By: Masoud Hossein

GM Khademalsharieh says World Championship is necessary for Iranian women

October 9, 2016

After many of the highest-ranking female players have called for a boycott of the next year’s world Chess Championships in Iran, Sarasadat Khademalsharieh said that the championship will help the Iranian women to participate in the most important event in the country for the first time.

Khademalsharieh, 19, is an Iranian chess player who holds the titles of International Master (IM) and Woman Grandmaster (WGM).

She won the Asian U-12 Girls Championship in 2008, the World U-12 Girls Championship in 2009, the Asian Under-16 Girls Blitz Championship in 2012, and the World U-16 Girls Blitz Championship in 2013. In 2014, she finished runner-up in the World Junior Girls Championship.

“The Women's World Chess Championship 2017 is a knock-out tournament and many of 64 players will not qualify for the next stage and will return to their countries very soon. I don't know what really caused the protest,” Khademalsharieh told in an interview with Tehran Times.

“We hosted 2016 FIDE Women’s Grand Prix without any problem and most of the participants in the upcoming event have already traveled to Tehran. We have previously hosted the Asian championships and this is not the first time we are going to host a competition,” she added.

Nazi Paikidze, the reigning U.S. women’s chess champion, is protesting next year’s World Chess Championship in Iran because women players will be required by law to wear a hijab.

British chess player Nigel Short has been tweeting in support of Nazi's campaign, describing “sexual discrimination against women players in Iran”.

“Iran has not hosted a world championship so far and this is a great chance for the Iranian women to show their capabilities. When the FIDE officials awarded the competition to Iran no country lodged protest with us,” she said.

“I don’t know why Nigel Short has supported Paikidze since he has traveled to Iran so many times. He has been coach of Iran national team as well,” Khademalsharieh stated.

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