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Transgender women banned from women's chess world championships

A decision to ban transgender competitors from entering women's global chess events will remain in place for up to two years.
Transgender women banned from women's chess world championships
Posted at 10:21 AM, Aug 18, 2023

As the debate continues on transgender participation in women's sports, the International Chess Federation (FIDE) is implementing new rules that ban transgender women from competing in women's events. 

FIDE developed new policies that go into effect next week that say trans women have "no right" to compete against cisgender women in the events. FIDE said it will do a further analysis over the next two years, at which time its decision could change. 

"Such decision should be based on further analysis and shall be taken by the FIDE Council at the earliest possible time, but not longer than within 2 (two) years period. There are no restrictions to play in the open section for a person who has changed the gender," FIDE said. 

FIDE also noted that if any player who holds any of the women's titles changes gender, the women's titles are to be abolished. 

"Those can be renewed if the person changes the gender back to a woman and can prove the ownership of the respective FIDE ID that holds the title," FIDE said. 

SEE MORE: More states expect schools to keep trans girls off girls' teams

The US Chess Federation released a clarification on its policy on Thursday, indicating a policy that was put in place in 2018 allows transgender people to change which gender they compete in one time. 

"If it is the first change, your request will be honored by phone. If a subsequent change is requested, a conforming birth certificate will be required," the US Chess Federation said. 

The US Chess Federation's current policy was adopted unanimously.

"US Chess is committed to providing opportunities for everyone to play chess regardless of their race, ethnic or national origin, gender, religion, and sexual orientation," the organization said. "US Chess will recognize an individual’s gender identity that is consistent with the identity they maintain in their nonchess life (e.g. family, social, professional). Changing a gender simply to compete in a special section or single gender event is against the intent and spirit of this policy."

Chess master Yosha Iglesias explained the impact FIDE's decision has on transgender competitors. 

"The new regulations will make trans chess players all over the world face a horrible dilemma: transition or quit chess," Iglesias said. "This appalling situation will lead to depression and suicide attempts. Believe me, I know. Been there, and well, done that. 

"For trans players and especially women, it will do so much unnecessary harm. To cis players, it will bring no good whatsoever."

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