A chess player banned from the Iranian national women’s team for attending an international competition without wearing an Islamic headscarf has joined the US team.

Dorsa Derakhshani refused to wear the headscarf, known as the hijab, during the Tradewise Gibraltar Chess tournament in February, and joined the U.S. national team.

Since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Iran has required women to wear the hijab in public places.

Dorsa’s registration has been altered on the world governing body Fide’s website and the switch to the United States Chess Federation confirmed by the president of Iran’s chess federation, Mehrdad Pahlevanzadeh.

Pahlevanzadeh added that she was not a member of Iran’s national chess team. “She played for Iran only one time in 2014,” he clarified.

Dorsa left Tehran and moved to Barcelona in 2015 after she received an invitation by a chess club that also supported her studies, according to ISNA.

She was awarded the titles Woman Grandmaster and International Master by the World Chess Federation in 2016.

At the February competition in Gibraltar, her brother Borna Derakhshani, also a chess player, was paired up by a computer against Israeli grandmaster Alexander Huzman.

Pahlevanzadeh later announced that Borna was banned from playing for Iran, and that Dorsa was also banned for not wearing the hijab at that competition.

Iran has a policy of not competing against Israeli athletes. The country does not recognize Israel and supports anti-Israeli militant groups like Hamas and Hezbollah.

Shohreh Bayat, the general secretary of Iran’s chess federation, said Dorsa was now studying in the U.S., according to Tasnim, another semi-official Iranian news agency.

“(Dorsa) Derakhshani has not become a member of the U.S. national chess team, she just changed her federation to the United States,” Bayat said.

Dorsa will join Nazi Paikidze-Barnes, the former US champion, who refused to participate in the Women’s World Chess Championship held in Tehran, Iran, in February to protest against the country’s hijab law that makes it mandatory for all women to wear hijab in public places.

“I think it’s unacceptable to host a WOMEN’S World Championship in a place where women do not have basic fundamental rights and are treated as second-class citizens.

“For those saying that I don’t know anything about Iran: I have received the most support and gratitude from the people of Iran, who are facing this situation every day,” Paikidze wrote in an Instagram post in September 2016.

Source » telegraph