Wednesday 1 October 2003

The Sean Marsh Chess Column
Column 25
October 2003

New Season Changes

Dear Readers,

There is one particular subject that people have been eager to discuss over the last month or so. So here is the definitive account, which will hopefully explain most of what you want to know….
Gender Dysphoria.

Gender Dysphoria is a condition in which the person in question believes themselves to be inhabiting the wrong kind of body. Specifically, in the case of Denise Michelle Mosse, the person is a woman trapped inside the body of a man.

‘Denise Michelle Mosse?’ I hear you ask. Who is that? Well, that is the new name of the chess player formerly known as Michael Mossom. Mike recently ‘came out’ in a famous match for Redcar against Stokesley and has subsequently appeared only as a woman. Michael Mossom no longer exists and I have seen the deed poll to prove it. The intention is to go for the big operation sometime next year. Things will never be the same again.

The impression – of seeing someone you’ve known for many years suddenly appearing as someone else – is really very strange but I have to say that the local chess community as a whole has reacted in a very positive and supporting way. Denise asked me to write this definitive column to bring the whole story out in the open and speed up the sharing of the information.

There are plenty of jokes to be made, of course, but they have just about run their course now. (Just to get them out of the system, don’t bother posting on the forum the following:

‘How many Dykes play for Redcar these days?’

‘I see Mike’s got some new openings this season’

'When he said he felt like a woman, I thought he meant he was off out on the pull’

…there, done and dusted, no need to bother with those.)

There are many names used to describe a whole plethora of ‘conditions’ and behaviour patterns. I’m not an expert – I doubt many readers are – but here are a few basic definitions which should help to understand the particular case of Miss Mosse.

Someone who displays characteristics associated with both genders. I.e. Their birth gender and its opposite.

Short form for Cross-Dresser

Someone who derives satisfaction from dressing in clothing normally reserved for the opposite gender.

Drag is a theatrical term to describe cross-dressing on stage. The term is generally associated with the more flamboyant examples of cross-dressing.

A condition where the person displays physical characteristics of both genders (usually genitalia) This can be congenital (at birth) or through sexual reassignment surgery (SRS)

Sexual Reassignment Surgery. Cosmetic Surgery that constructs genitalia of the opposite sex.

Someone who wishes to "cross over" to the other gender.Based on today's technology, this is a permanent choice.

Latin term for cross-dresser. Trans=Cross, Vestes=Clothes


Of course, I’m sure there are one or two local yokels with secrets of their own they would rather keep from the general public and not everyone can be as brave as Mike was and Denise is. Yes indeed, what goes on down at The Nonce and Fiddle during wild birthday parties is probably best kept quiet….

So there you go. There is an old saying, which I’ve just made up, that says, ‘Don’t paint yourself into a corner unless you are sure that’s where you want to be.’ It will not be easy putting the butterfly back into the chrysalis following a change of mind. Denise has taken a huge step and not everybody will be as sympathetic as the majority of our local chess community. There’ll always be some who will try and break the butterfly on the wheel.

Meanwhile, back at the chess board, here’s the first win by the new lady...

Elmwood V Redcar 15/10/03
Mosse,D - Myers,B

1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.f4 c5 5.dxc5 Qa5 6.e5 dxe5 7.fxe5 Ne4 8.Qd4 Nxc5 9.b4 Ne6 10.Bb5+ Nc6 11.Qc4 Qc7 12.Nd5 Qxe5+ 13.Ne2 Bd7 14.0-0 Rc8 15.Bf4 Nxf4 16.Nexf4 Nd4 17.Qxc8# 1-0

And finally….

The county individual championship has two very notable absentees. British Veterans’ Champion Norman Stephenson is taking a little break from the competition but plans to be back in good time for the 2009-2010 season. The reason for this comeback date? Norman first won the title in the 1959-60 season and has also been victorious in the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s and 2000s. He needs to win the title anytime between the 2009-2010 and 2019-2020 seasons to have been a champion with a foot in seven consecutive decades. I would say that the achievement is well within his grasp. He has already broken enough records but the ‘seven decades’ one would be absolutely phenomenal.

Multi-title winner and co-defending champion David Wise has had to withdraw from the tournament before the start of the first round due to family reasons.

Stop press – your correspondent made sure the tournament started in an interesting way with a first round loss – with White – to Ian Elcoate!*

The A division could be an excellent and exciting five-horse race, with champions Elmwood, Middlesbrough Rooks, Middlesbrough Wasps, Peterlee and Redcar all expecting to feature heavily at the top of the table. With respect to Stokesley, Athenaeum and Synthonia, survival in the A division would be a great achievement. A complete SAS survival would be a major shock.

The Chess Links Project has now been granted its very own web pages, thanks to top man Steve Henderson. Visit for full details.