NPR reports that the International Chess Federation (FIDE) has joined the ranks of sports oversight organizations to issue unnecessary bans on the participant of transgender athletes until "further analysis" can be completed.
Under new guidelines, transgender people will still be allowed to compete in the "open" section of tournaments, where men and women typically compete against one another.
But many elite events that are exclusively for women will be off limits for people who changed their gender from male to female until "further analysis" is made by the FIDE — which the group described could take up two years.
FIDE also ruled that it has the right to make "an appropriate mark" of a gender change in a player's profile, as well as inform tournaments of any transgender competitors.
You might be wondering what kind of "further analysis" might be required to determine is trans people as a whole possess any "unfair" competitive advantages over chess players of the same gender. You might also be wondering if there's any possible way to answer that question without actively trying to prove that the brains of people assigned male at birth are inherently superior to the brains of those who were assigned female at birth. I know I sure am!
But before you even get that far down the WTF Worm Hole, the new FIDE anti-trans policy has already beat you to it. Check this:
If a player holds any of the women titles, but the gender has been changed to a man, the women titles are to be abolished. Those can be renewed if the person changes the gender back to a woman and can prove the ownership of the respective FIDE ID that holds the title. The abolished women title may be transferred into a general title of the same or lower level (e.g., WGM may be transferred into FM, WIM into CM, etc.).
If a player has changed the gender from a man into a woman, all the previous titles remain eligible. The player may use only the published rating at the time the registration was changed, and all subsequent ratings when applying for women titles. No peak ratings or results that have been reached before the official gender change may be used to qualify for women titles after the legal gender change.
In other words: trans men will be stripped of any titles or awards that they've already won. They can, however, reclaim those titles and awards if they detransition. The same does not hold for trans women, however. Curious, isn't it, that the new policy only penalizes those who were assigned female at birth. Is the implication here that testosterone enhances one's chess playing ability? Or is it just that the chess community has a deep-seeded problem with gender equality?
Meanwhile, pawns can still transition into Queens, which are the most versatile and powerful pieces on the board.
World chess just placed restrictions on both trans women and trans men [Juliana Kim / NPR]