Has FIDE ever given reasons why it rates woman in different category and organises their tournaments seperately?

  • 2
    That's the same for other sports as well, so not sure it requires a statement. A more interesting question could be, "Why are women allowed to participate in "men tournament" but not the other way around? Commented Jan 26, 2017 at 18:59
  • 5
    because there is no such thing as a "men" tournament. Commented Jan 27, 2017 at 0:26
  • 1
    @CognisMantis: Yes, I know. That's why I put it in quotes. Of course I meant the regular open tournament where like 99% of participants are male. Commented Jan 27, 2017 at 19:43

2 Answers 2


First, let's clear up a misunderstanding. Women and men are rated on the same scale, with the same formula. A woman with a FIDE rating of 2400 can be assumed to be equally matched with a man with the same 2400 rating. FIDE merely defines four titles that are only available for women. In general, woman can and do participate in tournaments against men. However, there are a handful of tournaments open only to women, including a Women's World Championship.

The reason for the tournaments and titles is obvious: some women want to participate in such tournaments, and some women appreciate the titles. Chess is filled with reserved tournaments and not-too-prestigious titles of other kinds - this isn't a "woman-thing". Every club, state, or national championship is a tournament which sacrifices strength and prestige to encourage the participation of a specific group. The USCF has titles down to "4th Category", a title which requires hardly more than a heartbeat and a willingness to play in at least five tournaments, obviously to encourage tournament play among those still learning the game. FIDE correctly calculates that having the WGM, WIM, WFM, and WCM provides motivation for some women and encourages them to improve their game and participate in tournaments. Given that FIDE exists to promote chess among all populations, including women, providing these title is a no-brainer.

Damning women who participate in such tournaments or accept such titles is as ridiculous as complaining that the Canadian National Championship is tainted by the lack of Americans in the field or considering the USCF Candidate Master title to be a farce because it is easier to obtain than the FIDE Candidate Master. There is no shame or fraud in competing for these titles, as the requirements are well-known and observers can easily understand exactly how much prestige should be attached to them. Some of the strongest women players may disdain the women-only titles, but there are many male GMs who disdained their IM or FM norms. You may choose to learn what you want from their examples.

  • 1
    Generally agree with what you say, though I think FIDE could have been more creative in the title names for women and not use essentially the same as the open titles with lower requirementes. Commented Jan 27, 2017 at 19:56

Chess is not a sport that relies on physical skill, not withstanding the rigors of tournament and match play. Men and Women should not be separated on the FIDE title scales. Separate tournaments? Maybe - that is the organizers prerogative. World Championship? Yes. Titles, no. This is False Prestige.

After watching the Women's Championship from (Spain?) last month and the horrid play by a supposed FIM making horrendous errors, I have no faith any of them. You are either an IM or you are not.

The Polgar(s) got it right when they refused to accept watered-down, female FIDE titles. There should be no difference, especially in this day and age where the average woman will hardly blink at telling you how smart she is and wants equal pay for equal play. I say, prove it.

Chess should award titles equally across both genders on the same scale and not discriminate women any longer.

  • 1
    While this might all be true, it does not seem to answer the question. Commented Jan 26, 2017 at 21:09
  • It does, indirectly. It implies that FIDE discriminates against women. That is why. You expect FIDE to come out and say "We have separate men and women titles because we discriminate"? You will be dead and long buried before FIDE ever admits to anything of that sort, but their behavior says it all, plain for all to see.
    – Priyome
    Commented Jan 26, 2017 at 21:19
  • I believe their claim is actually that this promotes women chess. Commented Jan 26, 2017 at 21:24
  • I think the same, but we are Q/A forum, and this is what we have to make the best out of
    – Rohit
    Commented Jan 26, 2017 at 23:56
  • 2
    It's important to note that there is no such thing as a only men tournament. Also, there is no such thing as men titles. The top tournaments are only filled with men just because there aren't strong enough female players to play at the elite level. The titles are there to motivate women, but it is not as if men get different titles. A 2200 rating for a man is the same as for a woman. Commented Jan 27, 2017 at 0:20

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.