12-year-old forced to quit chess tournament over ‘seductive’ dress

The dress of a 12-year-old girl was allegedly deemed to be ‘seductive’ that resulted in her withdrawal from a chess tournament. — Picture courtesy of Facebook/Kaushal Kal
The dress of a 12-year-old girl was allegedly deemed to be ‘seductive’ that resulted in her withdrawal from a chess tournament. — Picture courtesy of Facebook/Kaushal Kal

KUALA LUMPUR, April 28 — A 12-year-old girl was forced to pull out from a chess tournament in Putrajaya as the tournament director allegedly found her dress to be “seductive” and a “temptation”, the girl’s coach claimed.

Taking to a Facebook posting, Kaushal Khandar alleged that his student had been “extremely embarrassed” and “disturbed” by the actions of the National Scholastic Chess Championship 2017 director and chief arbiter.

He claimed the tournament director had made a remark on the girl’s knee-length dress to the chief arbiter, who had stopped her competition in the middle of Round 2 and informed the student that her dress was improper and violated the dress code of the tournament.

“It was later informed (by Chief Arbiter) to my student and her mother, that the Tournament Director deemed my student’s dress to be ‘seductive’ and a ‘temptation from a certain angle far, far away’.

“We found this statement completely out of line!” Kaushal’s post read.

The girl, who is a district chess champion, was also alleged to have withdrawn from the competition as she couldn’t find a suitable outfit for the next round due to the timing of the incident.

The purported discussion took place at about 10pm and the next round was at 9am the next day, which meant that shops at a nearby mall were already closed and would not open in time. Kaushal said the chief arbiter had told the girl and the mother to buy long slacks.

“This situation had led to the inevitable decision of withdrawal from the tournament all together. We are absolutely disgusted by the treatment of Tournament Director to a 12-year-old girl and her mother,” Kaushal added.

The coach, who claimed he had been participating actively in the field for 20 years, also demanded a public apology from the tournament director, failing which he would pursue legal action.

“We demand a public apology. In the event, we do not receive a public apology in the next 5 days, we shall have no choice but to resort to legal proceedings,” Kaushal stressed.

When contacted by Malay Mail Online, the tournament director said he would be lodging a police report on the matter soon and did not want to issue any statement for the time being.

A Malaysian Chess Federation spokesman also told Malay Mail Online that the tournament secretariat is currently investigating the incident.

He however claimed the official complaint lodged by the parent varies from what was alleged by Kaushal in his Facebook posting.

“The tournament secretariat is currently investigating the complaint. The claim posted is different from the official complaint. We will take action once the report comes out,” the spokesman told Malay Mail Online when contacted today.

The MCF spokesman, however, said the contents of the complaint could not be divulged as it might infringe on any legal proceedings.

Malay Mail Online tried to contact Kaushal to verify his posting but did not receive a response.

The coach’s post was accompanied by a photograph of the girl’s striped knee-length dress.

The chess tournament was held in Putrajaya from April 14 to 16.

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