December 27, 2017

"In a few days I am going to lose two World Champion titles - one by one. Just because I decided not to go to Saudi Arabia."

"Not to play by someone's rules, not to wear abaya, not to be accompanied getting outside, and altogether not to feel myself a secondary creature. Exactly one year ago I won these two titles and was about the happiest person in the chess world but this time I feel really bad. I am ready to stand for my principles and skip the event, where in five days I was expected to earn more than I do in a dozen of events combined. All that is annoying, but the most upsetting thing is that almost nobody really cares. That is a really bitter feeling, still not the one to change my opinion and my principles. The same goes for my sister Mariya - and I am really happy that we share this point of view. And yes, for those few who care - we'll be back!"

Said Anna Muzychuk, writing on Facebook.

72 comments:

richlb said...

There are many stories of Muslim athletes forfeiting rather than face an Israeli opponent. It's stupid and counterproductive, but at least they stand on their principles.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Beat me to it-some Iranian just forfeited some match or other against an Israeli; happens all the time.

BDNYC said...

Why is there such a thing as women’s chess?

MayBee said...

All that is annoying, but the most upsetting thing is that almost nobody really cares.

Yeah, she's caught in the moment where our media is more on the side of celebrating US athletes competing for the US wearing hijabs. Refusing to wear a hijab is not a current cause celebre.

rhhardin said...

Women's chess is because the men beat them. It's one of the proofs of a sexual difference.

Lack of male obsessiveness cuts down the female chess population, and the best of the smaller remainder, even just owing to smallness, are not as good as the best of the larger men's population.

Martin said...

Hitler stood on his principles, too. As did George Wallace and Ross Barnett blocking the college doors at Alabama and Ole Miss. Torquemada. Stalin.

If the principles are no damn good, there's no "at least he stood on his principles" to it. There are far worse things than being a hypocrite. By some lights, Oskar Schindler was a hypocrite, not living the (Nazi) principles he professed.

I'm waiting to see all the Hollywood types come out for this woman's rights.

Martin said...

My previous comment was responding to richlb, NOT criticizing Ms Muzychuk

Fernandistein said...

A few months ago there was a women's chess championship of some sort in Iran, with protests and boycotts. I wonder if the chess clubs are trying to subjugate da wimmins by scheduling events in these goofy places.

Paco Wové said...

Seems like a pretty different set of principles, richlb.

mockturtle said...

All that is annoying, but the most upsetting thing is that almost nobody really cares.

Nobody really knew.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

rhhardin,

Tell that to Judit Polgar. Then get back to us once your jaw's rewired.

You're right, of course: Women aren't, in general, competitive in chess, any more than blacks are (though show me a blacks-only chess tournament!), simply because they're few. But this has zilch to do with "sexual difference."

David Begley said...

When does intersectionality come to KSA? Or maybe basic human rights?

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

Good for her. Islam is compatible with the radical left and fake-leftwing feminism, but not compatible with real feminism.

richlb said...

I'm not justifying the Muslim athlete that would rather quit than face an Israeli. Principles aren't always noble. But it is a stand taken. And it's probably an easier stand to take when your opponent is likely to hand you your ads.

Also,all of this reminds me of "One Night in Bangkok". It's really such a pity to be looking at the board not looking at the city.

richlb said...

Autocorrect - hand you your ASS.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

Her story is not compatible with the DNC-MSM.

AllenS said...

Does Obama know about any of this shit?

Paco Wové said...

Dang. I thought you mistyped "hand you your 'nads", which my crude mind liked much better.

Paco Wové said...

"once your jaw's rewired."

Well, there's the reason for the separation: unlike men's chess, women's chess is a full-contact sport. Why was I not informed?

William said...

I can't help but compare her with Lorde. Lorde skipped a concert date in Tel Aviv to protest Israeli policies. Objectionable Israeli policies are basically zoning ordinance violations, but they get quite a lot of attention. Saudi policies are blatantly misogynistic, but they don't attract much protest....... I don't think this is the kind of protest that will bring the Saudis to their knees, but it's a start. Perhaps if people started taking a knee when they play the Saudi national anthem, the Saudi state will evolve into a fairer, less sexist entity. Taking a knee is the highest form of protest.

William said...

She uses the Sicilian defense far too early in her game. How can you have any respect for a woman like that?

Rick Turley said...

It's fortunate Jesse Owens had a different attitude about competing in Nazi Germany.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

BDNYC said...
Why is there such a thing as women’s chess?

For the same reason there is such a thing as the Special Olympics.

Larry J said...

There are a few areas when men and women compete against on another. IIRC, equestrian events is one such area. Competition aerobatic flying is another. Airplanes don't care about a pilot's chromosomes. If you ever have the opportunity to see three time US aerobatic champion Patty Wagstaff perform at an airshow, you're in for a treat. She's a master of her craft.

SeanF said...

Michelle Dulak Thomson: Women aren't, in general, competitive in chess, ... simply because they're few.

Women are a majority, they're not "few".

EDH said...

One town's very like another
When your head's down over your pieces, brother

It's a drag, it's a bore, it's really such a pity
To be looking at the board, not looking at the city


Whaddya mean? Ya seen one crowded, polluted, stinking town...

I get my kicks above the waistline, sunshine

Big Mike said...

@LarryJ, how can you overlook motor sports? Thirty-five years ago Shirley Muldowney went from being the only person to have won the National Championship in Top Fuel Dragracing twice to being the only person to have won it three times. Danica Patrick may not have made it to the NASCAR winner circle, but there are a lot of IndyCar drivers who wouldn’t mind having a third place finish at the Indy 500 on their resumes.

richlb said...

I believe women also compete alongside men in boating/yachting. Sure, it's an elitist sport, but it's a start.

Larry J said...

Big Mike, I don't follow motor sports very much. Yes, I remember Shirley Muldowney from long ago. She was much more successful than Danica Patrick has been. I'm a pilot and like airplanes more than most people. That's a sentence that can be read two different ways and both are accurate.

Curious George said...

"Ignorance is Bliss said...
BDNYC said...
Why is there such a thing as women’s chess?

For the same reason there is such a thing as the Special Olympics."

And note that the Special Olympics also has a female division.

Ipso Fatso said...

She could have gone to Saudi Arabia and competed on their terms, and won, and made the same point. How? She would have had media coverage in the West and also in the Middle East and could have in her interviews pointed out that she hated the abaya, was for women's rights, etc. She choose to stay home, they did not tell her to stay home, so don't whine about it.

It is their country, they set the rules. You or I may not like it but that is how it goes.

Curious George said...

"Big Mike said...
@LarryJ, how can you overlook motor sports? Thirty-five years ago Shirley Muldowney went from being the only person to have won the National Championship in Top Fuel Dragracing twice to being the only person to have won it three times. Danica Patrick may not have made it to the NASCAR winner circle, but there are a lot of IndyCar drivers who wouldn’t mind having a third place finish at the Indy 500 on their resumes."

Danica Patrick skill is getting sponsorship...because she's an attractive women...and that's an important one in motorsports. Critical one actually. Ask Paul Menard.

madAsHell said...

I had to google her name to determine that she is a chess grandmaster.

Cacimbo Cacimbo said...

@Ipso Fatso
Muzychuk is not the only one boycotting the event, initially over 150 players said they planned to boycott due to Saudi Arabia's treatment of women, homosexuals and Jews. They are angry that the World Chess Federation agreed to hold a tournament in a country where they do not feel safe. Lefty media is too busy being outraged over multi-millionaires who had their butt pinched decades ago to properly cover people willing to lose major income to stand up for human rights.

gspencer said...

Always good to see people spit in the face of the Shariah.

hombre said...

Never mind the statement she makes by going there and winning another world championship. It's really important for silly women to piss on themselves for the cause by responding to the intolerance of others with their own.

How likely is it that her "principles" move her to support President Trump's restrictions on the immigration of Middle Easterners including Muslim men who oppress women and blow people up.

Angel-Dyne said...

Michelle Dulak Thomson: You're right, of course: Women aren't, in general, competitive in chess, any more than blacks are (though show me a blacks-only chess tournament!), simply because they're few. But this has zilch to do with "sexual difference."

How do you know that?

Tons of women play and love bridge, so why are there separate championships for women?

It's possible that there are no inherent sex (or population!) differences that explain marked the differences in distribution of top-level playing, even if I think that improbable. But nobody knows that.

Pillage Idiot said...

Michelle Dulak Thomson,

Tell that to Judit Polgar. Then get back to us once your jaw's rewired.

You're right, of course: Women aren't, in general, competitive in chess, any more than blacks are (though show me a blacks-only chess tournament!), simply because they're few. But this has zilch to do with "sexual difference."


I take it from your inane comment that you consider any assertion that men are better than women in chess to be a sexist comment.

I, on the other hand, consider your comment to be sexist and it exhibits a very poor grasp of logic.

You ascribe the difference in outcome as due to the small number of female chess players, rather than any innate sexual difference. Let's assume that men and women have exactly equal "Chess IQs". It is a tedious and difficult slog to be a chess champion at any level. In the U.S. there is no institutional pressure to keep women out of chess. Therefore, the far higher number of men in the top ranks is almost certainly due to self-selection to perform that particular task. Whatever the degree of self-selection, some portion of it is definitely due to sexual differences.

However, your underlying assumption that "Chess IQ" is distributed equally among women and men is ridiculous. In every single culture or nation across the globe the men are the superior chess players.

I agree that countries that oppress women are unlikely to ever produce a female chess champion. Guess what, these countries do not produce any male champions either. It appears that oppression is generally bad for intellectual pursuits.

However, if you have the courage of your convictions, then I am willing to make you a wager. I will pay your $20,000 for every year that at least 50 of the top 100 U.S. players are women. You pay me a paltry $10,000 for every year that is not the case.

Since you believe that chess proficiency has no basis in sexual differences, you should really make a lot of money on this wager. (I have given you a huge advantage by doing U.S. rankings only. Any young female chess prodigies in the U.S. are celebrated and nurtured far more than boys at the same level.)

I saved your most egregious bit of brain-dead feminist illogic for last. I could make any obnoxious statement I wanted to Judit Polgar and my jaw would remain in excellent condition. I am 6'3", 235 lbs, and a three sport athlete in college. A physical confrontation between us would be over very quickly and I would be largely unscathed. This is mostly due to my much higher levels of testosterone - another sexual difference that feminists only acknowledge when it benefits their argument.

However, I am not an "anti-feminist", just a scientist who knows BS when he sees it. I will assert for the record that if I played chess against Judit Polgar, she would beat me with her eyes closed every single time. (Someone would need only to announce each move verbally a single time.)

Ms. Polgar is almost certainly the best female chess player ever. She is also one of the best overall chess players ever. However, "anecdote" is not the singular of "data".

Pillage Idiot said...

P.S. I just went and checked the current U.S. chess rankings. There are two women in the top 100.

Big Mike said...

@Curious George, give a call when you can drive an open wheel Indy car fast enough to qualify for the field in the Indianapolis 500. Call me again when you’ve lead the race.

My point is that Danica Patrick is in the top 0.0001% of all drivers. That there are men who are even faster on an oval track doesn’t mean she’s not among the best in the sport.

John said...

Larry, you sexisy pig!

Patty Wagstaff is mistress of her craft

(just kidding about the sexist part)

John Henry

John said...

Sexist above

John Henry

The Godfather said...

I think there's a difference between refusing to participate in an event because you disapprove of the host country's policies, and refusing to participate because you object to the indignities that the host country would impose on you if you did participate. Muzychuk's expressed reasons for not going to Saudi Arabia seem to fall into the latter category (she would have to wear an abaya, be accompanied if she went outside, etc.). Any international organization that sponsors competitions ought to try to avoid scheduling events in places where such indignities would be imposed on some competitors.

Gahrie said...

Muzychuk is not the only one boycotting the event, initially over 150 players said they planned to boycott due to Saudi Arabia's treatment of women, homosexuals and Jews.

Good for them. I applaud people who are willing to sacrifice for their principles.

They are angry that the World Chess Federation agreed to hold a tournament in a country where they do not feel safe.

Quit the World Chess Federation and form your own sanctioning body and set up tournaments in places you do feel safe.

I am no fan of Islam, but if there is one place in the world where Muslims should be allowed to live by their rules, surely Saudia Arabia is that place?

n.n said...

The least charitable characterization would be a Muslim ban.

mockturtle said...

Michele Dulak Thompson: If black males were exposed to chess they would likely excel. Some have already.

rehajm said...

You accept the terms of the competition when you enter. Fair to criticize the terms of the competition or to not enter but that's about it.


mockturtle said...

I'm probably the world's worst chess player so I'd like to blame it on my gender. ;-)

Jupiter said...

Blogger The Godfather said...

"Any international organization that sponsors competitions ought to try to avoid scheduling events in places where such indignities would be imposed on some competitors."

This is the point. Her quarrel is not with KSA, although I suppose she probably despises them at least as much as I do. Her quarrel is with FIDE, who are willing to have their female competitors subjected to a degrading regime of sexual humiliations, so that they can receive a big payday from the Sauds. A lot like the folks running Hollywood, come to think of it.

Gordon Scott said...

William wrote: "I can't help but compare her with Lorde. Lorde skipped a concert date in Tel Aviv to protest Israeli policies."

No, Lorde couldn't tell you an Israeli policy from an insurance policy. She bugged out on singing in Israel because she got beaten up on social media by the Jew haters. It took a few days but she folded. Contrast her with Scarlet Johannson, who has the self-possession to stare down anyone who tries to tell her she can't have anything to do with Israel.

The Cracker Emcee Activist said...

Pillage,
It’s the Internet. No one gives a shit if you’re Super Green Beret (am I the only one that remembers? the VC grenades turning into fruit and flowers?) or Harvey Milquetoast. Don’t be a douche. Don’t be Chuck.

On topic, good for her. Yes, principles can demand sacrifice but that doesn’t mean you don’t get to explain why you made the sacrifice. Absurd that this competition was held in a medievalist shithole.

Freeman Hunt said...

What nonsense to schedule an international tournament where women aren't even allowed to walk around outside by themselves.

Good for her.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Geez, I remember all the tourist an convention dollars my state (Georgia) was threatened with losing if we passed a relatively-mild religious freedom bill. Guess that kind of threat doesn't hold for Muslim-type nations, though.

I second the assertion that her beef is with the chess organization. The country's the country, but the organization chose to hold the even there. That's on them.

Curious George said...

"Big Mike said...
@Curious George, give a call when you can drive an open wheel Indy car fast enough to qualify for the field in the Indianapolis 500. Call me again when you’ve lead the race.

My point is that Danica Patrick is in the top 0.0001% of all drivers. That there are men who are even faster on an oval track doesn’t mean she’s not among the best in the sport."

Dude, that's a moron rebuttal. And she's not among the best based on her results. She has been in the top three just 6% of the time in Indy, with just one win in 115 races. Worse is Nascar, where she has only 7 Top Ten finishes in 190 winds...no top fives or wins.

She is however one of the best at getting sponsor cash. Without it she wouldn't have a ride. But she does so good for her.

Rigelsen said...

Michelle Dulak Thomson wrote: Then get back to us once your jaw’s rewired.

At the risk of being over-obvious, everyone taking this to mean Michelle is advocating or even discussing physical violence is being far too literal. Rather, I take this to refer to the expression of someone’s jaw dropping in surprise.

However, Michelle, you’re being uncharitable to rhhardin. “Men beat women”, is not the same as “All men beat all women”. One is a populational statement, referring in context to chess-playing men versus chess-playing women, and the other is a statement of any member of those populations.

Pillage Idiot wrote: However, "anecdote" is not the singular of "data".

This is just as false as its alternative formation. Of course, an “anecdote” is a datum, a piece of data. A less sexy but truer statement would be: An anecdote may be a data point, but it’s hardly conclusory.

It’s always funny when social scientists will assert this on the one hand and then lurch off into “conclusions” with no more than a handful of cherry-picked anecdotes backing it. Sometimes, I’ll even be charitable enough to point it it out.

As far as Ms. Muzychuk, at least in Anne’s excerpt she seems to be complaining less about principle rather than that it should cost her to assert those principles. Well, I suppose in a world of “the personal is the political”, this is what’s to be expected. But, what would principles even be if they were always cost free?

Robert said...

Wiki says that the 2017 Woman's World Chess Championship was in Tehran, and Muzychuk took part. But her sister did not in protest of Iran. I guess the chess world has made this a real struggle for chess players to decide if they can, in good conscience, play at the tournaments. Why are they holding them in such awful places as Iran and Saudi Arabia? (Probably money....)

And why are chess tournaments segregated by gender?

James Smith said...

There are some articles that state that this tournament is open to both sexes and it is for Rapid and Blitz styles of play. She is not just a women's chess master. Anna has earned her ranking by playing and beating male chess masters.

The guiding principle for Muslims not to compete against Israelis is more likely the principle of self preservation. Even being seen in a photo with an Israeli results in death threats to the individual and his/her family. Religion of peace and all.

rhhardin said...

I spent Christmas moving everything from a failed 12-year-old computer to a 3-year-old computer, the old one being my main machine.

Then early this morning one of the wifi spots failed and I spent hours fixing that.

This resulted in a 4 pound weight loss, just from not eating. Time flies when you're working on something you can obsess on.

Guys are like that. You don't miss other stuff. Quite the opposite.

If I had liked chess, all that work would have gone into chess.

The population of women with that urge to obsess is much smaller.

So the best players, odds are, come from the larger population, men.

Paco Wové said...

"Of course, an “anecdote” is a datum, a piece of data. A less sexy but truer statement would be: An anecdote may be a data point, but it’s hardly conclusory.

An even more sexless, more pedantic statement would be: an anecdote may be a datum, but a pile of anecdotes is not data.

Robt C said...

Stephen Weatherly, defensive end for the Minnesota Vikings, is one black guy who was exposed to chess. He is an excellent chess player. Among other things. Many other things. Plays nine instruments, was captain of his high school robotics team, etc etc. Extremely interesting guy. The Star-Tribune ran an article on him recently. Worth a read.

rcocean said...

What is it about "White Knights" who can't accept reality?

Men overall and on average are better at math, science, and chess then women. Men - on average - are also taller, run faster, and are stronger. Its genetic. No doubt, the difference in math/science/chess is exaggerated by the Female inability to obsess about abstract, inanimate things that usually don't result in a practical outcome - like $$.

But somehow, the "White knights" can't accept that. So, you get all these "Well, I know a girl who would kick your butt at XYZ" or just point and shriek that someone doesn't believe boys and girls are absolutely equal.

Jupiter said...

Sometimes an anecdote is all the data needed. If the claim were that chess ability is encoded on the Y chromosome, and therefore no biological female could possibly have it, then a single biological female with substantial chess ability would be an entirely adequate refutation.

rcocean said...

I guess if someone made the incredibly stupid assertion that ALL men are better than ALL women at Chess, then one anecdote would mean something.

But of course, very few people are that stupid.

John Smith Smith said...

rhhardin - please consider that you might be under-informed.

Young men often spend more time (than their female equivalents) working on "something you can obsess working on" because there are no young women trying to distract them.

With the very unusual exceptions of young women who are morbidly obese (often not through their own fault - I am not being unkind here) or with very very bad hygiene, almost no young women know what it is to spend time on "something you can obsess working on" without some guy - (and usually a not completely unattractive guy will be available, at least temporarily) - trying to distract them. The vast majority of young men, if they choose to spend time on "something you can obsess working on", will spend that time without a single woman wanting to distract them. Do the math, and consider the results - the results will be exponential, for reasons anyone who knows anything about statistics will recognize!

Literally, in each new generation of budding grandmasters, there are about a hundred young men, destined for chess greatness, who are not distracted by women in their peer group when they are focusing on - let us be honest here - when they are focusing on fairly trivial things like chess competition (compare chess competition to falling in love, even with someone who is only fooling you, Mr Hardin) - literally, there are about a hundred such young men for every young woman who is focusing on "chess greatness". Do the math and you get one Polgar for every dozen dozen men.

Do the math and get back to me.

And don't think I don't know the counterarguments (the 'far tail' argument, for example, where 'far tail' is an explanation for differential outliers -as if genius were an 'outlier'! - and not right in the middle, but even more so...).
I do know that Sappho was, line for line, as good a poet as Homer.
I do know that Jane Austen was, line for line, as good a novelist as has ever lived.
Sure during the Renaissance and in the century or two that followed there was no female Leonardo or Poussin. But we all know how much money and free time and effort it took to be a Leonardo, or a Poussin, and no woman of that day had the opportunity.
But if you look at the crew of painters of the last 200 years, the women do as well as the men - Morisot and Cassat were just as good on a good day as Cezanne and Manet, for example. And that is just among the impressionists - similar comparisons can be made in every style of modern painting - Romantic landscapes, portraits, comical ink-sketches.
Gauss and Euler were pretty smart but a little girl who grew up with the gifts of Gauss or Euler would probably have preferred not to spend all those hours with numbers. Life is short and it is not always better to achieve "academic immortality".

Socrates admitted that he learned philosophy from a woman, and that he did not understand it - even in his old age - as well as she had.

The women who boycotted the misogynist Saudi debacle are heroines. Their pictures will be on postage stamps in the future, just like all those civil rights heroes who nobody knows but who are on postage stamps today, and people will appreciate what they did.

I respect your intelligence and your understanding of the world, Mr Hardin, but I am right and you are wrong on this particular subject.

Proverbs 8.


mockturtle said...

For many years both my husband and I were obsessed with golf. Does that count? Not abstract enough?

mockturtle said...

I'm not sure women would ever have invented jet planes but I could be wrong.

Pillage Idiot said...

Cracker Emcee,

The meaning you took from my comment was the exact opposite to what I intended. Obviously I wrote poorly.

I respect Ms. Muzychuk taking a stand on principle that actually costs her something. As opposed to empty virtue signaling.

I went slightly off-topic and took umbrage to a specific commentator who asserted that the concept of sex differences explaining some disparities was ludicrous.

However, to deny this simple truth seems quite anti-intellectual to my perspective.

I am not a super Green Beret or "badass" by any measure. I am old and no longer in good shape. However, by only the single sex difference of genetically supplied testosterone, I could defeat in physical combat almost all women over the age of 30 that have not trained in the martial arts, or are in exceedingly strong condition by virtue of intensive physical training.

There is no virtue in me being a large male. It is merely a simple truth based explicitly on sex differences.

rhhardin said...

I see young girls hanging out with young girls, not young guys.

Paglia says the reverse cause, by the way: math is an escape from women. It's how sex obsession is defeated.

curt replies said...

Does everyone know that an American, Nazi, did this last year?

Her name is Nazi Paikidze (originally a Georgian).

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2016/10/06/i-will-not-wear-a-hijab-u-s-chess-star-refuses-to-attend-world-championships-in-iran/

Bad Lieutenant said...

There is no virtue in me being a large male. It is merely a simple truth based explicitly on sex differences.


When I was young I was involved in a fenderbender with, I am now convinced, a man and his gooma. I said something like it doesn't look bad and then I felt my vision, my glasses, shake a little bit. I was looking right at her...then it happened again and I perceive this time that this woman is slopping me. I literally didn't feel it.

This was when I was much younger and smaller than I am today. Whereas, a few years before that, in a stand up fight over a pen in junior high school, Ricky Scillerno belted me one in the mouth and put me on my ass. Course he got the worst of it cuz I had braces and he ended up with more stitches in his hand than I got in my lip, but a kid, an 8th grader, hits harder than a grown woman.

Ladies, if you're going to strike people, consider what you are about. You can with sufficient effort make me aware that you are displeased, for instance I would stop wooing you; you can get my attention, but you really can't hurt me, minus a weapon of course. Even if you get a knee in my balls and it takes effect, you're better off running away than staying to finish me off. Everything you see in media with five foot hundred pound girls throwing around grown men is fiction. All of it.

mockturtle said...

Perhaps, BL, but you're no match for my Ruger 38.

John Smith Smith said...

Pergola (Paglia - Pergola was the autocorrect) could be right. In my framework, though, almost all the men who want to escape from the attentions of women are men who are not getting attention from the right women. So maybe we all agree.

It is very very important for civilization that women - who get to do most of the choosing in reproductive matters (most, not all)- choose well. What this means for our advanced civilization is this: they have to skip a few introductory STEM classes, or forego late night dorm-room philosophy chats, thereby leaving themselves at a disadvantage for the rest of their lives in professional STEM and philosophy pursuits, in order to concentrate on the activities that make them choose a breeding mate well. Civilization accepts that.