TIME United Kingdom

Female Chess Legend: ‘We Are Capable of the Same Fight as Any Other Man’

Judit Polgar, Hungarian chess grandmaster.
Ondrej Nemec—Getty Images Judit Polgar, Hungarian chess grandmaster.

“It’s not a matter of gender, it’s a matter of being smart,” Judit Polgar says

Judit Polgar, one of the world’s top chess players, has hit back against a claim by another of the game’s stars that men are naturally better chess players.

“We are capable of the same fight as any other man, and I think during the decades that I actively played chess I proved it as well,” Polgar told TIME in an interview Monday. The native Hungarian became a chess prodigy along with her two sisters and broke Bobby Fischer’s record to become the youngest grandmaster at age 15 in 1991. It’s not a matter of gender, it’s a matter of being smart,” the grandmaster added.

Polgar’s comments came after a storm erupted over Nigel Short’s remarks that people should “gracefully accept it as a fact” that women possess different skills than men, while also suggesting that women are worse drivers.

“I don’t have the slightest problem in acknowledging that my wife possesses a much higher degree of emotional intelligence than I do,” he told New in Chess magazine. “Likewise, she doesn’t feel embarrassed in asking me to maneuver the car out of our narrow garage. One is not better than the other, we just have different skills.”

Polgar, who announced her retirement last year, pointed out that she had defeated Short “quite a few times.” She also defeated Garry Kasparov, widely considered to be the finest chess player in history, in 2002.

“I grew up in what was a male dominated sport, but my parents raised me and my sisters [to believe] that women are able to reach the same result as our male competitors if they get the right and the same possibilities,” she said.

Polgar, who founded the Judit Polgar Chess Foundation to use chess as an education tool, says she sees roughly an equal number of young boys and girls competing in chess at equal levels. But she says fewer girls pursue chess later on, in part because they choose not to and in part because they do not receive the same encouragement from parents, teachers and other people around them.

“Whenever I speak to parents or to kids, I always encourage them that if they believe, if they do the work, if they are really dedicated, then they can do it,” she says. “No matter whether they are a boy or a girl.”

TIME North Korea

See Kim Jong Un Celebrate Ascent of North Korea’s Highest Peak

This photo taken on April 18, 2015 and released by North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on April 20, 2015 shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un on a snow-covered Mount Paektu during sunrise in Ryanggang Province.
KNS—AFP/Getty Images This photo taken on April 18, 2015 and released by North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on April 20, 2015 shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un on a snow-covered Mount Paektu during sunrise in Ryanggang Province.

“Climbing Mt. Paektu provides precious mental pabulum more powerful than any kind of nuclear weapon,” said a state media report.

North Korean state media released a collection of celebratory images of leader Kim Jong Un at the summit of the country’s highest peak.

The state-run Rodong newspaper reported that Kim climbed Mt. Paektu on Saturday with a group of fighter pilots and other party and military leaders.

The country’s media is keen on portraying the supreme leader—a member of this year’s TIME 100—in action, such as when video surfaced of him flying a small plane.

North Korean propaganda says Mt. Paektu, which rises some 9,000 feet, was the birthplace of Kim Jong Il, the current leader’s father — though historians say he was actually born in Soviet Russia.

“When one climbs snow-stormy Mt. Paektu and undergoes the blizzards over it, one can experience its real spirit and harden the resolution to accomplish the Korean revolution,” the Rodong report said. “Climbing Mt. Paektu provides precious mental pabulum more powerful than any kind of nuclear weapon and it is the way for carrying forward the revolutionary traditions of Paektu and giving steady continuity to the glorious Korean revolution.”

TIME United Kingdom

Chess Master Says Men Naturally Better Players Than Women

British former World Chess Championhip finalist Nigel Short looks at a chess board in his home in Athens November 4, 2005.
Yannis Behrakis—Reuters British former World Chess Championhip finalist Nigel Short looks at a chess board in his home in Athens November 4, 2005.

"Rather than fretting about inequality, perhaps we should just gracefully accept it as a fact”

One of Britain’s best chess players has sparked controversy after he said that women were inherently not as good as men at chess and suggested that women were worse drivers.

Nigel Short, who lost to Garry Kasparov in the 1993 world championship, told New In Chess magazine that we should “gracefully accept it as a fact” that women possess different skills than men, the Telegraph reports.

“I don’t have the slightest problem in acknowledging that my wife possesses a much higher degree of emotional intelligence than I do,” he said. “Likewise, she doesn’t feel embarrassed in asking me to maneuver the car out of our narrow garage. One is not better than the other, we just have different skills.”

“It would be wonderful to see more girls playing chess, and at a higher level, but rather than fretting about inequality, perhaps we should just gracefully accept it as a fact.”

The comments from the sometimes provocative player drew a swift response from the chess community.

Amanda Ross, the head of the Causal Chess club in London, told the Telegraph that his statements were “incredibly damaging when someone so respected basically endorses sexism.” Russ also observed that Short lost to Judit Polgar, the former women’s world champion.

[Telegraph]

TIME Iran

Iran Foreign Minister Urges Talks With West to Solve Crisis in Yemen

Smoke rises during an air strike on an army weapons depot on a mountain overlooking Yemen's capital Sanaa April 20, 2015.
Khaled Abdullah—Reuters Smoke rises during an air strike on an army weapons depot on a mountain overlooking Yemen's capital Sanaa April 20, 2015.

Mohammad Javad Zarif says U.S. and its allies must choose between "cooperation and confrontation"

Iran’s Foreign Minister has called for dialogue with the U.S. and Western allies to confront crises in its regional neighbors, saying civil war-torn Yemen would be a “good place to start.”

Mohammad Javad Zarif, who reached a framework agreement on his country’s nuclear program earlier this month with the U.S. and its negotiating partners, also tied the agreement to broader regional cooperation.

“To seal the anticipated nuclear deal, more political will is required,” he wrote in an op-ed article in the New York Times. “It is time for the United States and its Western allies to make the choice between cooperation and confrontation, between negotiations and grandstanding, and between agreement and coercion.”

Zarif, who was named this year as one of the TIME 100 most influential people in the world, said a forum for dialogue in the Sunni Persian Gulf states could help the traditional rivals to solve crises in Iraq and Syria, where the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria has seized swathes of territory, and in Yemen, where Saudi Arabia has spearheaded airstrikes against the rebel Houthis, a Shi’ite group with ties to Iran. Iran denies allegations that it has armed the group and is calling for a ceasefire.

“If one were to begin serious discussion of the calamities the region faces, Yemen would be a good place to start,” Zarif wrote.

Underscoring the rising violence in Yemen, an airstrike Monday morning in Sana’a, the capital, set off an enormous explosion that shook the city and reportedly killed dozens of people.

Read more at the New York Times.

TIME 2016 Election

Jeb Bush Narrowly Leads Tight Republican Presidential Race, Poll Says

Former Florida Governor Bush at MaryAnne's Diner in Derry, N.H. on April 17, 2015.
Brooks Kraft—Corbis for TIME Former Florida Governor Bush at MaryAnne's Diner in Derry, N.H. on April 17, 2015.

But no one has broken out of the GOP pack

Former Florida governor Jeb Bush is enjoying a slight lead over his likely Republican rivals for President, according to a new poll, but the nominating contest remains tight with no overwhelming front runner.

The news came as Bush announced he would travel to Germany, Poland and Estonia early next month, giving him a chance to burnish his foreign policy credentials as he prepares to formally launch his bid for the presidency.

The CNN/ORC survey found that 17% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents support Bush in the primary race, while 12% back Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. Kentucky Senator Rand Paul and Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who both recently launched their 2016 campaigns, each drew 11%. Only 4% said they back New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who placed second in the poll as recently as last fall.

Bush also leads the field in several key attributes, according to the poll, including the candidate voters see as having the right experience and the best chance to defeat the Democratic nominee.

In contrast to the Republican race, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who formally announced her candidacy this month, dominates the Democratic lineup. Among Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents, 69% said they support Clinton, while 11% said they backed Vice President Joe Biden — who hasn’t signaled he’s running — 5% support Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and 3% backed former Virginia Senator Jim Webb.

TIME Texas

Watch 120-Pound Molly Schuyler Break a Steak-Eating Record

The pint-sized mother of four downed three 72-ounce steaks in 20 minutes.

The challenge: Eat a 72-ounce steak, a baked potato, a shrimp cocktail, a salad and a roll in under an hour, and the meal is free.

Molly Schuyler, whose Facebook page proclaims her the number one female independent competitive eater in the world, devoured three of each in just 20 minutes at The Big Texan restaurant in northern Texas.

The 120-pound mother of four ate the first meal in 4 minutes 18 seconds, breaking the restaurant’s 4:58 record that she set in May 2014, according to the Amarillo Globe News.

“We’ve seen a lot of things come through these doors but Molly … she takes the cake … she takes lots and lots of cake,” joked Bobby Lee, Big Texan co-owner.

TIME norway

Norway to Scrap FM Radio for the Digital Era

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Jean-Pierre Lescourret—Getty Images/Lonely Planet Images Karl Johans Gate

Officials promise "better sound quality and new functionality"

Norway will become the first country to scrap FM radio after it announced final plans to switch to digital radio in the next two years.

The government said in a statement that it will make the transition to Digital Audio Broadcasting by 2017, following up on a 2011 government proposal. It will be the first country to do away entirely with FM radio, The Verge reports.

The move will allow for roughly 40 national channels, including 22 already in use, compared to five national channels on the FM system. Transmission costs are also eight times more expensive on the FM network than the DAB network.

“Radio digitization will open the door to a far greater range of radio channels, benefiting listeners across the country,” Minister of Culture Thorhild Widvey said in a statement. “Listeners will have access to more diverse and pluralistic radio-content, and enjoy better sound quality and new functionality.”

TIME portfolio

Inside Indonesia’s Islamic Boarding School for Transgender People

Fulvio Bugani, an Italian photographer, spent nearly three weeks living with a transgender community in Indonesia

When Shinta Ratri visits her family in Yogyakarta, the Indonesian city where she still lives, she sits outside her family’s home and waits. She hasn’t been allowed inside since she was 16, when as a young boy she told her family she identified as a girl.

Today, Shinta, 53, is one of the leading transgender activists in the country. She runs Pondok Pesantren Waria, an Islamic boarding school for Indonesia’s so-called waria, a portmanteau of the Indonesian words for woman (wanita) and man (pria). The school, in Shinta’s own home in Yogyakarta on the island of Java, provides a tight-knit community for transgender women from across the country who may face discrimination at home.

“They come to Yogyakarta just because they know about this school,” says Fulvio Bugani, an Italian photographer who spent nearly three weeks living with the waria community at the school. “They know that there they can pray and live like a woman in a good atmosphere.”

Bugani’s powerful images depict the daily lives of the school’s diverse waria community, and one of his shots was awarded third prize in the World Press Photo’s Contemporary Issues category this year.

About 10 women live at the school, according to Bugani, though the numbers fluctuate. Many of them make a living as sex workers or street performers, unable to find work in other areas, but the school offers a comfortable environment where, Bugani says, they can be themselves.

It also provides a unique place for the waria to pray. In Indonesia, the country with the world’s largest Muslim population, mosques are typically segregated by gender and the transgender women are reluctant to join or barred from participating in either group. But Shinta has ensured that the women can pray together at the school.

“She is very proud to be a woman and also to be a Muslim,” Bugani says. “She wants to help the other waria to become like her.”

Bugani joined Shinta on one of her semiannual visits to her family’s home and watched as she sat outside, waiting. Then, in what has become something of a ritual, her mother emerged.

“You know, a mother is always a mother,” Bugani says.

Fulvio Bugani is a freelance photographer based in Bologna, Italy.

Mikko Takkunen, who edited this photo essay, is an Associate Photo Editor at TIME. Follow him on Twitter @photojournalism.

Noah Rayman is a reporter at TIME.

TIME

These Maps Show Changing Marijuana Laws Across America

Nearly two decades of major change

With April 20, the unofficial holiday celebrating marijuana upon us, here’s a look at the drastically changing American legal landscape for pot users. Data provided by the Marijuana Policy Project and the National Conference of State Legislatures shows just how much of the country’s laws have altered since California legalized medical marijuana in 1996.

 

 

 

 

TIME europe

Meet the Man Who Claims He Just Founded a New Country in Europe

The flag of Liberland.
Liberland The flag of Liberland.

Welcome to "Liberland"

A Czech man is claiming to be the president of a new country he founded in Europe.

Vit Jedlicka, a member of the conservative Party of Free Citizens in the Czech Republic, is the self-appointed president of Liberland, which he says sits on unclaimed terra nullius territory wedged between Serbia and Croatia. The 3 sq. mi. “country,” where taxes are optional and a military is nonexistent, does not “interfere with the territory” of the two states, according to Liberland’s website.

“The objective of the founders of the new state is to build a country where honest people can prosper without being oppressed by governments making their lives unpleasant through the burden of unnecessary restrictions and taxes,” reads a statement announcing the creation of the new country this week. The country’s motto is: “To live and let live.”

Jedlicka, speaking by phone from Prague, told TIME that the effort began as a political stunt to garner media attention. “It started a little bit like a protest,” Jedlicka, 31, said. “But now it’s really turning out to be a real project with real support.”

The project has already received roughly 20,000 applications for citizenship, according to Jedlicka, who estimated that the country will receive as many as 100,000 applications by the end of next week (Liberland’s website has details of how to apply for citizenship, including sending an email of introduction—a C.V. is optional). Jedlicka added that some people already have plans to relocate.

“We have the busiest immigration office in the world,” he joked of his seven-person volunteer staff that he expects will grow.

The citizenship process is selective, and Jedlicka says only between 3,000 and 5,000 people will be granted citizenship in the coming weeks. Down the line, he said he expects the number of citizens to be comparable to Liechtenstein, a 62 sq. mi. country that borders Switzerland and Austria with 35,000 people (not all citizens will live in Liberland).

Jedlicka was active in his party in the Czech Republic, but he said he efforts to oppose government largesse proved fruitless. “So we decided we have to go the other way around,” he said. “We have to set up another country and really start the other way around.”

“I’m still going to be active in Czech politics,” he said, though he noted that Czech laws may forbid a president of another country from running for office. “I would probably resign and let somebody else run Liberland for me if there was a chance to do political change in the Czech Republic.”

Liberland is a “peaceful” country and will have no standing army. If neighbors Croatia or Serbia were to oppose, he said he would put up only “passive defense.”

“We will move, but we will keep our claim to the country,” he said. So far he’s still awaiting a diplomatic response from the country’s neighbors.

The Serbian and Croatian Embassies in the United States did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Read next: Here Are the 5 Things TIME 100 Says About the World

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