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View Full Version : Australian/American Chess: Same situation



bill718
20-04-2008, 01:19 PM
Australian and American chess organizations (OTB or
Correspondince) seem to have a lot of difficulty
attracting female chess players. The percentage of
female players is generally higher in Europe. I wonder
why this is?
:eek:

Intuition
20-04-2008, 02:46 PM
possibly becasue chess is acknowleged as a legitimate sport/competion in eastern countries however lacks the same in western countries. In additon chess generally seems to appeal less to females, given that the solitary and competitive nature of the game.

Basil
20-04-2008, 04:17 PM
I wonder why this is? :eek:
1. Culture
2. Bimbo per capita ratio

Kevin Bonham
20-04-2008, 04:20 PM
The percentage of
female players is generally higher in Europe. I wonder
why this is?

I'd be very interested to see stats on this if anyone has ever compiled any.

Basil
20-04-2008, 05:00 PM
I'd be very interested to see stats on this if anyone has ever compiled any.
I hope we're not going to find any stats that ruin a damn good unsubstantiated Australian-kicking session! ;)

Kevin Bonham
20-04-2008, 05:49 PM
I hope we're not going to find any stats that ruin a damn good unsubstantiated Australian-kicking session! ;)

On the FIDE site you can search ratings by country and gender and see how many FIDE-rated players in each country are male and how many are female, but one issue is that for several countries (including the USA) the gender of some players is not listed. (For Australia the gender of all players is listed.)

For Australia 7% of FIDE-rated players with gender listed are female. For the USA it is 5.1% and for the world as a whole it is 8%.

Some European examples - Armenia 15%, Hungary 8.2, Russia 13.4, France 8.5, Ukraine 10.6, Bulgaria 13, Spain 4.2, Germany 5.1, England 6.5, Norway 4.5, Greece 11.3, Netherlands 4.0, Poland 14.1, Serbia 7.4, Croatia 6.0, Azerbaijan 24.3, Georgia (noted for strength at women's chess) 30.4, Belarus 15.5, Italy 3.1, Iceland 4.1.

Assuming these stats are reliable* I'm suggesting on this basis (happy to check some more that anyone wants to request) that it is mostly the ex-Soviet bloc and especially the ex-USSR countries that have especially high percentages of female players, and not Europe as a whole. And I don't think it has anything much to do with whether chess is culturally prized or marginalised, eg I know from past stats I've compiled that Iceland and the former Yugoslav states have very high numbers of titled players per head of population, but they don't have high ratios of female players.

* A few caveats here -
(i) search seems to retrieve all rated players including inactive players hence may not reflect current ratios
(ii) because of some countries having lots of blanks in the gender column, I can imagine that in some cases the person filling them in might leave blank those where the gender was not obvious from the name, or something like that.
(iii) perhaps junior players are more likely to be female and so the proportion of junior events submitted for FIDE rating could influence the results

Shirty may well be aware of other issues that might affect the usability of these figures.

Basil
20-04-2008, 06:20 PM
Well caveats or no, I certainly consider that lot to be good enough to kill any unsubstantiated 'Strine bashing. Thanks and good report.



* A few caveats here -
(iii) perhaps junior players are more likely to be female and so the proportion of junior events submitted for FIDE rating could influence the results
I have a sneaking suspicion (yup unsubstantiated again!) that the junior propensity for increased female numbers may help Australia's ratio. But so what? It's all good for Strine. This pom will now zip it!

pax
20-04-2008, 07:05 PM
For Australia 7% of FIDE-rated players with gender listed are female. For the USA it is 5.1% and for the world as a whole it is 8%.

Some European examples - Armenia 15%, Hungary 8.2, Russia 13.4, France 8.5, Ukraine 10.6, Bulgaria 13, Spain 4.2, Germany 5.1, England 6.5, Norway 4.5, Greece 11.3, Netherlands 4.0, Poland 14.1, Serbia 7.4, Croatia 6.0, Azerbaijan 24.3, Georgia (noted for strength at women's chess) 30.4, Belarus 15.5, Italy 3.1, Iceland 4.1.

Also notable, China at 27%.

jay_vee
20-04-2008, 07:13 PM
Of course, FIDE rated players are only a tiny minority.

Here are the total figures from the german chess federation's internet database:

As of 15.04.2008, there are 91911 active players, of which 6129 are listed as female, a whopping 6.67%.

So,
- higher population density
- recognition as a sport
- higher total numbers
- a very active club scene
- plenty of womens/girls-only events

have hardly any effect at all.

Denis_Jessop
20-04-2008, 09:30 PM
It's interesting that chess seems to have been relatively more popular with women, at least in countries like England, in past centuries when it was almost entirely social and tournaments were not the rage. This is mentioned in "The Birth of the Chess Queen" by Marilyn Yalom who, I mention from mischief, is not a chess player and is a feminist. The book is not all that flash but has its moments. The point is that chess was used as a means of social intercourse when closer contact was tabu among the upper classes who played it.

DJ

Intuition
21-04-2008, 12:11 PM
It's interesting that chess seems to have been relatively more popular with women, at least in countries like England, in past centuries when it was almost entirely social and tournaments were not the rage. This is mentioned in "The Birth of the Chess Queen" by Marilyn Yalom who, I mention from mischief, is not a chess player and is a feminist. The book is not all that flash but has its moments. The point is that chess was used as a means of social intercourse when closer contact was tabu among the upper classes who played it.

DJ

beware the opinion/information of feminists :) I did an research project on the subject and alot of what they say is not spot on.

Denis_Jessop
21-04-2008, 08:35 PM
beware the opinion/information of feminists :) I did an research project on the subject and alot of what they say is not spot on.

I'm not sure if this is a bite or not - my hook was not well baited :) .

However, I am sure that the point about women and chess in past centuries is quite accurate. Chess was then played as a social pastime. If you look at the chess paintings on http://www.jmrw.com/Chess/Tableau_echecs/index.htm you'll see that many of them depict women playing - but less so in the recent ones.

I might add that, perhaps significantly, I have been told by one of my adult junior chess colleagues that girl chess players are much better at social bonding and that it has much more significance for them than it does for boys.