A CHESS GRANDMASTER has caused controversy by claiming that men are “hardwired” to be better at the game than women.

Nigel Short, who is one of the UK’s greatest players, told New In Chess magazine that we should “gracefully accept it as fact” that the different skills men possess make them better at chess.

He said that men and women function in different ways and that his wife possesses “a much higher degree of emotional intelligence” and suggested that people simply accept inequality.

“Likewise, [my wife doesn't] feel embarrassed in asking me to manoeuvre the car out of our narrow garage. One is not better than the other, we just have different skills.

It would be wonderful to see more girls playing chess, and at a higher level, but rather than fretting about inequality, perhaps we should just gracefully accept it as a fact.

His comments have sparked anger both among the female chess-playing community and online.

Amanda Ross, who runs the Casual Chess cafe in London, told The Telegraph that the comments were “incredibly damaging” and pointed out that Short was beaten by Judit Polgar.

“She must have brought her man brain. Let’s just hope Nigel didn’t crash his car on those days, trying to park it. At least this resolves the age-old debate as to whether there’s a direct link between chess-playing ability and intelligence. Clearly not.”

Short took to Sky News to explain his comments, saying that there was a “gap” in terms of results between men and women.