Controversial Chess Dress Not What It Appeared to Be?

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With the claim by the tourney director of another photo that shows a shorter dress, it has come down to what’s the true length of the dress worn by a girl “forced” to withdraw from a chess tournament.

  • Another photo shows a shorter dress?
  • Was the dress deliberately pulled down to make it look longer in the widely-circulated photo?
  • Legal action against those, including politicians, who had made defamatory statements 

Mohd Harris Abdullah, lawyer for National Scholastic Chess Championship director Sophian A Yusuf, made a startling claim about the photo of the controversial dress that “forced” a girl to withdraw from a chess tournament – that it was doctored.

The photo shared on Facebook by the girl’s coach Kaushal Khandar went viral and was extensively featured in news reports, both locally and internationally.

At a press conference yesterday, Mohd Harris said he had a photo of the girl taken during the tournament which is completely different from the photo on the original Facebook post. Apparently, in his photo taken by official tournament photographers, the length of the dress is above knee level, which breaches the dress code of the school where the tournament was held.

Mohd Harris claimed that the girl’s skirt was actually shorter, saying, “They pulled down the skirt and then took the photograph.”

“It looks like the evidence posted on the Internet was doctored and tailored to make it look bad.”

When asked to show his photo, he said “it is not the time” as the photo will be presented as evidence in court.

He added that Sophian will sue Kaushal for allegedly making defamatory statements over the issue and may take legal action against several others, including politicians over comments on the matter, which the lawyer claimed was to gain political mileage.

Social media users had shared Sophian’s photo and details online. Amid the backlash of criticism, Sophian had denied he was at the tournament when the incident took place.

“This issue is still going on and, in fact, has gotten worse even after my denial. I need to take legal action to clear my name,” Sophian said.

Last week, he filed reports with the police and the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission over the fiasco.

According to reporters, the girl’s mother Chin Wai Ling and coach Kaushal have declined to comment further on the issue.

Based on the widely circulated photo, the dress stops just above the girl’s knees.


Related reports:

May 2, From Checkmate to Stalemate in the Making

Apr 29, “Seductive Dress” Issue Forced Girl out of Tournament