Chess players forced to compete in hijabs at world championship in Iran

 (AP, File)

Female chess grandmasters will be forced to wear hijabs at the world chess championship in Iran next year.

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Women hoping to prove themselves the best player in the world have been told to respect “cultural differences” and cover up at the Islamic theocracy was named the host nation.

Players threatened to boycott the event in response and attacked the sport’s governing body for kowtowing to the demands of Iran’s religious police.

Visitors to Iran face fines and even arrest if they appear in public with their hair on show.

Nazi Paikidze, the US women’s champion, has already sworn not to attend the event.

According to the Daily Telegraph, she said: “It does not feel safe for women from around the world to play here.”