12-Year-Old Chess Champion Booted From Tournament Over ‘Seductive’ Dress

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As a general rule of life, if a grown man ever finds himself chiding a 12-year-old girl for being too “seductive,” he can be pretty sure that the problem is with him, not the girl. That’s why a chess coach in Malaysia is demanding an apology after a 12-year-old girl was kicked out of the 2017 National Scholastic Chess Championships after the tournament director and chief arbiter accused her dress of being “too seductive” and “a temptation.”

That’s a repugnant thing to say about a 12-year-old girl, regardless of what she is wearing, and in this case there is just an extra level of absurdity, because the girl’s chess coach posted a photo of her dress to Facebook, and it is in no way seductive or tempting.

The “seductive”dress is a boxy, comfy-looking striped cotton dress with short sleeves. It covers both knees and shoulders.

The girl’s chess coach and member of the World Chess Federation says that during the second round of the National Scholastic Chess Championships in Putrajaya, Malaysia, the chief arbiter came over and—without stopping the clocks to interrupt play—he said the girl was wearing improper clothes and violating the dress code. He told the girl and her mother that the tournament director said her dress was “seductive” and a “temptation from a certain angle far, far away.”

Even saying that to a 12-year-old girl sounds like sexual harassment.

The coach says the girl was told she would need to buy a pair of long slacks if she were going to continue to compete in the tournament the next day, but that was impossible. It was already nighttime and the stores were closed, and the next day’s competition started before they’d be open. The girl had to withdraw from the tournament and is very upset, both by being forced out of the big tournament and by being sexually harassed by two grown men telling her that she is “seductive” and “a temptation.”

The girl is the chess champion of her district in Kuala Lumpur and is very good. Her mother said the incident left her daughter humiliated, and also intimidated and afraid that people were peeping at her without her knowledge or consent.

“From that point onwards, she said all she could think of was whether anyone was peeping [at her] throughout the game,” her mother said.

Chess takes a huge degree of concentration, and that would throw anybody off her game.

According to The Huffington Post, the FIDE dress code says competitors must wear “suitable attire” but does not issue a specific dress code.

The girl’s coach is a member of the World Chess Federation and says he has been playing chess in Malaysia for 20 years and has never seen anything like this happen. He says that unless an official, public apology is given, they’ll be be responding with a lawsuit.