The Week Unwrapped: Trans chess, goalkeepers and twitching

Olly Mann and The Week delve behind the headlines and debate what really matters from the past seven days. With Emma Smith, Julia O’Driscoll and Harriet Marsden.

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In this week’s episode, we discuss:

Trans chess ban

Chess’s world governing body FIDE has banned trans women from competing in female events for two years while it conducts an investigation into their participation. The decision has led to a backlash in many quarters, including some of its own affiliate organisations. National chess bodies in both the UK and US have said they will ignore the ban. What is FIDE trying to accomplish, and will it have to back down?

Replica kit

Nike, manufacturer of the official England football kits, came under fire this week for its decision not to produce a replica of goalkeeper Mary Earps’s kit. Fans made their own version of the sports star’s shirt to wear during Sunday’s World Cup final, and a petition calling on the brand to release the shirt for public sale was signed by more than 150,000 people. Nike has now secured limited numbers of the shirt to go one sale — but why was it so reluctant to do so in the first place?


More and more of us are turning our eyes to the skies, as the popularity of birdwatching continues to grow. Interest in twitching increased during the pandemic, as cities went quiet and birdsong rang out. Now new apps, social media networks and technologies are attracting a younger demographic. Aficionados say birdwatching is cheap, inclusive and beneficial to mental health. But could it also help conservation efforts?



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