Tuesday, 21 April 2015

My brain wasn't wired right

Nigel Short has become the latest "Chess story du jour", after his comments concerning men's and women's chess was picked up by the main stream media. As a provocative main stream topic he probably could not have done any better, and I suspect this debate will run on for a bit.
I am not going to weigh into the substance of the debate, simply because it is not my area of expertise. By that I am focusing on the single quote "Men and Women's brains are had-wired very differently ... ", which is quite a definitive claim. And to make such a claim (or to disprove it) requires a  specialisation in neuro-science, or at least access to the relevant literature.
In my own personal experience, I haven't noticed a difference between the way males and females play the game. I've never looked at a move (or a game) and thought "that move was particularly male". Strong moves are strong moves, and weak ones are weak, and that is generally all I have seen. The closest manifestation I have seen to gender affecting style has curiously been in the area of over compensation, where female players are coached/rewarded for playing aggressively, as though they would not develop this talent naturally.
And to prove nothing at all, here is a game played this evening between myself and Alana Chibnall. The fact that the game ended in a draw probably shows we are chess players of comparable strength, but given the collection of mistakes that occurred at various points, I am not sure what this strength really is.

Press,Shaun - Chibnall,Alana [C43]
Murphy Memorial, 21.04.2015

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