Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Kateryna Lahno: Chess. Brilliance Despite Culture

Kateryna Lahno Moves!
Study Shows Culture Handicaps Girls at Chess,
Not Ability. Is that so?
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Kateryna Lahno, herself a Grandmaster and in 2011 ranked 11th among women, "dismantled" Grandmaster #206 Sipke Ernst, at the 2012 Tata Tournament in Chess.  See biography at http://saintlouischessclub.org/player-bio/kings-vs-queens-tournament-women/gm-kateryna-lahno; http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=3270.  So?
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 So! Is this heretical idea now to be accepted:  That women have abilities that culture keeps down. Women long deflected by culture to the sidelines from the greatest rosters of math and chess and other areas reflect the culture, not ability.  There are other women champions, see the Russian Chess Blitz Champion for 2011, Alexandra Kosteniuk, but Kateryna of Ukraine offers her skills without the crutches of crowns and lady colors in the publicity, see site.
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Why should there be a women's championship, and then a men's.  This is not a muscle game, like golf.  No ladies' tee required.  Just a brain.  Combine the two.
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For years, reports have proliferated about the worldwide enjoyment of chess: striving for championships, showings in great competitions, efforts, enjoyment, aspirations, permanent boards in public squares. Women, welcome aboard.  New York Times, feature the story. Why bury it. Is it that your advertisers, your shareholders are not interested in competition. 
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The New York Times goes beyond the fact of a win, and notes the gender gap in Chess, and an emerging reason: a math study showing that culture sliding women away from math and related subjects results in their historical disinterest and lower score rather than ability. The header even denies the substance:  It says that the study is a "hint," but the article provides a firmer connection to the game's gender gap.  True to form resisting challenge to the male, this is on a back-specialty page. See   http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/22/crosswords/chess/chess-math-study-provides-hints-about-games-gender-gap.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=a%20math%20study%20chess&st=cse.
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Congratulations, Kateryna.  May schools and educators and families everywhere expand the horizons of their daughters. Too late for moi.  End of seriousness.  See FN 1
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FN 1  Now, this just has to be funny.  Are we allowed?  In this men's world of Chess?
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Kateryna, age 20, came in third in the C-section.  Kid you not. http://gambit.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/01/30/nakamura-wins-tata-steel-chess-tournament/#more-21933
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Kateryna Lahno is from Ukraine.  She also defeated the Chinese "phenomenon" You Yifan at the North Urals Cup. Cup? And, of course, the tournament is named the Tata Steel Chess Tournament.  Has the Times a sense of humor? Has You Yifan? Have you?  Men, lighten up.  You are supposed to welcome competition.
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The coincidence of terms here just has to come to light from somewhere.

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