- Global competitive chess is governed by the World Chess Federation, known as FIDE (Fédération Internationale des Echecs), which was formed on July 20, 1924 in Paris, France, but is now based out of Lausanne, Switzerland.
- All of the rules and regulations of FIDE are covered by it’s handbook, which, states in the first chapter, 2nd paragraph:
1.2. FIDE is concerned exclusively with chess activities. FIDE is democratically established and bases itself on the principles of equal rights of its members. FIDE is a non-profit making organisation. It rejects discriminatory treatment for national, political, racial, social or religious reasons or on account of gender. It observes strict neutrality in the internal affairs of the national chess federations.
a. FIDE events (competitions, congresses, meetings) may be hosted only by Federations where free access is generally assured to representatives of all Federations.
- From December 24 – 31, 2017, there are two FIDE competitions being held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia:
- Women’s World Rapid and Blitz Championships 2017
- World Rapid and Blitz Championships 2017
- Ms. Muzychuk is a 27 year old Ukranian chess Grandmaster who began playing chess when she was only two years old.
- She currently holds titles from the 2016 Women’s World Rapid Chess Championship and the 2016 Women’s World Blitz Chess Championship, both of which were to be defended at the Saudi competition.
- In what FIDE called a “Historic Agreement“, it noted that Saudi Arabia would make partial exceptions to it’s strict, oppressive-to-women sharia dress code ONLY during game play.
FIDE is pleased to announce that we have reached an agreement with the Organisers that the dress code for the event will be dark blue or black formal suits, with white shirts, either open necked or with a tie, for men and dark blue or black formal trouser suits, with high necked white blouses for women. There will be no need to wear a hijab or abaya during the games, this will be a first for any sporting event in Saudi Arabia.
- Ms. Muzychuk was the only player to take a stand, and refused to attend the event because she would not be punished by the oppressive dress code simply for being a woman. On her Facebook account she wrote
In a few days I am going to lose two World Champion titles – one by one. Just because I decided not to go to Saudi Arabia. Not to play by someone’s rules, not to wear abaya, not to be accompanied getting outside, and altogether not to feel myself a secondary creature. Exactly one year ago I won these two titles and was about the happiest person in the chess world but this time I feel really bad. I am ready to stand for my principles and skip the event, where in five days I was expected to earn more than I do in a dozen of events combined. All that is annoying, but the most upsetting thing is that almost nobody really cares. That is a really bitter feeling, still not the one to change my opinion and my principles. The same goes for my sister Mariya – and I am really happy that we share this point of view. And yes, for those few who care – we’ll be back!
- Saudi Arabia is one of 32 countries that do not recognize the country of Israel.
- All 7 players on the Israeli team were denied visas.
- Israel is the only country who’s players were denied entry to the country.
- The spokeswoman for the Saudi Embassy in Washington, DC, Fatimah Baeshen, called any mention of this blatant Antisemitic act “purported politicization” in a tweet, basically acknowledging the refusal is because they won’t acknowledge Israel.
Related to the purported politicization of the International Chess Tournament hosted by Riyadh: the Kingdom has allowed the participation of all citizens.The exception is whereby KSA has historically not had diplomatic ties with a specific country-thus has maintained its policy.
— Fatimah S Baeshen (@FatimahSBaeshen) December 25, 2017
- However, Twitter user @usurytiger replied by pointing out a very interesting fact:
Saudi Arabia is not member of @FIDE_chess, how much had you pay in bribes to get this championship?
— Alex Sorkin (@usurytiger) December 26, 2017
Why You Should Care
Ms. Muzychuk stood alone, and lost a great deal of money, by not stepping on her own principles, and deserves a great deal of recognition and respect. You will hear nothing of this from radical leftist groups who only pretend to support women, such as the National Organization of Women, Ultraviolet, or the Feminist Majority Foundation. They are fascists who’s only goals are raising money and destroying anyone that does not succumb to their own views, exactly like the Nazis.
These groups, and their members, would rather spend time wearing p***y hats than to address real oppression against women. For example, in Saudi Arabia, a woman may not:
- “Show off their beauty” – Full length abayas – a long coat worn over other clothes – must be worn by all women in public. A headscarf must also be worn.
- Interact with men – Women must limit conversations and physical closeness with men who are not family members. Even restaurants, have a section for men, and another for families.
- Get medical treatment – A Human Rights Watch report found that a guardian’s permission is required for certain medical treatments, including elective surgery and even life-saving procedures.
- Get a fair trial – According to the U.S. State Department, the testimony of a man in Saudi Arabia’s courts equals that of two women.
- But, they CAN be punished if they are raped.
And there will never be any peace in the Middle East as long as Arab countries to continue to not only be openly hostile to Israel, but to even deny their actual right to exist. And with Saudi Arabia being the leading state sponsor of terrorism worldwide, it is futile to pretend they actually want any type of peace, or that they want to coexist in a world where Islam is not the only allowed religion.
Saudi Arabia, by offering up some prize money, has made a mockery of FIDE, who threw away it’s own guidelines faster than they could cash the check. They deserve our contempt, owe an apology to the Israeli team, to Ms. Muzychuk, and everyone involved in the decision should be tossed out.