivist claims according to which other religions are false. Hence, tolerating them is the best one can do without undermining one's own claim to exclusivity.
Religious 'tolerance' was advocated in Europe after centuries of religious wars between adherents of the different denominations of Christianity. In many European countries, Churches functioned as religious monopolies according to which the mere practice of the 'wrong' religion was a criminal offence. 'Tolerance' was a positive attempt to quell the violence that had plagued Christianity for centuries in Europe, but it did not provide a genuine basis for real unity and cooperation, and so it often broke down." (Kindle Loc. 324-332)

And so it is with everything. The refusal to see genuine differences between the sexes means that a wet blanket is used to smother feminine nature, which cannot be respected--only tolerated. This wet blanket is the ideology of sameness. It means the inculturation of the feminine, the smothering of the feminine archetype.

M. Winther
Last edited by Carl Hibbard on Fri Apr 24, 2015 3:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Some moderation even if it is all mainly rubbish.

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Jon Mahony
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Re: Women not cut out for chess

Post by Jon Mahony » Fri Apr 24, 2015 8:50 am

Is he taking the micky? :lol:
"When you see a good move, look for a better one!" - Lasker

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IM Jack Rudd
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Re: Women not cut out for chess

Post by IM Jack Rudd » Fri Apr 24, 2015 9:10 am

Image

LawrenceCooper
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Re: Women not cut out for chess

Post by LawrenceCooper » Fri Apr 24, 2015 9:41 am

IM Jack Rudd wrote:Image
Not a straight red? :?

PeterFarr
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Re: Women not cut out for chess

Post by PeterFarr » Fri Apr 24, 2015 10:46 am

PeterFarr wrote:
Matt Mackenzie wrote:Well, a lot of male juniors drop out too (indeed, far too many of them)

There are fewer female players to start with so it is even more noticeable with them?
Perhaps; I guess it would be possible to do an age / gender analysis of the grading database to get a rough idea (though obviously a lot of junior activity wouldn't show). Analysis for other countries would be interesting also, but as much less FIDE rated chess is played in England, meaningful comparison might be tricky.
Trying to bring some sanity back to this thread.

Have just done a very quick analysis of the ECF grading database. Be warned I'm not familiar with any quirks there may be in the data, and my excel skills are rusty, but this is what I found:

Ages 4-8 - 891 players, 25% female
Ages 9-13 - 2145 players, 17% female
Ages 14-18, 981 players, 10% female
No age shown on database; 10,036 players, 3% female.

I have excluded players where no gender is recorded, about 15% of records. I haven't excluded players with zero games.

So it does seem to show that quite a lot less girls get into chess in England in the first place, and that the proportions then decline all the way up to adulthood. Of course you could conjecture all sorts of reasons for this. Maybe there is a bit of a vicious circle, where the predominantly male environment becomes increasingly an issue, puts off some girls, and then has a knock-on effect on the rest

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Women not cut out for chess

Post by Roger de Coverly » Fri Apr 24, 2015 11:13 am

PeterFarr wrote: No age shown on database; 10,036 players, 3% female.
The ECF data includes all tournaments played as English. That means it includes Gibraltar so highly rated females are well represented. It also includes the London Classic and Rapidplay so higher graded male players are also represented. I'm not sure that all females are positively identified as such, making the 3% a possible understatement. Taking the maximum of rapid play and standard grade as the operational statistic, you need a grade of 244 to get into the top 102. Of these 3 are identified as "F", but I thought I spotted one or two others. The usual statistical theory is that for a 3% share in a population, a sample of 100 is nearly as likely to produce results of 0,1,2,4,5,6 as it is of 3

Neil Graham
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Re: Women not cut out for chess

Post by Neil Graham » Fri Apr 24, 2015 11:16 am

There was a substantial article in the Telegraph earlier which no-one appears to have referred to :-

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/ches ... chess.html

plus later

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/womens ... hanks.html

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Re: Women not cut out for chess

Post by PeterFarr » Fri Apr 24, 2015 11:51 am

Roger de Coverly wrote:
PeterFarr wrote: No age shown on database; 10,036 players, 3% female.
The ECF data includes all tournaments played as English. That means it includes Gibraltar so highly rated females are well represented. It also includes the London Classic and Rapidplay so higher graded male players are also represented. I'm not sure that all females are positively identified as such, making the 3% a possible understatement. Taking the maximum of rapid play and standard grade as the operational statistic, you need a grade of 244 to get into the top 102. Of these 3 are identified as "F", but I thought I spotted one or two others. The usual statistical theory is that for a 3% share in a population, a sample of 100 is nearly as likely to produce results of 0,1,2,4,5,6 as it is of 3
Interesting point. Where the age is shown as blank on the database, (so I'm assuming above 18) around 20% of records do not show gender. Where the age is shown as 18 or below, around 94% of records show gender, so that should be pretty robust.

For the 3% I quoted to be wrong, the 20% of (assumed) adult records would need to be biased for some reason. Scrolling through the 1,900 or so names in this group, it's not obvious that this is so; if anything it looks to my eye as though it is biased towards males, though as some names have only initials, it is difficult to be precise.

I'm assuming that the level of overseas participation would be statistically insignificant for the conclusions of my analysis, when set against the whole of graded chess activity in England. I'm more interested here in overall participation than strength. Also I guess my point is not so much whether it's 3% or or 4% or 5%, as that there seems to be a much bigger decline in female participation than male as people get to adulthood.

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