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Kaushal Khandar - Facebook

'Disturbing incident’

Girl, 12, forced to withdraw from chess tournament for wearing ‘seductive’ dress

May 1, 2017

A chess coach in Malaysia demanded an apology after organizers humiliated one of his players, a 12-year-old girl, over the dress she was wearing, ultimately leading the young girl to back out of the tournament voluntarily

Kaushal Khandhar, the girl’s chess coach, took to Facebook to described the “disturbing incident” that took place in mid-April during the second round of the National Scholastic Chess Championships, in Putrajaya, Malaysia. The player’s mother, Chin Wai Ling, was approached once play had started by the event’s Chief Arbiter who told her that her daughter’s dress was too “seductive” and would be a, “temptation from a certain angle far, far away’” for both fellow players and onlookers. The arbiter had approached her daughter first, interrupting the girl’s game to inform her that her dress was “improper.” In an interview she gave later with the Malaysian tabloid The Star, Ling said that once the arbiter approached her daughter, “from that point onwards, she said all she could think of was whether anyone was peeping [at her] throughout the game.” Khandhar, who attached a picture of the dress in question to his Facebook post, said that in the nearly two decades that he has been attending Malaysian chess tournaments he has never heard of an incident like this.

According to the Federation Internationale des Eches (FIDE) handbook, which is cited as the guidelines for the tournament, the chief arbiter is responsible for ensuring, “players’ comfort during play.” The FIDE handbook, regarded as the standard for chess tournaments worldwide, requires that players be “dressed in a suitable manner” although neither set of guidelines is specific in terms of what constitutes appropriate dress. Tournament officials reportedly asked the player’s mother to purchase her another outfit late in the day at a nearby mall that was already closed. Because the mall did not open the next day until the matches had already resumed, the young player was forced to withdraw and forfeit all fees and expenses.

In responding to Khandar’s post, people on social media criticized the tournament officials for sexually objectifying the young girl, accusing them of being “perverts” and “pedophiles” unable to control their own urges.

Despite the demand for an apology, neither the National Scholastic Championships nor the Malaysian Chess Federation have made any comment regarding the incident. The player, who was the district champion in MSS Kuala Lampur, was described by Khandar as having “tremendous potential.”

Read the full story at The Huffington Post.


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