Women's chess needs all the right moves

A recent mini-series has drawn attention to the quiet world of chess. It will take a lot to come together for Singapore to produce its first female grandmaster but things may be looking up.

SEA Games gold medallist Gong Qianyun competing at the National Championships on Friday. Singapore's sole woman grandmaster feels that having a professional league where players can earn a living will improve the sport's standards and attract more fe
SEA Games gold medallist Gong Qianyun competing at the National Championships on Friday. Singapore's sole woman grandmaster feels that having a professional league where players can earn a living will improve the sport's standards and attract more female players. ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG
New: Gift this subscriber-only story to your friends and family

Over the past few weeks, Netflix series The Queen's Gambit has captured the attention of millions around the world as they watch the show's protagonist Beth Harmon rise through the ranks in the male-dominated world of chess en route to earning the coveted grandmaster title.

Becoming a grandmaster - the highest title a chess player can attain - is no easy feat for anyone. But historically, women have found it hard to compete on an equal footing with men. Of the 1,415 active grandmasters worldwide in governing body the International Chess Federation's (Fide) ratings list, only 29 are women.

Please or to continue reading the full article.

Get unlimited access to all stories at $0.99/month

  • Latest headlines and exclusive stories
  • In-depth analyses and award-winning multimedia content
  • Get access to all with our no-contract promotional package at only $0.99/month for the first 3 months*

*Terms and conditions apply.

Join ST's Telegram channel here and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on December 13, 2020, with the headline Women's chess needs all the right moves. Subscribe