World’s Top Chess Federation Restricts Transgender Biological Males Competing in Women’s Tournaments

The International Chess Federation, often referred to by its French acronym FIDE, has restricted transgender biological males from competing in women’s tournaments.

Last week, the organization said that they have been receiving increased applications from players who claim to be transgender and want to play against players of the sex they identify as.

“Change of gender is a change that has a significant impact on a player’s status and future eligibility to tournaments, therefore it can only be made if there is a relevant proof of the change provided,” the FIDE said.

Decisions on each player would take up to two years to complete, the organization said.

“In the event that the gender was changed from a male to a female the player has no right to participate in official FIDE events for women until further FIDE’s decision is made,” the announcement continued.

According to a report from RFI, “Holders of women’s titles who change their genders to male would see those titles ‘abolished,’ the federation said while holding out the possibility of a reinstatement ‘if the person changes the gender back to a woman.'”

“If a player has changed the gender from a man into a woman, all the previous titles remain eligible,” the federation said.

RFI reports that Cathy Renna, communications director for the National LGBTQ Task Force, said that the changes are “a case of ‘trans panic’ with no justification, not grounded in reality and once again marginalising trans people.”

“The new ‘guidelines’ on trans competitors in chess are infuriating, confusing, contradictory and a sign that the anti-trans movement, particularly those who are promoting exclusion in sports, is spreading into other areas of competitive sport and is a very disturbing development,” Renna said.

The federation’s press office told RFI, “Allow us to clarify that the new regulations are aimed at clearly defining the procedure on how a person who has officially changed their gender may register the fact on FIDE Directory.”

They added that transgender players may compete in “open” tournaments, which allow both men and women to compete.


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