The reigning US Chess Champion has decided not to attend the world championship in Iran because she’d be forced to wear a hijab.
“I will NOT wear a hijab and support women’s oppression. Even if it means missing one of the most important competitions of my career,” Nazi Paikidze said in an interview with the founder of My Stealthy Freedom.
Susan Polgar, who chairs the women’s committee of the international chess governing body has tried to silence Paikidze by telling her to keep her opinions off Twitter and to take it up with FIDE and WOM.
Paikdze responded by saying, “I already did. Thanks to Twitter this issue got a lot of attention as well.”
“Not the right position to insult me and members of @WOMChess when we are trying to help you,” Polgar shot back.
“Nothing of what I said was a personal insult/attack to anyone but FIDE’s decision,” the young chess champion responded, showing no fear.
In an Instagram post, Paikdze made her decision very clear. “This is a post for those who don’t understand why I am boycotting FIDE’s decision. I think it’s unacceptable to host a WOMEN’S World Championship in a place where women do not have basic fundamental rights and are treated as second-class citizens. For those saying that I don’t know anything about Iran: I have received the most support and gratitude from the people of Iran, who are facing this situation every day. Thank you MyStealthyFreedom for sharing my interview.”
SOUND OFF in the comments: do you agree with Nazi Paikidze’s decision to boycott the world championship?