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Two Red Pills from the World of Chess

Alexandra Botez, one of Canada’s top women chess players.

2,763 words

For a race and gender realist, the world of professional chess provides an embarrassment of riches, even if very few in the English-speaking parts of it wish to claim them. In chess, men dominate – specifically white, Jewish, and Asian men. Only three women have ever cracked the top hundred rated players in the world, according to the international chess federation FIDE.[1] And if current ratings of girls and boys are any indication, this arrangement will maintain itself indefinitely.[2] This has been borne out in a recent study by retired chess master Bruno Wiesend, who debunked the prevailing dogma which ascribed female inferiority in chess to lower participation rates. Another recent study by Australian chess grandmaster David Smerdon demonstrates how patriarchal societies seem to help improve female participation rates in chess.

The first woman player to break into the top hundred was Georgian Maia Chiburdanidze, who reached forty-fifth in the world in 1988. Chiburdanidze was the women’s champion from 1978 until 1991. She was considered one of the best, if not the best, female player in history until the she was eclipsed by the explosion of female talent in the 1990s, coming mostly from Eastern Europe and China.

Leading the way was Judit Polgar, a Hungarian Jew who reached number fifty-five in 1989, when she was 12. She peaked in 2005 with an Elo rating of 2735, making her eighth in the world.[3] Polgar is the youngest of the three famous Polgar sisters, all of whom became internationally-rated chess players thanks in large part to their father’s insistence on intensive training when they were little.

Much hoopla surrounded young Polgar in the 1990s when it seemed she had what it took to become a world champion. In 1991, she broke Bobby Fischer’s record of being the youngest grandmaster at age 15 and four months.[4] She consistently held her own against the very best in the world, even to the point of beating former world champion (and still world number one) Garry Kasparov[5] in 2002.[6] Polgar was also the first female player to completely boycott women-only tournaments and matches, since the competition in those events is invariably much weaker than in male or open events. At any rate, her career fizzled a bit a decade later, and she retired in 2014 at 38.

The other great female chess player is China’s Hou Yifan. Still only 25, Hou is currently ranked eighty-seventh in the world and peaked four years ago at fifty-ninth place, with a rating of 2686. Like Polgar, Hou eschews women’s events, but only after winning the women’s world championship title in 2010, a feat Polgar never stooped to accomplish. Despite being easily the best woman on the planet (Hou defeated Polgar in their only encounter in 2012), she has never been able to compete on even footing with the very best men. She has been a ratings wildcard in several top tournaments, and almost always performed poorly. Nonetheless, she continues to avoid women-only events, even to the point of resigning a 2017 tournament game in protest after having been paired with women in seven of her nine previous games.

Despite the dearth of evidence supporting female-male equality in chess and the plethora of evidence against it,[7] openly ascribing female inferiority to genetics still creeps into taboo territory. Chess people have been doing what they can to encourage female chess players in the hope that, one day, inter-gender equality will be realized. The nurture argument remains strong with many, even in a field known for prodigies like Bobby Fischer, who famously had no chess nurturing at all as a young child, and became a world champion regardless. Thus it’s quite eye-opening when two studies appear within a short time which challenge common conceptions of female chess.

Bruno Wiesend has taken a step towards dismantling the nurture-over-nature argument with his recent study “Questioning Gender Studies on Chess.” In 2009, researchers Bilalic, Smallbone, McLeod, and Gobet offered the “participation rate hypothesis,” which posited that “96 % of the differences between females’ and males’ playing strengths could be attributed to the simple fact that more males than females were playing chess,” according to Wiesend. The researchers used a German database which contained the ratings of approximately 113,000 male players and 7,000 female players. They essentially grouped female and male ratings into the same population, and then claimed that ratings differences in the extremes resulted mostly from vastly different sample sizes and bell curve widths.

For this, Wiesend accuses them of putting the cart before the horse. They assumed a common distribution between male and female ratings before making their calculations, when in fact the male and female bell curve histograms were not symmetrical, and did not share a common distribution at all.

Figure 1, wherein each vertical bar (or “bin”) represents 34 ratings points

Wiesend also called into question how the researchers used “simple approximations” to calculate the expected ratings for the best females and males. In figure 2A below, he showed how the authors’ approximations and the exact values differed from the real values in the German database.

Figure 2A

Wiesend (emphasis mine):

Fig. 2 A also shows that both the approximated and the exact values are unrealistic and far removed from the real values. For example, the real rating of the best German player was 2,586 points; Bilalic et al.’s (2009) approximation was 3,031 and the exact value 2,970. The crucial point is that the extremes of a normal distribution can only be calculated exactly, if it is perfectly normal. “Approximately normal” as the authors called it, is not good enough. This is best illustrated by the large free space between the male best-fit curve and the rightmost bins in the histogram in Fig. 1. There are no perfectly normal chess ratings in the real world. The approach used by Bilalic et al. (2009) to prove the participation rate hypothesis, was therefore inappropriate.

Wiesend performs more statistical analyses in his paper and comes to following conclusions, which many race and gender realists will find not only acceptable, but welcome:

  1. “The participation rate hypothesis cannot explain gender differences in chess.”
  2. “Stronger players are not only stronger because they play more tournament games, instead they play more games because they are stronger.”
  3. “Females and males are different species of chess players from the moment they start playing tournaments.”

Wiesand ends his paper by cautioning the reader that his findings do not necessarily amount to a knockout blow for nature over nurture. Currently, no one can scientifically prove male genetic superiority over female in chess. On the other hand, all the data we do have (scientific, statistical, anecdotal, historical) rebuts any attempt to prove female-male equality in chess. Therefore, the onus falls upon the egalitarians to find data that doesn’t do this. In the meantime, the most responsible thing to do is to assume that the nature argument is correct and that men simply make for better chess players.

While Wiesand more or less tells us what we already know about gender differences, David Smerdon recently discovered something that may cut even deeper into the belly of egalitarianism. He compared the rates of female chess participation in the eighty-five-most chess-active countries versus the United Nation’s Gender Equality Index, which ranks countries by their perceived oppression of women and girls. One would think that female chess participation would be greatest in countries ranking highest in the Gender Equality Index, but Smerdon discovered that the opposite is closer to the truth.

Here is a graph which lists the top chess-playing countries from greatest gender equality to least gender equality, according to the UN’s Gender Equality Score:

Not too many surprises here. Below is the same graph with vertical bars superimposed over it, which represent female chess participation (by percent):

While the correlation is not very strong, Smerdon has revealed that female participation in chess is generally greater in countries that are more patriarchal and (from a feminist standpoint at least) oppressive of women. Only one of the top thirty most gender-equal countries (South Korea) can be found in the top ten countries with the highest female participation rates.[8] Not only this, but the six most gender-equal countries (Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden, Netherlands, Belgium, and Norway) all have lower female participation rates than the six least gender-equal countries (Kenya, Syria, Bangladesh, India, Zambia, and Iraq).

What to make of this? Smerdon himself offers a few possibilities, all of which are unsatisfactory:

  1. He cites a paper in the journal Science which he reports found that “the more that women have equal opportunities, the more they differ from men in their preferences. The story goes along the lines that if women somehow biologically prefer not to compete with men, then they will be most able to show this in countries where women have more freedom to choose.” While this may show how women tend to avoid chess in gender-equal countries, it implies that women are being compelled against their wishes to play chess in gender-unequal countries. Is this really the case in vastly different places like Vietnam, Sri Lanka, and Ecuador?
  2. “(W)omen are more likely to play chess in gender-unequal countries because it’s one of the few fields where they can actually compete with men, and be sure that the result is judged without discrimination (as opposed to, say, promotions in the workplace).” Nonsense. This assumes that women want to compete with men in the first place (which is belied by the data), and secondly, it implies that these women actually have a chance at beating men at chess, which they don’t. In terms of talent and ratings (as opposed to mere participation rates), men dominate chess in gender-unequal countries as much as they do in gender-equal countries.
  3. Since many gender-unequal countries are new to chess, they have a large proportion of young players, of which a notable proportion are girls. This may be true, but Smerdon himself states that even in gender-unequal countries, women tend to drop out of chess by their twenties and never return (a finding echoed by Wiesend), whereas men who drop out have a much greater rate of return once they reach their forties. While this may explain some of Smerdon’s findings (although China has been dominating women’s chess since the early 1990s and Georgia decades before that, so neither can be considered new to chess), it says nothing about why women tend to quit the game or why they fare poorly against men.

To anyone on the Dissident Right, the answer should be obvious. Men and women are different enough genetically that, despite the occasional Judit Polgar or Hou Yifan, there will always be an achievement gap between the sexes. Men are much more likely to be born with the character traits required to be competitive chess players. One needs, among other things, strong powers of concentration, spatial sense, a vast memory, logical ability, and a burning desire to win. These qualities have never been considered feminine, not because of what certain men do or say, but because most women are simply born without them. Science may not be able to prove this definitively today. But it will someday.

And now for the slippery slope. From here, it is only a brisk stroll away from pronouncing women naturally inferior to men in a whole host of technical and scientific fields. Such an outcome would render feminism completely irrelevant and dash many a woman’s hope of letting her gender achieve things for her that her skills certainly cannot. This would result in fewer women wielding real power in technical fields, fewer economically independent women, and an overall dampening of the political influence that women as a discrete demographic can have. Of course, the Left-wing power structure of today’s society will give its pointy eyeteeth to prevent that from happening. This is why such commonsense studies are considered “controversial.”

Then from there, we’re only a hop, skip, and a jump away from the ultimate taboo: proclaiming different races better or worse than each other, not only in chess but in anything. Indeed, the black impact on chess is more negligible than that of women. To date, there have been only three grandmasters of Sub-Saharan African descent (as opposed to thirty-seven women). The first was Maurice Ashley, who was born in Jamaica and plays for the United States. His peak rating was 2504 in 2001. He’s mostly known these days for his first-rate chess commentating. The second was Pontus Carlsson, who currently has a rating of 2456 and is ranked seventeenth in his home country of Sweden. The third is the Zambian Amon Simutowe, whose current rating in 2449. Of course, these three never came close to cracking the world’s top one hundred. For those who care, The Chess Drum is a Website run by an ethnocentric black who likes to celebrate black mediocrity in chess. His cognitive dissonance on his race’s manifest inferiority in his chosen field makes him both admirable and repulsive as a writer.

There have been quite a few top-level Hispanic chess players both historically and today, the most notable being J. R. Capablanca from Cuba, who was World Champion in the early twentieth century; Brazil’s Henrique Mecking, who was ranked third in the world in the late 1970s; and Cuba’s Leinier Dominguez Perez, who now plays for the US and is seventeenth in the world ratings. But many of these men, to quote Jared Taylor, look white to me.

Hopefully, these two studies will do much to red-pill people who pay any attention to chess. Bruno Wiesend’s study, while important and necessary, seems more a defensive measure against the Left. The Left attacks with nurture argument and the non-Left (I don’t want presume the author’s politics) deftly parries with evidence and argument. On the other hand, David Smerdon, whether he realized it or not, went on a screaming berserker attack on the Left and actually gained us some ground.

And everyone should be aware of this.

It’s not so much that women are inferior to men in chess. No, no. They also look up to men, and wish to emulate them and become more accomplished human beings when men boss them around more. Is there a better explanation for why Kenyan and Iraqi women play international chess at higher rates than women in Denmark and Sweden? Could this phenomenon then be transposed to race, namely to how blacks in America actually behaved better as minorities with less crime and illegitimacy and greater cultural achievements when whites were more racially assertive as the dominant demographic?

Could there be anything more ruinous to the Left than this?

Notes

[1] Pronounced “fee-day,” FIDE is a French acronym standing for Fédération Internationale des Échecs.

[2] As of May 2019, the highest-rated girl in the world has a rating of 2464, whereas the rating of the hundredth-rated boy is 2473.

[3] Elo ratings represent the statistical analysis of a chess player’s strength at a given time boiled down to a single figure. A player’s rating fluctuates according to how well or poorly he performs against other rated players in official games. This often provides predictive power, with higher-rated players being favored to win against lower-rated ones. At the moment, there are only thirty-eight people with an Elo rating over 2700. Current world champion Magnus Carlsen of Norway has a rating of 2861 at present, and, in 2014, achieved the stratospheric rating of 2882, which is the highest ever for a human. Stockfish, the strongest chess engine around today, has a Godlike rating of 3564.

[4] A record that has been broken dozens of times since 1991, thanks in large part to the proliferation of electronic chess programs which play chess on superhuman levels.

[5] Judit Polgar’s record against Kasparov is pretty dismal, though. According to chessgames.com, she has only one win and twelve losses against him, with four draws. And that one win came under rapid and not classical time controls.

[6] In 1994, Polgar lost a game to Kasparov that many felt she should have won, since Kasparov had allegedly broken the rules. According to what became known as the “Touch-Move Controversy,” Kasparov had touched one piece but then moved another – a serious no-no in professional chess. At 18, Polgar was too intimidated by the circumstance to formally protest. Further, it remains debatable whether Kasparov’s initial move would have lost him the game.

[7] According to Wiesand:

In the January 2019 international chess federation (FIDE) rating list, the best 100 males were, on average, 254 points stronger than the best 100 females. This situation has not changed during the last 20 years: In January 1999, the difference was 250 points and in January 2009, the males were 239 points stronger.

[8] The top ten countries with the highest rates of female chess participation are (with their gender-equality rank in parentheses):

  1. Vietnam (52)
  2. United Arab Emirates (41)
  3. Sri Lanka (59)
  4. China (31)
  5. Georgia (58)
  6. South Korea (10)
  7. Ecuador (63)
  8. Indonesia (73)
  9. Mexico (57)
  10. Malaysia (48)

Spencer J. Quinn is a frequent contributor to Counter-Currents and the author of the novel White Like You.

 

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46 Comments

  1. Dale Gribble
    Posted May 19, 2019 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

    have you studied world poker rankings? I believe women poker players have their own tournaments.

    As for law school, the LSAT and the bar exam, the bar exam tests graduates for minimum competence to practice law. No one I knew was gunning for the top bar exam score. Most female law graduates certainly have enough conscientiousness and legal ability to pass the bar exam.

    If you were going to compare chess masters to law students, you would have to look at the male /female ratio of test takers who tested at the very top of the LSAT range.

    • Lexi
      Posted May 20, 2019 at 5:41 am | Permalink

      For clarification, I am not arguing that equal bar-passage rates between women and men warrant an assumption that women are equal to men in chess. Clearly, we are not. Rather, it is Quinn who appears to suggest the inverse: that women’s underperformance in chess raises the presumption that women’s success in other fields of endeavor is artificial.

  2. Vehmgericht
    Posted May 19, 2019 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    There must be some other reason, such as a vile culture of misogyny in chess clubs?

    Or perhaps stereotype threat: because we assume a female or non-Indian ethnic a weak player, he or she will get nervous and blunder.

    Not to mention the obvious simplistic binary adversarial nature of the game, fraught with its problematic metaphors of conquest and exploitation.

    On the other hand, chess is merely ‘a sad waste of brians’ as George Bernard Shaw said: success therein signifies nothing.

  3. HungarianFashionista
    Posted May 19, 2019 at 4:11 am | Permalink

    While the correlation is not very strong

    And correlation is not causation, so there’s not much to see here at the moment. It’s interesting data and can be a starting point of further investigations, that’s all.

    that women are being compelled against their wishes to play chess in gender-unequal countries. Is this really the case in vastly different places like Vietnam, Sri Lanka, and Ecuador?

    Gender-unequal countries tend to be poor. (Note: I’m not assuming causation here.) Maybe women in these societies pursue traditional male activities like chess because turning themselves into men is their only option to get out of poverty.

    This assumes that women want to compete with men in the first place (which is belied by the data)

    I’m not sure the preferences of Scandinavian women can be extrapolated to Third World female populations. Maybe black and brown women are more masculine than European women by default.

    secondly, it implies that these women actually have a chance at beating men at chess, which they don’t

    Seriously? Figure #1 shows that the top female players can beat, besides their female inferiors, average and below average male players as well. That means, if you are a really good female player, you can beat more than half the chess playing population. If your above statement was true, there would be no overlap between the two curves.

    One needs, among other things, strong powers of concentration, spatial sense, a vast memory, logical ability, and a burning desire to win. These qualities have never been considered feminine, not because of what certain men do or say, but because most women are simply born without them. Science may not be able to prove this definitively today. But it will someday.

    Science has actually proven that these mental characteristics show what is called a normal distribution, and there are fewer females than males at the right end of the curve. But the idea that “most women” are simply born without logical ability is ludicrous. Let’s take IQ as a proxy for logic – if you are an average or below average male, every second female that you encounter on the street is your superior.

    (There is an argument that IQ tests are flawed, and the “real” male bell curve is actually shifted to the right. If we accept this argument, still a quarter to a third of the female population is above the lower half of the male population.)

    And now for the slippery slope. From here, it is only a brisk stroll away

    Aside from using chess as a proxy for technical and scientific fields, which is debatable, you can’t make valid inferences about entire populations based on observed distributions at the right end of the bell curve. I’m not saying your inferences are wrong, I say they don’t follow from the presented data.

    • Spencer J. Quinn
      Posted May 19, 2019 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

      HungarianFashionista

      (I love your handle). Thanks for your comments. Here’s my response.

      ‘It’s interesting data and can be a starting point of further investigations, that’s all.’

      Fair enough.

      ‘Maybe women in these societies pursue traditional male activities like chess because turning themselves into men is their only option to get out of poverty.’

      The last place finisher at the 2019 US championships bagged a measely $4K. To try to make a living playing chess in any 1W society is a losing proposition (let alone 3W ones) and only works for the very best of the best. This is why I don’t think anyone, especially women, will take on chess as a career in order to ‘get out of poverty’. Chess as an exclusive living will much more likely guarantee poverty for a person unless they have a night job or family to support them.

      ‘Maybe black and brown women are more masculine than European women by default.’

      Maybe. But you would also have to explain higher female participation rates in places like Vietnam, UAE, Sri Lanka, Ecuador, Malaysia. Are they more masculine there too? Further, don’t underestimate how masculine white women are and are becoming thanks to off-the-rails feminism these days. I’m reminded, by the way, of a colleague of Emmy Noether who was asked if she was a great female mathematician. He responded half-jokingly that she was indeed a great mathematician, but he wasn’t so sure that she was female. I am also reminded of a comment by Vladimir Kramnik who stated to the effect that men play like men and women like women. And when someone brought up Judit Polgar, he said that she played like a man.

      ‘If your above statement was true, there would be no overlap between the two curves.’

      I said ‘women’, as in, as a group: ‘secondly, it implies that these women actually have a chance at beating men at chess, which they don’t.’ That is a true statement. Men will always outperform women as groups. Just because individual women can beat individual men does not undo this fact. Therefore it’s silly to say (as Smerdon does) that women enter chess in 3W countries because they want to compete with men. Statistically speaking, women players as a group don’t have a much better chance of besting male players as a group than they do in soccer.

      ‘But the idea that “most women” are simply born without logical ability is ludicrous.’

      I agree. I should have qualified my statement by writing ‘extremely powerful logical ability’ or something like that. International chess players can calculate combinations frightfully fast and frightfully deep. They could do in 5 minutes what would take most of us over an hour to do less well. I’ve seen it up close. Thanks for the correction.

      ‘you can’t make valid inferences about entire populations based on observed distributions at the right end of the bell curve.’

      I agree. But that’s not what I am doing. If all women played all men the results might be close to equal (since there are more men on the left side of the IQ bell curve as well). I draw no conclusions about the general populations of men or women. I am only talking about the right side of the bell curve to begin with and then extrapolating to right sides of bell curves in other tech fields. And the right sides of these bell curves *also* tend to be populated mostly by men unless social engineering is taking place.

      You’re right that correlation is not causation. By the same token, however, correlation is not not causation. In this case, since the correlation exists everywhere and has done so since we’ve been paying attention, I think it’s safe to say there is causation behind the correlation (sort of like we do with cigarette smoking and lung cancer). We just haven’t found genetic proof for it yet. In the same way that Mendeleyev anticipated the discovery of unknown elements, I anticipate that science will one day explain gender (and racial) differences in chess and other fields down to the last nucleotide.

      • Lexi
        Posted May 20, 2019 at 5:53 am | Permalink

        “I agree. I should have qualified my statement by writing ‘extremely powerful logical ability’ or something like that. International chess players can calculate combinations frightfully fast and frightfully deep. They could do in 5 minutes what would take most of us over an hour to do less well. I’ve seen it up close. Thanks for the correction.”

        This is clearly a much more reasonable position.

        If I am not mistaken, Quinn, you are on record opposing women’s suffrage. I am probably a bit oversensitive in light of the misogynistic turn the dissident Right has taken in recent years, but exaggerated claims about women’s supposed intellectual inferiority sound to me like a go at women’s political rights. After all, an individual who lacks “logical ability” has no business voting, holding office, educating children, or really much of anything for that matter.

      • HungarianFashionista
        Posted May 20, 2019 at 5:59 am | Permalink

        No one here disputes the scientifically established fact that there are more men than women in the right wing of the IQ bell curve. But you went further and claimed that “patriarchy” is causing women to emulate men, and they “become more accomplished human beings when men boss them around more.” This may or may not be true, but one thing is certain: the data that you presented doesn’t prove your assertions.

        I didn’t say women who want to get out of poverty take on chess as a career. I said the reason they play chess may be that they tend to masculinize themselves, because in a developing society that’s the only way out. (No jobs in art history, or children’s speech therapy.) If a girl in Vietnam or Eastern Europe has brains, she’ll focus on math and science in high school, and go to a technical university. And as part of this masculine identity she’ll develop an interest in geeky things like chess.

        I think it’s an established fact that black women have higher testosterone levels than white women. I don’t know anything about South Asians, Arabs etc. But I wasn’t really making statements about the level of masculinity of this or that female population. I was pointing out an gap in your assertions. You claimed that since Scandinavian women don’t want to compete with men, it is foolish to suggest that women in other populations would behave differently. But there can be many reasons why Swedish females differ from Sri Lankan females, e.g. the latter might have more masculine hormone profiles. (Again, I’m not saying they do. I’m just pointing out a blanket generalization in your argument.)

        When a 10 year old girl decides how to spend her weekends – chat with her friends, or go to the local community center to play chess – she doesn’t care if statistically women as a group have a chance to beat men as a group. If individual choices were based on group outcomes, there would be no female chess players at all. And no one would play the lottery, etc.

        I draw no conclusions about the general populations of men or women.

        LOL, now you shift your position again, and pretend that I was questioning the bell curve argument.

        It’s impossible to have intelligent conversations with people who constantly contort their arguments to avoid examination, so I just quit now.

  4. David Carmichael
    Posted May 19, 2019 at 12:09 am | Permalink

    This same pattern can be observed in the last, and every previous iteration of the European Girls’ Math Olympiad. The gender egalitarian Scandinavians bagged no medals while the patriarchal Eastern Europeans (the overall winner was a Serbian) haul in the medals.
    Team USA participates as an unofficial entrant. The team won with an all-Asian crew, as usual.

  5. Lexi
    Posted May 18, 2019 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    “Men are much more likely to be born with the character traits required to be competitive chess players. One needs, among other things, strong powers of concentration, spatial sense, a vast memory, logical ability, and a burning desire to win. These qualities have never been considered feminine, not because of what certain men do or say, but because most women are simply born without them. Science may not be able to prove this definitively today. But it will someday.”

    Is there any evidence of male superiority in any but “spatial sense” and “a burning desire to win”? Mr. Quinn’s prediction of what science will prove someday is nothing more than baseless speculation.

    I would think those two factors alone would be quite sufficient to explain male dominance of competitive chess. Indeed, women who love chess love the game precisely because it can bring friends and family together, across generations and, with correspondence chess online, even across space and time.

    And now for the slippery slope. From here, it is only a brisk stroll away from pronouncing women naturally inferior to men in a whole host of technical and scientific fields.”

    Let’s just stick to the evidence and follow it wherever it leads?

    • DissesMyIsland
      Posted May 18, 2019 at 11:11 am | Permalink

      Oh…and the ability to look at reality OBJECTIVELY, not through the lens of “feelz”

      Lexi, you’re proving his points for him even as you attempt to refute them.

      The evidence is clear to anyone with eyes and a brain. This is why Quinn says it WILL be proven by science someday.

      The ancients of every civilization In history knew this, it’s nothing new. They just didn’t have the sociological, mathematical and statistical ability to PROVE it.

      Today, We have the methods to prove Quinns assertions, but not the political will.

      • Lexi
        Posted May 18, 2019 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

        Translation:
        You should concede to my biases today, because I predict I will be able to prove them tomorrow.

        What’s more, if you refuse to do this, you’re not “objective.”

        The trouble is, Quinn’s ridiculous assertions are not just unproven. They are, in fact, contrary to known facts. Take his claim that women lack “logical ability.”

        https://ricourtblog.com/2018/06/04/more-women-than-men-passed-the-bar-exam/

        • Cranberries
          Posted May 18, 2019 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

          I agree with Lexi that some of Quinn’s claims (particularly about memory and concentration) are speculative, non-obvious, and shouldn’t be asserted as if they’re self-evident. But to use relative numbers of men and women passing the Rhode Isaland *Bar Exam* as a measure of “logical ability” is… not particularly logical. This is because:

          – The Bar Exam requires a huge amount of studying. It’s probably more a measure of conscientiousness than raw logical ability. You’d be better off looking at something like the LSAT for logical ability, as it’s less about mastering facts. And men do in fact consistently score (slightly) higher on the LSAT, just like they do on the Math SAT (google it).
          – If you look at the linked article, it reports that a greater number of women passed the bar exam than men in Rhode Island in a single year. This is a tiny sample size (100-200), is being reported because it bucks the typical trend.

          • Lexi
            Posted May 18, 2019 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

            Your characterization of the bar exam as a mere test of facts memorized is completely inaccurate. It is a test of the ability to apply abstract legal principles to particular situations.

            And these results do not “buck the trend.” Overall, bar passage rates are roughly equal by sex. Men do “slightly” outscore women on the LSAT, and if Quinn had said that men are “slightly” better logical thinkers than women, I’d have had no great objection to that much more modest claim.

            The problem with Quinn is that he isn’t interested in an honest assessment of the facts. He is motivated by animus against women, which is evident from the fact that he implies that women’s underachievement in chess ought to be used to cast doubt on their ability to achieve in other areas. Quinn and his ilk don’t like the idea of women being able to earn their own living:

            “And now for the slippery slope. From here, it is only a brisk stroll away from pronouncing women naturally inferior to men in a whole host of technical and scientific fields. Such an outcome would render feminism completely irrelevant and dash many a woman’s hope of letting her gender achieve things for her that her skills certainly cannot. This would result in fewer women wielding real power in technical fields, fewer economically independent women, and an overall dampening of the political influence that women as a discrete demographic can have.”

          • No Thanks
            Posted May 18, 2019 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

            This is my last try to post here. I donated for years and bought each title as it came out. My recent comments have not made it past moderation. Women do not do better when they are bossed around. That is pathetic. Also, chess is declining in first world countries because there are far more interesting diversions or pursuits for women such as robotics, coding, genetics, and so on.

          • Cranberries
            Posted May 19, 2019 at 9:44 am | Permalink

            Lexi, I don’t think you are being fair to Quinn (or my point that Rhode Island Bar Exam passage rates are not a good proxy for “logical ability”, but let’s not go into the weeds anymore on that).

            I don’t see at all from your provided quote (or the rest of Quinn’s article) that he doesn’t “like the idea of women being able to earn their own living”. More like, he doesn’t like the idea of women earning a living in positions that exist solely due to gender-equity mania. Because the current system is built on a false premise about gender equity (in some combination of ability and interest), it follows that, were our society to reject this premise and make corresponding changes to our institutions, the effects that Quinn predicts (in your quote) would come to pass. A similar thing would happen to blacks if race-equity mania were dropped.

            For example, there is an immense push to equalize male/female representation across many technical professions. This has many ugly effects:

            – individual women being promoted above their level of competence in the professoriate and corporate world, resulting in institutional dysfunction
            – the pervasive idea that hidden “sexism” and “microaggressions” are responsible for the relatively low representation of women in these professions, and the corresponding HR reign of terror
            – big tech companies bloating their pseudo-technical positions (content moderation/censorship, anyone?) with female SJW zealots to boost their diversity numbers

            And more… As I said above, if you threw out gender equity dogma and modified policy accordingly, it lead to the demotion and/or disemployment of many women in gender-equity positions. But wanting to throw out gender equity dogma does not mean one is opposed to women with real ability and interest actualizing their potential and earning an independent living in technical fields.

        • K
          Posted May 18, 2019 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

          Isn’t men being overwhelmingly represented in Chess due to how IQ distributions work? Men have more variation hence idiots and geniuses both tend to be men.
          Lexi, you obviously are tired of the woman bashing, but CC isn’t the Daily Stormer and I don’t think Quinn is trying to attack women as some inferior being.

          • Lexi
            Posted May 19, 2019 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

            To Cranberries:
            I don’t disagree with the very reasonable positions you articulate in your post, but I don’t think they are a fair characterization of Quinn’s article. Men have very real and legitimate grievances concerning workplace equity policies. Specifically, gender imbalances are only ever a problem when they favor men. Women dominate veterinary medicine, because we are more nurturing towards small furry animals, obviously. Men dominate programming, because they’re more interested in computer technology. These imbalances are a simple function of innate gender differences. As I said, noone is arguing that we need more men in veterinary medicine, or demanding preferences for men, etc.

            Unfortunately, Quinn wildly exaggerates women’s intellectual disadvantages, greatly undermining his credibility and effectiveness as an advocate for men.

          • Spencer J. Quinn
            Posted May 19, 2019 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

            Thank you, K.

        • Wes Montgomery
          Posted May 19, 2019 at 7:51 am | Permalink

          More women passed the bar exam because women were the majority of the enrollees. It would only be exceptional for more women to pass if they were the minority.

          • Lexi
            Posted May 19, 2019 at 8:42 am | Permalink

            True, but then the reason women are the majority of enrollees is precisely because we have plenty of what it takes to compete for law school places, precisely those things Quinn claims we do not have, to wit:

            “strong powers of concentration”
            “a vast memory”
            “logical ability”

            I have already conceded on the “burning desire to win” and the “spatial sense,” though even there women have reached parity in architecture admissions, I assume because of our love of houses.

          • DissesMyIsland
            Posted May 21, 2019 at 9:26 am | Permalink

            Selection bias is a real thing, lexi

          • Lexi
            Posted May 21, 2019 at 11:43 am | Permalink

            DissesMyIsland:

            If equal bar passage rates, will not convince you of the falsehood of Quinn’s statement that “most women” lack “logical ability,” then why don’t you tell us what evidence you would like to see?

            How about an white female average math SAT score of 518 (32 points lower than the white Male average)? If you think 32 points is such an enormous difference that Quinn’s statement is justified by the data, consider the fact that Asian women outscored White men on the math portion by 40 points, and Asian men outscored you by 64 points.

            http://www.aei.org/publication/2016-sat-test-results-confirm-pattern-thats-persisted-for-45-years-high-school-boys-are-better-at-math-than-girls/

            It would seem White men should stop alienating your natural allies and focus on the real threat.

  6. Apotheosis
    Posted May 18, 2019 at 6:10 am | Permalink

    Great article with great research! It is also interesting that the G.O.A.T Magnus Carlsen is Nordic white (from Norway) and his closest challenger is Caruana (a white Italian, now playing for the US)

    The reason men are genetically better than women at chess is because it takes an unbelievable amount of practise, god-given talent and a kind of special autism, to focus your abilities in a sole game of little-capital value

    • No Thanks
      Posted May 18, 2019 at 11:11 pm | Permalink

      Dude, your reasoning does not prove your point.

  7. threestars
    Posted May 18, 2019 at 12:30 am | Permalink

    I find Chess a wholly worthless endeavor, which demands for an otherwise competent memory to be filled up with inconsequential board moves. Somehow, a 130 IQ picking up opiates seems a lot less wasteful.

    As far as political activism is concerned, pursuing a career in the technical fields has the same effect, in virtually nullifying what cultural influence an intelligent young man might have had with the relevant education. This is probably one of the causes of WASP decline during the 50s and 60s, when technical fields started being favored over the humanities among US whites, effectively disarming them for the culture war.

    I honestly believe that forcing Jews into STEM would go a long way towards solving our problems and I find it absurd that any right wing commenter would encourage young white males to do the same.

    • Black Queen
      Posted May 18, 2019 at 11:01 am | Permalink

      God this true, esp the first paragraph. Mencius said playing chess(referring to the analogous Asian game of Go) “it is little better than doing nothing with a full stomach.”

      I also like about whites in stem fields. It could be analogous to the Chinese engineers the Mongols enslaved to breech foreign embattlements for them! Think of Iraq and the Middle East.

    • Dazz
      Posted May 18, 2019 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

      “As far as political activism is concerned, pursuing a career in the technical fields has the same effect, in virtually nullifying what cultural influence an intelligent young man might have had with the relevant education. This is probably one of the causes of WASP decline during the 50s and 60s, when technical fields started being favored over the humanities among US whites, effectively disarming them for the culture war. ”

      Well WASP’s never considered movies a proper profession, so in America (Europeans unlike Americans were very aware of the possibilities with film) it allowed the rejects, outcasts, subversives, women and Jews to gravitate to a field more open to them, who naturally made films to their cultural liking’s, and we know how the rest of this story goes and the damaging effects WASP negligence has led.

      Even Howard Hughes had more care for the technical (hence why his film bio isn’t called ‘The Mogul’) than creative fields.

    • Posted May 18, 2019 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

      My God! People can be so ignorant! Chess is not only about memory you ignorant! It’s been almost one year since I took chess seriously and even after so many hours everyday I’m not even close to be a decent player and it’s not because I have bad memory. Chess is more about vision and that’s something you have to train it. As for reducing chess to memory because of opening strategies – no one can ever memorize that many openings or more than some hundred moves (which most people wouldn’t be able to do anyway) – so it is a stupid argument, especially considering chess has a very impredictable middle game which requires a lot of vision and mental calculation to go through.

      • Black Queen
        Posted May 19, 2019 at 9:18 am | Permalink

        Reminds me of when after Fischer won the world championship, he went on some night show, Johnny Carson, not sure, and so he prepared some jokes. One was: Spassky, in order to degrade Fischer’s natural ability, said “Fischer, you must have studied the games of the great masters very intently.” To which Fischer replied, “I don’t study them. They have too many mistakes!”

        It’s the people, the smack talk that makes chess fun.

      • threestars
        Posted May 20, 2019 at 5:59 am | Permalink

        I think it’s pretty obvious I didn’t reduce chess ability to memory. I am even willing to believe that chess might help develop some areas of your mind which are instrumental in more consequential endeavors, but the truth stands that chess players do fill their memory, which we know to have a surprisingly low hard ceiling, with hundreds of chess patterns and moves.

  8. No Thanks
    Posted May 17, 2019 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

    “Boss them around” sounds like latent power fantasy dribbling from the pen. Instead, it’s presented as the obvious reason why Iraqi and Kenyan women play chess at higher rates than white women… absurd. Chess is not interesting to the average white, male or female, in a modern western country.

    I cut the new right slack for so long as overall there seemed to be a balance of views that outweighed the casual adolescent domination fantasy. Now, I have to admit many that did not write against women were gay.

  9. Lord Shang
    Posted May 17, 2019 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

    Outstanding article! An excellent ferreting out and publicizing of yet more biodiversitist empirical evidence.

    But this is the gold star statement, left, appropriately for a good writer, to the conclusion:

    “Could this phenomenon then be transposed to race, namely to how blacks in America actually behaved better as minorities with less crime and illegitimacy and greater cultural achievements when whites were more racially assertive as the dominant demographic?”

    Older, now dead men in my family used to opine the same thought. “When the White man was in charge – and WAS an M-A-N,” my grandfather used to say in the 70s, “the Negro knew his place and was actually more civilized and happier.” I have thought the exact same thing many times over the decades. Blacks as a group are like inherently semi-feral teenagers, esp teen males of all races, to some extent (though Black women seem to me unique among global females in their frequent propensity to ape mindless male savagery). They need strong authority of all kinds (legal, cultural, racial, paternal, ecclesiastical) to keep them disciplined and “on the right track”. When such authority is widespread across society, blacks can reach their civilizational potential (which still remains far below that of Whites, which is why any Black presence is always a burden to White nations, and which burden goes way beyond the psychological alienation and cultural heritage dilution that ANY diversity imposes upon Whites).

    This starts to open up a true answer to the “age-old” (OK, 50 year+) question of how Whites were suckered into overthrowing our traditional Constitution (to be fair, this Constitutional abjuration began at Appomattox, and was far along by the end of FDR’s “Screw Deal”, which, by radically expanding Federal Government power at the expense of states’ rights and individual liberty, laid the juridical groundwork for the eventual triumph of racial social engineering, once White attitudes on race had sufficiently changed), and embracing soft-totalitarian coercive racial integrationism under the guise of protecting black “civil rights”. Whites in the 1950s, especially do-gooder Yankees with little personal experience of Negroes, simply assumed a universal human nature – equally racially apportioned! – and had some grounds for thinking so based on the fact that blacks were indeed objectively better behaved back then compared to the post-civil rights period (though I hasten to point out, blacks have always been recognized by sophisticated and knowledgable Whites to be far more criminally inclined than Whites; one can find complaints about blacks and their crime even in New York and New England state court reports from the 19th century).

  10. Right_On
    Posted May 17, 2019 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

    “Men are much more likely to be born with the character traits required to be competitive chess players . . . powers of concentration, spatial sense, a vast memory, logical ability, and a burning desire to win.”

    To be fair to the gals : A life spent moving wooden toy soldiers in a war game may appeal to men; women have other priorities!

  11. OMC
    Posted May 17, 2019 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    They also look up to men, and wish to emulate them and become more accomplished human beings when men boss them around more.

    Didn’t see that coming. So the message of the article is “Patriarchal cultures are the real feminists”?

    Chess appeals to high IQ women because it is a passive intellectual activity. It’s a way for them to compete without sacrificing their femininity, i.e. they won’t get dirty, bruised up and shouted at by spectators in a chess match. It’s not because they “seek to emulate men,” as if a patriarchal culture would encourage such a thing.

  12. N
    Posted May 17, 2019 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

    Do you even play chess yourself?

    In chess, even geniuses will peak at average tournament levels of performance, if they do not study chess theory. There may be gender differences in big numbers, but for a any individual female club player it will take almost nothing to compensate for that theoretical disadvantage.

    If this essay was intended to advocate gender separation in social organizations, it fails, because in the world of chess, there simply are no such separation of the genders. You made the argument yourself when you dismiss outliers: Professional male chess players are outliers.

    There is no such thing as women’s chess.

    • Posted May 19, 2019 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

      Well, chess is such a complex game that when played without theory it is a even game until the very end or a who-blunders-first kind of game (very ugly and boring). So that’s already makes the subject (men vs women in chess) a lot more complex due to the amount of importance which can be attached to external things (learning, nurture, discipline, etc); Anyway, I think the real case is that less women are interested at chess because they are more interested in social activities, but it doesn’t mean they are inherently worse at chess because they were born as females. However, it is curious how few women we can find among the top players, though that probably can be explained by top female players having a preference to dedicate their times to more things than men, so they have less time for chess.

      • N
        Posted May 20, 2019 at 11:55 am | Permalink

        No, I absolutely agree with the author, if he made such a point, that there may be biological factors involved. What I disagree with is the argument, if I may exaggerate, that since there are so few female Nobel prize winners, women should not pursuit a career in science, or more specifically, because there are so few female Nobel prize winners in medicine, women should not become medical doctors. The problem with this argument is that 99.9% of medical doctors will not even publish in scientific journals, nor should they. Women may be excellent practicing doctors, and due to their motherly nature be better suited in many cases. This is the logic from the article applied, and how I see it fail.

        What provokes me the most is the argument that “women are worse at A, therefore they should stick to doing B”. The problem with this argument is that we do not want women to become good mothers because they are useless outside the house. We want women to become mothers, because we need good mothers.

        For that reason, we should accept the arguments for women’s liberation in full, and point to he heroism of sacrificing that freedom for your own children, the future of our people. Mothers are heroes.

  13. Black Queen
    Posted May 17, 2019 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    Great article, but I would have expected the more romantic, Dionysian from CC on chess. What about Fischer and the Jews for instance?

    Have you followed Valery Salov’s pronouncements and conspiracy theories? Salov was an elite soviet GM who was third in the world(which may mean first) back in the 80s. He claims that the Kasparov Karpov matches were elaborate kabbalistic rituals and that all elite chess pros were aware of this. He claims that the 1995 Kasparov anand match has messages about 9/11–viz the match was held in the World Trade Center. The first game was on 9/11. During the match there were two consecutive games with rook sacrifices(the word for rook is of course tower in every other language). For these games they moved to the observation deck! Uncanny, it gives you pause for those who understand the connection between the Kabbalists and 9/11.

  14. Ovidiu
    Posted May 17, 2019 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    Women simply don’t care that much about chess, about winning or losing a game, as men do. They are just not as ‘competitive’ as men are. This is easy to infer from looking at the percentage of decided games, win/lose as opposed to draws, in the games played by women (against each other in women-only tournaments, or in general in open-tournaments) and compare it with the percentage of the decided games in the games played by men.

    Women play chess way more risky than men do and this results in that women have far more decided games. But that not because they are more courageous, far from it, but because they simply don’t care about the outcome, they do not suffer that much when they lose. It is negligence not courage.
    Men do care, they invest themselves greatly (effort and focus) in the game and this in turn makes the defeat/loss very painful if it happens. Hence they don’t take risks easily, they do not gamble with the game, and the result is that they draw their games far more often.

    • DissesMyIsland
      Posted May 18, 2019 at 11:20 am | Permalink

      Pro comment.

      Women are only competitive with OTHER WOMEN…and then only In hypergamous competition for the alpha Male.

      It’s not a choice. They are biologically programmed that way by nature. Just as men are the way they are…BY NATURE.

      This is something the manosphere has proven eloquently and unequivocally in the last 10 years. (The ancients knew it too)

      Everything else is window dressing/aping male characteristics and behaviors.

      Men and women are DIFFERENT…and this is a GOOD THING. Without these differences, civilization would not exist.

      Cue all the NAWALT spergs.

      • Lexi
        Posted May 18, 2019 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

        “Women are only competitive with OTHER WOMEN…and then only In hypergamous competition for the alpha Male.”

        I thought the female hypergamy hoax was good and dead by now.

        https://techcrunch.com/2009/11/18/okcupid-inbox-attractive/
        https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090626153511.htm

        • Viv
          Posted May 20, 2019 at 5:31 am | Permalink

          Your links don’t remotely disprove hypergamy. Did you even read them (lol)?

          • Lexi
            Posted May 20, 2019 at 7:26 am | Permalink

            It’s not my job to disprove hypergamy, it’s their job to prove it. They attempt to do so by citing this study where women said 80% of men were unattractive, but it doesn’t matter what they say. All that matters is what they do, and by that measure, men are actually pickier and more demanding than women.

            As I understand it, the theory is that women are to blame for low marriage and birthrates, because we’re all chasing the same 20% of men and refusing to settle for less. That can’t possibly be true if we’re actually less particular about whom we will contact for a date and don’t even agree on who is or is not attractive in any event.

        • threestars
          Posted May 20, 2019 at 6:20 am | Permalink

          Interesting. Woman hypergamy makes a lot of sense because they invest much more heavily in reproduction, hence you would expect for them to be a lot more picky regarding who they finally end up mixing their genes with.

          But I have to agree that the fact that most women would have a consensus regarding who is attractive — which is necessary for hypergamy to function as described — always flown in the face of my own experience. I found that assortative mating on the basis of intellectual level, for example, is far too strong a governing factor to allow for the Paretto principle to apply. You will never get 80% of all women, many of whom prole, to be attracted to the same intellectual guy. Conversely, 80% out of a pop of women who by definition are mostly normal won’t fall for a prole male.

          • Lexi
            Posted May 20, 2019 at 7:31 am | Permalink

            “Interesting. Woman hypergamy makes a lot of sense because they invest much more heavily in reproduction, hence you would expect for them to be a lot more picky regarding who they finally end up mixing their genes with.”

            The flaw in the reasoning behind the female hypergamy theory is that modern life is not a perfect reflection of the state of nature. In modern society, men are expected to pick just one wife. And when forced to do so, they are indeed very particular and demanding. It is, of course, mathematically impossible for more than half of the men to get an above-average wife, and men have little incentive to settle with unlimited porn on tap, featuring beautiful women that most of us can’t compete with.

      • No Thanks
        Posted May 18, 2019 at 11:10 pm | Permalink

        Check the capslock dude. Geezus.

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