Ukrainian Master Boycotts Saudi Women's World Speed-Chess Championships

2017/11/16 13:37:10

Photo: Ukrainian chess grandmaster Anna Muzychuk won two gold medals in the FIDE World Chess Rapid & Blitz Championships in 2016.

 

 

"To risk your life, to wear abaya all the time?? Everything has its limits and headscarves in Iran was more than enough," she added in reference to the world championships that were held in Tehran earlier this year.


By Alan Crosby for RFE/RL, Nov 13, 2017

 

Ukraine's double women's reigning world chess champion says she will not attend the $2 million world speed-chess championships after the game's governing body awarded the tournament next month to Saudi Arabia.

 

Several top players are joining the 27-year-old Ukrainian grandmaster, Anna Muzychuk, in boycotting the rapid and blitz championships, considered one the most exciting competitions in chess, citing human and women's rights concerns in the Middle Eastern country.

 

"Despite the record prize money, I am not going to play in Riyadh [which] means losing two world champion titles," Muzychuk, who is currently ranked second in the world in rapid chess and third in blitz, said in a Facebook posting on November 11.

 

"To risk your life, to wear abaya all the time?? Everything has its limits and headscarves in Iran was more than enough," she added in reference to the world championships that were held in Tehran earlier this year.

 

All women, foreigners and locals alike, are required to wear the abaya, a body-covering garment, in Saudi Arabia.

 

The measure is strictly enforced by Saudi authorities, though the World Chess Federation (FIDE) has said it is still finalizing details of the championships -- which run from December 26-30 in the Saudi capital -- and whether players will have to adhere to such clothing rules.

 

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https://www.rferl.org/a/ukraine-chess- ... udi-boycott/28851378.html

 

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