Israeli commentator fired for sexism

Israeli commentator fired for sexism

A chess analyst in Israel was fired and accused of sexism after stating that the game is “perhaps not for women.”

Ilya Smirin, was live on air with Fiona Steil-Antoni in the ninth round of the Women's Grand Prix in Astana, Kazakhstan, on Tuesday when he appeared to admit to previously making the remark in private
Tuesday, at the ninth round of the Women’s Grand Prix in Astana, Kazakhstan, Ilya Smirin appeared to admit to making the remark in private during a live interview with Fiona Steil-Antoni.

Mr. Smirin, an Israeli grandmaster, first mentioned the Chinese chess player Zhu Jiner, a woman grandmaster, and questioned if she could be a grandmaster when discussing the match.

He stated, “Is she a grandmaster or what?

Why does she aspire to be a grandmaster like men in this case?’

Ms. Steil-Antoni responded, “So you’re saying that chess is perhaps not for women?”

Mr. Smirin, however, stated that he “didn’t say anything publicly” and that it was a “private talk.”The Belarusian chess ace also seemed to confess to saying that Grandmaster Aleksandra Goryachkin, had been 'playing like a man'

The title is inferior to grandmaster and requires a rating that is lower than 2,300.

All chess players with a rating of at least 2,500 can be grandmasters in the game, and the title is awarded to the best female chess players.

Tuesday, at the ninth round of the Women’s Grand Prix in Astana, Kazakhstan, Ilya Smirin appeared on live television with Fiona Steil-Antoni to admit making the remark in private.

The Belarusian chess prodigy also appeared to admit that Grandmaster Aleksandra Goryachkin was “playing like a man.”

Speaking to the BBC, Mr Smirin, pictured, later said that he does not want to hurt anyone and loves and respects chess and women

The Belarusian chess ace also appeared to admit that Aleksandra Goryachkin, the grandmaster, had been “playing like a man.”

He stated, “That’s correct.

She took part in the Russia super final. Small deficit she incurred, but it was a very competitive competition.

She also received a rating of 2,600 plus.Mr Smirin, pictured, said that since the clip was broadcast live, he had been called 'racist, sexist and nationalist'

His colleague then inquired, “What does it have to do with playing like a man? Only guys can play well.”

But Mr Smirin said: ‘No, no. However, she is playing with positional style.’

He then inquired as to why ladies may play in competitions with women but men cannot in female-only events.

He later told the BBC that he does not wish to harm anyone and that he loves and respects chess and ladies.

However, he noted that the experience had left him rather perplexed, as he did not believe he had said anything “truly awful” and had not intended to insult or harm anyone.

Since the clip was shown live, Mr. Smirin has been dubbed “racist, sexist, and nationalist.”

He added that he believed what he had stated in the broadcasts was disrespectful, but only little so.The grandmaster, pictured, said that most of what he said was a joke. He added that 'if we continue like that' the words man and woman will disappear soon

The grandmaster stated that the majority of his remarks were humorous. He said, “if we continue in this manner, the labels man and woman will soon disappear.”His remarks caused a storm among the chess world, with former female world champion Susan Polgar calling for a public apology

A third person, US woman's chess champion Jennifer Shahade said: 'Gross to see such sexism in the broadcast for a women's event... Fiona did a great job in an uncomfortable convo she never should have been in'

He stated that he did not intend to harm anyone, that he loves and respects chess and ladies, and that he dislikes hypocrisy.

Mr. Smirin, pictured, later told the BBC that he does not wish to harm anyone and that he loves and respects chess and ladies.

While he understands the reasoning behind his dismissal as a commentator, he wishes that “common sense would triumph.”

However, his words provoked an uproar in the chess community, with former world champion Susan Polgar demanding an apology.

She also demanded that he be fired for the remarks, which she deemed “very disrespectful.”

She stated, “For the record, I have known GM Smirin for almost three decades, dating back to our undergraduate days in Minsk.”

I’ve always had a positive relationship with him and admired his chess skills. I hope today is simply an off day. If this is how he genuinely feels, I would be profoundly sad and dismayed.

His comments provoked an uproar in the chess community, with former world champion Susan Polgar demanding a public apology.

Woman Grandmaster Gulrukhbegim Tokhirjonova tweeted the video with the question, ‘Isn’t this a sort of discrimination? How can such a man participate in the official @FIDE chess broadcast of such a significant women’s event?’

A third individual, US woman’s chess champion Jennifer Shahade, commented, ‘It’s disgusting to witness such misogyny in the broadcast for a women’s event… Fiona performed admirably in a conversation she never should have been in.

A third individual, US woman’s chess champion Jennifer Shahade, commented, ‘It’s disgusting to witness such misogyny in the broadcast for a women’s event… Fiona performed admirably in a conversation she never should have been in.

The International Chess Federation issued the following statement: ‘During yesterday’s Women’s Grand Prix live broadcast, one of the commentators made some really inappropriate remarks.

Although we hold Grandmaster Ilya Smirin in high regard as a chess player, the sentiments he voiced on broadcast are absolutely unacceptable, offensive, and do not reflect any of the principles that FIDE stands for.

Therefore, we apologize unreservedly to everyone who was upset. GM Smirin will no longer serve as a FIDE commentator, effective immediately.

FIDE aspires not only to boost women’s participation in professional sports and official positions, but also to alter the notion that chess is a world dominated by men.

Women must feel protected and valued in our community. Therefore, any behavior involving disrespect, misogyny, or physical, verbal, or emotional abuse is unacceptable

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