Abolish Women's Chess Titles? Discuss.......

Discuss anything you like about women's chess at home and abroad.
Alan Walton
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Re: Abolish Women's Chess Titles? Discuss.......

Post by Alan Walton » Mon Jun 28, 2010 1:25 pm

I think this problem is mainly endemic within the British Isles, over the years we have only had 2 "home grown" female players achieve male titles, where as if you go abroad there are numerous females playing at the "male" level and achieving IM/GM titles

Perhaps this is because in the past we segregated male and female players at a very early age, and from Sabrina's post this is not happening currently, so in the future female players themselves believe more in equal footing

Admittedly, when I play in International tournaments, I am looking at the rating rather than gender so when I play a 2200 it doesn't make a difference if I am playing a CM or a WFM/WIM

I think recently Nigel Short has recommended that all titles should be scrapped even GM & IM, and everybody concentrates on ratings, but maybe this is a little too far

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Re: Abolish Women's Chess Titles? Discuss.......

Post by Alex Holowczak » Mon Jun 28, 2010 1:37 pm

Alan Walton wrote: I think recently Nigel Short has recommended that all titles should be scrapped even GM & IM, and everybody concentrates on ratings, but maybe this is a little too far
Presumably the titles were introduced as a sort of rating system without the numbers. So I can see the logic in the idea, now that we have a very good rating system with numbers. I don't see the harm in continuing the titles though; if anything, FIDE can rake in money off it.

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Re: Abolish Women's Chess Titles? Discuss.......

Post by Alan Walton » Mon Jun 28, 2010 1:42 pm

True Alex, it is a good income driver for FIDE, but maybe a better rationalisation of the title structure maybe a useful exercise, this could also include a Female Title structure, but ideally you should only receive a title if you are over x rating (I would used at least 2100)

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Gareth Harley-Yeo
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Re: Abolish Women's Chess Titles? Discuss.......

Post by Gareth Harley-Yeo » Mon Jun 28, 2010 1:42 pm

I will admit I've always found it a little strange that women play with the same board, the same pieces and the same clock, yet a female of equal rating to myself, such as Maria and Sabrina get a title just for being a different gender. I don't think it's sour grapes, as a 2000-2100 player I don't class myself deserving of a chess title, i do find it a little strange however when sat opposite somebody with a lower rated person who's titled 'woman international master' when I'm nowhere near achieving even the lowest available title of FM.

To my mind both genders play under the same conditions. The levels of testosterone shouldn’t equal titles... or should we introduce a GFM for any gay men who feel uncomfortable around all the macho hetro’ guys?

I like the idea that British women can obtain titles, the lower the ‘entry level’ for obtaining one, the more we have, and as a result, as Sabrina pointed out, the more respect they command. I don’t however feel as though these titles should be exclusive. If a 2000 player is good enough to be called ‘master’ when female then they should be as a male. It’s the divisiveness of the title that makes it an issue. GM isn’t MGM because it’s open to all.

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Re: Abolish Women's Chess Titles? Discuss.......

Post by Alex Holowczak » Mon Jun 28, 2010 1:47 pm

Gareth Harley-Yeo wrote: I like the idea that British women can obtain titles, the lower the ‘entry level’ for obtaining one, the more we have, and as a result, as Sabrina pointed out, the more respect they command. I don’t however feel as though these titles should be exclusive. If a 2000 player is good enough to be called ‘master’ when female then they should be as a male. It’s the divisiveness of the title that makes it an issue. GM isn’t MGM because it’s open to all.
As Jack points out in this sort of discussion, nowhere in the title regulations does it say you have to be a woman to have a women's title. Maybe you should apply, just to see if it's successful or not? :wink:

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Re: Abolish Women's Chess Titles? Discuss.......

Post by Sabrina Chevannes » Mon Jun 28, 2010 1:53 pm

Gareth Harley-Yeo wrote:I will admit I've always found it a little strange that women play with the same board, the same pieces and the same clock, yet a female of equal rating to myself, such as Maria and Sabrina get a title just for being a different gender. I don't think it's sour grapes, as a 2000-2100 player I don't class myself deserving of a chess title, i do find it a little strange however when sat opposite somebody with a lower rated person who's titled 'woman international master' when I'm nowhere near achieving even the lowest available title of FM.

To my mind both genders play under the same conditions. The levels of testosterone shouldn’t equal titles... or should we introduce a GFM for any gay men who feel uncomfortable around all the macho hetro’ guys?

I like the idea that British women can obtain titles, the lower the ‘entry level’ for obtaining one, the more we have, and as a result, as Sabrina pointed out, the more respect they command. I don’t however feel as though these titles should be exclusive. If a 2000 player is good enough to be called ‘master’ when female then they should be as a male. It’s the divisiveness of the title that makes it an issue. GM isn’t MGM because it’s open to all.
It does sound a little like sour grapes! And as Jack Rudd nicely pointed out - it doesn't state anywhere that men cannot apply for the title of WFM, so if you feel you deserve a "master" title as myself and Maria do, then go ahead and apply for one... but I think that you in fact don't even qualify to be a WFM, as you have not been 2100, but feel free to apply for the WCM title.

It is true it does not specify you have to be female, but it would be nice for you to get the title to recognise that you are as good as a women's candidate master.

I can't speak for the gay man as I am not one obviously, but I don't think it has anything to do with sexuality but it's the sterotype that women are less intelligent as men and cannot achieve what men can. I did not think the same applied to homosexuals.

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Re: Abolish Women's Chess Titles? Discuss.......

Post by Gareth Harley-Yeo » Mon Jun 28, 2010 2:12 pm

Chevannes wrote:
Gareth Harley-Yeo wrote:I will admit I've always found it a little strange that women play with the same board, the same pieces and the same clock, yet a female of equal rating to myself, such as Maria and Sabrina get a title just for being a different gender. I don't think it's sour grapes, as a 2000-2100 player I don't class myself deserving of a chess title, i do find it a little strange however when sat opposite somebody with a lower rated person who's titled 'woman international master' when I'm nowhere near achieving even the lowest available title of FM.

To my mind both genders play under the same conditions. The levels of testosterone shouldn’t equal titles... or should we introduce a GFM for any gay men who feel uncomfortable around all the macho hetro’ guys?

I like the idea that British women can obtain titles, the lower the ‘entry level’ for obtaining one, the more we have, and as a result, as Sabrina pointed out, the more respect they command. I don’t however feel as though these titles should be exclusive. If a 2000 player is good enough to be called ‘master’ when female then they should be as a male. It’s the divisiveness of the title that makes it an issue. GM isn’t MGM because it’s open to all.
It does sound a little like sour grapes! And as Jack Rudd nicely pointed out - it doesn't state anywhere that men cannot apply for the title of WFM, so if you feel you deserve a "master" title as myself and Maria do, then go ahead and apply for one... but I think that you in fact don't even qualify to be a WFM, as you have not been 2100, but feel free to apply for the WCM title.

It is true it does not specify you have to be female, but it would be nice for you to get the title to recognise that you are as good as a women's candidate master.

I can't speak for the gay man as I am not one obviously, but I don't think it has anything to do with sexuality but it's the sterotype that women are less intelligent as men and cannot achieve what men can. I did not think the same applied to homosexuals.
It really isn't sour grapes, as I previously said - I don't consider myself worthy of being called master of anything so I wouldn’t be applying even if I did qualify. I'm merely not a fan of positive discrimination. It is possible to hold an opinion without being jealous.

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Re: Abolish Women's Chess Titles? Discuss.......

Post by Alan Walton » Mon Jun 28, 2010 3:55 pm

I think the main question is what you are aspiring for when you are playing chess

I do think titles are good for tracking your improvement, but only ones where norms are required (WIM/WGM/IM/GM)

Titles which are related to rating bands should be generic across all genders, therefore there should be 4 titles available for the following bands 2300+, 2200+, 2100+, 2000+. If you achieve one of these whatever gender then you apply for it if you want it.

If you are rated below 2000 are you really deserving a title, I think aiming to get over 2000 should be any serious players aim regardless of gender

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IM Jack Rudd
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Re: Abolish Women's Chess Titles? Discuss.......

Post by IM Jack Rudd » Mon Jun 28, 2010 4:54 pm

Alan Walton wrote:I think this problem is mainly endemic within the British Isles, over the years we have only had 2 "home grown" female players achieve male titles
I count at least three - Susan Lalic, Harriet Hunt and Jovanka Houska have all achieved the IM title.

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Re: Abolish Women's Chess Titles? Discuss.......

Post by Maria Yurenok » Mon Jun 28, 2010 5:03 pm

Alan, I like your latest suggestion. I don't mind if men get rating-related titles equivalent to WFM, in fact it would help me!

Right now the FIDE rules are as such that if I wanted to get a WIM norm I must play a minimum of 5 titled players in a 9 round tournament (apart from many other conditions that I need to satisfy). That's very difficult in a Swiss tournament because most players are men! Guess what - a weak WFM (with a rating of lets say 1900) counts as a titled player but a man without a title but with a rating of 2299 counts for nothing (CM title counts for nothing)! I prefer playing in Swiss tournaments because Simon (Ansell) and I can travel together and play in the same tournament. However, that means that for most of the tournament's duration I have to do so well that I'm level on points with FMs, IMs or GMs who tend to perform at 2300+ level and hang around the top of the Swiss tournament table. WIM norm requirement is 2250 performance - that's well below the level I actually have to perform at for most of the Swiss-type tournament's duration, so that I get a chance of being paired with 5 titled players.

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Re: Abolish Women's Chess Titles? Discuss.......

Post by Alan Walton » Mon Jun 28, 2010 6:05 pm

Jack, well corrected I forgot about Susan

Maria, I agree with that predicament, but if you keep performing at 2200+ you will eventually play enough titled players anyway to get the WIM title.

Also, If FIDE made something more of the CM title (which is nearly the equivalent to WIM) then this would make life alot easier for the WIM norm

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Re: Abolish Women's Chess Titles? Discuss.......

Post by Alex Holowczak » Mon Jun 28, 2010 6:13 pm

The difference seems to be that:

WIM norm - play at 2250, but there aren't enough people around with titles at that lower level to make it easily accessible
IM norm - play at 2450, with a plentiful supply of people around with titles at the higher level to make it easily accessible

This doesn't sound like a convincing argument to keep women's titles; if the rating standard is both lower than the open equivalent, and more difficult - and by extension, probably more expensive - for organisers of norm tournaments to achieve the right conditions.
Last edited by IM Jack Rudd on Mon Jun 28, 2010 6:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: To give correct TPRs for the norms in question.

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Re: Abolish Women's Chess Titles? Discuss.......

Post by Maria Yurenok » Mon Jun 28, 2010 6:41 pm

Alan - yes, you are right of course.

Alex - in my last post I was supporting the idea of generic rating-related titles that Alan suggested. However, I still firmly stand supportive of WIM and WGM titles. The fact that there are fewer titled people at that level to make a norm achievement possible is not a good argument to abolish women's titles. In the old days very few people had GM titles and to get one was very difficult - I doubt anyone argued about abolishing GM titles just because there were not enough GMs to go around to make norms easily accessible. I'm not sure if it's more expensive to organise WIM/WGM norm conditions as opposed to IM/GM norms - perhaps Sean or Loz can comment on that. My guess is it's not more expensive but just more difficult to find the players.

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Re: Abolish Women's Chess Titles? Discuss.......

Post by Alex Holowczak » Mon Jun 28, 2010 6:58 pm

Very few people had GM titles, but that was the only title to aspire to. There are perfectly accessible titles nowadays logistically, IM seems easier than WIM based on what you're saying (rating requirements excepting).

I'm not sure whether or not it is more expensive either, but given supply and demand, if WFM/WIMs wanted to, they probably ought to be able to demand more of a fee than FMs and IMs for an equivalent tournament. Whether or not they do, I don't know...

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Re: Abolish Women's Chess Titles? Discuss.......

Post by Alan Walton » Mon Jun 28, 2010 7:20 pm

Maria, I think if you can get your rating upto around 2100 then entering the Coulsdon and e2e4 all-play-all could be a good route to get the WIM, otherwise you may have to start thinking of playing stronger Swiss opens (for example Gibraltar) where the likelihood of playing IMs and FMs is more frequent.

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