Chess Bitch: Women In The Ultimate Intellectual Sport

By Jennifer Shahade

Within the online game of chess, the most powerful piece—the Queen—is also known as "bitch," and being woman has been lengthy thought of a massive drawback.

Chess complain, written by way of the 2004 U.S. Woman’s Chess Champion, is an eye-opening account of the way today’s younger woman chess gamers are effectively flattening the doorways to this commonly male online game, infiltrating the male-owned wearing tradition of foreign chess, and giving the word "play like a lady" a complete new which means.

Through interviews with and remark of the younger globetrotting ladies chess avid gamers who problem male domination, Chess whinge shines a harsh mild at the game’s gender bias. Shahade starts off by way of profiling the lives of significant ladies gamers from background, beginning with Vera Menchik, who defeated male execs with amazing frequency and have become the 1st woman’s international Champion in 1927. She then investigates the women’s chess dynasties in Georgia and China. She interviews the recognized Polgar sisters, who refused to play in separate women's tournaments. She information her personal chess adventures—traveling to tournaments from Reykjavik to Istanbul. And Shahade introduces us to such lesser-known chess personalities because the flamboyant Zambian participant Linda Nangwale and the transgendered Texan Angela Alston and the ecu lady chess gamers who hop from one state to a different, taking part in chess by means of day and partying lengthy into the evening. if you happen to examine chess as humans sitting quietly throughout a desk, Shahade paints a colourful global that almost all chess enthusiasts by no means knew existed.

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I made a decision to take every week off from education. My fall semester at NYU had simply all started while September eleven occurred. i used to be devastated, but in addition forced to envision my lifestyles in higher phrases. i used to be wondering my devotion to chess, which had appeared even more vital only a week ahead of. a number of days after September 11, periods resumed and that i begun a hard time table, together with classes in Spanish literature and journalism. i used to be additional distracted by way of the method of relocating out of my miniscule condominium right into a a lot higher house simply blocks away. The one-week hiatus in August become months of half-hearted makes an attempt to reopen my chess books. however, come 2002 i used to be in larger spirits. I had simply celebrated my twenty-first birthday (New Year’s Eve) in my new loft condominium in Brooklyn, my semester had ended, and that i used to be capable of refocus my power on chess. I arrived in Seattle an afternoon early to chill, discover, and glance over a few of my openings. I cherished the vibe of Seattle, which reminded of my place of origin, Philadelphia, yet was once much less used to how new and spacious every little thing used to be. I had by no means visible this sort of fresh urban. a guy dressed up sufficient for a enterprise lunch requested me for a spare buck. I quickly chanced on proof of Seattle’s less-glossy part. Capitol Hill, a hip, advertisement local, was once jam-packed with tattoo parlors and secondhand-clothing and song outlets, within which I pined over an expensive pink leather-based jacket, and acquired this is often Hardcore, an album through a Brit-pop band, Pulp. The songs quickly turned a few of my favorites; they're without end entwined with my stories in Seattle. prior to the 1st around, I had combined emotions in regards to the males and women’s championships being mixed. i used to be fascinated with fidgeting with the easiest males within the nation, yet puzzled how the hot structure might have an effect on my possibilities. avid gamers ranked better than I frequently intimidated me. within the first around I performed opposed to Gennady Sagalchik, a grandmaster and the husband of Olga, whom I had blundered opposed to within the past championship. I had spent the morning looking through the 2 million video games in my laptop database. First I checked out Gennady’s video games (of which there have been 250), after which I studied the outlet positions that i presumed i would get. I labored until eventually thirty mins earlier than the sport. Then I left my sparkling white Westin lodge room, which used to be slowly turning into plagued by espresso cups and newspapers. I walked the mile to the match corridor within the conference heart, simply adjoining to Seattle’s signature house Needle. My guidance was once winning, and that i accomplished a very good place within the middlegame. At a serious second, I made a mistake and gave away so much of my virtue, yet Gennady had turn into rattled, used up all his time, and misplaced. It used to be my first critical match victory over a GM. halfway in the course of the occasion, I misplaced to Grandmaster Alexander Fishbein. i wanted to get my brain off of chess, so I went to the Crocodile Cafe, a bar and live performance venue. Upon coming into, i used to be stunned to determine one other chessplayer, Grandmaster Larry Christiansen, with a lager and a steak, additionally unwinding from the event pressure.

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