FIDE Bars Transgender Players from Women’s Events

The International Chess Federation (FIDE) has created new regulations imposing several restrictions on player’s gender change.

As per the regulations, anyone whose gender is changed from a female to a male has “no right” to participate in official FIDE competitions for women until further review, which might take up to two years. The guidebook also states that if a player has titles in women’s categories and changes her gender, the titles in women’s categories would be deleted; but, if the player transitions from male gender to female gender, the titles in women’s categories must stay.

The new regulations are intended to define precisely the process for registering a gender change in the FIDE system, according to the organisation. Additionally, FIDE asserted the authority to notify the tournament’s organisers and any “relevant parties” about a player’s gender change in order to stop participants from potentially participating in tournaments¬†illegitimately.

Many prominent people, including master and French coach Yosha Iglesias and organisations, including the Center for Trans Equality, have expressed concerns about the new regulations, terming them “insulting to cis women, trans women, and to the game itself.” Others said the regulations are based on “ignorant and anti-trans beliefs”.

Upon being asked to respond to these criticisms, FIDE said that although all sexes are equally capable intellectually, with chess as a sport, additional elements like endurance could be important.

How the new regulation will impact transgender players who are already enrolled in the system was a point that FIDE did not address.