The Grandmistresses are winning

Vishal’s passed on this bit of chess news:

Chess legends Viktor Korchnoi, Jan Timman, Robert Hübner and Vlastimil Hort are competing with young “grandmistresses” [sic] Koneru Humpy, Anna Muzychuk, Katerina Lahno and Jana Jackova in a double-round Scheveningen match “Lasses and Old Timer” [sic] – Czech Coal Chess Match 2009, which is taking place in Marianske Lazne at the Cristal Palace Hotel from 28th November to 5th December 2009.

And, so far, the women are winning. The photos are fun to look through, and excellent for breaking down some stereotypes.

(Some of the commentary and terminology might annoy a little, but I really don’t know how much is due to translation issues. And I kind of like ‘grandmistress’. Though perhaps I shouldn’t.)

6 thoughts on “The Grandmistresses are winning

  1. O good! Worth looking at and maybe even saving in you know young women or girls who might be interested in chess.

  2. i have a female in-law from st petersburg who played chess competitively–and rather well–from childhood, and never seemed to have any inkling that it was at all unusual. (she started out playing in russia and finished off in the midwest of the us. you can imagine how she was received on the highschool chess team there!) i suspect there are possibly cultural differences in how chess skills work into gender stereotypes. either that, or russians are more forward-thinking gender-wise…wouldn’t surprise me.

  3. either that, or russians are more forward-thinking gender-wise…wouldn’t surprise me.

    It’s as one might suspect- in some things Russians are more forward thinking, at least to a degree of depth, so that there are many more female university professors, doctors, etc. But many of these jobs have been “feminized” in that they have come to seem like typically “female” jobs rather than unequivocally pointing towards equality. In many other ways Russian attitudes towards women are very regressive, especially relating to domestic violence, rape, and so on. As for chess, I can’t say but my experience would lead me to expect that the common attitude would be that women can play at a high level and be very good but that most people would assume that they can’t really be the very top. That seemed to be a typical assumption for most fields when I lived there.

  4. On another somewhat related note, there is another article here (on Chessbase again) that reveals to us that International Master Almira Skripchenko, who is married to Super GrandmasterLaurent Fressinet, is the main breadwinner in the family! I guess this has got to do with Almira’s recent foray into Poker(!), especially with her winning a handsome prize of around USD80,000 after finishing seventh in a 2009 World Series of Poker No Limit Hold’em tournament.

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