I am NOT asking for the percentage of chess players that are women.

I am asking for the percentage of players who are women in the sections where both men and women can play in.
That percentage is obviously lower than the percentage of chess players that are women because many women prefer to play in women-only sections.

In other words the question could be rephrased as: if I'm a man and tomorrow I'll play a game in a tournament, what's the probability that my opponent is a woman?

You can answer for either USCF or FIDE, it doesn't matter which one.

  • In my experience women-only sections are pretty rare in USCF tournaments except for championships of some kind (including scholastic championships), so for almost all tournaments the percentages will be the same.
    – dfan
    Dec 2, 2015 at 19:31
  • 1
    Women-only sections hardly exist, except at top level. Dec 3, 2015 at 7:46
  • Oh. And is this also the case for FIDE tournaments?
    – Fate
    Dec 3, 2015 at 11:25
  • Yes, as far as I am concerned. There are special prizes for women but they play in the same section as men.
    – Salmorejo
    Dec 3, 2015 at 11:39
  • See e.g. chess-calendar.eu . Actually there are two female youth events among the events on the first page now, but then the next one is on page 5 I think. Dec 3, 2015 at 13:19

2 Answers 2


In France, there are women only team championships but not all women chess players supports them.

Here is the point of view of Mathilde Choisy (WFM, FIDE 2181), in French http://echecsetmixte.fr/?p=665

The main points are :

  • If you want to make progress, don't think about women competitions, think bigger and aim for results in "general" competitions. A top 20 in French mixed youngster championship is a better result than a top 3 in European Girl championship.
  • France has only a few active women players rated 2000+ so they always play against each other in these competitions
  • If you stay too long in girl competitions, you won't realize the gap in level with the boys until it's too late
  • Women championships promotes "amateur chess" but are no use for professionnal competitions.

It's clearly not an answer to the question but I think it's worth sharing.

Btw I met my wife in an French mixed open, so there are some chances that you'll played against some. I checked the data for this open and here are the rates :

  • Open A , Elo >1700 : 5-10% women
  • Open B, Elo <1800 : 12-15% women

It depends. Also it differs.

You can do it by

  1. Find the open tournament you want to analyze. You can use chess results website

  2. Find out the list of players.

  3. Filter out the women players and make two list.

  4. Now you have A - All players, B - Men players and C - Women players.

  5. Now use the following calculation:

% women (%C) = (C/A ) * 100

% men (%B) = (B/A)*100

  1. If you are a techy person, write a script and do it for all the tournaments of a particular country and create beautiful graphs for the world to admire.

Hope this helps :)

  • 2
    I don't think anybody has asked for a lecture in statistics 101
    – Sejanus
    Apr 13, 2016 at 10:49

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