Why do so few women play chess compared to bridge.

Discuss anything you like about women's chess at home and abroad.
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Matt Mackenzie
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Re: Why do so few women play chess compared to bridge.

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Tue Mar 22, 2011 12:44 pm

Geoff - the majority of *men* don't want to play chess, at the end of the day.

I don't doubt that there will always be fewer female players, for all sorts of reasons. Nothing wrong with trying to redress the balance a little, though :wink:
"Set up your attacks so that when the fire is out, it isn't out!" (H N Pillsbury)

Geoff Chandler
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Re: Why do so few women play chess compared to bridge.

Post by Geoff Chandler » Tue Mar 22, 2011 1:20 pm

Hi Matt.

"Nothing wrong with trying to redress the balance a little."

Nothing at all and I hope the people who are doing good things
keep on doing good things.
It would be horrible if we let a good female slip away because
she never had the opportunity.

They must never think they are fighting a losing battle but
neither must they think they have failed if the numbers do not rise.

The ratio is what...80-1 in favour of boys playing boys?

I think that just indicates that girls simply do not want to play Chess.

Krishna Shiatis
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Re: Why do so few women play chess compared to bridge.

Post by Krishna Shiatis » Tue Mar 22, 2011 6:10 pm

Geoff Chandler wrote:
The majority of women/girls simply don't want to play chess.
Actually, I disagree. I think that if girls have the right teacher from a young age, then they enjoy it just as much as the boys.

By the time that many girls are adults, yes they probably do not wish to learn, just as many 'adult males' do not wish to learn.

The real problem is how chess is taught. If chess coaches understood a little more about what motivates girls and about how they play, then more girls would play and continue playing.

Doing anything successfully is a powerful motivator and if girls are able to be successful from the start, then much like the boys who are successful, they continue on.

Louise Sinclair
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Re: Why do so few women play chess compared to bridge.

Post by Louise Sinclair » Tue Mar 22, 2011 8:54 pm

By the time that many girls are adults, yes they probably do not wish to learn, just as many 'adult males' do not wish to learn
Many adults lose their curiosity and grow too lazy to learn new skills.
Louise
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Richard James
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Re: Why do so few women play chess compared to bridge.

Post by Richard James » Tue Mar 22, 2011 11:44 pm

In my experience what happens in primary school chess clubs is that you get a lot of girls joining up at first, but they drift away much more quickly than the boys.

I think there are two or three things going on here. One is, as mentioned by others, that boys are typically more aggressive and competitive than girls (although there are, of course, highly competitive girls and non-competitive boys). This issue is dealt with in my book Chess for Kids, where Alice, who wants to be the queen in the army, has to learn to be more aggressive. The second is cultural. I usually find that the boys have played chess at home with their dads, but the girls haven't played before, so the boys start ahead of the girls, who get disillusioned and find it hard to catch up. It seems to be some sort of male bonding thing that fathers tend to teach their sons to play, but not their daughters. Where the whole family plays chess the girls will often do at least as well as the boys.

As a result of these factors the girls become more and more of a minority and it becomes increasingly hard for them to continue.

Sarah de Lisle
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Re: Why do so few women play chess compared to bridge.

Post by Sarah de Lisle » Wed Mar 23, 2011 12:34 am

I learned when I was 8, and was delighted to tell everyone how much fun chess was.

Then when I turned 12 or so, the mickey taking started. It's hard enough being a teenage girl without being a pariah because you push a few pieces around. It didn't stop me but the boys I knew didn't get such a hard time.

I really enjoyed being a minority once I got to the tournaments though :o

I very much agree with the point about aggression - I know I lack a killer instinct and am all too happy to split the point.

Geoff Chandler
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Re: Why do so few women play chess compared to bridge.

Post by Geoff Chandler » Wed Mar 23, 2011 1:08 am

Hi Sarah.

Not sure if killer instinct is the correct term. (that is silly, it's a game).
Just a wee lack of self confidence and if you rode through the mickey
taking then you are on solid ground.

Change your attitude to the game, You must want to win the game.
If you think your postion is OK and the clock is not a problem, go for it.

You may lose a few but you will win more.
Think of a draw as ½ point lost and not ½ point gained.

Hi Krishna.

"If chess coaches understood a little more about what motivates girls
and about how they play, then more girls would play and continue playing."

Actually a very good point. It's one I think Sabrina is trying to address
and by all accounts she is giving it her best shot.

I can't say anymore as my coaching experience has been with boys.
(Though I've sat with Rhian Hughes and looked at a few games
but she was already good and has the chess bug).

Hi Richard.
There is most likely a lot of truth in what you say.
Especially about some girls who get disillusioned and find it hard to catch up.
It's the one's that don't get disillusioned and do catch up that
most likely stay with the game.

Again I must congratulate you on the Chess for Kid site.
I'm sending adults there on a weekly basis and the feedback
I'm getting is tremendous.

Infact in an effort to slow down the PM's (which I really don't mind at all)
about 'how do I improve?' and I see they are still at the piece dropping and
missing mates in one stage. I am going to devote a whole RHP blog to it.

Cheers.

http://www.chesskids.com/newcourse/index.htm

PS: Got my Bridge book. They play for a rubber.
(And I thought prizes at chess tournaments were bad.)
Now need a partner..............

James Byrne
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Re: Why do so few women play chess compared to bridge.

Post by James Byrne » Wed Mar 23, 2011 1:31 am

If you really want to get girls (particularly) into chess you need to find a very strong girl player from the UK or USA who makes playing chess look cool, and then generate a media hype around it (which is a lot easier said than done). I'm really hoping Nakamura can become World Champion, because I predict if an American can become World Champ again there's going to be a boom in chess similar to when Fischer did it, then after perhaps we can start getting chess on Tv, I'm probably dreaming now though.

Alex Holowczak
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Re: Why do so few women play chess compared to bridge.

Post by Alex Holowczak » Wed Mar 23, 2011 8:41 am

James Byrne wrote:If you really want to get girls (particularly) into chess you need to find a very strong girl player from the UK or USA who makes playing chess look cool, and then generate a media hype around it (which is a lot easier said than done).
I'm not sure that's necessarily true. Has Hungary had an influx of new female players solely accreditable to the success of Judit Polgar?

Looking into the world of rallying, Michele Mouton was very close to being World Rally Champion in 1982, ending up 2nd to Walter Rohrl. This was in the heyday of rallying, and it drew massive audiences both on television and at the rallys themselves (often standing in the middle of the road, but that's another story...) The cultural stigma of females in motor racing has prevailed as an issue, despite having an iconic figure to look up to. There can't have been many females in WRC rallys since.
James Byrne wrote:I'm really hoping Nakamura can become World Champion, because I predict if an American can become World Champ again there's going to be a boom in chess similar to when Fischer did it, then after perhaps we can start getting chess on Tv, I'm probably dreaming now though.
I think popularity of a sport is far more closely linked with nationality than sexes. If an Englishman was World Champion, more English people would take up the game. There were surges in popularity with both rugby and cricket after England won the World Cup in 2003, and The Ashes in 2005.

James Byrne
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Re: Why do so few women play chess compared to bridge.

Post by James Byrne » Wed Mar 23, 2011 9:12 am

Alex Holowczak wrote: I'm not sure that's necessarily true. Has Hungary had an influx of new female players solely accreditable to the success of Judit Polgar?
I don't think you can compare Hungary to the UK/England or the USA when it comes to their champions. Both the UK and USA take enormous pride in their champions. Also Judit Polgar even though the strongest female player isn't the most likeable person (debatable).
Alex Holowczak wrote: Looking into the world of rallying, Michele Mouton was very close to being World Rally Champion in 1982, ending up 2nd to Walter Rohrl. This was in the heyday of rallying, and it drew massive audiences both on television and at the rallys themselves (often standing in the middle of the road, but that's another story...) The cultural stigma of females in motor racing has prevailed as an issue, despite having an iconic figure to look up to. There can't have been many females in WRC rallys since.
This may have been due also to rallying being dangerous. And is incomparable to chess in my opinion for this issue.
Alex Holowczak wrote: I think popularity of a sport is far more closely linked with nationality than sexes. If an Englishman was World Champion, more English people would take up the game. There were surges in popularity with both rugby and cricket after England won the World Cup in 2003, and The Ashes in 2005.
Yes I agree entirely on this pt, I know that Chess has boomed in Norway due to Carlsen and is increasingly becoming more popular in India thanks to Anand. I really hope that the 2012 World Champ will be held in India as it would be great for Anand to play in front of his home nation, and would only continue to increase the popularity of chess there. Imagine if Carlsen had been English or American, Chess would be a lot more publicised, that's for sure.

Louise Sinclair
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Re: Why do so few women play chess compared to bridge.

Post by Louise Sinclair » Wed Mar 23, 2011 9:20 am

This may have been due also to rallying being dangerous. And is incomparable to chess in my opinion for this issue.
I disagree with this theory. Women are often keen horse riders quite a dangerous sport and I'm capable of putting my foot down hard on the accelerator of our Jaguar - quite a number of women enjoy some type of risk in their activities.
Louise
You might very well think that ; I couldn't possibly comment.
' you turn if you want. The lady's not for turning'

James Byrne
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Re: Why do so few women play chess compared to bridge.

Post by James Byrne » Wed Mar 23, 2011 9:43 am

Louise Sinclair wrote: I disagree with this theory. Women are often keen horse riders quite a dangerous sport and I'm capable of putting my foot down hard on the accelerator of our Jaguar - quite a number of women enjoy some type of risk in their activities.
Louise
Yes maybe danger was the wrong standing pt. Point I was trying to make is you can't compare Motor Rallying to Chess, the 2 are completely different things. I think a comparison to Poker would be more appropriate or another sport/activity that requires strategy and tactics etc. I think it was Jennier Harnam (spelled wrong probably) who was the first leading female poker player, and since her there was a boom in women taking up poker. Going off-topic a bit now but I actually think Carlsen's G-Star modelling might actually be a great benefit to chess, because it's getting chess spoken about in glamour mags and he's getting put up on billboards and such. Even my friends who had no knowledge of chess now know that Carlsen is the best player in the world at chess (or was at the time) since his rise to fame.

Basically what we need is a female version of Carlsen then we're sorted.

Louise Sinclair
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Re: Why do so few women play chess compared to bridge.

Post by Louise Sinclair » Wed Mar 23, 2011 9:51 am

James
If publicity is needed to encourage women to take up chess I can see one problem. These days hunting for an enjoyable read in magazines or newspapers is difficult. The pages are stuffed with female celebrities and very little else. Serious subjects or suggestions of hobbies are no longer written about. Years ago women's magazines featured all kinds of pastimes and often had articles written by experts in their field.
Until the media realise that there is more to life then soap operas, facebook and celebrities we won't see people featured doing other things - dumb down modern Britain I'm afraid.
When I took up poker I had never heard of any of the players it just appealed to me.
Louise
You might very well think that ; I couldn't possibly comment.
' you turn if you want. The lady's not for turning'

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Ben Purton
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Re: Why do so few women play chess compared to bridge.

Post by Ben Purton » Wed Mar 23, 2011 9:59 am

James Byrne wrote:
Louise Sinclair wrote: I disagree with this theory. Women are often keen horse riders quite a dangerous sport and I'm capable of putting my foot down hard on the accelerator of our Jaguar - quite a number of women enjoy some type of risk in their activities.
Louise
Name a very good professional jumps Jockey(much more dangerous) who is a women ....


Hayley Turner is quite a good women jockey on flat and Catherine Gannon but that is about it.
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Louise Sinclair
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Re: Why do so few women play chess compared to bridge.

Post by Louise Sinclair » Wed Mar 23, 2011 10:21 am

Geraldine Rees rode a good race to complete the Grand National and placed eighth in 1982 I recall watching her skilfully negoiating her way past the fallen male jockeys.
The National is not a soft option but a course requiring many skills - the horses manage it fine if they are riderless :mrgreen:
There have been a few women who enjoy participating in horse racing but until the seventies they are banned from doing so.
Louise
You might very well think that ; I couldn't possibly comment.
' you turn if you want. The lady's not for turning'

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