Top official: women chess players need to respect ‘cultural differences’

October 2, 2016

World’s top chess official Susan Polgar says that the women players need to respect ‘cultural differences’ after many of the highest-ranking female players have called for a boycott of the next year’s world championships in Iran.

They are going to boycott the competition after being told that they’d need to compete wearing hijabs.

Grandmasters have accused FIDE of disregarding sexual discrimination by selecting a place that would require the competitors to wear hijabs. Meanwhile, FIDE’s Commission for Women’s Chess has urged participants to accept the hijab regulations in respect of “cultural differences.”

American Grandmaster Susan Polgar, chairman of Fide’s Commission for Women’s Chess, has said the players need to respect ‘cultural differences’.

“If any player has a problem with it, she can and should voice her opinion to the Commission for Women’s Chess or FIDE and we can address it in our next meeting,” she added.

“I kept hearing in recent years about media bias and dishonesty. I never really paid attention to it until today. All these articles from major media sources either got the facts wrong or simply completely made up,” Polgar said.

Mehrdad Pahlevanzadeh president of Iranian chess federation says that the female players are going to create negative atmosphere since the 2016 Women’s Grand Prix took place in Tehran.

“I think there is no problem since a total of the 12 players took part at the Chess Grand Prix held in Tehran. It will be the biggest sporting event women in Iran have ever seen. It’s not right to call for a boycott. We are well-prepared to host the event,” Pahlevanzadeh told Tehran Times.