British chess grandmaster Nigel Short is under fire from the game's community after claiming that women within chess can't compete at the same level as men. His comments first appeared in New in Chess Magazine, where he stated that women are "hardwired" differently, and that because men's brains are bigger, the gap in chess ability between the sexes is as large he claims it to be. He reportedly told New in Chess: 

I don't have the slightest problem in acknowledging that my wife possesses a much higher degree of emotional intelligence than I do. Likewise, she doesn't feel embarrassed in asking me to manoeuvre the car out of our narrow garage.

"One is not better than the other, we just have different skills. It would be wonderful to see more girls playing chess, and at a higher level, but rather than fretting about inequality, perhaps we should just gracefully accept it as a fact."

His quotes have since sparked outrage within the female chess community. Judit Polgar, regarded as the greatest female chess player, ironically beat Short in a match once before. She called Short out on this, stating, "Men and women are different but there are different ways of thinking and fighting still achieving the same results."

@CasualChess @NewInChess Indeed, I have a poor score against the best female chess player in history. And what does that prove exactly?

— Nigel Short (@nigelshortchess) April 18, 2015

@nigelshortchess @NewInChess Incredibly damaging/harmful when someone so respected basically endorses sexism in #chess in important magazine

— CasualChess.Org (@CasualChess) April 18, 2015

Since the original New in Chess article, Short's gone on Sky Sports to defend his comments. His defense was more so a half-assed spew-job of misunderstood science than an actual defense of his comments, which are, frankly, indefensible. Said Short to Sky Sports: 

"It's quite easy to demonstrate there's a fairly substantial gap between men and women at chess. I think that probably sexism is an issue in chess. However, it's a fact that men and women are hardwired differently. Men have 10% larger brains. They have more grey matter - women have more white matter. Women have better verbal skills, women have all sorts of skills that are better than men. But the gap (in chess) is quite large and I believe that's down to sex differences."

If those quotes sound remotely familiar, it's because you've heard Ron Burgundy say something similar before: 
 

Now, I can see how a cursory reading of a Web MD page can lead to Short and Burgundy's opinion. According to research, It's true that male brains are 10 percent larger. It's true that women, because of how certain parts of their brain are connected, have better verbal skills than men. Even all that white and gray matter stuff is true, via Web MD:
Notably, male brains contain about 6.5 times more gray matter -- sometimes called 'thinking matter" -- than women. Female brains have more than 9.5 times as much white matter, the stuff that connects various parts of the brain, than male brains. 
Men and women have different sizes brains and different amounts of stuff within the brain, and that does indeed explain why the two sexes behave differently in various areas. Here's where Short and Burgundy are completely wrong though: As the same research that found all these differences between male and female brains also indicated, just because men have bigger brains, that doesn't mean they're smarter—at all.
 
To suggest that male brain size somehow leads to superior chess abilities (and remember, chess is an intellectual's game, so Short's likely having underlying feelings of old-world dominance over the opposite sex, meaning: because I'm a male, my brain is bigger, and thus I'm better equipped to do smart-person things than my wife) over women is simply wrong. Short and Burgundy thinks that they're simply restating science, but they're casting it in their own, incorrect light—one that's highly problematic, given their sexist tones. 
 
 

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[via AU News