chapter  5
9 Pages

Men Vs. Women

ByFernand Gobet

Women have historically been underrepresented in several fields such as science, the arts and business. There is little doubt that men perform better at chess than women. The only woman to be able to compete with the very best male players was Hungarian grandmaster Judit Polgar, who was ranked number 8 in the world at the peak of her career. The Polgar sisters also obtained remarkable results when playing together for Hungary, which might be called Polgary, as they made up 75% of the four-player team. Biological explanations are the preferred explanations by leading grandmasters. A first important statistical fact is that with intelligence and mathematics tests, males display greater variability than females. Another socio-cultural explanation is that women, to some extent, are victims of an inferiority complex. A final explanation is that chess-playing women have broader interests than men. There have been many initiatives, both personal and institutional, to improve women's skill level in chess.