Society

Girl, 12, Barred From Chess Tournament For Dress (Photo)

| by Sarah Zimmerman

A 12-year-old girl was forced to drop out of a Malaysian chess tournament after officials deemed that she was wearing an "improper" dress that was too "seductive."

The girl, who remains unnamed, was told that her above-the-knee striped dress was a "temptation from a certain angle far, far away," according to The Star. She was forced to withdraw from the National Scholastic Chess Championship 2017.

Her coach, Kaushal Khandhar, said in a Facebook post that the girl felt "harassed and humiliated" when the tournament director and chief arbiter stopped the tournament to discuss her attire.

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"In the middle of Round 2, without stopping the clocks, the chief arbiter informed my student that the dress she wore was improper," Khandhar wrote in his post. 

The chess coach went on to call the decision "completely out of line" and "ridiculous."

Although the tournament director later apologized for his comments, the chief arbiter stood by his stance, saying that the girl would have to go to the local mall and purchase a pair of slacks if she wanted to participate in the next round of the tournament, which began at 9 a.m. the following day.

However, to the girl's dismay, the local malls were closed and she was unable to find another outfit in time for the next round. As a result, she was forced to withdraw completely.

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The girl's mother, who wished to remain anonymous, told the Daily Mail that she was furious with the director's decision, especially given that her daughter had won her first game in the tournament. 

"When it happened before, it was because a parent didn't like what she was wearing. So this time I made sure the dress was proper enough," her mother said.

However, tournament officials didn't deem the new dress proper enough.

"My daughter is very upset," said the mother.

Khandhar is calling for a public apology from the tournament director, according to The Star. He says that his student has "tremendous potential in chess," but was left "extremely disturbed, and embarrassed" after being forced to withdraw.

"This incident has resulted in loss of time and money which was invested before, during and after the tournament on coaching, registration fees, traveling, accommodation and other incurred costs," he said.

"I have been playing chess in Malaysia for almost two decades and I have never heard of this type of issue ever in any tournaments in Malaysia."

The tournament director told The Star that the matter is being investigated but refused to comment further.

Sources: Daily Mail, The Star / Photo credit: Ruocaled/Flickr, The Star

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