CFC Response to the FIDE Ban on Transgender Women Competing in Women's Events
— — Vladimir Drkulec, President, CFC
The Chess Federation of Canada disagrees with and is disappointed by the FIDE decision to ban transgender women from competing in women’s chess events. We disagree with the way it was implemented, involving the banning of transgender women and subsequently studying the issue to arrive at a final decision. This decision came as a surprise, with no prior discussion or indication that this action was being considered. There were no exigent circumstances that we are aware of that would require such a drastic action.
We are aware of only one transgender Canadian woman with the skill level to qualify for events like the Olympiad or a Continental women’s championship, and that is Morgen Mills. She represented the CFC at the Olympiad in Chennai, India in 2022 and also at the last women’s continental championship in the same year. Due to a combination of COVID-related challenges, a complex Indian visa process for Canadians, and personal circumstances, we faced significant difficulties in sending teams to the Olympiad, particularly the women’s team. Without Morgen Mills’ participation, we would not have been able to field a complete women’s team for the Olympiad. In fact, our fifth player, Rachel Chen, was unable to attend due to complications with the Indian visa process. The remaining four players, including Morgen, Maili-Jade Ouellet, Veronica Guo, and Svitlana Demchenko, had to compete without a substitute. In my role as the head of delegation for the Canadian contingent at the Olympiad and the FIDE meetings in 2022, I was deeply involved in the visa process for Chennai. I was truly impressed and inspired by Morgen’s positive and optimistic demeanor in the face of bureaucratic challenges that threatened the Canadian teams’ participation in the Olympiad.
Morgen represented the CFC at the 2022 Women’s Continental on short notice, as we often receive information about such events only a few weeks before their commencement. Although we were entitled to send two players to the women’s continental championship, Morgen was the only player able to participate given the limited notice.
The Chess Federation of Canada values Morgen Mills’ contributions and participation in women’s chess events. We wish to emphasize to FIDE the importance of open communication, thoughtful consideration, and fair policies when making decisions that impact the chess community. We cannot agree with this decision and urge FIDE to reconsider the actions taken.
Sincerely, Vladimir Drkulec
President, Chess Federation of Canada