Earlier this week, Nazi Paikidze, the Women’s U.S. National Champion passed on playing in the World Championship, hosted in Iran this year, due the ridiculous moral clause where she would be forced to wear a hijab. With this act of protest, she lost out on a chance to win the world title and a chance to win $100,000.
Now, these strict radical Islamic ideals have forced two other bright young chess stars out of the game. Brother and sister chess players, 18-year old international grandmaster Dorsa Derakhshani and her 15-year old brother Borna Derakhshani have been thrown off of the Iranian national team and are forbidden from playing in Iran.
When Dorsa played in Gibraltar earlier this month, she refused to wear a hijab, which obviously to them is a big no-no. Her brother, Borna, knowingly played a competitor from Israel, Alexander Huzman, which is forbidden by Iran since they do not recognize Israel’s existence. Because of these transgressions, they were thrown of the Iranian national team and are forbidden from playing in Iran, thereby excluding them from the championships.
“As a first step, these two will be denied entry to all tournaments taking place in Iran,” Mehrdad Pahlevanzadeh, the head of the Iranian Chess Federation, was quoted by The Washington Post as saying. “And, in the name of Iran, they will no longer be allowed the opportunity to be present on the national team.”