Chess has become sexy? Truly? In what has to be one of the oddest sports rulings I’ve ever heard, the European Chess Union has decided to implement a dress code during chess tournaments.
ECU general secretary Sava Stoisavljevic said that “many of the players were not wearing proper clothes” during games, and lack of said clothing could be giving them an unfair advantage by distracting their opponents. From now on, the females who play will have to be more conservative when picking from their closets before a tournament.
The ECU has put restrictions on the amount of cleavage a player can display. Stoisavljevic says they considered just how many buttons could be undone on a woman’s shirt. The regulations now state that in respect to shirts, the second from the top button may also be opened, in addition to the very top button. Short skirts might be next to go, though there are currently no restrictions.
According to Stoisavljevic, the new dress code was a response to frequent comments made by spectators and coaches and was drafted just in time for the European Women’s Championships in Gaziantep, Turkey. She considers the penalty for non-adherence to the code to be rather harsh: players who don’t abide by the dress standards could be banned from awards ceremonies.
That actually doesn’t seem so harsh to me. In other words, women can still dress like they’re going to the beach rather than playing chess, and win by doing so, but they may have to pick up their winnings privately. The rule seems to imply that they may be banned from the ceremonies, but they may not be.
I would say that if they break the rules, they should be eliminated from the competition altogether. And what’s up with counting the buttons? Anyone who has ever taught middle school or high school knows that allowing the top two buttons to remain unbuttoned will never work. Women who want to break that rule will have shirts made with only two buttons. They can then leave their shirts totally unbuttoned and still be within the rule. The only way to control it is to issue T-shirts or standard tops at the tournament and require everyone, male and female, to wear them.
While searching for a picture for this article I actually came across a photo of a grinning nude man, hand strategically placed, who had lost a game of strip chess. Does the overwhelming emphasis on being sexy have to invade every aspect of our lives? Is the entire globe obsessed with innovative ways to display our body parts? Lewis Carroll would be shocked. Where’s the Queen of Hearts when we need her? She knew how to run a chess game. Off with their heads!