Anna Muzychuk, chess champion, boycotts vile Saudi Arabia, at great cost to herself.

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.

She stands to lose a couple of million dollars.

She once played in Iran, where she was forced to cover her head, and you know what? She didn’t like it. So she’s not doing it again.


And oh yes – SA is becoming ever so much more free for women… For instance, if Muzychuk follows new, slightly less repressive orders on what she can put on her body, she’ll be allowed to play.

Yes sir! Right away sir. Thank you sir.

But no. Muzychuk is one of those women you can never satisfy… One of those loose Western types who fail to see themselves as secondary.

It will be fun to watch SA’s amazement as it liberalizes this and liberalizes that to no avail. Franchement, SA could become Paris entre deux guerres and UD – and, she suspects, millions of other women – wouldn’t darken its door. The big one at Yellowstone will blow before Saudi Arabia begins to look like any sort of destination for a self-respecting woman.

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