The International Chess Federation (FIDE) will be hosting its Year of the Woman in Chess Awards on August 5 at 8:00 p.m. as part of the 44th Chess Olympiad in Chennai, India.
In January of this year, FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich announced FIDE’s Year of the Woman in Chess. Throughout 2022, FIDE and its member organizations hosted a series of events to support women’s development in all areas of chess. The awards categories reflect this as, outside of the best player award, other awards include outstanding administrator, influencer, arbiter, and even an award to the federation with the most women.
FIDE’s Managing Director, Dana Reizniece-Ozola, said the awards present a great opportunity. “These awards allow us to highlight and celebrate the work of women in our international chess community. It sheds light on the great work these women are doing, but the variety of awards also promote other opportunities in chess.” Reizniece-Ozola concluded, “We believe that for true equality, we must have women serving in all aspects of our sport.”
The award is one of seven initiatives FIDE decided to invest in throughout 2022 to establish and promote gender equity policies, programs, and practices. Other initiatives for the year include the Queens’ pavilion at the Olympiad, a global exchange forum for women to share ideas to improve the environment for women in chess, and also the expansion of FIDE’s 2021 Queen’s Festival.
Federations throughout the international chess community were asked to submit nominees for the Year of Women in Chess. Following nominations, winners were chosen by a committee based on published and weighted criteria for their specific category. The winners have been invited to attend the closing ceremony in Chennai, India. The awards have been provided by Dr Alwahshi Abdullah Salem of the Saudi Arabian Chess Federation, which fielded a women’s team at the Olympiad for the first time.
The Year of the Woman in Chess Awards will become a tradition celebrating men’s and women’s contributions to gender equality in chess.
Despite FIDE’s efforts to celebrate the work of women in chess community, one woman, who heads the Virgin Islands Chess Federation, suffered insults, unproven accusations, and public dissemination of her personal information from the (now former) FIDE officer. Read more here: President of USVI Chess Federation Margaret Murphy: Nigel Short’s insults bother me most (Interview Part 1) / President of USVI Chess Federation Margaret Murphy: FIDE should investigate Nigel Short’s motives (Interview Part 2)