A number of you have email me about the difference between women’s events and open events. I play in both and I organize both. I enjoy competing in both. Each has its pluses and minuses. I can tell you from personal experience that it is a pleasure for me to play and organize all-female events. There are a number of reasons for this:
– Women players draw a lot less. The organizers do not even need to tell women players to fight hard. They do 🙂 Many games are fought until the bitter end. Therefore, it is very exciting for the fans and media. Again, as I mentioned many times before, 99% of the chess players and nearly 100% of mainstream people cannot tell the difference between a game of 2400-2500 players versus 2600-2700 players unless they are sitting there with Fritz in hand.
– Women players are a lot better with the fans and media in general. I am not talking about specific players but just in general. Many women players are a lot more talkative and sociable. Don’t ask me why 🙂
– Even though many games are hard fought on the board, women players remain friends or in very friendly terms after the game. Win, lose or draw, many of us do enjoy the social aspect of the game. Some men can’t handle losing so well.
– Many girls that competed in all-girls events that I organized 3 years ago still keep in touch on a daily / weekly basis. They remain good friends and they often make plans to travel to the same tournaments for special get together. That’s very nice.
– I had many incredible battles against top female players like Xie Jun, Pia Cramling and Maia Chiburdanidze, etc. We all respect each other and we are still in friendly terms. It is wonderful for me to see Xie Jun and Pia Cramling again at the Calvia Olympiad and Pia again in Dresden. We are all chess Moms and we still enjoy playing chess.
However, if top women players want to improve, they MUST play in both women and open events. Most top women players do and they are doing the right thing. I am happy to see new young female talents and I hope that they will be able to surpass what Xie Jun, Pia Cramling, Maia Chiburdanidze, Nona Gaprindashvili and my sisters and I have done. That would be a great thing for chess.
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– GM Susan Polgar