Chess and the Gender Gap in the New York Times

7/14/2016 – In 2007 an Italian study wanted to find out if and how gender affects performance in chess. The result surprises. According to the study women play better if they don't know whether their opponent is a man or a woman. But why is that so? And why is there such a marked gender gap in the non-physical sport of chess? The New York Times wanted to know more about this persistent puzzle.

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4 Young Chess Masters Tackle a Persistent Puzzle: The Gender Gap

Maggie Feng, 15, at the Marshall Chess Club in New York on Wednesday. She
was one of four female masters to participate in an elite clinic at the club.

(Credit Alex Wroblewski/The New York Times)

Fourteen of the nation’s top young chess masters came to New York this week for an elite clinic at the Marshall Chess Club. Four of them were girls. For proponents of gender parity in chess, this was progress.

At a front table, as several boys yelled out answers to a chess puzzle, Carissa Yip, 12, handed a yellow paper to the instructor, Greg Shahade. “You wrote down one move,” Mr. Shahade said. “That’s it?”

Carissa, who at age 11 became the youngest American girl ever to attain the rank of master, did not blink. “It’s a brilliant move,” she deadpanned. “You’re so needy.”

It is one of the vexing questions in chess: Why, in a sport where physical differences do not matter, are boys and men so much more prominent than their female counterparts, despite efforts to attract more girls and women? ...

Full article at the New York Times...



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