Iran’s mouthpiece Mehrdad Pahlevanzadeh the head of the Iranian Chess Federation has banned both Dorso Derakhshani, 18-year old from participating with the women chess team because she refuses to wear the hijab both at home and abroad. She was seen while playing at the Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival and interviewed on the official news broadcast. Her brother was also banned from playing because of his playing an Israeli opponent in the festival.
Pahlevanzadeh told the Fars News Agency that Iran’s national interests have priority over everything. As a first step, these two will be denied entry to all tournaments taking place in Iran. And in the name of Iran, they will no longer be allowed the opportunity to be present as members of the Iranian national chess team.
This doesn’t fit in with FIDE’s “Gens una sumus” and all that.
Garry Kasparov is regularly in the news appearing on TV talk/news and testifying before the US Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee as chairman of the Human Rights Foundation. And John Oliver linked him in with Putin and Trump on Last Week Tonight show.
Republican Iowa Congressman Steve King had the chutzpah to argue on CNN that Russian leader Vladimir Putin was not nearly as bad as his critics make him out to be, noting that he never murdered one of his prominent critics, namely a certain Garry Kasparov.
Despite their being political enemies, it seems that during the latter’s knuckleduster and polonium tea-serving KGB years, the Russian president to be was a big Kasparov fan in Steven Lee Myers’ new book, The New Tsar: The Rise and Reign of Vladimir Putin. In it he describes the first K-K match (1984) where all the KGB cadre rooted for Karpov and felt that Kasparov was a dangerous upstart. Little Volodzy (Putin’s nickname) showed a dangerous sympathy for Kasparov. Putin relished his eventual victory and was not afraid to say so.
When asked about this, Kasparov said it might be true but he doubts it because Putin could have acknowledged that to him. It could be just another way of trying to portray Putin as being for the underdog. Maybe the whole story is contrived. Agree? Disagree? Who really knows or maybe even cares.