A piece in today’s Times:
The English Chess Federation has been criticised by female players after giving a man the job of promoting the game to women.
One applicant, a senior HR executive in her forties, was not interviewed for the director of women’s chess post, it is claimed. She is an expert player who specialises in recruiting women to male-dominated fields.
The other, a chess-playing lawyer in her thirties, said she was offered the opportunity to shadow the male candidate who was eventually successful.
The directorship, previously held by former England international Sarah Longson, was abolished in February, but reinstated after a series of complaints.
However, after a man was appointed this week campaigners have accused the ECF, the organisation that runs England’s national team and the British Championship, of being out of touch with wider efforts to get more women in leadership roles.
Amanda Ross, who founded the London’s Casual Chess group to encourage more women to play, said: “Chess is already a sausagefest. [J4MB: Classy. An activity dominated by women would be a …? And what is “casual chess”? Is that a euphemism for “poor chess”?] This is a lost opportunity to put a highly qualified woman in a leadership role. We refuse to be squeezed out of the game.”
England’s number one female player, Jovanka Houska, said: “That is very strange because it is very important to have female presence on the board.” [J4MB: WHY is it “very important”?]
The ECF’s choice for the role was Chris Fegan, 59, a chess tutor.
He said: “I am looking forward to working to change the culture of the game in this country. With the imbalance between the numbers of men and women playing chess, it is obvious that a key focus is boosting the participation of women in chess at all levels.” [J4MB: Other than at the top level, obviously, where women don’t compete successfully. Hence the absurdity of women-only chess tournaments.]
You can subscribe to The Times here.