Iran Bans Teen Chess Champs Over Hijab, Israeli Partner

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on whatsapp
Share on email
Dorsa Derakhshani. (Photo: Video screenshot)

An Iranian brother and sister who are both chess champions were banned from playing for their country.

Dorsa Derakhshani is ranked sixth in the world in under-18 games and, at 18, was a member of the Iranian Women’s National Chess Team. She is ranked as a Grand Master.

She was removed from the team after she competed independently in the Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival without wearing a hijab.

The festival was held in late January, early February 2017.

Her brother, Borna, 15, was expelled from the team for playing against an Israeli.

“The first step in dealing with them would be to deprive them from playing in Iran, and they won’t have a chance to be in the national team,” Trend Media Agency quoted Mehrdad Pahlevanzadeh, head of Iran’s Chess Federation as saying.

He said Iran will deal with the siblings in the “severest way possible” because it is a matter or “national interest.”

Dorsa is currently studying in Spain and participated in the Gibraltar games on her own. Her brother had also registered for the games on his own.

Watch an interview with Dorsa Derakhshani in Baku from September 2016:

Subscribe to our newsletter

By entering your email, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Elliot Friedland

Elliot Friedland is a research fellow at Clarion Project.