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The International Chess Federation (FIDE) has updated its handbook to ban trans-identifying males from competing in women’s competitions.
FIDE, the international governing body for the sport, provided new guidelines to address transgender chess players and how it would handle titles such as Woman Grandmaster, Woman International Master, Woman FIDE Master, and Woman Candidate Master amid transgender players, Mediaite reported.
“In the event that the gender was changed from a male to a female the player has no right to participate in official FIDE events for women until further FIDE’s decision is made,” the rule read. “Such decision should be based on further analysis and shall be taken by the FIDE Council at the earliest possible time, but not longer than within 2 (two) years period.”
“Titles. If a player holds any of the women titles, but the gender has been changed to a man, the women titles are to be abolished,” the guidelines added. “Those can be renewed if the person changes the gender back to a woman and can prove the ownership of the respective FIDE ID that holds the title.”
“The abolished women title may be transferred into a general title of the same or lower level (e.g., Women’s Grand Master may be transferred into FM, Women’s International Master into Candidate Master, etc.),” it continued, noting that there “are no restrictions to play in the open section for a person who has changed the gender.”
Women are not barred from competing in the men’s events, however, because there is no lack of male competitors, while the women’s events are intended to encourage more women to participate, the outlet noted.
The move comes ahead of the federation’s World Cup event in Azerbaijan, where top players, including World No. 1 Grand Master Magnus Carlsen, are attending, Fox News noted.
Last month, the world governing body for sports cycling, Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), announced it would no longer allow trans-identifying males to compete in women’s cycling races, reversing a previous policy.