Giving the transgender game away

Published August 22, 2023

WORLD Opinions

A kerfuffle in the chess world is giving the transgender game away. As the Daily Mail reports, “The world’s top chess federation has sparked a furious sexism row after banning trans women from competing in all-female contests while it decides whether they have an unfair advantage.”

The cerebral, sedentary sport of chess may seem an odd place for a fight over men in women’s sports. Such conflicts have previously erupted in physical contests in which males have obvious advantages such as swimming and weightlifting. But the chess world has clearly been thinking several moves ahead, because sex matters in chess. Men dominate the top echelons of the game. Only one woman, Hungarian prodigy Judit Polgár, has ever been ranked in the world top ten.

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Nathanael Blake, Ph.D. is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. His primary research interests are American political theory, Christian political thought, and the intersection of natural law and philosophical hermeneutics. His published scholarship has included work on Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Hans-Georg Gadamer, Alasdair MacIntyre, Russell Kirk and J.R.R. Tolkien. He is currently working on a study of Kierkegaard and labor. As a cultural observer and commentator, he is also fascinated at how our secularizing culture develops substitutes for the loss of religious symbols, meaning and order.

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