To clear the record, I am Jewish and I have never supported the Iranian regime. Most of the world, including me, strongly denounce the extremists of all religions. However, we cannot simply punish individuals who are themselves victims of these extremists without carefully learning all the facts and hearing their sides.
What I am asking is for people to take their time and read the opposing views from different female players. We have now heard from some players who qualified for the upcoming Women’s World Championship. One demanded boycott while the other pleaded for the event to go on.
The Commission for Women’s Chess (WOM) has not taken any official position. We are actively talking to female players who qualified for the upcoming Women’s World Championship for their feedback.
WOM was NOT involved in the bidding process, nor were we involved in the process to award the bid. We had no vote. I personally found out about it after the fact. The delegates from 159 countries were in Baku at the General Assembly. They were told of this bid, and it was their place to voice their objections or concerns. None of the 159 delegates representing their countries, including the United States, objected.
Therefore, everyone who questions the decision to award the Women’s World Championship to the Iranian Chess Federation should direct their inquiries to these delegates, including the US which represents Nazi Paikidze who demanded for a boycott.
It is very unfortunate that countless people do not know the facts or details used various social media to attack, demean, insult, and threaten members of WOM when we have absolutely nothing to do with it. Our job is to find out the facts, listen to views and opinions of all parties, then try to come up with what is best for women’s chess worldwide. We simply cannot take a rushed judgement without looking at the whole picture, especially when this can potentially harm many female chess players.
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– GM Susan Polgar