Queen’s Gambit: Top Women Chess Players Planning To Boycott World Championship In Iran After Being Told To Wear Hijabs

unknownTop women chess players are considering a boycott in the face of a decision by the World Chess Federation (or “Fide”) to hold the world championship in Iran where female grandmasters will be required to play in hijabs to avoid arrest by the Islamic morality police.  It is another example of an international organization disregarding the interests of competitors in cutting deals with countries like Iran.  Not only is Iran an authoritarian theocracy, but the country denies women, journalists, political dissidents and others basic rights.   One would think that a condition of being considered as host would be a guarantee that competitors will be afforded their human rights.

 Fide has disregarded the past objections and simply told women to accept Iranian laws and respect “cultural differences,” even when those laws deny basic human rights for women.

US women’s champion Nazí  Paikidze rightfully objected and indicated that she may not participate rather than wear a mandatory cover that she considers offensive to women.  (Ironically, Paikidze herself has been the subject to complaints over her first name. She was raised in Russia and Georgia).  Paikidze notes that there is no choice being given women: “I understand and respect cultural differences. But, failing to comply can lead to imprisonment and women’s rights are being severely restricted in general. It does not feel safe for women from around the world to play here.”  She has indicated that she will not attend absent some change.

Once again, this decision by Fide is so moronic that one would expect a call for the resignation of all of the top officials. Instead, the officials have remained largely silent and safely insulated from accountability.


25 thoughts on “Queen’s Gambit: Top Women Chess Players Planning To Boycott World Championship In Iran After Being Told To Wear Hijabs”

  1. In a distorted, politically-correct sort of way, the game of chess itself could be considered sexist and subliminally manipulative. While the queens may be the most powerful pieces on the chessboard, the exclusive purpose of a queen (and every other piece) is to protect the king. It also glamorizes government and warfare as a clash of monarchies, promoting control of the common masses by an aristocratic few — a mindset humanity has lived under for its entire history.

      1. Paul, I still play chess against my computer regularly. But you know I’m a politically-incorrect sort of guy, and I love to poke fun at the incongruencies of human behavior.

  2. The fact that chess even exists in countries as backward and degrading to women as some in the Middle East is astounding. Oh, the irony of letting the masses play a game in which a female is the most powerful piece on the board!

  3. Good for the chess players! Guess they won’t be having tournaments in Saudi Arabia either – hard to move pieces when clutching one’s burka.

    As far as the Iranian people I feel sorry for them living in such a harsh state – the Supreme Leader, Revolutionary Guard and controlling Mullahs have them under control. Too bad we knocked out Mossadegh and installed the evil Shah. Still, there is hope that somehow they can rise up and take back their country.

  4. There should be a basic rule that no country should be on the list to host an international, co-ed event that does not have equal rights for women.

    It’s quite dangerous for a Western woman to set foot in a country with Sharia Law. It puts the players at risk.

    I would no more send a female chess player to Iran than I would throw her back in time to Salem, Mass during the Witch Trials, when everyone was getting high on ergot rye poisoning and killing their rivals.

  5. Iran is a retarded nation, a nation that is going backwards when compared with almost all of humanity. It may be the water. But it is probably the threat of execution. What a great religion, wear this or we put you in jail. If I wear this, I get to go to heaven. Any religion that obligates people to perform is not a religion it is a dangerous cult.

  6. I agree with Belgianbrain in his comment above. And I call the blog policy “retarded” too. Maybe I will change my name to Retard.

  7. You know, some of us are trying to have a civilization here!

    Un-friggin-believable…. pussyfeathers, pussyfeathers… sassafras, sassafras sassafras
    (keeping in line with this blogs’s retarded policy on ‘profanity’, which is just as bad as Iran here, actually)

  8. So very interesting. Will Iranian women who travel to western countries now take off their head coverings? I doubt it because it has nothing to do with respect and everything to do with Control!
    Kudos to these women for saying NO!

    Another reason international events should not be held in theories like Iran!

    1. Exactly, Justice. Try the “cultural differences” excuse when the tables are turned and you’re a racist!

    1. I was thinking that same thing! I love that song, and the video:


      There is also a newer mix, with a very talented Thai “Dance Troupe” that I downloaded the other days. Because strippers are usually not the best of dancers, which I suspect they are from some of the moves. But I did not want to post it here, and give any of the guys an accidental heart attack.

      Squeeky Fromm
      Girl Reporter

      1. Thinking Bangkok, too.

        Outside of that, it’s pretty arrogant to assume that the entire world is bent on a misogynist ideology. They would have to have a lot of supportive evidence to assume such a thing.

        1. These female chess players were not given any choice. That’s the difference between wearing any hat you want and being told you have to wear one!

  9. Similarly, the American Library Association attends librarian conferences in places that bar Israelis. Fits with other actions of ALA such as refusing to assist jailed/caged Cuban librarians or silencing/censoring Robert Spencer of JihadWatch.

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