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."
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."
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.
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[via AU News]