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Chess Player Challenged

November 20, 1987

I am astounded by Yasser Seirawan's views on women, reported without challenge (and perhaps just a chuckle) by Dick Roraback ("The Sporting Life of Yasser Seirawan," Nov. 9). Can a man of supposedly high intelligence actually have said that women are marvelous companions, but incapable of playing chess? That "there is a male mentality, a male physiology, a male intuition that leaves chess to be dominated by men"?

How very Victorian of him. Why, only a hundred years ago, men smiled, shook their heads and collectively said: "Women, of course, are lovely little creatures to have around the house, but they simply aren't capable of becoming doctors, or lawyers, or athletes, or politicians, or scientists or great artists. It isn't part of their makeup and never will be. But thank God they have children and mend our socks, or where would we be?"

Hmmm.

I seem to recall reading not too long ago of a young girl who is an up-and-coming teen-age chess master. May she and all the others like her manage to avoid the quicksand of everyday female existence. May they go on to become chess champions.

May they beat the pants off Mr. Seirawan.

MARY DE DANAN

La Jolla

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