ECU dress code for chess tournaments

Interview with Sava Stoisavljevic on the dress code for chess tournaments

By WGM Anastasiya Karlovich

Anastasia Karlovich: How did you come up with the idea of ​​formulating a dress rule and implementing it in the ECU regulations?

Sava Stoisavljevic: We got this idea because we noticed that during games a lot of players were not wearing appropriate clothes. There is a dress code in many different sports, and we also decided to set our rules. This is the first European tournament where we apply this regulation. I was here for three laps and I have the impression that we have to work a lot more on these regulations.


ECU Secretary General Sava Stoisavljevic

What do you think, is it okay to wear short skirts or open necklines in the playroom?

Necklines are partly covered by our regulations which state that with regard to shirts the second button from the top can also be opened, in addition to the button at the top. But, nothing is written in our rules regarding the length of skirts or dresses. There are several special rules in some companies that place restrictions on the length of skirts and dresses – no less than 5-10cm above the knees for example. I see there are a lot of players here who wear very short skirts. It’s nice to see chess players with short skirts – they are very pretty girls. But I believe there should always be some limit.

Yeah, I have to admit they really do wear short skirts. I just want to say that I heard a lot of comments from spectators, coaches …

[Laughs] No they haven’t complained, but like I said there were a lot of comments. So the question remains open – I don’t know if we need to do something or not.

A combination of intelligence and beauty is a very attractive advertisement in female chess. Don’t you think that the rules, adopted by the ECU, which prohibit the wearing of miniskirts, can diminish the attention paid to female chess?

I have to admit the players I’ve seen here with short skirts looked very pretty. So in a way, they make chess more appealing to the spectators. On the other hand, for many years I have been in the chess world as a player, referee etc. because she kept coming to the playroom dressed like someone going to the beach. I think it’s good that we’ve started to do something with the dress code, and that’s very important for the image of chess. In fact, these rules will be more useful during the men’s events. In general, women pay attention to their appearance and what they wear. There aren’t many issues with women – and in fact and I’m sure there won’t be any in the future as well. For men, the situation is a little different. Anyway, the men’s European Championship will start in twenty days, and we’ll see what happens there.

The regulations state that players cannot wear caps or hats except for religious reasons. Why did the ECU decide to apply this rule?


Participant in a 2010 U-18 Youth Championship

When the Assembly adopted the rules, it followed the experiences of other organizations. It is clear that certain exceptions must be made for religious reasons. On the other hand, as a referee, I had many situations where I had to check if the players had something under their hat. I can say that one of the reasons for implementing this rule was to avoid cheating. I know a player who plays here likes to wear hats, and during the tech meeting she looked at me sadly. But what can I do?

The tournament takes place in Turkey, a country with its own traditions. If this tournament were moved to Mallorca, for example, could our players use a more casual dress code or not?

Of course, we have to respect traditions, depending on the country in which the tournament is taking place. For example, in some countries women have to cover their hair. In Europe, we do not have such problems in general. But for me there is a more important question: what will we do during the summer?

Don’t you think the dress code for women should protect male chess players, who can be distracted by clothes that are too open?

It’s a funny question and I don’t think it can be taken seriously. We did not think about it when developing the regulations.


The 2012 European Women’s Individual Chess Championship in Gaziantep became the first tournament where the ECU Dress Code Regulations became available. Here are some excerpts:

13.2 Dress rules for players during matches
In general, players are required to follow the code of casual dress, which means:

  • for men, dress pants or jeans, a dress shirt with long sleeves or shirt sleeves, alternatively a T-shirt or polo shirt, dressy moccasins or slip-ons, socks, shoes or sneakers ( no beach briefs, etc.) and, if appropriate, a sports coat or blazer. Trousers, jeans, and shirts and polo shirts worn must be immaculate with no excessive wear, no holes, and be free from body odor.
  • for women blouses, turtlenecks, T-shirts or polo shirts, pants, jeans or trousers, skirts, dresses and suitable shoes (boots, flats, shoes with medium or high heels, sneakers with sock) or any other appropriate dress modification.
  • a jacket, a waistcoat or a sweater, a scarf, as well as jewelry (earrings, necklace, etc.) coordinated with the outfit can be worn.
  • clothing must be impeccable, have no excessive wear, no holes and be free of body odor.
  • as for shirts, the second from the top button can also be opened in addition to the top button.
  • sunglasses, glasses, ties can be worn during games, no caps or hats except for religious reasons.
  • in general, this category of appearance requires a look that is united, harmonious and complete with colors, fabrics, shoes and accessories, for both men and women.
  • national costumes that correspond to the generally accepted dress code and are not offensive or indecent to others may be worn

13.3 Dress rules for winning players or winning teams during prize-giving ceremonies

  • the rules set for these events are valid for a player or any member of a team, including the captain and the head of delegation who is awarded a prize in the chess event and so he appears and receives the prize in front the other players and the public
  • such a person must follow the business casual dress code (or by another name smart casual) which means long pants, shirts, jackets, with or without a tie (no t-shirts, no polo, no jeans, no sports shoes or sneakers or slippers, no hats or caps – except for religious reasons -) and the equivalent dress style for the players.
  • national costumes which are not offensive or indecent to others may be worn.
  • It is recommended that teams be dressed uniformly even if a team uniform is not available.
  • a special set of rules are established for individual European Championship award ceremonies where the dress code is informal, which means a suit with a tie, appropriate footwear and the equivalent dress style for the player. National costume can be worn during the event.

13.5 Tournament officials will have the right to issue an official warning to any player who is not properly dressed. The first warning will be verbal. When a player is part of a team, his captain will also be notified. The second time a player breaks the dress code, they will receive a second warning. This warning will be confirmed to the player in writing the same day. When a player is part of a team, his captain will receive a copy of this warning the same day. The player who has received the written warning will report to the tournament officials, if it is a team player accompanied by the captain, one hour before the start of the next round. If a player still violates the dress code, they can be fired for dressing appropriately. If he does not cooperate, he will be refused access to the playing area.

13.6 A player not dressed according to the Code may be refused access to the opening or closing ceremony. Poorly dressed spectators must leave the playing area.


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