The fight for women’s rights in sports saw a victory from an unlikely source Thursday as the International Chess Federation announced a new policy that would ban men from competing in women’s chess events.
The organization has said that it will conduct “further analysis” of the potential impact of men competing in women’s events. The federation said the new restriction is temporary while the group considers a permanent policy.
But the process could take as long as two years, as the federation said they didn’t want to rush the process. In addition, the new policy will also abolish titles given to women who later transitioned to become men.
Transgender advocates have criticized the decision, arguing that the lack of physicality in chess does not warrant such a restriction. Grandmaster and two-time US Women’s Champion Jennifer Shahade is among the rule’s critics.