Chess Player Divya Deshmukh Exposes Sexism at Tata Steel Masters

Parikshith Reddy

Divya Deshmukh’s Experience at Tata Steel Masters

Indian chess player Divya Deshmukh recently spoke out about encountering sexist behavior from spectators during the Tata Steel Masters in Wijk Aan Zee, Netherlands.

Divya Deshmukh
Divya Deshmukh

Unwanted Attention on Personal Matters

The 18-year-old International Master from Nagpur expressed her disappointment in a social media post, revealing that spectators focused on irrelevant aspects such as her hair, clothes, and accent instead of appreciating her performance on the chessboard.

Women in Chess Facing Routine Misogyny

Deshmukh, who won the Asian women’s chess championship last year, highlighted the routine misogyny women chess players face. She shared her unpleasant experience and pointed out the tendency for women to be taken for granted by spectators.

Overlooking Achievements for Superficial Judgements

In her Instagram post, Deshmukh lamented how her recent good games were overshadowed by the audience’s fixation on non-chess-related aspects. She emphasized the disparity between male and female players, stating that men receive recognition for their games, while women are judged for personal characteristics.

Underappreciation of Women in Chess

Deshmukh finished 12th in the Challengers section of the Tata Steel Masters, with a score of 4.5. Despite her achievements, she expressed her disappointment at how women players are often underappreciated and face judgment and hatred for irrelevant things.

Divya Deshmukh Call for Equal Respect

The young chess prodigy emphasized the need for women to receive equal respect in the chess community. Deshmukh pointed out the unfairness of the judgment women face compared to their male counterparts and called for a change in the way women in chess are perceived.

Persistent Sexist Behavior in Women’s Sports

Deshmukh’s experience sheds light on the persistent sexist behavior female athletes face, even in the face of advancements in women’s sports. Despite the progress in pay scale, women players are still subjected to unwarranted scrutiny and questions about their appearance.

A Plea for Change

In conclusion, Deshmukh called for a shift in the perception of women in chess, urging for more focus on their skills and accomplishments rather than superficial judgments. Her plea resonates with the broader issue of gender bias in sports that continues to affect female athletes worldwide.

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