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Stop Women's Oppression at the World Chess Championship by Challenging FIDE's Decision

This petition had 17,417 supporters

We demand that FIDE reconsider its decision to award the Women’s World Chess Championship to Iran. In its handbook, FIDE explicitly states its guiding moral principles and one of them is that the organization “rejects discriminatory treatment for national, political, racial, social or religious reasons or on account of sex.” (F.01(1)(2)). Yet, by awarding the Championship to Iran, it is breaking that pledge to its members and subjecting them to discrimination on all fronts.

These violations include:

  • Dress restrictions for female players. In Iran, women are legally required to cover up with a hijab. Failure to do so is punishable by fines or imprisonment.
  • Speech restrictions for female players. Women have been arrested for speaking out in favor of women’s rights in Iran.
  • Several countries (including the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom) have issued travel warnings to Iran. Participants who are citizens of those countries would be traveling at their own risk.

These are just some of the many potential dangers faced by players who have qualified to compete in the World Championship. These women are being asked to choose between achieving their greatest aspirations and protecting their civil liberties – and their lives.

We propose two solutions:

  • Change the venue or postpone the competition until another organizer is found to host the championship in a “no conflict” venue.
  • Require that wearing a hijab be optional and guarantee no discrimination based on gender, nationality, or any other human rights as pointed out in the FIDE handbook (listed above).

These issues reach far beyond the chess world. While there has been social progress in Iran, women’s rights remain severely restricted. This is more than one event; it is a fight for women’s rights. By signing this petition, you can help support the cause and make a real, positive change in the world.


Thank you for your support!
Nazi Paikidze
U.S. Women's Champion

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