Chess skyrocketed into the media spotlight this week after the world’s top chess federation, known as FIDE, said it will ban trans women from participating in women’s competitions. The policy would also see players who held women’s titles and later transitioned to male removed.
The English Chess Federation (ECF) has said it won’t be a pawn in the FIDE’s anti-trans game and will continue to welcome all players. Trans women have worked on behalf of the ECF and played in ECF events, as have trans women in various other chess federations.
A similar positions have been adopted by the German Chess Federation, the French Chess Federation, and the United States Chess Federation. The Finnish Chess Federation wrote on social media that FIDE’s anti-trans policy is “incomprehensible” and assured trans women that they’re still welcome in their competitions.
Cathy Renna, communications director for the National LGBTQ Task Force, called FIDE’s policy “a case of trans panic with no justification, not grounded in reality and once again marginalising trans people.”
“The new guidelines on trans competitors in chess are infuriating, confusing, contradictory and a sign that the anti-trans movement, particularly those who are promoting exclusion in sports, is spreading into other areas of competitive sport and is a very disturbing development,” Renna told.
There are no reasons to ban trans women from sports, according to science and experts.