U.S. Chess Champion To Boycott World Championships Because She'd Be Forced To Wear A Hijab

Christine Rousselle
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Posted: Oct 05, 2016 2:30 PM
U.S. Chess Champion To Boycott World Championships Because She'd Be Forced To Wear A Hijab

The U.S. Women's Chess Champion Nazi Paikidze-Barnes has announced that she will be boycotting next year's Women's World Championship after FIDE: The World Chess Federation awarded the championship to Iran. Women in Iran, regardless of nationality or religious belief, are forced to wear a hijab. Paikidze-Barnes believes that this is an insult to women's rights and would rather stick to her beliefs and boycott the championship than be forced to wear a hijab as part of a national dress code.

Paikdze-Barnes also started a petition asking for FIDE to reconsider its decision to host the championship in Iran. The petition claims that FIDE is violating its own rules by hosting the tournament in a country without various freedoms.

Paikidze-Barnes also clarified that she is not explicitly anti-Islam or anti-Iran, but rather she is doing so on a matter of principle and her belief in women's equality. She wrote on Instagram that she would one day love to visit Iran, but only after women are granted the same rights as men.