When Nigel Short, one of UK’s greatest ever chess players, challenged Garry Kasparov for the world title in 1993, the pair met as bitter rivals.
But it appears the British grandmaster has finally found common ground with his Russian opponent: they both believe women are not suited to the game.
Short, who lost to Kasparov in the championships, has claimed men and women should just accept they are “hard-wired very differently”.
Speaking in the magazine New in Chess about the lack of women playing the game, Short said: “Why should they [men and women] function in the same way?”
“One is not better than the other, we just have different skills. It would be wonderful to see more girls playing chess, and at a higher level, but rather than fretting about inequality, perhaps we should just gracefully accept it as a fact.”
His words echo the controversial statement from Kasparov that “women, by their nature, are not exceptional chess players: they are not great fighters”.
The comments provoked reaction from female players, including Amanda Ross, Sabrina Chevannes, Judit Polgar and Susan Polgar.
Nigel Short has just completed the Bangkok Chess Open, where he shared the first place. He is set to play a rapid match against Garry Kasparov in Saint Louis, under the sponsorship of Rex Sinquefield.