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Chess Master Says Men Naturally Better Players Than Women

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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.


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Write to Noah Rayman at noah.rayman@time.com