E.t was the evening after the last round. As is so often the case after a tournament, Stine Anddreasen was in a party mood, after all, there was no game waiting the next day that she had to be considerate of. She had known the chess players she celebrated with for years. Although she was the only woman, the national player felt safe. A grandmaster stubbornly attacked her at the time, but she left no doubt that she was not interested in him. Anddreasen is certain that everyone else must have noticed their rejection as well.
When she came to her senses a few hours later, the Grand Master was lying on top of her. She didn’t know how she got into his hotel room. She was ashamed. For being raped and for drinking so much that she had lost memories.
That was when she gave up
A friend encouraged her to file a complaint. The policewoman told her that the evidence was too uncertain because of the alcohol. In order to obtain an indictment, she would have to hire a lawyer. That was three years ago. At that time she gave up, now Andreasen has decided to talk about her rape. Your real name, your nationality, your age – all of this is known to this editorial team. She wants to remain anonymous and is still afraid of what it means to go public with her story.
Even so, she wants to protect other women and encourage them to stop remaining silent when they have similar experiences. “I didn’t have a boyfriend that night. Everyone saw what was done to me. When I confronted them, they didn’t want anything to do with it. The most toxic guy in the clique called me and warned that I was just not going to file a complaint. It’s my own fault, ”says Andreasen. She never heard an apology from anyone. Only her rapist apparently felt sorry for it. She concludes that he has withdrawn and plays fewer tournaments.
While the Grand Master got away with it, Dominique Bellicou is in custody. The chess trainer repeatedly raped a schoolgirl between the ages of eight and thirteen and committed at least four other girls. In most cases the scene of the crime was the Ajaccio chess club. Nine years before the arrest, the club president learned that Bellicou was stroking girls on the thighs during chess training. For years there have been such warning signs again and again. All were brushed aside, as research published in L’Équipe shows.
As a successful coach, whose students won French youth championships, he was inviolable and remained so for far too long. His case contributed to the fact that in France there are now stricter safety requirements for coaches of minors.
Assaults during private lessons
Because Bellicou denied the allegations, his victims had to testify in court. Sentenced to 19 years, he appealed. At the second hearing, his term of imprisonment was extended to 20 years. The Corsican Chess Federation, his employer, advised the court to appear as a joint plaintiff because of the damage to its image. But the association stayed out. The rapes and assaults happened during private lessons.
Many young players know the feeling of being treated like fair game. They suffer from clumsy turn-ons that they experience in chess clubs or at tournaments. That her appearance and outfit are constantly being commented on, but her chess is not taken seriously. Most don’t go along with it for long. From the age of thirteen, girls stop playing chess far more often than boys. In adulthood, there are fifteen men for every female tournament player. Hardly any organized sport has such a blatant gender disparity.
There are no biological reasons for organizing separate tournaments for girls or women, but there are social motives that are rarely discussed openly. Many girls or women prefer to play among themselves because they experience a more pleasant atmosphere without being turned on. In addition, there is increasingly higher prize money. The world chess federation FIDE is leading this development and has declared 2022 the year of women in chess.