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Why Women Can't Play Chess

 This article, profferring the scientific reason why women play chess erratically,    was published in an 1898 edition of the American Chess  Magazine.

A Scientific Hint for Women Players.

 

     Verily, this is a world of strange happenings, and still stranger explanations.


     Many conservative men (a fair correspondent avers they are brutes more or less) have strongly contested the claim that a woman could play a consistently good game at chess. They persistently declare that, though the play of this or that woman may be, at times, of a fair order, it is inevitably erratic, and subject to those illogical aberrations which science, as exemplified in chess, most severely frowns upon.


     Now, if there is any foundation for this charge, it is evident that the women's game must be affected by some extraneous cause that does not influence the men, and there has been much puzzled inquiry as to what that cause can be. It has remained for the Troy Times to solve the great mystery. It declares, on the authority of " a great scientist"—what a pity we do not know his name—that the cause of the present intelleciual activity of our women-folk is due to the use of wire hairpins!


     He explains the matter in a charmingly lucid manner which, as so often happens with scientific explanations, leaves the unscientific reader in rather more of a muddled entanglement than ever, but when "boiled down" it amounts to this: That the wire hairpins excite "counter-currents of electricity," whatever they may be, and so bewilder the wearer's brain with strange vagaries, and lead them to do whimsical things. Now, it would be well for players to take note of this, for the "wire hairpin" theory explains many things. It is evident that when a woman wears a handful of wire hairpins there is an amount of electrical disturbance going on around her scalp ihat puts good chess out of the question. When she wears shell contrivances her head is clear and cool, and she plays the fine, winning game her friends admire. So, in future tournaments, one of the rules governing the play should be: "All ladies-players are requested to wear shell hairpins."

Comments


  • 6 years ago

    Hopmaster_J

    Hairpins?!?!?  Wow, Imagine what the tin foil propeller beanie must be doing to me!
  • 6 years ago

    GoCards

    "this article seems tongue-in-cheek."

    My thoughts exactly.

  • 6 years ago

    batgirl

    "Very witty and modern for its day! Who was the author?"

     

    The article was presented as is an with no byline. While the original "scientific" assertation from the Troy Times seems serious, this article seems tongue-in-cheek.

  • 6 years ago

    gretagarbo

     

    and things can become really unpredictable during a lightning storm.

  • 6 years ago

    Akuni

    "I think because women think only in terms of black or white, that they automatically and autocratically reject any subtle grey move that we/us men chess players make. Of course this is to our andvantage.  I have to admit I don't understand women so I might be wrong"

     

    I think this, to put it lightly, is wrong. There isn't a girl in my class who can't think with more subtelty than most of the guys, though I may add for the most part we aren't exactly the cream of the crop.

     

    But I think there are two likely reasons as to why women havn't had the success men had, one of these I think is clearly correct.

     

    The first is that women and men tend to us different hemispheres of the brain more and slightly differently, this leads to men having, on average, better spatial skills or something like that. But it would conversly mean that they can use the other side better and have advantages derived from there. Being almost completely ignorant of what side uses what  callously reject this theory in favor of a statistical one.

     

    In the current FIDE rankings, a total of 5.5% of players are women, which means that the current international success of women measured by the percent of players rated above 2700 and 2600 and 2500 etc... who are women, which should be about 5.5% is fairly close to 5.5%. 

    % of Players 2700+ who are women, 4.2%

    % of Players 2600+ who are women 1.2%

     % of Players 2500+ who are women 1.3%

    % of Players 2400+ who are women 2.6%

    % of Players 2300+ who are women 3.5%

    % of Players 2200+ who are women 3.9%

    At least its within a few % of it anyway.

  • 6 years ago

    Peterbunting

    I think because women think only in terms of black or white, that they automatically and autocratically reject any subtle grey move that we/us men chess players make. Of course this is to our andvantage.  I have to admit I don't understand women so I might be wrong 
  • 6 years ago

    Tical

    LOL. Oh well, back to corsetts and chastity belts for my daughter!Cool
  • 6 years ago

    silentfilmstar13

    A good article, indeed.  Do you have any on why a woman can't be trusted?
  • 6 years ago

    farbror

    "wire hairpins"

    Finally the answer to my blunderism! I will do daily scans for hairpins.

  • 6 years ago

    likesforests

    Very witty and modern for its day! Who was the author?


  • 6 years ago

    oginschile

    Funny how that was probably a pretty sound opening 100 years ago... nowadays it's just a foolish gambit.

    Just to be sure though... i'll have my daughter let her hair down when I teach her chess!!!

  • 6 years ago

    littleman

    LOL now thats an interesting load of crap....Cool
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