Global Support for Nazi Paikidze’s Principled World Championship Protest

CL August 2016 FCReigning US Women’s Chess Champion Nazi Paikidze took a principled stance against participating in the upcoming Women’s World Championship in Iran. She believes requiring all 64 players to wear hijab is discriminatory and unacceptable. Her campaign page on change.org, states, “We demand that FIDE reconsider its decision to award the Women’s World Chess Championship to Iran.”

The campaign has gathered over 15,000 signatures and has been featured prominently in many mainstream media venues, including The Telegraph, the Washington Post, Fox NewsCNN and The New York Post. The Post included an interview with US Chess Federation Board President Gary Walters. “We absolutely support Nazi Paikidze. Women should not be oppressed for cultural, religious or ethnic reasons.”

Walters added to his comments there and told US Chess News, “US Chess wholeheartedly supports Paikidze.  She has taken a principled position of which we can be proud.   Last week, US Chess delivered a letter to FIDE asking it to clarify any dress or other behavior that may be imposed upon the participants by the host government or federation.   We reminded FIDE that the forced wearing of a hijab or other dress is contrary to FIDE’s handbook, as well as against the International Olympic Committee’s principles, an organization FIDE has sought to join for a substantial period of time.  We hope that each of our qualifiers, along with other participants around the world, will be able to participate in the Women’s World Championship without the distraction of political or religious concerns.”

Several well known chessplayers have supported Nazi’s stance, including Garry Kasparov, Nigel Short, WGM Carla Heredia, Tatev Abrahamyan and editor of this site, Jen Shahade.

Also see opposing viewpoints from Iranian WGM Mitra Hejazipour and  from GM David Smerdon.

US Chess will update on any developments after an official response from FIDE. 

Comments

  1. I AM THUNDERSTUCK..OLE MR. WATERS! AND SO AFTER 70 YEARS LONG YEARS OF SILLY KIDDIELAND NONSENSE AND US CHESS FEDERATION MASSIVE FRAUDULENT REMOVAL/ DESCRIMINATION AGAINST WOMEN (READ SUSAN POLGAR ANA HAHN) WE SUDDENLY FIND SIMPLE SAVAGE, UNCENSORED STRICTLYY HONORABLE PRO AND CON SEROUS ADULT DISCUSSION/ COVERAGE ABOUT IMPORTANT PROFESSIONAL CHESS MATTERS.indeed human rights issues.. I could hardly believe my eyes… believe me folks the kiddies can handle it and THE KIDDIES are sharper than most think .. NOTICE THAT THE FABULOUS TRUTH FIGHTER Nazi DOES NOT WANT CENSORSHIP..PLEASE PUBLISH THE TOTAL SUSAN POLGAR COUNTERPPOINT..”LET US GRAB THAT CASH FROM iRAN FOR THOSE 40 POOR CHESS WOMEN WHILE WE CAN”CHESS CANNOT AFFORD DIVISISION IN DESPERATION”cOMMENTS ANYONE? Jude Acers/ New Orleans, Louisiana

  2. I think Nazi has every right not to wear a head scarf or anything else she is required unless it is in the FIDE. Whatever issues you have regarding hypocrisy and Susan Polgar is a separate issue

  3. It’s not merely gender discrimination: it’s cultural and religious discrimination, too. Communities that refuse to tolerate diversity don’t deserve the privilege of participating.

  4. How is this a discussion.(?)

    I applaud Ms. Paikidze and in the same breath I can’t believe there can possibly be anything to speak of here.

    I have heard one of Ms. Polgar’s rebuttals and from the sound of it it sounded like she was trying to work out a solution, not a battle.

    But yeah, a yarmulka, a dunce cap, a tophat, these are sickening and destructive distractions from the game.

  5. Easy solution: she plays from a USA location just like Bobby did his ’60s Cuba tournament sitting in the Marshall Chess Club. With today’s technology it’s even easier than back then.

    • I don’t think that’s the point. It’s that the institute is forcing women to wear it full stop. Not just her.

      • Anyone can use Bobby’s method of playing off site not just her. That said, some well known women did wear hijabs when in Iran – Ms Obama and Ms Clinton.

  6. I fully support Nazi Paikidze in her stance involving the Women’s World Championship in Iran. Once again FIDE has chosen a questionable venue. I think FIDE is more of a hindrance than a help when it comes to the growth of chess.

  7. Well, I’ve had to think about this a bit. To get perspective, I had to think about the other point of view:

    Suppose that the U.S. hosted this tournament. Suppose also that women from regions that don’t really wear clothes competed (Amazon tribes, New Guinea, etc.). They show up naked to the world, with their naked children. The husband might decide to get formal and wear his optional gourd.

    In America, these naked people would cause a furor almost anywhere. Criminal charges (e.g., indecent exposure, child neglect) would be possible. So should we only hold FIDE tournaments in clothing optional countries?

    We, in America, don’t really see our clothing requirements as necessarily religion-based, but they kind of are.

    When I mentioned this scenario to a friend of mine, she said, “but they’d know that in America we wear clothes and they’d put on something.” And that’s just the point, I think. It doesn’t feel to her (or most of us) to be religious oppression to tell people to put some clothes on. In Iran, they probably don’t understand the issues we’re having here because when they put clothes on, they include the Hijab. They are just expecting us to “put some clothes on” in the way that they are used to.

    So I can sort of understand Iran’s feelings, though I still feel (perhaps as a product of our news cycle?) that FIDE shouldn’t have a Hijab requirement to win the World Championship.

    I hope we can all be a little more sensitive to other cultures when we see naked people wandering our streets.

    • Mr. Bob Allyn.. Bob as unbelievable as it might seem I think our great nation could handle even the most bizarre case extreme you mention… smoothly if advance notice, location and context is understood. It might even be fun. People are hip nowadays..the wide open (WELL ADVERTISED ONE YEAR IN ADVANCE FOR PUBLIC COURTESY) 600 people public naked bike race is fun,police escorted here in New Orleans right down the NEW ORLEANS FRENCH QUARTER with no problem all over the city. In New York the media has established that the police are into freedom..they absolutely will not be provoked into arresting a woman for walking to the grocery store with no shirt on.If men are not arrested then absolutely women must not be arrested, period. A summons is now preferred if there really is a traffic stopping call to be made..every effort to let people go about their business is the trend.. If it is a quick trip nobody often cares. If asked to appear as international courtesy representing Norway I am sure our great world champion Carlsen along with close friend “MR DIPLOMACY” Lev Aronian could effortlessly pull it off as a new life experience. I know the entourage around them would absolutely be on board as well. Two of the most beloved players, the crew would not let them go in there alone. I am absolutely serious. These guys are not chicken little. They insist on living all over the globe.It might even be astounding chess promotion. A naked chess tournament with the world champion for charity could raise an absolute fortune IN FOOD AND SHELTER for the homeless. Why not? Carlsen has the guts. Great idea. They have fun everywhere.Depends on the context. Freedom excels where freedom dwells. Jude Acers/ New Orleans

  8. Harriet ..she had become a world wide focus of Iran. She could never have gone no matter what.It really was dangerous. Two millionaire shop owners in New Orleans, have normal business ties and family IN Iran. THEY BOTH TOLD ME THEY WILL NEVER RETURN DESPITE NO REAL PROBLEMS PREVIOUSLY.They were amazed that THREE American women were even considering a world chess tourney in Iran..”If ANYTHING EVER HAPPENS IT WILL BE TO THEM” Both told me they will suffer serious business losses by not personally visiting their old business friends but know American passports are walking targets. Jude Acers/ New Orleans

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