“Being a woman in chess can feel ‘lonely’”, says streamer Anna Cramling in her interview for CNN. Currently playing the Reykjavik Open 2023 (follow live here / see her result in round 1), Anna is back on the board. She started playing again less than an year ago after the long Covid isolation, where she concentrated on her career as a streamer. Now it seems Anna is switching to a hybrid format of streaming and playing, which can lead to a success and a new form of promoting the game and the players.
But CNN’s interview has another focus. The article begins, “With multiple women coming forward about their disturbing experiences in the chess world, including accusations of sexual misconduct by a grandmaster, the historic game is having its own #MeToo moment.” Cramling comments,
I’ve had weird experiences in the chess world ever since I was a kid. From adult men complimenting me at chess tournaments, to receiving DMs from my chess opponents saying things such as ‘I couldn’t stop looking at you’ during our chess game. This made me feel very uncomfortable, as a chess game typically takes four or five hours, so it felt weird knowing that someone so much older than me had been thinking about me in that way for so many hours.
Anna Cramling, for CNN
Anna bangs on a hot topic, a part of social culture that has prevented more women from joining the game, “I think that one of the reasons so few women compete is because the environment in chess tournaments can be very hostile to them, and I know that many, many women have stories like mine, or worse.”
See the full interview with Anna Cramling for CNN here