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The Malaysian Chess Federation said it would investigate why a 12-year-old girl was banned from a tournament because of her dress.

The National Scholastic Chess Championship was held in a school from April 14-16 and the tournament director is said to have excluded one girl because he found her knee-length dress to be inappropriate and in violation of the tournament’s rules.
The incident gained public attention in recent days after the girl’s chess trainer Kaushal Khandar denounced the episode in a post published on Facebook on April 27. The post has since attracted more than 1,300 comments, including some accusing the tournament of sexism and others that blamed religious beliefs for the ban.

The country’s chess federation promised to intervene to resolve the issue, but denied that religious sensitivities in the Muslim-majority country had prompted the decision. Pictures from the event published on the chess federation’s website show girls of all age categories wearing trousers, with the exception of a girl competing in the under-7 category who wore a dress.

The executive secretary of the chess body, Nik Hishamuddin Nik Mustapa, said the dress code was consistent with that of the venue, a public school, which has stricter dress codes than other venues. “We will call for a meeting of all the parties involved to resolve the matter amicably,” he told AFP on May 2. “We lack chess talent in Malaysia. We want to see the emergence of good players.”-(Newsweek)