12 October 2016

Hijab Hubbub

It's been exactly ten years since I saw as much interest in a chess story from the mainstream press. Back then it was the Kramnik - Topalov unification match: Kramnik's carry on over his own convenience (theguardian.com; Leonard Barden; 30 September 2006; 'They are calling it Toiletgate.'). This time it's the Women's World Championship. The same story showed up in my Yahoo news feed at least three times.

2016-10-01: Checkmate? U.S. Women's Chess Champ Says She Won't Don Hijab in Iran • 'Sports competitors are often asked to conform to the rules of the countries they visit. That might mean eating local cuisine or simply driving on the opposite side of the road. For one elite chess player, embracing one country's religious customs isn't an option. And she may not be alone.'

2016-10-02: US Chess Champion: I'd Rather Sacrifice My Career Than Be Forced To Wear A Hijab • 'The best-ranked female chess player in the United States has said she would rather sacrifice her career than submit to demands to wear a hijab at the next world championship. Nazi Paikidze, the reigning US Women's Chess Champion, swore to boycott the 2017 contest, which is being held in Iran.'

2016-10-07: ‘I will NOT wear a hijab’: U.S. chess star refuses to attend world championships in Iran • 'As one of the most successful women to ever play the male-dominated game of chess, Nazi Paikidze is used to having her moves watched closely. Her latest has drawn international attention: Paikidze announced last week that she will boycott February’s Women's World Chess Championship in Iran because the players will have to wear hijabs.'

All three of those yahoo.com stories directed to articles on other sites -- pjmedia.com, foxnews.com, and washingtonpost.com -- and you can see from the Yahoo summaries that there were even more mainstream articles. In a future post I'll go deeper into this.

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