The International Chess Federation (FIDE) says it is temporarily banning transgender women from competing in its women’s events. The BBC reports: The FIDE said individual cases would require “further analysis” and that a decision could take up to two years. “The transgender legislation is rapidly developing in many countries and many sport bodies are adopting their own policies,” it said. “FIDE will be monitoring these developments and see how we can apply them to the world of chess. Two years is a scope of sight that seemed reasonable for the thorough analyses of such developments.” It added that transgender players could still compete in the open section of its tournaments. In its policy decision, FIDE also said that trans men who had won women’s titles before transitioning would see their titles abolished. Woman Grandmaster and two-time US Women’s Champion Jennifer Shahade said the policy was “ridiculous and dangerous.”
“It’s obvious they didn’t consult with any transgender players in constructing it… I strongly urge FIDE to reverse course on this and start from scratch with better consultants,” Ms Shahade said.
UK MP Angela Eagle, who was a joint winner of the 1976 British Girls’ Under-18 chess championship, said: “There is no physical advantage in chess unless you believe men are inherently more able to play than women — I spent my chess career being told women’s brains were smaller than men’s and we shouldn’t even be playing.” She added: “This ban is ridiculous and offensive to women.”