Why don't more girls play chess?

Why do so few women play chess?

Of the 47,000 or so players organized in the German Chess Federation, there are only around 1,000 women; this is not even 2 percent. In FIDE, the World Chess Federation, the proportion of women players is similar, apart from the USSR and the GDR.
Why is that and what can be done to reduce this gap not only in the interests of chess, but also in the interests of family life and mutual understanding between the women and their men who are enthusiastic about games?
In body sports, such as. For example, in tennis, athletics or swimming, women make up a disproportionately higher percentage. So, as is so often said, do women really care less about logical thinking, concentration and the indispensable imagination than men? An obvious comparison between top female and male players seems questionable in view of the modest number of women playing chess compared to men.
In this context, here is the former women's world champion Vera Menchik mentions the former world champions in addition to international grandmasters in tournament games Capablanca and Dr. Euwe defeated, although the victories over the last two exceptions remained. - Even the top players in the Soviet Union Nona Gaprindashvili and Alla Kuschnir Along with some other top players from the Eastern Bloc, some of them have the skill level of an international master.

Awakened in Germany Jutta Hempel quite a stir when she won the Flensburg City Youth Championship against only male competitors, whose age was 10 to 20 years, when she was only 6 years old herself! There are also numerous examples of women who are enthusiastic about chess in history. The very pretty, very witty one Marie Marquise de Sevigné once called the game of chess the "most beautiful of all games" in the 17th century Comtesse Claire de Rémusat, Lady-in-waiting of Napoleon's first wife Josephine de Beauharnais, is a game from 1804 against Napoleon transmitted, and already at the turn of the 8th century a slave of the famous Caliph of Baghdad obtained Harun al Rashid, due to her extraordinary chess skills (she defeated the caliph three times) the release of her lover, Ahmed ben el Amin, from prison.

Let us leave it with these examples, which are only intended to show that there have always been women who have felt the great charm of the royal game, although of course this cannot be said of all female beings, as the following little experience relates:
During the Hessian individual championships in Königstein in 1955, one of the young Hessian master players made both court and a marriage proposal to a beautiful Swiss hall daughter. Your answer: "I net! You only have wooden blocks in your head, and I'm not stupid!"

But back to our question: Why do so few women play chess? The reasons for this are certainly complex. However, a major reason seems to be that the ladies are not being encouraged enough. Perhaps pure women's chess clubs, of which there were a few in the past but only one in Munich today, are not yet the right way to go. In clubs, however, in which one takes care not only of every beginner but also of every beginner, takes them seriously and guides them, the number of female members is often greater. Tournaments are also of great importance as advertising. A lot is happening here at the moment.

It looks like that with us by the current woman warden Margarete Grzeskowiakwho takes care of her players with astonishing commitment and an equally remarkable wealth of ideas, and a new era in German women's chess is dawning. With the help of the DSB, top German players are increasingly taking part in international tournaments, and foreign contacts are particularly cultivated.
A German women's individual championship has just taken place in Lauterbach in Hesse, which not only ran in harmony without protest, but also had a remarkable level of play. The new superior German champion, woman Anni Laakmann from Stuttgart, was clearly ahead of her two pursuers with 7½ points from 9 rounds, Irmgard Karner (Starnberg) and Ursula Wasnetsky (Mannheim) who only scored 6 points each. Anni Laakmann is thus also a hope in the FRG on an international level. So the DPO should be Mrs. Grzeskowiak Encourage and generously support in every way, so as not to take the joyful momentum from it. Let us also bear in mind that chess-playing mothers would mean the best advertising for young people and at the same time could promote the youth work of the Chess Youth Association in a way that could hardly be overestimated. Supporting women's chess would also mean working on the future of the game of chess in our country. Let us be happy that this work is now in such excellent hands and let us give our women an opportunity through honest, unbiased partnership and support. If we do this, then the worries about stagnating or even declining membership numbers should finally be overtaken.

Klaus-Peter Reiber
Press officer of the DSB