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Posts Tagged ‘First Saturday tournament’


First saturday

Budapest

Two of South Africa’s young chess players are now taking part in the First Saturday Chess tournament –in Budapest  to gain the title of Fide Master. Players have to gain norms to qualify for titles. Both Melissa and Jenine have already the title of Woman International Master. Melissa plays in Tournament A and Jenine  in Tournament B. GM Peter Leko – one of the top players of the GM’s, also gained his title at this tournament in Budapest. If you click on the first image with the logo of First Saturday, you will get taken to the official website of the tournament.

Chess Titles: explained

Grandmaster (shortened as GM, sometimes International Grandmaster or IGM is used) is awarded to world-class chess masters. Apart from World Champion, Grandmaster is the highest title a chess player can attain. Before FIDE will confer the title on a player, the player must have an Elo chess rating  of at least 2500 at one time and three favorable results (called norms) in tournaments involving other Grandmasters, including some from countries other than the applicant’s. There are also other milestones a player can achieve to attain the title, such as winning the World Junior Championship.
International Master (shortened as IM). The conditions are similar to GM, but less demanding. The minimum rating for the IM title is 2400.
FIDE Master (shortened as FM). The usual way for a player to qualify for the FIDE Master title is by achieving a FIDE Rating of 2300 or more.
Candidate Master (shortened as CM). Similar to FM, but with a FIDE Rating of at least 2200.
All the titles are open to men and women. Separate women-only titles, such as Woman Grandmaster (WGM), are also available. Beginning with Nona Gaprindashvili in 1978, a number of women have earned the GM title, and most of the top ten women in 2006 hold the unrestricted GM title.

Source: Wikipedia

Results: Fide Master Norm – Tournament A: Melissa

Round 1: Peter Segelken vs Melissa Greeff —0-1
Round 2: Melissa Greeff vs Andras Zoltan —1-0
Round 3: Zoltan Czibulka vs Melissa Greeff —1-0
Round 4: Melissa Greeff vs Kristof Koczo —1-0
Round 5: Michael Yip vs Melissa Greeff —0-1
Round 6: ***
Round 7: Melissa Greeff vs Jozsef Katona —1/2
Round 8: Rene Rauer Hansen vs Melissa Greeff —1/2
Round 9: Melissa Greeff vs Csaba Schenkerik —1-0
Round 10:Yorick Ten Hagen vs Melissa Greeff —1/2
Round 11:Melissa Greeff vs Lajos Borda —1/2

Please click here to follow the results of Melissa.

Standings after round 7

Standings after round 11: Top 3 places

1.     Ten Hagen, Yorick      8.5    2150

2.   Greeff, Melissa      7.0    2038

3.    Koczo, Kristof       7.0    2242

 
Melissa Greeff

Melissa Greeff

Janine Ellappen
Janine Ellappen
Results: Fide Master norm: Tournament B – Jenine
Round 1: Jenine Ellappen vs Istvan Mayer —0-1
Round 2: Jenine Ellappen vs Gyula Lakat —1/2
Round 3: Ryan Rhys Griffiths vs Jenine Ellappen —1/2
Round 4: Jenine Ellappen vs Csaba Mezei —0-1
Round 5: Hicham Boulahfa vs Jenine Ellappen —1/2
Round 6: Istvan Mayer vs Jenine Ellappen —1-0
Round 7:Gyula Lakat vs Jenine Ellappen —1-0
Round 8:Jenine Ellappen vs Ryan Rhys Griffiths —1-0
Round 9:Csaba Mezei vs Jenine Ellappen —0-1
Round 10:Jenine Ellappen vs Hicham Boulahfa — 1/2

Please click here to follow the results of Jenine.

Chess games of Melissa Greeff played during the tournament

[Event “First Saturday 09 July FM-A”]
[Site “Budapest”]
[Date “2009.07.04”]
[Round “1”]
[White “Segelken, Peter”]
[Black “Greeff, Melissa”]
[Result “0-1”]
[ECO “B90”]
[WhiteElo “1912”]
[BlackElo “2038”]
[PlyCount “100”]
[EventDate “2009.07.04”]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. d4 cxd4 5. Nxd4 a6 6. h3 e6 7. Bd3 b5 8. a3
Bb7 9. O-O Nbd7 10. Bg5 Be7 11. Qe2 Rc8 12. Kh1 h6 13. Be3 Nc5 14. f3 Nh5 15. Bf2 Bf6 16. Nb3 Be5 17. Qe1 Qg5 18. Ne2 Nf4 19. Nxf4 Qxf4 20. Bg1 Bxb2 21. Bh2 Qf6 22. Ra2 Nxb3 23. cxb3 Be5 24. f4 Bc3 25. Qe2 O-O 26. e5 dxe5 27. fxe5 Qh4 28. Rf4 Qg5 29. Rg4 Qc1+ 30. Bg1 Qe1 31. Qxe1 Bxe1 32. Rc2 Rxc2 33. Bxc2 Rc8 34. Be4 Bxe4 35. Rxe4 Bg3 36. Re3 Bf4 37. Re1 Rc3 38. Rb1 Bxe5 39. a4 b4 40. Bb6 Kf8 41. Kg1 Ke7 42. Kf1 f5 43. Re1 Bg3 44. Re3 Rc1+ 45. Ke2 Bd6 46. Rd3 e5 47. Kd2 Rc6 48. Bg1 e4 49. Rd5 Ke6 50. Rd4 Bc5 0-1

[Event “First Saturday 09 July FM-A”]
[Site “Budapest”]
[Date “2009.07.05”]
[Round “2”]
[White “Greeff, Melissa”]
[Black “Zoltan, Andras”]
[Result “1-0”]
[ECO “C63”]
[WhiteElo “2038”]
[BlackElo “1945”]
[PlyCount “77”]
[EventDate “2009.07.04”]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 f5 4. d3 fxe4 5. dxe4 Nf6 6. O-O Bc5 7. Bxc6 bxc6 8. Nxe5 O-O 9. Bg5 Qe8 10. Bxf6 Rxf6 11. Nd3 Bd4 12. c3 Bb6 13. Nd2 Ba6 14. Qc2 Qf7 15. Nf3 Rf8 16. Nde5 Qe6 17. Rfd1 d6 18. Nxc6 Rxf3 19. gxf3 Rxf3 20. Nd4 Qg4+ 21. Kh1 Bxd4 22. cxd4 Rf4 23. Qb3+ Rf7 24. f3 Qh5 25. Rd2 Bc8 26. Rg2 h6 27. Rag1 Kh7 28. Rg3 Bd7 29. Qd5 Qxd5 30. exd5 c6 31. Rg6 cxd5 32. Rxd6 Bc8 33. Rc1 Bb7 34. Kg2 h5 35. b4 a6 36. a4 g6 37. b5 axb5 38. axb5 Kh6 39. b6 1-0

[Event “First Saturday 09 July FM-A”]
[Site “Budapest”]
[Date “2009.07.06”]
[Round “3”]
[White “Czibulka, Zoltan”]
[Black “Greeff, Melissa”]
[Result “1-0”]
[ECO “A12”]
[WhiteElo “2087”]
[BlackElo “2038”]
[PlyCount “111”]
[EventDate “2009.07.04”]

1. Nf3 d5 2. c4 c6 3. b3 Bg4 4. e3 Nf6 5. Be2 Nbd7 6. Bb2 e6 7. Ne5 Bxe2 8.
Qxe2 Nxe5 9. Bxe5 Bd6 10. Bb2 O-O 11. O-O Qe7 12. d3 Rfe8 13. Nd2 Ba3 14. Be5 Nd7 15. Bc3 e5 16. Rad1 a5 17. Nb1 Bd6 18. Qd2 a4 19. b4 Nf6 20. c5 Bc7 21. Qb2 Rad8 22. Rde1 Qd7 23. e4 Nh5 24. g3 Qg4 25. f3 Qg6 26. Rd1 Qe6 27. Kg2 Rd7 28. Qc2 b5 29. cxb6 Bxb6 30. Rc1 Rc8 31. Bd2 d4 32. Na3 c5 33. b5 Nf6 34. Nc4 Ra7 35. h3 Nd7 36. f4 f6 37. Rb1 Bd8 38. f5 Qe7 39. a3 Nb6 40. Na5 Qd6 41. Nc6 Raa8 42. Rfc1 Nd7 43. Qa2+ Kh8 44. Rc2 Bb6 45. Rc4 Rxc6 46. bxc6 Qxc6 47. Rc2 h6 48. Qe6 Qc7 49. Rcb2 Ra6 50. Kf2 Qd8 51. g4 Ra7 52. Qd5 Qc7 53. h4 Ra6 54. g5 Kh7 55. Qf7 Nb8 56. g6+ 1-0
[Event “First Saturday 09 July FM-A”]
[Site “Budapest”]
[Date “2009.07.07”]
[Round “4”]
[White “Greeff, Melissa”]
[Black “Koczo, Kristof”]
[Result “1-0”]
[ECO “B12”]
[WhiteElo “2038”]
[BlackElo “2242”]
[PlyCount “93”]
[EventDate “2009.07.04”]

1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 c5 4. dxc5 e6 5. Be3 Nd7 6. f4 Bxc5 7. Bxc5 Nxc5 8. Nf3 Ne7 9. Nd4 Nc6 10. c3 Ne4 11. g3 Qb6 12. Qb3 Nxd4 13. Qxb6 axb6 14. cxd4 Bd7 15. Nd2 Ra4 16. Nf3 Ke7 17. Bd3 Rha8 18. a3 Rb4 19. Rb1 Rb3 20. Ke2 Bb5 21. Bxb5 Rxb5 22. Rhc1 Kd7 23. Ng5 f6 24. Nxe4 dxe4 25. Rc3 Rc8 26. Rxc8 Kxc8 27. b4 f5 28. g4 Rd5 29. gxf5 exf5 30. Ke3 Rd8 31. Rg1 g6 32. h4 Kc7 33. Rc1+ Kd7 34. d5 Ra8 35. Rc3 Rd8 36. Kd4 Ke7 37. h5 gxh5 38. Rh3 h6 39. Rxh5 Rh8 40. Rxf5 h5 41. Rg5 h4 42. Rg2 e3 43. Kxe3 Ra8 44. Ke4 Rxa3 45. Rg7+ Kf8 46. Rh7 h3 47. d6 1-0
[Event “First Saturday 09 July FM-A”]
[Site “Budapest”]
[Date “2009.07.08”]
[Round “5”]
[White “Yip, Michael”]
[Black “Greeff, Melissa”]
[Result “0-1”]
[ECO “D19”]
[WhiteElo “2045”]
[BlackElo “2038”]
[PlyCount “67”]
[EventDate “2009.07.04”]

1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Nc3 dxc4 5. a4 Bf5 6. e3 e6 7. Bxc4 Bb4 8. O-O
O-O 9. Qe2 Bg6 10. Rd1 Qa5 11. Na2 Qxa4 12. b3 Qa5 13. Bb2 Be7 14. Nc3 Qc7 15. e4 Nbd7 16. d5 exd5 17. exd5 Rfe8 18. Qd2 cxd5 19. Bxd5 Nb6 20. Nb5 Qd7 21. Bc4 Qxd2 22. Rxd2 Nxc4 23. bxc4 Rec8 24. Ne5 a6 25. Nd6 Rd8 26. Rad1 Ne4 27. Nxe4 Bxe4 28. Nd7 Bc6 29. Kf1 Ba4 30. Be5 Bxd1 31. Rxd1 Rac8 32. Rd4 f6 33. Bf4 Kf7 34. Rd5 0-1

[Event “First Saturday 09 July FM-A”]
[Site “Budapest”]
[Date “2009.07.10”]
[Round “7”]
[White “Greeff, Melissa”]
[Black “Katona, Jozsef”]
[Result “1/2-1/2”]
[ECO “B42”]
[WhiteElo “2038”]
[BlackElo “1962”]
[PlyCount “109”]
[EventDate “2009.07.04”]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 a6 5. Bd3 Ne7 6. O-O Nbc6 7. c3 b5 8. Qe2 Ne5 9. Bc2 Bb7 10. f4 Nc4 11. a4 Nc6 12. b3 Nxd4 13. cxd4 Qb6 14. Rd1 Na5 15. Be3 Rc8 16. Ra2 b4 17. Nd2 Qc7 18. Bd3 Be7 19. Rc2 Qd8 20. Rxc8 Qxc8 21. Qg4 O-O 22. f5 f6 23. Qh5 Qc3 24. Qe2 Nxb3 25. Nxb3 Qxb3 26. fxe6 Qxe6 27. d5 Qe5 28. g3 b3 29. Bc4 Bd6 30. Bd4 Qe7 31. Bxb3 Kh8 32. Bc4 a5 33. Rb1 Bb4 34. Qe3 d6 35. Kg2 Re8 36. Kf3 Qc7 37. Bb5 Rc8 38. Rf1 Qf7 39. g4 Bc5 40. Bxc5 Rxc5 41. Rc1 Rxc1 42. Qxc1 h5 43. h3 h4 44. Qc3 Qe7 45. Qxa5 Qe5 46. Qe1 g5 47. Qe3 Qh2 48. a5 Qxh3+ 49. Kf2 Qh2+ 50. Ke1 Qh1+ 51. Kf2 Qh2+ 52. Ke1 Qb2 53. Qb6 Qb1+ 54. Kd2 Qb2+ 55. Ke3 1/2-1/2
[Event “First Saturday 09 July FM-A”]
[Site “Budapest”]
[Date “2009.07.11”]
[Round “8”]
[White “Hansen, Rene Rauer”]
[Black “Greeff, Melissa”]
[Result “1/2-1/2”]
[ECO “D18”]
[WhiteElo “1991”]
[BlackElo “2038”]
[PlyCount “69”]
[EventDate “2009.07.04”]

1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Nc3 dxc4 5. a4 Bf5 6. e3 e6 7. Bxc4 Bb4 8. O-O
O-O 9. Ne2 Nbd7 10. Ng3 Bg6 11. b3 Qe7 12. Bb2 Rad8 13. Qe2 Nh5 14. Rac1 Nxg3 15. hxg3 Bh5 16. Qc2 c5 17. Bd3 Bg6 18. Bxg6 hxg6 19. Rfd1 cxd4 20. Rxd4 e5 21. Rh4 Bd6 22. Kh2 Rc8 23. Rc4 Rxc4 24. Qxc4 Nb6 25. Qb5 Re8 26. a5 Na8 27. Qd5 b6 28. Rd1 Bc7 29. axb6 Nxb6 30. Qc6 Rc8 31. Qb5 e4 32. Nd4 Be5 33. Nc6 Rxc6 34. Qxe5 Qxe5 35. Bxe5 1/2-1/2

[Event “First Saturday 09 July FM-A”]
[Site “Budapest”]
[Date “2009.07.12”]
[Round “9”]
[White “Greeff, Melissa”]
[Black “Schenkerik, Csaba”]
[Result “1-0”]
[ECO “B03”]
[WhiteElo “2038”]
[BlackElo “2153”]
[PlyCount “101”]
[EventDate “2009.07.04”]

1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. d4 d6 4. c4 Nb6 5. exd6 exd6 6. Nc3 Be7 7. Bd3 Nc6 8.
Nge2 O-O 9. O-O Nb4 10. Bb1 Nxc4 11. a3 d5 12. axb4 Bxb4 13. b3 Nb6 14. Qd3 g6 15. Qg3 Bd6 16. Bf4 Bxf4 17. Nxf4 c6 18. h4 Qf6 19. Rd1 Bf5 20. Bxf5 Qxf5 21. Nd3 Rfe8 22. Nc5 Re7 23. Re1 Qf6 24. Rxe7 Qxe7 25. Qg5 f6 26. Qe3 Qf7 27. Re1 Kf8 28. Qe6 Qxe6 29. Rxe6 Kf7 30. Re1 Rb8 31. g4 Nc8 32. Nd7 Ra8 33. g5 fxg5 34. hxg5 Nd6 35. Ne5+ Kg7 36. Na4 Nf5 37. Rd1 Re8 38. f4 Nd6 39. Kf2 Rf8 40. Ke3 Nf5+ 41. Kf3 Re8 42. Nc5 Re7 43. Ke2 Nd6 44. Kd3 Re8 45. Rh1 Re7 46. Ncd7 Ne4 47. Rh2 Nd6 48. Nf6 h5 49. gxh6+ Kxf6 50. h7 Nf7 51. Nxf7 1-0

[Event “First Saturday 09 July FM-A”]
[Site “Budapest”]
[Date “2009.07.13”]
[Round “10”]
[White “Ten Hagen, Yorick”]
[Black “Greeff, Melissa”]
[Result “1/2-1/2”]
[ECO “B42”]
[WhiteElo “2150”]
[BlackElo “2038”]
[PlyCount “63”]
[EventDate “2009.07.04”]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 a6 5. Bd3 Nc6 6. Nxc6 dxc6 7. O-O e5 8. Bc4 Qxd1 9. Rxd1 Nf6 10. f3 Bc5+ 11. Kf1 O-O 12. a3 b5 13. Ba2 a5 14. Ke2 Ba6 15. Be3 Be7 16. Kf2 Rfd8 17. Nd2 Nd7 18. a4 bxa4 19. Nc4 Bxc4 20. Bxc4 Bc5 21. Rd3 Bxe3+ 22. Kxe3 Nb6 23. Rc3 Rd6 24. Be2 Kf8 25. Rc5 f6 26. b3 axb3 27. cxb3 a4 28. bxa4 Nxa4 29. Rc2 Nb6 30. Rxa8+ Nxa8 31. Ba6 Nc7 32. Bb7 1/2-1/2
[Event “First Saturday 09 July FM-A”]
[Site “Budapest”]
[Date “2009.07.14”]
[Round “11”]
[White “Greeff, Melissa”]
[Black “Borda, Lajos”]
[Result “1/2-1/2”]
[ECO “B28”]
[WhiteElo “2038”]
[BlackElo “2070”]
[PlyCount “124”]
[EventDate “2009.07.04”]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 a6 3. c3 d5 4. exd5 Qxd5 5. d4 Nf6 6. Be2 e6 7. O-O Bd6 8. c4
Qc6 9. Nc3 Nbd7 10. Re1 O-O 11. h3 Qc7 12. Be3 b6 13. Qd2 Bb7 14. Rad1 Rad8 15. b3 cxd4 16. Nxd4 Bb4 17. Qc2 Qe5 18. Bd3 Nc5 19. f4 Qc7 20. Rf1 Nxd3 21. Qxd3 Rfe8 22. Na4 Bc6 23. Qb1 Bxa4 24. bxa4 Bc5 25. Qc1 e5 26. Nb3 Rxd1 27. Rxd1 exf4 28. Bxc5 bxc5 29. Re1 Re6 30. Qd2 h6 31. Qf2 Ne4 32. Qc2 Ng5 33. Rxe6 Nxe6 34. Qe4 Ng5 35. Qd5 f3 36. gxf3 Qg3+ 37. Kf1 Nxf3 38. Ke2 Ng1+ 39. Kd2 Qf2+ 40. Kd1 Qe2+ 41. Kc1 Qxa2 42. Qd8+ Kh7 43. Qd3+ g6 44. Nxc5 Ne2+ 45. Kd1 Nf4 46. Qe4 Nxh3 47. Qd4 Ng5 48. Kc1 Qa3+ 49. Kd1 a5 50. Ke2 Qf3+ 51. Kd2 Qc6 52. Kc2 Qg2+ 53. Kc1 Qf1+ 54. Kb2 Qe2+ 55. Kc1 h5 56. Nd7 Qe1+ 57. Kb2 Qb4+ 58. Kc1 Qa3+ 59. Kb1 Ne6 60. Nf6+ Kh6 61. Ng8+ Kh7 62. Nf6+ Kh6 1/2-1/2

http://ratings.fide.com/view_pgn.phtml?code=16488

While we’re on the topic of girls….Natalia Pogonina is a Woman Chess Grandmaster. She’s a WGM’s I’ve only discovered a few days ago! She’s written a book about women and chess. On any chess site, there are always threads in the forums about the question: why are there less women playing chess, or: why are there less Women Chess Grandmasters, etc. etc…it’s endless…all the different topics. It’s good to know that the men like to talk about us, it shows that they have at least something to talk about…haha… Chess is a game for people who can use their logical mind and if they can’t reason in a logical way too, well, then I have a few questions to ask too. I think the reasons are straightforward and we don’t have to argue about it or start any conversations about this topic. Men should really start accepting the reasons. Some of them even enjoy to put women down, maybe to feel better about themselves and their own shortcomings?  Do make an effort to read what Natalia says. I’ve also GM Yelena Dembo’s site-link for you. Click on the images of the GM’s and you will be taken to their sites. Links will open in a new window.



WGM Yelena Dembo
If you click
HERE you can play through her best games.

click on Natalia's image to visit her site

WGM Natalia Pogonina

On June 5, 2009 WGM Natalia Pogonina and Peter Zhdanov got married – she a Women’s Grandmaster, he a successful IT-specialist and debate expert. Peter is also Natalia’s manager, together they are writing a book called “Chess Kamasutra”. Today they share with us their views on the perennial topic why women are worse at chess than men, and take a look at the future of women’s chess.

“They’re all weak, all women. They’re stupid compared to men.
They shouldn’t play chess, you know. They’re like beginners. They lose every single game against a man.There isn’t a woman player in the world I can’t give knight-odds to and still beat.”
Robert James Fischer, 1962, Harper’s Magazine

Chess is often divided into men’s chess and women’s chess. The classification is quite relative, since women can participate in tournaments for men, while men can’t take part in women’s events. This discrimination has always been a subject of heated discussions. So, is it true that men are better than women in chess, and if so, then what are the reasons for that?
Genes?
Chess is an intellectual sport, physical strength is by far not the key factor there. Endurance is also not a factor, because women are probably even more enduring than men.

Some say it’s about the level of testosterone that affects competitiveness – men are more likely to be trying to excel at something than women. However, if we look at the percentage of so-called “grandmaster draws” among women and men then we’ll see that women’s fighting spirits are definitely higher. You may say that it’s an exception from the rule, but we still doubt that it’s the high level of testosterone that makes top women players good at chess.
 
So, maybe women are just less smart than men? According to multiple studies, on the average the answer is “no”. Then what’s the problem?

Historical reasons
Women have started playing chess professionally long after men. Nowadays the number of professional women chess players is growing, but the proportion is still incomparable. There are very few women in chess, so they have meager chances to enter the world chess elite.
 
Look at the top-300 list of chess players and count the number of women there. If you don’t miss anyone, you’ll find only three of them. Almost one to a hundred, “great” ratio, isn’t it? A few more illustrative figures: according to FIDE’s website, there are 20 female players who hold the GM title to 1201 male grandmasters (about 1 to 60), 77 female IMs to 2854 male (about 1 to 37), 239 WGMs and 7 female FMs to 5400 male FMs (about 1 to 22). Side note: notice the downward trend?

Upbringing and social stereotypes
The other important issue is that in order to become a top chess player you’ve got to study chess diligently from early childhood. Parents (who have a large influence on their children’s choice of hobbies) deem chess as a strange pastime for a girl, and also do not appreciate the fact that their daughter will be spending a lot of time with male adults or teenagers (especially when leaving home to play in tournaments).

Roy Gates (Southern California, USA) recalls:
I think that there’s definitely some cultural/sociological bias at work that has made it more difficult for women to excel in chess. I realized a few years ago (after it was pointed out to me by an ex-girlfriend) that I was taking a much more active role in my nephew’s chess education than I was with my niece despite the fact that she was more eager to play/learn and seemed to take to the game much quicker. I had subconsciously not taken her interest in chess seriously and was mortified when I realized I was helping to perpetuate the myth that boys are better chess players.

Michael Ziern (Frankfurt, Germany) adds:
It is hard to convince parents to send girls to tournaments along with their male club colleagues. Parents are often afraid to allow their 10 or 12 year old girl to travel around with a group of boys and young men. If girls play fewer tournaments, they do not improve so quickly and lose interest. In order to solve this problem, my club cooperated with clubs from neighboring towns to have greater groups of girls who could share rooms in youth hostels, make friends etc. with some success.

Moreover, serious chess studies require substantial investments (coaches, trips etc.), while it’s a well-known fact that women chess players can’t make a decent living playing chess unless they’re at the very top. That’s why parents discourage their daughters’ interest in chess – what’s the point of wasting so much time on a dubious activity?
 
When Natalia was twelve she even had to move to another city to get access to good coaching and financing – life in Russia in the 90s used to be tough for anyone, not to mention chess players. So she and her coach could hardly find money for the chess trips and had to carry heavy bags full of chess books with them and sell the volumes in order to compensate the expenses.

Psychology
This factor seems to me to be the most important. A stereotype exists in chess that women are no match for men. It is based on statistical data. That’s why many female chess players are taught from early childhood that they’ll never make it to men’s level. TV and books are also trying to convince them that it’s unreal. But all this is a myth! The first woman to break it was the incredible Judit Polgar, the greatest woman chess player of all times.

Different priorities?
 What if women are just not interested in chess? Could it be one of those activities that appeal to men more than to women (like playing PC games, fighting, shooting, cussing etc.?). There was even an amusing hypothesis that chess is for immature and weird people, so women (who tend to mature faster than men) don’t take up such a strange occupation.
 
Robert Tierney (Binghamton NY, USA):
Adding my two-cents here, I think the question is phrased wrong.  “Why do women play chess worse than men” is an improper question, framed in a male-dominated area with a male-dominated history.  Since everyone (here) seems to agree that women are quicker learners than men, and mature quicker than men, perhaps they are too intelligent to spend more time at something that is just a game, as Morphy stated several times.  Maybe the question should be, are men too stupid or too immature to quit obsessing on chess?  Then maybe we wouldn’t have this topic getting abused over and over again.  “Chess is a sign of lack of intelligence”–now wouldn’t that be a kick in the head?

Different tastes and priorities are probably part of the answer, but they are also closely connected with the other reasons. For instance, priorities are largely affected by social stereotypes and upbringing, so if (theoretically) we change them (e.g. encourage boys to play dolls and girls to study chess), we may see a completely opposite result.

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