By Ochsbridge, UK correspondent Summer Rose Winslip-Harrow
The World Chess Federation (Federation Internationale des Echecs — FIDE) has approved the English Chess Federation‘s recommendation that the first move in the game to be determined by each player’s diversity in ethnic, sexual and social justice orientation. Actual attributes are to be disregarded as, for example, not everybody is so privileged as to be born with a physical disability.
While the change has been welcomed by the chess-playing LGBTQI²MNOP community, academics from several Universities argue that the change does not go far enough in terms of equity. An essay drafted by 29 equality professors at Leeds University and signed 437 lecturers and professors at other UK universities makes the argument that all pieces on the board must be free to choose abilities and their starting square on the board.
Indeed, each piece’s colour must not define its side in the game; and that pieces of all colours could occupy the same square on the board; as long as it’s OK with all the other non-dissenting pieces on the board. Also; instead of the imperialistic taking (synonymous with enslavement) of opponent’s pieces, the taken may choose to remain and seek restitution in the event of an unexpected attack. Restitution may be in the demotion of the aggressor’s knights and the promotion of the victim’s pawns.
FIDE has advised that it is evaluating all changes in preparation for the sport’s premiere appearance at the 2020 Olympic Games.