Aronian: Women Cannot Play Chess


Wow, I just saw a transcript of an interview with Levon Aronian. In it, he says that "Women cannot play chess."

What do you think of his comments?


Backed up by no scientific evidence, people like this I think are holding back more women from playing the game. I think RJF made a similar comment, and Kasparov. But the interview was interesting. I disagree with what he said that logic only really comes to the fore in the endgame. I think logic is everything in chess, it just is usually more abstract in the midgame.


Chess is full of extreme egos.


Women have contributed just as much to chess as men have.


By the end of the interview, it would seem that his issue with women goes well beyond the chess board... LOL!

I say let the girls play and all power to them. Actually why have separate classifications for men and women? Isn't that rather antiquated in this day and age?


this topic has been raised several times recently and in all cases the end result has been a locked thread.... here we go AGAIN!!!!!!


It just goes to show that extreme proficiency in one area requiring substantial intelligence does not necessarily translate into rational beliefs in another.  Fischer suffered similarly.

VladamirKramnik wrote:

everyone expects you to say that people alway try to stick up for other people for no reason at all if your not a woman than it doesnt matter quit your whining. i agree that there are some pretty good women player but you never see a woman competing against the world championship. yeah sure fine you like women but keep your love life and fascination with the opposite gender to yourself. this is real life not kindergarten.

Are you just trying to start a flame war here?

The reason, in my opinion, that no women have challenged for the world championship is because of the seperate classifications (GM and WGM). Without this, I'm sure there'd be a woman World Champion.

And by the way, it's not my love life coming into play here, it's my belief that all humans are equal and deserve to be treated as such by EVERYONE. Not just myself. For anyone to say women can't play chess is the personification of ignorance and antiquity, as rdallison and David_Grakovsky have already said.


He probably never got laid in highschool.

DonaldLL wrote:

this topic has been raised several times recently and in all cases the end result has been a locked thread.... here we go AGAIN!!!!!!

Sorry, there was no intent to start World War III. I just had to post because I was shocked that these words came from such a high-profile player like Aronian. (Kasparov has never made such inflamatory statements)


Wow I can't belive some things that are said,and or belived. Anyone can play chess,but not everyone can PLAY....CHESS..


Just for kicks, I'll play devil's advocate here, and challenge the notion that all men (and women, by extension) are created equal.  True equality would mean that we all have the same rating.  It would mean that I could challenge a GM and win half the time.  Do these notions agree with empirical evidence?  No, we most certainly are NOT all equal.  If we accept that there is variability, and that in any given area some are better than others, then we may well ask why.  Gender and race are too hot even for me, so I won't touch those, other than to point out that uncritically stating, with no empirical evidence, that all races and both genders are equal in all conceivable ways is as prejudiced as stating that they are not.  The proper position would be one of uncertainty, until the facts are in.  It would seem that far too many people have a hard time accepting uncertainty, so they replace it with the more popular option.  Path of least resistance.  There are many women who can destroy me in basketball.  Still, the best men are better than the best women, the average man is better than the average woman, and so on (at least in basketball).

Now we seem to have a pregnant man, but still, is it not the case that women are better at carrying offspring than men are?  OK, as I said, no more about race or gender, but what about nationality and soccer?  Some nations are better at soccer than others, as evidenced by the fact that certain national teams always seem to beat other ones.  It is not my contention that this is genetic, or that there is some master race.  Some nations play more soccer than others.  But this is only a possible explanation.  It is not definitive.  I lack the data to make an informed decision about genetics.  It does not strike me as plausible that there is some genetic link, but without the facts, I would be prejudiced (literally pre judging, or arriving at a conclusion before the facts are in) to assert that there cannot be a genetic link.

OK, now I will go out on a limb and address chess and gender.  The issues seem to be 1) who is better, the best men or the best women; 2) who is better, the average man or the average woman; and 3) these same questions adjusting for the inequality in effort expended (making these comparisons only within homogeneous groups as defined by how much chess they play).  We have objective empirical answers for the first question.  There may be an answer for the second one, but I certainly do not know it.  As for the third one, my guess is that nobody actually studied this.  So as much as I would love to join the fun and yell "Yeah, equality baby!", I will refrain, follow Socrates, and accept that which I do not know.  For all we know, maybe women have some genetic superiority to men and, were they to play as much chess as men do, would become much better than men.  Simply cannot rule this out given what we do and do not know.  OK, have I managed to offend everyone now???

LucenaTDB wrote:

Chess is full of extreme egos.


why thank you


If you think women can't play chess, you should see monkeys... Oh my goodness, it's just disgraceful.


"emotional chess" by Sanja Dedijer #1 bestseller... j/k

I'd buy it!!!

seriouscamtoe wrote:

He probably never got laid in highschool.

 probably never went,  seriously i,m sick of this subject, pointless.

DonaldLL wrote:

this topic has been raised several times recently and in all cases the end result has been a locked thread.... here we go AGAIN!!!!!!

 Ha! It's like a bad penny, this subject! Just when you think you've got rid of it!

Chessroshi wrote:

If you think women can't play chess, you should see monkeys... Oh my goodness, it's just disgraceful.

LOL, yes, i did, and i think we should have titles for them, something like Monkey Grandmaster (MGM?)


I can smell this topic on the way to being locked!



Sexism aside, it's quite a beautiful interview, full of love for the aesthetics of the game:

"One must be very passionate and romantic if one wants to create a masterpiece that is to last for centuries. That is my personal approach, which some players do not understand and even smile at. But I don’t care. For me creating a masterpiece is more important than just to win".

Good for you, Mr. Aronian, good for you. Just, you know, lay off the sexism.

This forum topic has been locked