In February next year Iran will host a rare international women’s event- the world chess championship. Though, the tournament is still four months away, the tournament has created a buzz around the world. There is skepticism, outrage and plain amusement over Iran’s insistence on all women, including visitors, wearing hijab in public. Failure would result in a fine or a prison term.
A day after Iran was awarded the championship, US champion Nazi Paikidze pulled out. Many may take her lead. Paikidze, the highest-ranked American, said she would ‘rather risk her career than be forced to wear a hijab.’ Indian Grandmaster Koneru Humpy, who has decided to compete, recalled how ‘uncomfortable’ it was during a Grand Prix in Iran earlier this year.