Indian chess prodigy Divya Deshmukh has spoken out against sexism in the sport after participating in the Tata Steel Chess Tournament in Wijk aan Zee. While competing in the Challengers section of the tournament, Deshmukh expressed her disappointment with the way women in chess are treated by spectators and fans.
In a social media post, the 18-year-old International Master highlighted the tendency of spectators to focus on irrelevant aspects such as clothing, hair, and accent, rather than appreciating the skills and games of female players. Deshmukh shared her experience of receiving comments about her appearance and personal details during the tournament, emphasizing the lack of attention given to her games.
She expressed her frustration, stating that women in chess are often overlooked for their actual abilities and games, facing judgment based on irrelevant factors. Deshmukh pointed out the disparity in how male and female players are treated, noting that women are underappreciated, and unnecessary criticism is directed at them. She called for equal respect for women in the sport and urged a change in the way female players are perceived and discussed.
The young chess player’s remarks shed light on the challenges and biases faced by women in the chess community, emphasizing the importance of recognizing and appreciating their skills and contributions without undue focus on irrelevant aspects.
Repurposed article originally published in the Indian Express