It is a controversial issue in many sports and chess could not be less, although it seems like a little physical activity. FIDE (International Chess Federation) has decided regulate the participation of transgender chess players and the path he has taken has not pleased everyone. In the best of cases, trans women will have to wait indefinitely, which could last up to two years, before they are accepted to participate in women’s tournaments.
Right now, international competitions have two categories, open and women’s, so women can already participate in ‘men’s’ tournaments, although in practice very few choose that option. Throughout history, only the Hungarian Judit Polgar it reached the all-time top 10. In recent years, we have seen some other exceptions, such as that of María Eizaguerri, who has been champion of Spain several times under 16 and under 18, the last time just two years ago. On the other hand, in the top 100 of the world ranking there is no woman. The first is Chinese Hou Yifanwhich ranks 127.
Due to the differences that still persist, and that cannot be attributed to a single reason, if any elite player changed gender and played in the Women’s World Cup, the rest of the competitors would have a difficult time. FIDE says that acts to protect women chess players, but at the same time it enters swampy ground. There is no shortage of those who remember that they have more pressing issues: “If FIDE is so concerned about protecting women in competitive chess, it may want to deal with the letter published a few days ago, signed by a hundred women who denounce sexist and sexual violence in chess. It seems like a real problem that needs real solutions.”
In its new rules, the International Federation states that “with increasing frequency, affiliated federations receive requests for recognition from people who identify as transgender.” Add that has no problem recognizing gender identities and recognizes that it is “a question of evolution for chess”. He also admits that “in addition to technical regulations on transgender standards, other policies may need to be developed in the future in line with research findings.”
Having done this preamble, FIDE explains the necessary requirements to achieve a new federative identity, which are not simple. “As a rule, changing sex is not a reason for a person to get a new tokenunless there is a special and strictly exceptional reason for the person not to publicly reveal their previous identity”.