24 March 2019

Chess and Gender Lines

The last two posts in this series on The Sociology of Chess (November 2016) have been about a book, 'Players and Pawns' (January 2019; Gary Alan Fine), and about a drawing, Dagmar and Strange Ebbesen (February 2019; 'chess as an accessory to legend'). It's time for a video. The recent Cairns Cup provided plenty of material.

For the first time, the Saint Louis Chess Club will host the Cairns Cup, an elite level tournament for the top female players from around the world. Inspired by its mission to further promote the game of chess to women and girls, the Chess Club aptly chose the name Cairns Cup in honor of co-founder Dr. Jeanne Sinquefield’s maiden name. Fans can look forward to a chess tournament similar in style to the prestigious Sinquefield Cup with the ten best female players from around the world competing in the Chess Club’s world-renowned facility for the $150,000 prize fund.

That introduction is from 2019 Cairns Cup (uschesschamps.com; why that domain?). For the tournament results see Cairns Cup 2019 (theweekinchess.com):-

The 1st Cairns Cup was a women's tournament in Saint Louis that took place 5th to 15th February. 2019. [...] Valentina Gunina drew against her closest rival Alexandra Kosteniuk in the final round to take clear first place.

Youtube channel Saint Louis Chess Club released dozens of videos related to the event.

2019 Cairns Cup: Is Chess Sexist? (10:03) • 'Published on Feb 15, 2019'

The video's description explained,

Before the 2019 Cairns Cup, IM Tania Sachdev and WGM Jennifer Shahade discuss sexism in chess and why gender lines exist in the game,

This topic is one of the most awkward that chess has to offer and I need to gird my loins before wading further into it. In the meantime, other videos about the Cairns Cup from the same channel can be found via Youtube search STLChessClub query=cairns.

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