It seems that the hallowed tradition of chess isn't immune to prying eyes and sexist, outdated dress codes. Hello Giggles reports that a 12-year-old competitor (who remains anonymous) at the 2017 National Scholastic Chess Championship in Putrajaya, Malaysia, got called out for being "too seductive." Her coach, Kaushal Khandhar, posted her outfit to Facebook and the photo has garnered attention from around the world.
In the post, Khandhar explains that the student's outfit was described at "seductive" and a "temptation from a certain angle far, far away."
"In the middle of Round 2, (without stopping the clocks) Chief Arbiter informs my student that the dress she wore was improper and have violated the dress code of the tournament," Khandhar wrote. "It was later informed (by Chief Arbiter) to my student and her mother, that the Tournament Director deemed my student’s dress to be 'seductive' and a 'temptation from a certain angle far, far away.'"
Khandhar adds that the competitor "felt harassed and humiliated" by the incident. The coach also said that the arbiters of the competition told the young competitor that she had to get slacks for the next round of competitions, even though any stores in the area would have been closed. Basically, the authorities made it impossible for her to continue.
"We are absolutely DISGUSTED by the treatment of Tournament Director to a 12-year-old girl and her mother," Khandhar wrote. "This incident has resulted in loss of time and money which was invested before, during and after the tournament on coaching, registration fees, travelling, accommodation and other incurred cost."
While the violation may be infuriating, it's great to see Khandhar standing behind his young protégée. In the post, he adds that because he couldn't procure clothing deemed appropriate by the tournament's authorities, the chess whiz couldn't continue in the national championships.
Khandhar is hoping for a public apology from the tournament director of the National Scholastic Chess Championship and hopes that his post will bring attention to the undue criticism that the young girl faced. It's obviously wrong to sexualize a girl's body and it looks like even the cerebral world of chess can't get past that.