A 12-year-old girl made it to the National Scholastic Chess Championships, in Putrajaya, Malaysia, but wasn’t able to compete all the way through.
It wasn’t due to a lack of skills or a loss in the competition, but allegedly because the event’s organizers found her knee-length dress to be too seductive.
The girl’s coach, Kaushal Khandhar, described the upsetting incident in a recent Facebook post that has gone viral.
The Federation Internationale des Eches (FIDE) handbook, which is cited as the guidelines for the tournament according to The New York Times, says that players should be “dressed in a suitable manner,” although there is nothing specific about what constitutes proper attire.
Khandhar said the tournament's chief arbiter told the student’s mother that the dress was a “temptation from a certain angle far, far away.”
“We found this statement completely out of line,” Khandhar wrote in the Facebook post.
“After some discussion, the Chief Arbiter had conceded and apologised (sic) to my student, personally assuring her that there was nothing wrong with her attire, but due to Tournament Director’s decision, he could not allow this dress to be worn by my student in the tournament,” he explained.
The discussion happened around 10 p.m., and the arbiter gave the student and her mother a choice to buy something new at a nearby mall for the following morning’s session, the coach claimed.
But stores were closed and wouldn’t be open in time for the next round.
“This situation had led to the inevitable decision of withdrawal from the tournament all together,” Khandhar wrote. “This bright young girl was recently the champion of her district in MSS Kuala Lumpur and has shown tremendous potential in Chess (sic). This incident has left her extremely disturbed, and embarrassed.”
A Malaysian Chess Federation spokesman told the Malay Mail Online news site that tournament officials were looking into the claim.