- The World Chess Tournament is being held in Iran and the women players are not happy about it.
- The Iran government is forcing the women contestants to wear hijabs.
- So far, the US world champion has already refused to participate this year because of it.
This year the world championships of chess are being held in Iran and already it’s causing some problems. Apparently, Iran is forcing all the female contestants to wear hijabs (head coverings) while they compete. Yet, some of the contestants are refusing.
Nazi Paikidze-Barnes, the US woman’s champion is refusing to partake in the competition. Can you guess why? That’s right, because of the concern over being forced to wear hijabs.
Nazi Paikidze-Barnes told CNN, “Iran has hosted chess tournaments before and women were always forced to wear a hijab. We don’t see this event being any different, forced hijab is the country’s law. If the venue of the championship is not changed, I will not be participating. I am deeply upset by this. I feel privileged to have qualified to represent the US at the Women’s World Chess Championship and to not be able to due to religious, sexist, and political issues is very disappointing.”
Heredia is also speaking up, she recently said, “This is not only about 64 players, this is a world issue, a women’s rights issue. That’s why I’m speaking up. Sports should be free of this type of discrimination.”
That being said, Susan Polger, the chairman of FIDE’s Commission for Women’s Chess, claims that she has yet to receive any complaints from the contestants.
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The next question might be, why pick Iran to host the chess tournament? Well, believe it or not, it’s a very simple answer. Iran was the only country to offer to host it and after no country disapproved they were given the honor.
However, now it seems like they may be regretting that decision.