A change to FIDE's policy on transgender players was approved on the sidelines of the Chess World Cup in Baku ©FIDE

The International Chess Federation (FIDE) have insisted that their ruling that transgender women will not be permitted to compete in international events is designed to protect players.

The ruling "to approve FIDE policy on transgender chess players" was approved at the FIDE Council meeting held here in Baku during the FIDE Open and Women's World Cup tournaments.

"Change of gender is a change that has a significant impact on a player’s status and future eligibility to tournaments, therefore it can only be made if there is a relevant proof of the change provided," FIDE said in a regulation document which runs to four pages.

A clause outlines the restrictions made.

"In the event that the gender was changed from a male to a female the player has no right to participate in official FIDE events for women until further FIDE’s decision is made," it reads.

A FIDE spokesperson has given further information about the guidelines to insidethegames.

FIDE's regulations for transgender women are set for introduction on August 21 ©FIDE
FIDE's regulations for transgender women are set for introduction on August 21 ©FIDE

"Allow us to clarify that the new regulations are aimed at clearly defining the procedure on how a person who has officially changed their gender may register the fact," FIDE said.

"The absence of such regulations caused ambiguity and therefore an established order was needed.

"These regulations also provide protection to players who are denied such right by their National Federation."

The regulations are set to come into force on Monday (August 21).

The German Chess Federation has issued a statement criticising the FIDE position.

"We have serious concerns that these new FIDE rules are compatible with the legal situation in several countries," the statement said.

"If a person is legally recognised as a woman, it is incomprehensible to us why FIDE still wants to check and why it needs two years for this." 

The legislation has been also criticised by groups representing the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning (LGBTQ) community.

"The new ‘guidelines’ on trans competitors in chess are infuriating, confusing, contradictory and a sign that the anti-trans movement, particularly those who are promoting exclusion in sports, is spreading into other areas of competitive sport and is a very disturbing development," United States LGBTQ task force communications director Kathy Lenner told Associated Press.

It is a rest day in the FIDE Open World Cup and FIDE Women’s World Cup events which are being held in Baku, Azerbaijan.

FIDE regulations allow both men and women to participate in the open category although here in Baku, all the female players opted to compete in the FIDE Women’s World Cup.

The Women’s FIDE World Cup Final is set to begin tomorrow.