Director of Women's Chess

Debate directly related to English Chess Federation matters.
NickFaulks
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Re: Director of Women's Chess

Post by NickFaulks » Thu Aug 16, 2018 9:37 am

Stewart Reuben wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 7:59 pm
John McKenna > Why is it that since the Polgar experiment no female player has got anywhere near the top of the FIDE rating list?

As said before, it is the simple weight of numbers.
Roughly speaking, one active player of FIDE rated games in ten is female. The top female is #88 on the top player list, and the next comes in at #364. So there is more to it than just weight of numbers.

Alex Holowczak
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Re: Director of Women's Chess

Post by Alex Holowczak » Thu Aug 16, 2018 9:49 am

NickFaulks wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 9:37 am
Stewart Reuben wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 7:59 pm
John McKenna > Why is it that since the Polgar experiment no female player has got anywhere near the top of the FIDE rating list?

As said before, it is the simple weight of numbers.
Roughly speaking, one active player of FIDE rated games in ten is female. The top female is #88 on the top player list, and the next comes in at #364. So there is more to it than just weight of numbers.
Is there an age bias in that though? If the figure was something like 1 in 50 for older players, but 1 in 5 for juniors, might that help to explain it, because you'd expect the younger players (male or female) not to be at the top.

NickFaulks
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Re: Director of Women's Chess

Post by NickFaulks » Thu Aug 16, 2018 10:36 am

Alex Holowczak wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 9:49 am
Is there an age bias in that though? If the figure was something like 1 in 50 for older players, but 1 in 5 for juniors, might that help to explain it, because you'd expect the younger players (male or female) not to be at the top.
I wondered that, and got as far as reaching your one in five estimate for juniors. It's a factor, but you still can't justify one female player in the top 300.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Director of Women's Chess

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Aug 16, 2018 11:02 am

NickFaulks wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 10:36 am
It's a factor, but you still can't justify one female player in the top 300.
https://ratings.fide.com/card.phtml?event=8603006

It's 363 to be precise at the moment, but then there's a cluster at around 100 to 150 points worse than Yifan Hou. Does the number of women in top 500 or top 1000 look any better?

Actually it's around 17 in the top 1000
https://ratings.fide.com/card.phtml?event=617822

Presumably there are considerably more under 18s in the top 1000.

Stewart Reuben
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Re: Director of Women's Chess

Post by Stewart Reuben » Thu Aug 16, 2018 11:24 am

The disproportion is, of course, self-generating. If there are fewer strong players around, there will be fewer strong players. England became strong at chess and this had the effect that our players became stronger. There used to be virtually no Chinese or Indian players. Now both are power-houses. The senior prize in the Evening Standard Open used to be for players 40+ and then there were only about 3 out of 1200. Now look at the numbers.

Is there something more than just weight of numbers for female players? Possibly, but what that may be is most unclear. It is claimed by some that women's brains are wired differently and their brains don't work as well for chess. It is possible but there is no concrete evidence.

Chris Rice
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Re: Director of Women's Chess

Post by Chris Rice » Thu Aug 16, 2018 11:53 am

Having read Judit Polgar's books and seen a lot of Carlsen's documentaries it appears to me that there are a lot of similarities between the two. Both have highly intelligent and supportive parents and siblings. Their work ethics unmatched. In Judit's case two older sisters playing to an exceptional level. So perhaps this is a nurture argument rather than weight of numbers. I wonder whether the Kosintseva and Muzychuk sisters were similar examples though they never got near to achieving what Judit did.
Both Carlsen and Judit have uncompromising and highly aggressive styles. Both setting opponents problems at every turn and wanting to win at almost any cost no matter how long it takes. I can't think of any other woman that played as aggressively as Judit did. I watched her at several events and male players were genuinely scared of her. Watching her play Polugayevsky at a Hastings Premier one year, her concentration and energy at the board was so intense it created an intimidating effect that I really felt sorry for Lev as she laid waste to him.
You also have to wonder whether being Women's World Champion has actually hindered Hou Yifan's progress. There must be a temptation to take one's foot off the peddle when you are a World Champion with no serious challengers.
Judit is now a serious trainer so perhaps women of an exceptionally high standard will start to come through as her blueprint kicks in.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Director of Women's Chess

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Aug 16, 2018 12:54 pm

Stewart Reuben wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 11:24 am
The senior prize in the Evening Standard Open used to be for players 40+ and then there were only about 3 out of 1200. Now look at the numbers.
There were enough players around in the 1950s and 1960s to keep school, university, club and county chess going. Perhaps playing intense weekend tournaments just wasn't part of the chess tradition for players of that generation.

Stewart Reuben
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Re: Director of Women's Chess

Post by Stewart Reuben » Thu Aug 16, 2018 1:06 pm

Chris Rice >There must be a temptation to take one's foot off the peddle when you are a World Champion with no serious challengers. <

I don't know about Hou Yifan. We have not discussed the matter. but a conversation with Nino Gurieli Georgia at the Lloyds Bank Masters:
'Why are you paying Smagin more money than me?'
'Because he is a GM and you are a WGM'
'It's the same thing.'
Oviously she had erected a glass ceiling which must have impeded her development. yet she came from Georgia. Pia Cramling never felt like that.

Roger >Perhaps playing intense weekend tournaments just wasn't part of the chess tradition for players of that generation.<
But the British Senior Championship got down to 6 players at one point. And that was one round per day.

Brian Towers
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Re: Director of Women's Chess

Post by Brian Towers » Thu Aug 16, 2018 2:42 pm

Stewart Reuben wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 11:24 am
Is there something more than just weight of numbers for female players? Possibly, but what that may be is most unclear. It is claimed by some that women's brains are wired differently and their brains don't work as well for chess. It is possible but there is no concrete evidence.
Like many competitive areas of life it probably comes down to psychological differences between the sexes. It is clear that raw intelligence isn't the key factor else Dr John Nunn would have been the World Champion for the last 40 years.

Psychologists have known for at least 30 years that men are on average more driven and competitive than women and women on average more caring than men. Facts which help explain why fewer women play chess and fewer still compete at the very top level.
Ah, but I was so much older then. I'm younger than that now.

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David Shepherd
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Re: Director of Women's Chess

Post by David Shepherd » Thu Aug 16, 2018 5:40 pm

I noticed above there was some discussion about role models - let me ask a couple of questions:

1) who is currently our highest ranked player in terms of world ranking?
2) Who are currently our top 5 ranked players?

NickFaulks
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Re: Director of Women's Chess

Post by NickFaulks » Thu Aug 16, 2018 6:12 pm

David Shepherd wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 5:40 pm
I noticed above there was some discussion about role models - let me ask a couple of questions:

1) who is currently our highest ranked player in terms of world ranking?
2) Who are currently our top 5 ranked players?
Are we talking about female players? Only active ones?

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David Shepherd
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Re: Director of Women's Chess

Post by David Shepherd » Thu Aug 16, 2018 6:19 pm

I was talking about either females in the female rankings or males (or females) in the overall rankings so the answers

1) Highest ranked Harriet Hunt (33)
2) Top five Harriet Hunt, Michael Adams, Matthew Sadler, David Howell, Jovanka Houska

So relative to the rest of the female chess players in the world we do have some top players but sometimes I think the are not given the full recognition they deserve.

Tim Harding
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Re: Director of Women's Chess

Post by Tim Harding » Fri Aug 17, 2018 5:33 pm

How are ECF for girls and women in the top junior and senior rankings?

In Ireland we have a list online for Top Juniors (age 19 and under) and currently there are 10 girls in the top 100. (Actually in the top 72, but the girl at #101 gained points at a tournament two weekends ago.)
I think we also have two or three Irish-resident girls registered POL or LAT who may transfer and would be in the top 100.
The list will radically change soon when the recent junior internationals and Irish championship events get included in the ratings.

I think we have only one active female player over 50 who would be in top 100 Seniors but about five who have stopped playing decades ago, and who are still listed over 2000 with FIDE.
Tim Harding
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