Chess officials fight back, 'deplore' Iran's forced hijab rule for world championship

Chess officials are pushing back against a decision by bosses within the sport to let Iran force female grandmasters to compete in hijabs.

Members of national federations have said they “deplore” the choice by FIDE, the world chess organizing body, to let the repressive republic host the 2017 Women’s World Championship.

It follows announcements by players – including reigning US champion Nazi Paikidze – that they will boycott the contest rather than submit to Iran’s rules.

Under the laws of the Islamic Republic, the chess players – like all women – must cover their heads in public, and face fines and prosecutions for disobeying.

Leading figures from the chess federations of Denmark and the UK have both opposed the decision in recent days.

Speaking to Heat Street, the international director of the English Chess Federation said he “strongly disagrees” with FIDE, and “deplores” their decision.

Click to read more from Heat Street.