Chess girl withdrew due to anxiety over peeping, mum says

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 29 — Shock, embarrassment and anxiety that anyone else would be “peeping” and judging her attire were what forced a 12-year-old promising chess player to drop out of a tournament halfway, her mother said.

Backing up a complaint by her daughter’s coach, Chin Wai Ling said the chief arbiter interrupted the game in Putrajaya a fortnight ago claiming the girl’s knee-length dress was “inappropriate” despite it not being “revealing”, The Star reported today.

“From that point onwards, she said all she could think of was whether anyone was peeping throughout the game,” Chin was quoted as saying.

She said the tournament director allegedly told the chief arbiter that “the school will not allow the children to use the hall if we were to turn up in a dress”.

She related that she called up the tournament director as her daughter only had dresses for the meet and the game was stopped late at night, giving her no chance to shop for a suitable alternative for the next day’s match that was scheduled to start at 9am.

“He promised to return our call, but he did not. He did not answer our call. He did not reply our e-mail until I forwarded it to every member of the Malaysian Chess Federation,” she was quoted as saying.

In the report, Chin said the World Chess Federation Laws of Chess only required participants to portray a “dignified appearance” without spelling out what can and cannot be worn.

The 12-year-old girl was forced to pull out from the National Scholastic Chess Championship 2017 chess tournament in Putrajaya after her outfit was found to be allegedly “seductive”.

The girl’s coach, Kaushal Khandar, who claimed that he had been participating actively in the field for 20 years, said the reason for disqualifying the girl cannot be accepted.

Both Kaushal and Chin are seeking a public apology from the tournament director.

When contacted by Malay Mail Online yesterday, 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.

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