Highlights

  • Divya concluded the Tata Steel Chess Tournament by finishing 12th
  • When women play chess people often overlook how good they are: Divya

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Indian chess star Divya Deshmukh calls out rampant sexism in the sport

I got told by people how the audience was not even bothered with the game but instead focused on every single possible thing in the world: my clothes, hair, accent and every other irrelevant thing: Divya

Indian chess star Divya Deshmukh calls out rampant sexism in the sport

After concluding the Tata Steel Chess Tournament, where she finished 12th with a score of 4.5 out of 13, Indian chess star Divya Deshmukh has called out rampant sexism in the sport.

The 18-year-old took to social media and wrote, 'I have been wanting to address this for a while but was waiting for my tournament to be over. I got told and also myself noticed how women in chess are often just taken for granted by spectators. The most recent example of this on a personal level would be in this tournament, I played a few games which I felt were quite good and I was proud of them.'

'I got told by people how the audience was not even bothered with the game but instead focused on every single possible thing in the world: my clothes, hair, accent and every other irrelevant thing. I was quite upset to hear this and I think is the sad truth that people when women play chess they often overlook how good they actually are, the games they play and their strength. I was quite disappointed to see how everything was discussed about in my interviews (by the audience) except my games, very few people paid attention to it and it is quite a sad thing,' she added.

'I felt it was unfair in a way because if I go to any guy’s interview there would be way less judgement on a personal level, actual compliments about the game and the player. I feel women are under appreciated and every irrelevant thing is focused on and hated on while guys would probably get away with the same things. I think women face this on a daily basis and I’m barely 18. I have faced so much judgement including hatred over the years for things that don’t even matter. I think women should start getting equal respect,' Divya concluded.


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