Girl, 12, barred from chess match over 'seductive' dress

The dress described as "seductive" at the Malaysian chess tournament.
The dress described as "seductive" at the Malaysian chess tournament.PHOTO: FACEBOOK/KAUSHAL KHANDHAR

PETALING JAYA • A 12-year-old girl got booted out of a chess tournament, not because of her skills, but because of her attire.

This came after organisers allegedly considered her short sleeved black and orange striped dress, which stops just above her knees, to be "seductive".

Chess player and coach Kaushal Khandhar, in a Facebook post on Thursday night, said the girl, a school chess champion, felt "harassed and humiliated" by the actions of the tournament director and chief arbiter at the National Scholastic Chess Championship on April 14.

"In the middle of Round 2, without stopping the clocks, the chief arbiter informed my student that the dress she wore was improper," he said in the Facebook post.

The chief arbiter told the girl and her mother that the tournament director deemed her dress "seductive" and a "temptation from a certain angle far, far away", he added.

The dress described as "seductive" at the Malaysian chess tournament. PHOTO: KAUSHAL KHANDHAR FACEBOOK

Mr Kaushal called the director's remarks "ridiculous".

He said the chief arbiter conceded and apologised to the girl after a discussion and assured her there was nothing wrong with her attire. But the chief arbiter said she was not allowed to wear the dress due to the tournament director's directive.

The girl and her mother were told to buy a pair of slacks so she could take part in the next round the following morning. But as the shops would not be open in time, the girl eventually had to withdraw from the tournament.

Mr Kaushal is seeking a public apology from the tournament director. "This incident has resulted in loss of time and money which was invested before, during and after the tournament on coaching, registration fees, travelling, accommodation and other incurred costs," he said, adding that it has also left his student "extremely disturbed and embarrassed".

The tournament director would only say the matter was being investigated and declined to comment further.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on April 30, 2017, with the headline 'Girl, 12, barred from chess match over 'seductive' dress'. Print Edition | Subscribe