This isn’t the beer pong world championships – distractions during a championship chess game are surely unwarranted. An opponent across the table sporting a low-cut top could cause even the most expert chessman to focus on checking her out rather than delivering checkmate. So the European Chess Union has decided to lay out a dress code to keep the classiness in the game.
In an interview with ChessBase News, ECU general secretary Sava Stoisavljevic says that “many of the players were not wearing proper clothes” during games. She notes that most other sports have dress codes, so it took little calculating to determine that chess should have one too. And it’s the females who will have to play conservatively when picking from their closets before a tournament. The ECU has put restrictions on the amount of cleavage a player can display.
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Stoisavljevic says they considered just how many buttons could be undone on a woman’s shirt. “Décolletés [the French word for cleavage] are partly covered in our regulations, which state that in respect to shirts the second from the top button may also be opened, in addition to the very top button.” And short skirts might be next to go, though there are currently no restrictions.
The new dress code was a response to frequent comments made by spectators and coaches, Stoisavljevic said. Some players show up dressed like they’re “going to the beach,” she notes, explaining that no player had reported being distracted or annoyed. But the code was drafted just in time for the European Women’s Championships in Gaziantep, Turkey, with rather harsh penalties: players who don’t abide by the dress standards could be banned from awards ceremonies.
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Perhaps too many players were taking cues from this classic Austin Powers scene. After all, the game hearkens back to the day of body-armored knights and regally-dressed kings. It seems the game’s official outlet is just looking to ensure its modern-day players hold up to the same fashion standards.