Oxford Chess Research
Women are just as good at chess as men - but they just don't
like game, says Oxford study
Men do not dominate chess competitions
because they are better at the game but simply because women do not like it,
according to an Oxford University study.
By Stephen Adams
of women who have broken into the top ranks of chess players is almost purely
because so few of them play, academics found.
Researchers at the
university's Department of Experimental Psychology discovered that 96 per cent
of the difference in performance can be accounted for by the vastly greater
numbers of men who play.
They made their conclusions after analysing
results from just over 120,000 members of the German Chess Federation, in which
men outnumber women by 16:1.
Using a points-based scoring system, they
found that men only slightly outperformed women.
Research team member
Merim Bilalic, author of 'Does Chess Need Intelligence?', said: "Although the
performance of the 100 best German male chess players is better than that of the
100 best German women, we show that 96 percent of the observed difference is
down to the fact a greater number of men play chess. There is little left for
biological or cultural explanations to account for."
president of the English Chess Federation, thought the conclusions were
He said: "At primary school level, when there are an
equal number of boys and girls playing, there's a level playing
Britain's top ranked women's player Ketevan Arakhamia-Grant only
missed out on last year's British Open titled by a single game, he
There has never been a female open world chess champion, nor a
female British Open champion.