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Survey: Majority of Elite Female Chess Players Believe a Woman Will Be World Chess Champion

A recent survey conducted by World Chess among participants of the Swiss Queens Wednesdays, an elite online chess tournament series, has revealed a significant shift in perceptions among female chess players regarding gender barriers in the sport. A remarkable 65% of respondents expressed confidence that a woman will become the world chess champion, with 32% believing it could happen in less than 5 years and 33% foreseeing it within the next decade.

This optimistic outlook from the majority of respondents underscores a growing belief in the chess community that gender will not be a barrier to reaching the pinnacle of global chess competition.

The Swiss Queens Wednesdays series, organized by World Chess in collaboration with FIDE, plays a critical role in this progress by providing a platform for female players to compete at the highest levels, gain visibility, and inspire aspiring chess champions. The tournament series is instrumental in challenging the historically male-dominated nature of chess and fostering a more equitable environment.

Historical precedents, such as Judit Polgar’s ascension into the top ten global rankings, have already shown that female players can compete at the highest levels. The renewed interest in chess, fueled by portrayals of female chess prodigies in popular culture, such as Netflix’s “The Queen’s Gambit,” further amplifies the conversation around the potential for a female world chess champion.

The findings from the Swiss Queens participants survey are a testament to the changing attitudes and growing confidence among female chess players. World Chess and FIDE are committed to continuing their support for initiatives like the Swiss Queens Wednesday, which are vital for achieving gender parity in chess and realizing the ambition of crowning a female world chess champion.

Ilya Merenzon, CEO of World Chess: “I agree with the 65%. I think we will see the female world champion very soon. And I can’t wait to celebrate it!”

Dana Reizniece-Ozola, the Deputy Chair of the FIDE Management Board: “We are not surprised by the findings of the survey indicating a growing confidence among elite female chess players in general. This shift in perception underscores the ongoing efforts, including those of FIDE, to promote inclusivity and diversity within the chess community. We hope that with projects like 100 Years of FIDE and the Swiss Queens Wednesday Series, this inclusivity will continue to rise.”

Swiss Queens Wednesday Series website.

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