Gender Bias in Chess

Gender Bias: Study finds Parents and Mentors shortchange Girls’ Potential

The renowned New York University has taken a scientific approach to the omnipresent question marks around the effects of gender bias in chess. It concludes: “This study provides the first large-scale investigation of bias against young female players and holds implications for the role of parents and mentors.”
You can read my enterire write-up on the NY’s study here on

“The study examined the presence and extent of gender bias within the chess community. The psychology researchers focused on whether parents and mentors showed bias towards the female youth players in their own lives (e.g. daughters, sisters, nieces, etc.). The adults surveyed for this purpose were parents and mentors of chess-playing children affiliated with the US Chess Federation. These participants were asked to rate their children (for parents) or their mentees (for coaches) on various dimensions ranging from potential and inherent ability to aspects such as how much money and resources they were willing to spend on their children’s chess development.”

“”These beliefs are likely to be harmful both to girls who already play chess and to those who could want to: Would you be interested in participating in an activity where your potential is downgraded by your parents and by your coaches before you have even started?” asks former US chess champion Jennifer Shahade rhetorically in the official release of the NYU study.”


“The results of the here discussed research clearly prove that already very young female chess players face challenges and barriers based on their gender that male players don’t. The proofs provided in this study indicate an urgent need for “greater awareness and efforts to promote gender equity” in the game of chess. “By recognizing and addressing these biases, it may be possible to create a more inclusive and supportive environment for female players and, in the long run, reduce the gender imbalances in chess”, conclude in agreement the authors of the Checking Gender Bias: Parents and Mentors Perceive Less Chess Potential in Girls study.”

Special Thanks:

I thank the NYU and all the involved individuals for the given trust and enriching collaboration on this article.

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Tatiana Flores