3/23/17 – Chess Diplomacy


The World Chess Championships wrapped-up earlier this month. Not attending was the U.S. women’s champion.

Here’s what’s happening behind the headlines.

Nazi Paikidze is the reigning U.S. champ. She was among the favorites at the world games. But she boycotted the event being held in Iran. Because she refused to wear a hijab as was required of all female contestants. She viewed this as the oppression of women.

Paikidze took a bold stand for women’s rights. And skipped an event featuring nearly half-a-million dollars in prize money. And you’ve probably never heard of her. No appearances on the Today Show. Or The View. No CNN profile. No fawning coverage in the New York Times. However, a Times’ article and an opinion column featured criticism of her.

The Russian-born Paikidze doesn’t fit the liberal narrative.

Contrast this with the January march claiming to call for women’s rights. A prominent sign was the image of a young woman wearing a hijab. Millions of women worldwide view this as a sign of oppression. In some countries this goes along with no rights to education. Or to drive a car. Where instructional videos explain proper wife-beating methods. And the victims of gang-rape can be stoned to death for violating morality laws.

Nazi Paikidze deserves wide praise.

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