Holding chess championship in Saudi Arabia is a 'horrible' move, top players say

Ukraine's double women's reigning world chess champion says she will not attend the world speed-chess championship after the game's governing body awarded the tournament to the fully authoritarian regime of Saudi Arabia. Learn more about this topic in Leon Watson's article for The Telegraph.

(The Telegraph) - A raft of top players have now revealed they will boycott the blitz and rapid event, one of the most exciting in the chess calendar, over concerns about safety and human rights in the ultra-conservative regime.

Among the big names who won't be there are double women's world champion Anna Muzychuk and the American super grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura, a renowned specialist at playing in short time controls.

Saudi Arabia enforces a strict dress codes for women, foreign and local, who are required to wear the "abaya", a garment which covers their bodies down to their feet.

Homosexuality is also illegal and punishments range from fines and whipping to imprisonment and execution while players have expressed concern that competitors from Iran, Israel and Qatar will not be able to attend for political reasons.

Read the full article here.

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