I might never have become a chess grandmaster if Id stuck to women-only tournaments | Judit Polgr

Female chess players, like me, thrive when they play against the worlds best men, says Judit Polgr, Hungarian chess grandmaster I am used to being cited as living proof that women can play chess at the same elite level as men. When I was 15, I became the youngest grandmaster in the world, breaking the record set by seems to have plateaued. When my colleague Nigel Short Chess and Female Empowerment. The much lower participation of girls and women in competitive chess is still a problem and, crucially, girls in chess are not treated the same way as boys. Coaches and officials are guided by potential successes in girls competitions, which are comparatively easier to achieve. Parents tend to follow …

Dating disasters: why bad grammar could stop you finding love online

The users of one dating site rate good grammar and literacy above erratic spelling in their search for a warm, ideal partner Its a modern love story: they liked your profile, you liked them back, the messages are coming through fast and flirty then they mix up their and there. A study of Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, has clear limitations. For example, it drew on only a small sample of members, all mostly older adults, of one Dutch dating website, called Parship. It may be that on dating apps serving younger demographics, a good grasp of literacy and convention might be rated less highly. Linguist Internet: Understanding the New Rules of Language, has explored how written online communication …

UK diplomatic cables shed light on Cuba ‘sonic attacks’ scare

FoI release shows how embassy and FCO staff sought to make sense of mystery illnesses Official emails and diplomatic telegrams marked as sensitive reveal for the first time how the British government scrambled to understand a series of alleged sonic attacks on US diplomats who became ill in mysterious circumstances while on duty in Cuba. The US government ordered all non-essential staff at its embassy in Havana to return home after dozens of diplomats and family members developed headaches, dizziness and problems with balance, concentration and sleeping in a wave of illness that struck between 2016 and 2018. Many reported falling ill in their homes or hotels after hearing penetrating sounds, described variously as grinding, buffeting or cicada-like chirps. The …

Revealed: top UK thinktank spent decades undermining climate science

UKs Institute of Economic Affairs has links to 14 members of Boris Johnsons cabinet The UKs most influential conservative thinktank has published at least four books, as well as multiple articles and papers, over two decades suggesting manmade climate change may be uncertain or exaggerated. The Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) has issued publications arguing climate change is either not significantly driven by human activity or will be positive. The group is one of the most politically influential thinktanks in the UK, and boasts that 14 members of Boris Johnsons cabinet, including the home secretary, foreign secretary and chancellor, have been associated with the groups past and current initiatives. Despite a Climate Accountability Institute,calculates how much carbon is emitted throughout …

Sam Gyimah: I am an outcast in the Tory party

The former minister and rising star of Theresa Mays government reveals why he has joined the Liberal Democrats Sam Gyimah, the softly-spoken former Tory minister, admitted he was still adjusting. It was just a few hours before the unassuming MP for East Surrey was unveiled as the Liberal Democrats latest recruit at the partys Bournemouth conference. But it all felt very new. I think Ill probably spend the next few days saying, Sam Gyimah, Liberal Democrat MP, and get used to that first, he said. There is a huge emotional side to it. Ive been involved in the Conservative party for two decades. Ive fought for the party. I have an unusual background Im not your typical Tory recruit. Ive …

The science of influencing people: six ways to win an argument

Hidebound views on subjects such as the climate crisis and Brexit are the norm but science may sway stubborn opinions I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters of religion and politics a mans reasoning powers are not above the monkeys, wrote Mark Twain. Having written a book about our most common reasoning errors, I would argue that Twain was being rather uncharitable to monkeys. Whether we are discussing Trump, Brexit, or the Tory leadership, we have all come across people who appear to have next to no understanding of world events but who talk with the utmost confidence and conviction. And the latest psychological research can now help us to understand why. Consider the overestimate their …

‘Phenomenal’ 2,300-year-old bark shield found in Leicestershire

Archaeologists hail iron age object a marvellous, internationally important find An astonishing and unparalleled 2,300-year-old shield made of tree bark has been discovered in Leicestershire, the only example of its kind ever found in Europe. Archaeologists say the discovery of the shield, made between 395 and 250BC, has completely overturned assumptions about the weapons used in the age, sparking breathless reactions among experts of the period. This is an absolutely phenomenal object, one of the most marvellous, internationally important finds that I have encountered in my career, said Julia Farley, curator of British and European iron age collections at the British Museum. So often it is gold which grabs the headlines, but this bark shield is much rarer. The shield …