Tehran WGP Rd5: Keeping the status quo

by Alina l'Ami
2/16/2016 – After the refreshing free day, the players started the fifth round with renewed forces. Paradoxically, there was only one decisive game, but this was due to the increased degree of accuracy, as the fighting spirit was as high as ever. In the only decisive game, Harika Dronavalli defeated Antoaneta Stefanova after the Bulgarian chose an uninspired plan at an early stage.

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Photos by Alina L'Ami for the official site

The start of the round (click image for high-res)

Zhukova Natalia
½ - ½
Batsiashvili Nino
Dzagnidze Nana
½ - ½
Zhao Xue
Harika Dronavalli
1 - 0
Stefanova Antoaneta
Cramling Pia
½ - ½
Koneru Humpy
Ju Wenjun
½ - ½
Gunina Valentina
Pogonina Natalija
½ - ½
Khademalsharieh Sarasadat

Natalija Pogonina - Sarasadat Khademalsharieh 1/2-1/2

Interviews before the game are not distractions for Sara

Playing with Black against the tournament leader, the local player Sara, tried to surprise her opponent in the opening but Natalija reacted as many GMs would do: she moved the theoretical discussion on less hardpacked grounds, by choosing a more calm pawn structure (c3-d4-e3).

No advantage for White today

Natalija's opponent responded accurately, proving her excellent preparation even in such an off-beat variation and soon took over some slight initiative, resulting in a temporary pawn gain. After mass simplification, the position became almost perfectly symmetrical and the players agreed to a draw. Both ladies can be content with this result, Sara for maintaining her honourable 50% and Natalija for sturdily keeping the lead.

Nana Dzagnidze - Zhao Xue 1/2-1/2

Black tried surprising her opponent with the less topical 5...b5 system in the 4...Ba6 fianchetto Queen's Indian. Nana confessed she kind of expected that and have prepared a bit against it, but she couldn't remember the best lines during the game. She soon landed in an inferior position and tacitly offered a draw by repetition. Xue declined, sacrificed the a7-pawn and started a dangerous kingside initiative with the spectacular:

25...g5! To your reporter, this move deserves an exclamation mark also because of what the GMs said during the press conference: "it is the most logical move, even more 'natural' than 25...g6", which would actually be for many players, the first move to consider.

Things started looking critical for White but Nana found the incredible resource:

28.Bxg4!! leading to a draw by perpetual!?!28... Nxg4 (Black has to go with the wave) 29. Nd7+! (only move!) 29... Kg8 h3

Here Xue played the good looking (objectively speaking, this could have proved fatal) 30...Qa3 but the genius computers saw a 'forced' way to draw: 30... Nxf2 31. Nf6+ Kf8 32. Kxf2 Rxe2+ 33. Kf3 d4 34. Kg4 (very 'natural' moves indeed...) - this is to show that sometimes, using the engines when following the games is not really helpful to fully grasp the chess essence.

31. Qb8+ followed 31... Kg7 and now White could have gone: 32. Qf4! (where Black is losing the knight; tough to calculate such lines when the chess tree has so many branches, while the clock is ticking too) 32. Rc5 Rxe2 33. Qf8+ Kg6 34. Qg8+ Kh6 35. Qf8+ and perpetual.

This was surely a game any chess lover should analyse or at least click on!

Natalia Zhukova - Nino Batsiashvili 1/2-1/2

The European Champion vs the Vice-Champion

In a rare line of the Queen's Gambit, the game opposing the European women champion and the vice-champion became a fight between White's knights and Black's bishops' pair. Black's decision to allow this course of events with:

9...Re8 by inviting 10. Bxa6 came after 25 minutes of thought. White might have had an advantage, had she not hurried to breakthrough the center with e3-e4, opening the diagonals for the bishops. The last phase of the game though, was played very accurately by the players (a special highlight on 17.Nd7!) and a draw was agreed in a rook ending.

Harika Dronavalli - Antoaneta Stefanova 1-0

Effective psychological weapon used by Harika today

The only decisive game had a rather unusual start. At this level it is not customary that a player with Black thinks for 10 minutes over the first move, but Harika's 1.e4 must have come as a big surprise for Antoaneta. But Black's real drama started after the less inspired: 4...c5

5. dxc5 dxc5 6. Qxd8+ Kxd8 7. e5, leading to a very unpleasant endgame which Antoaneta could not save.

Ju Wenjun - Valentina Gunina 1/2-1/2

The players have met quite a lot over the board, most of the time with decisive results, but today's game ended peacefully. In a 4.Qc2 Slav, White obtained a pleasant edge with the bishops' pair and space advantage, but gradually Wenjun lost her grip on the position and Black equalized and even obtained some initiative.

Sometimes moving away from the board helps the players see things clearer

35...Rb4 and the f2 pawn is endangered after Rb1+ and Qxf2; 36. Rxb6 does not work due to 36...Qb1+! Instead, Valentina played the natural 35...Rxa4 which led to an endgame with just enough compensation for the missing pawn, eventually resulting in a draw.

Pia Cramling - Humpy Koneru 1/2-1/2

This game was a long and far from one-sided affair. White met Black's Stonewall Dutch with a Reti approach based on d2-d3 and e2-e4, shaking the pawn wall and yielding her an edge. Humpy mentioned 18.Nh4 as an improvement over Pia's 18.b4, after which the position turned around, making White suffer with her stranded knight on b7 later on in the endgame.

Dream big, work hard, stay focused

Both players agreed that Black should have won somehow, without indicating a clear way, but in the end Pia reached a draw in a new attempt to relaunch her unfavorable start of the tournament.

A new and more pleasant tournament from now on for Pia

While the battlefield is busy, so is the world backstage:

Press conferences in the native language or...

... in English with yours truly and...

... commentary by GM Evgenij Miroshnichenko

Arrives first, leaves last: the tournament organizer - Mehrdad Pahlevanzadeh, making sure that...

... the players have all the comfort and support they need.

The sixth round scheduled tomorrow will mark crossing the middle of the event. Little by litle we approach the moment of even more decisive fights...

Standings after five rounds

Replay all games from round five (with times per move)

[Event "FIDE Women GP Tehran 2016"] [Site "Tehran"] [Date "2016.02.16"] [Round "5"] [White "Ju, Wenjun"] [Black "Gunina, Valentina"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "D11"] [WhiteElo "2558"] [BlackElo "2496"] [PlyCount "104"] [EventDate "2016.??.??"] [EventCountry "IRI"] [TimeControl "40/5400+30:1800+30"] 1. d4 {(0s)} d5 {(0s)} 2. c4 {(0s)} c6 {(0s)} 3. Nf3 {(0s)} Nf6 {(0s)} 4. Qc2 {(2s)} dxc4 {(14s)} 5. Qxc4 {(14s)} Bf5 {(52s)} 6. g3 {(30s)} e6 {(24s)} 7. Bg2 {(14s)} Be7 {(15s)} 8. O-O {(10s)} Nbd7 {(22 s)} 9. e3 {(17s)} O-O {(23s)} 10. Rd1 {(45s)} Qc7 {(136s)} 11. Nc3 {(51s)} Rad8 {(188s)} 12. h3 {( 536s)} h6 {(307s)} 13. Qe2 {(155s)} Ne4 {(167s)} 14. Nd2 {(53s)} Nxc3 {(43s)} 15. bxc3 {(3s)} Bc2 {( 9s)} 16. Re1 {(39s)} e5 {(143s)} 17. Ne4 {(1128s)} Bxe4 {(340s)} 18. Bxe4 {(8s)} Nf6 {(53s)} 19. Bg2 {(31s)} Rfe8 {(33s)} 20. Bb2 {(242s)} Bd6 {(376s)} 21. e4 {(357s)} Qa5 {(159s)} 22. a4 {(495s)} exd4 {(61s)} 23. cxd4 {(5s)} Bb4 {(3s)} 24. Rec1 {(60s)} c5 {(57s)} 25. Rd1 {(1371s)} cxd4 {(1384s)} 26. Bxd4 {(14s)} Bc3 {(11s)} 27. Bxc3 {(23s)} Qxc3 {(5s)} 28. Qb5 {(44s)} b6 {(179s)} 29. Rac1 {( 88s)} Rxd1+ {(127s)} 30. Rxd1 {(3s)} Qc2 {(64s)} 31. Rd6 {(365s)} Rc8 {(84s)} 32. Qf5 {(44s)} Re8 {( 427s)} 33. Qb5 {(110s)} Rc8 {(559s)} 34. Qa6 {(515s)} Rc4 {(178s)} 35. Qxa7 {(29s)} Rxa4 {(66s)} 36. Qxb6 {(156s)} Ra1+ {(285s)} 37. Kh2 {(4s)} Qc1 {(11s)} 38. f3 {(265s)} Qe1 {(368s)} 39. Rd3 {( 167s)} Nh5 {(302s)} 40. f4 {(0s)} Ra2 {(0s)} 41. Qe3 {(128s)} Re2 {(174s)} 42. Qg1 {(535s)} Qb4 {(13 s)} 43. Re3 {(344s)} Rd2 {(158s)} 44. e5 {(51s)} Qd4 {(124s)} 45. Re1 {(313s)} Qc3 {(106s)} 46. Re3 {(134s)} Qc2 {(66s)} 47. e6 {(217s)} fxe6 {(4s)} 48. Rxe6 {(21s)} Nxg3 {(416s)} 49. Kxg3 {(5s)} Rxg2+ {(12s)} 50. Qxg2 {(3s)} Qb3+ {(5s)} 51. Qf3 {(4s)} Qxe6 {(4s)} 52. Qd3 {(34s)} Kf7 {(15s)} 1/2-1/2 [Event "FIDE Women GP Tehran 2016"] [Site "Tehran"] [Date "2016.02.16"] [Round "5"] [White "Pogonina, Natalija"] [Black "Khademalsharieh, Sarasadat"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "D02"] [WhiteElo "2454"] [BlackElo "2403"] [PlyCount "61"] [EventDate "2016.??.??"] [EventCountry "IRI"] [TimeControl "40/5400+30:1800+30"] 1. Nf3 {(0s)} d5 {(21s)} 2. d4 {(0s)} Nf6 {(4s)} 3. Bf4 {(2s)} c5 {(176s)} 4. e3 {(17s)} Nc6 {(10s)} 5. c3 {(27s)} Qb6 {(6s)} 6. Qb3 {(67s)} c4 {(26s)} 7. Qc2 {(27s)} Bf5 {(7s)} 8. Qc1 {(10s)} h6 {(384s)} 9. h3 {(269s)} e6 {(60s)} 10. Be2 {(157s)} Rc8 {(87s)} 11. O-O {(150s)} Be7 {(633s)} 12. Nbd2 {(397s)} O-O {(1234s)} 13. b3 {(686s)} cxb3 {(210s)} 14. axb3 {(5s)} Nb4 {(3s)} 15. Qa3 {(488s)} Rxc3 {(110 s)} 16. Qxa7 {(21s)} Qc6 {(3s)} 17. Ne5 {(622s)} Qc8 {(17s)} 18. Bb5 {(61s)} Nd3 {(277s)} 19. Nxd3 {(521s)} Bxd3 {(15s)} 20. Bxd3 {(5s)} Rxd3 {(4s)} 21. Nf3 {(259s)} Rxb3 {(235s)} 22. Rfc1 {(353s)} Rc3 {(352s)} 23. Rxc3 {(246s)} Qxc3 {(43s)} 24. Rb1 {(10s)} Ne4 {(53s)} 25. Qxb7 {(68s)} Qc2 {(198 s)} 26. Rf1 {(144s)} Bd6 {(296s)} 27. Bxd6 {(431s)} Nxd6 {(13s)} 28. Qd7 {(3s)} Ne4 {(309s)} 29. Ne5 {(135s)} Nd2 {(70s)} 30. Ra1 {(131s)} Ne4 {(40s)} 31. Rf1 {(61s)} 1/2-1/2 [Event "FIDE Women GP Tehran 2016"] [Site "Tehran"] [Date "2016.02.16"] [Round "5"] [White "Harika, Dronavalli"] [Black "Stefanova, Antoaneta"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B06"] [WhiteElo "2511"] [BlackElo "2509"] [PlyCount "55"] [EventDate "2016.??.??"] [EventCountry "IRI"] [TimeControl "40/5400+30:1800+30"] 1. e4 {(0s)} g6 {(581s)} 2. d4 {(49s)} Bg7 {(24s)} 3. Nc3 {(45s)} d6 {(245s)} 4. f4 {(67s)} c5 {(293s)} 5. dxc5 {(212s)} dxc5 {(52s)} 6. Qxd8+ {(147s)} Kxd8 {(3s)} 7. e5 {(1662s)} b6 {(947s)} 8. Nf3 {( 288s)} Nh6 {(1025s)} 9. Bc4 {(223s)} Nc6 {(305s)} 10. Be3 {(150s)} Kc7 {(456s)} 11. O-O-O {(114s)} a6 {(626s)} 12. h3 {(434s)} f6 {(323s)} 13. g4 {(309s)} fxe5 {(25s)} 14. fxe5 {(386s)} e6 {(88s)} 15. Ng5 {(206s)} Nd4 {(88s)} 16. Nce4 {(676s)} Ra7 {(601s)} 17. Rhf1 {(165s)} Kb8 {(54s)} 18. c3 {(308s)} Nc6 {(4s)} 19. Nxe6 {(43s)} Bxe6 {(82s)} 20. Bxe6 {(2s)} Nxe5 {(109s)} 21. Bf4 {(18s)} Re7 {(28s)} 22. g5 {(181s)} Nf5 {(47s)} 23. Bxf5 {(23s)} gxf5 {(10s)} 24. Ng3 {(135s)} Rf8 {(19s)} 25. Nh5 {(1s)} Bh8 {(45s)} 26. Nf6 {(3s)} Kc8 {(59s)} 27. Bxe5 {(12s)} Rxe5 {(6s)} 28. Nd7 {(12s)} 1-0 [Event "FIDE Women GP Tehran 2016"] [Site "Tehran"] [Date "2016.02.16"] [Round "5"] [White "Dzagnidze, Nana"] [Black "Zhao, Xue"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "E15"] [WhiteElo "2529"] [BlackElo "2506"] [PlyCount "74"] [EventDate "2016.??.??"] [EventCountry "IRI"] [TimeControl "40/5400+30:1800+30"] 1. d4 {(0s)} Nf6 {(0s)} 2. c4 {(0s)} e6 {(0s)} 3. Nf3 {(0s)} b6 {(15s)} 4. g3 {(14s)} Ba6 {(36s)} 5. b3 {(53s)} b5 {(22s)} 6. cxb5 {(30s)} Bxb5 {(4s)} 7. Bg2 {(8s)} d5 {(43s)} 8. O-O {(30s)} Nbd7 {(16s)} 9. Nc3 {(177s)} Ba6 {(11s)} 10. Ne5 {(342s)} c5 {(386s)} 11. Nxd7 {(129s)} Qxd7 {(89s)} 12. Ba3 {(643 s)} Rc8 {(174s)} 13. Rc1 {(34s)} Be7 {(111s)} 14. Na4 {(221s)} cxd4 {(114s)} 15. Rxc8+ {(25s)} Qxc8 {(337s)} 16. Bxe7 {(34s)} Kxe7 {(4s)} 17. Qxd4 {(10s)} Qc7 {(15s)} 18. Qb4+ {(1829s)} Qd6 {(35s)} 19. Qd4 {(118s)} Qc7 {(895s)} 20. Qb4+ {(30s)} Qd6 {(12s)} 21. Qd4 {(7s)} Rc8 {(589s)} 22. Qxa7+ {(20s)} Rc7 {(137s)} 23. Qe3 {(91s)} Rc2 {(47s)} 24. Qa7+ {(744s)} Kf8 {(171s)} 25. Bf3 {(72s)} g5 {( 447s)} 26. Nb6 {(284s)} Rxa2 {(189s)} 27. Rc1 {(93s)} g4 {(669s)} 28. Bxg4 {(475s)} Nxg4 {(21s)} 29. Nd7+ {(132s)} Kg8 {(760s)} 30. h3 {(128s)} Qa3 {(322s)} 31. Qb8+ {(292s)} Kg7 {(6s)} 32. Rc5 {(11s)} Rxe2 {(208s)} 33. Qf8+ {(33s)} Kg6 {(5s)} 34. Qg8+ {(24s)} Kh6 {(12s)} 35. Qf8+ {(86s)} Kg6 {(7s)} 36. Qg8+ {(1s)} Kh6 {(9s)} 37. Qf8+ {(218s)} Kg6 {(5s)} 1/2-1/2 [Event "FIDE Women GP Tehran 2016"] [Site "Tehran"] [Date "2016.02.16"] [Round "5"] [White "Cramling, Pia"] [Black "Koneru, Humpy"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "A04"] [WhiteElo "2521"] [BlackElo "2583"] [PlyCount "108"] [EventDate "2016.??.??"] [EventCountry "IRI"] [TimeControl "40/5400+30:1800+30"] 1. Nf3 {(0s)} e6 {(16s)} 2. c4 {(43s)} f5 {(33s)} 3. g3 {(63s)} Nf6 {(42s)} 4. Bg2 {(7s)} d5 {(28s)} 5. O-O {(87s)} Bd6 {(38s)} 6. d3 {(369s)} O-O {(454s)} 7. Nc3 {(188s)} c6 {(957s)} 8. e4 {(1231s)} dxe4 {(172s)} 9. dxe4 {(8s)} e5 {(32s)} 10. exf5 {(558s)} Bxf5 {(48s)} 11. Qb3 {(260s)} Qb6 {(275s)} 12. Be3 {(64s)} Qxb3 {(271s)} 13. axb3 {(2s)} Na6 {(240s)} 14. Rfd1 {(217s)} Bc7 {(1132s)} 15. h3 {( 112s)} Bc2 {(335s)} 16. Rdc1 {(47s)} Bg6 {(50s)} 17. Ra4 {(498s)} Nd7 {(73s)} 18. b4 {(1098s)} Nb6 {(158s)} 19. Bxb6 {(11s)} axb6 {(231s)} 20. Ng5 {(13s)} Bd6 {(546s)} 21. b5 {(97s)} Nb4 {(33s)} 22. Rxa8 {(162s)} Rxa8 {(2s)} 23. Nge4 {(66s)} Be7 {(235s)} 24. Rd1 {(25s)} Bf5 {(34s)} 25. Kh2 {(104s)} Be6 {(85s)} 26. Nd6 {(125s)} Rd8 {(55s)} 27. Nxb7 {(190s)} Rxd1 {(5s)} 28. Nxd1 {(5s)} cxb5 {(6s)} 29. cxb5 {(128s)} Kf7 {(297s)} 30. Ne3 {(125s)} Nd3 {(164s)} 31. Nd5 {(113s)} Bxd5 {(39s)} 32. Bxd5+ {(2s)} Kf6 {(33s)} 33. Kg2 {(111s)} Nxb2 {(29s)} 34. Kf3 {(32s)} Nd1 {(18s)} 35. Bc6 {(65s)} Ke6 {(48s)} 36. Ke2 {(29s)} Nc3+ {(8s)} 37. Kd3 {(9s)} Nd5 {(12s)} 38. Kc4 {(48s)} Nf6 {(14s)} 39. Kd3 {(57s)} Kf5 {(123s)} 40. h4 {(0s)} e4+ {(0s)} 41. Kd4 {(412s)} Ke6 {(333s)} 42. f3 {(295s)} exf3 {(168s)} 43. Bxf3 {(39s)} Kf5 {(23s)} 44. Be2 {(94s)} g6 {(319s)} 45. Bf3 {(81s)} Nh5 {(746s)} 46. g4+ {(131s)} Kf4 {(9s)} 47. Bd1 {(18s)} Nf6 {(104s)} 48. g5 {(57s)} Ne4 {(7s)} 49. Bb3 {(89s)} Nc5 {( 225s)} 50. Nxc5 {(90s)} Bxc5+ {(19s)} 51. Kd3 {(25s)} Kg4 {(15s)} 52. Bg8 {(12s)} Kxh4 {(6s)} 53. Bxh7 {(7s)} Kxg5 {(4s)} 54. Ke2 {(22s)} Kf6 {(19s)} 1/2-1/2 [Event "FIDE Women GP Tehran 2016"] [Site "Tehran"] [Date "2016.02.16"] [Round "5"] [White "Zhukova, Natalia"] [Black "Batsiashvili, Nino"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "D30"] [WhiteElo "2484"] [BlackElo "2485"] [PlyCount "61"] [EventDate "2016.??.??"] [EventCountry "IRI"] [TimeControl "40/5400+30:1800+30"] 1. d4 {(0s)} d5 {(0s)} 2. c4 {(0s)} e6 {(0s)} 3. Nf3 {(14s)} Nf6 {(0s)} 4. Bg5 {(28s)} Be7 {(11s)} 5. e3 {(450s)} h6 {(87s)} 6. Bxf6 {(35s)} Bxf6 {(7s)} 7. Nc3 {(28s)} O-O {(41s)} 8. Qc2 {(74s)} Na6 {(37 s)} 9. c5 {(30s)} Re8 {(1442s)} 10. Bxa6 {(203s)} bxa6 {(94s)} 11. O-O {(58s)} Rb8 {(47s)} 12. Rad1 {(622s)} Bd7 {(210s)} 13. e4 {(509s)} dxe4 {(213s)} 14. Ne5 {(44s)} Bb5 {(265s)} 15. Nxb5 {(2095s)} Rxb5 {(88s)} 16. a4 {(39s)} Rb7 {(25s)} 17. Nd7 {(104s)} Rb4 {(932s)} 18. Nxf6+ {(26s)} Qxf6 {(61s)} 19. Qxe4 {(5s)} Rc8 {(613s)} 20. Qc6 {(210s)} Rxb2 {(190s)} 21. Qxa6 {(20s)} Qd8 {(64s)} 22. d5 {( 376s)} exd5 {(53s)} 23. Rxd5 {(36s)} Qe8 {(154s)} 24. h3 {(388s)} Qe6 {(131s)} 25. Qd3 {(181s)} Re8 {(162s)} 26. Rd7 {(323s)} Rb3 {(159s)} 27. Qd1 {(57s)} Rb1 {(66s)} 28. Qxb1 {(2s)} Qxd7 {(3s)} 29. Qb7 {(50s)} a5 {(89s)} 30. Qb5 {(97s)} Qxb5 {(32s)} 31. axb5 {(2s)} 1/2-1/2

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Alina is an International Master and a very enthusiastic person in everything she does. She loves travelling to the world's most remote places in order to play chess tournaments and report about them here on ChessBase! As chance would have it Alina is also an excellent photographer.
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Bountyhunter82 Bountyhunter82 2/24/2016 03:43
Once again, I appreciates everyones comments hopefully ChessBase Editors read this and take it too heart...Once again, personally I would have used flowery language with expletives...But on pausing, I will say:
Is this a story about chess or a story about Islam? ChessBase editor lets get back to chess.
fons fons 2/21/2016 04:36
Why FIDE this? Why FIDE that? Wake up people, FIDE has been doing questionable stuff like this ever since Kirsan Ilyumzhinov got into office. How long ago was that? These pictures are a disgrace to women.
qiqiangzhu qiqiangzhu 2/19/2016 12:54
where is today's game and yesterday's game?
henki3 henki3 2/18/2016 09:10
@haters like algorithmy and chessdrummer
Mithrull is right.
It is a scandal.
Not the way Iran is, I give you that
…but the response of FIDE and the players (for money reasons ofcourse)
What Fide and the participating chessplayers allow to happen here is world news….
it’s a slippery slope…(or creeping reality if you want)
Because whats next?
This obliged headscarf for Chinese, Russian and Swedish women has an equivalent in the Judenstern.
The scarf says: these players are women NOT just humans.
algorithmy algorithmy 2/18/2016 08:41
@ Mithrull
The only shame is that chessbase is allowing mental disturbed persons like you to put comments, your comment shows clearly a great amount of unjustified hatred, ignorance and disrespect that I'm very surprised your ugly comment is still not removed. You know nothing about Iran, about freedom, about Islam except may be the trash you hear in the media which can only trick fools of the like of you, all the media campaign in the west that attacks Islam is very clearly covering the colonization ambition of America, and it's strange that there still some ignorant who take it as faith!
Mithrull Mithrull 2/18/2016 07:18
Disgusting conformity to a vile and repressive religion.

I see a lot of the typical false equivalencies and analogies proffered by the delusional egalitarian sect. I'm sure if there were a chess tournament in the American south and a confederate flag were required at each table, you would all be very understanding of such cultural variance. That players would consent to the flag would no doubt quell your discomfort if nothing else did. Right?

Of course not. The hijab is just another article of clothing in the same way that the Confederate flag is just another flag. It stands for something beyond mere moderate dress and you're only deluding yourself if you believe otherwise. Islam is a regressive and and repressive force wherever it is practiced in sufficient numbers. Women are second class citizens in Iran due PRECISELY to the tenets of Islam and the example set by it's hideous "prophet," the raper of children and slayer of infidels. Shame on FIDE and shame on the women who allowed themselves to be dhimmi's if even for a short while.

Non-Muslims once again submitting. Precisely the attitude that has Western nations in the trouble that they are in. Congratulations to those who saw the bigger picture and refused to participate.
chessdrummer chessdrummer 2/18/2016 04:00
Most of you all are very ethnocentric and xenophobic in your comments. It is probably the way you feel about people who wear different adornments that are other than western. These women are not going to convert to Islam or be forced to pray because they are wearing a scarf. If we were if this tournament were played in a Jewish or Hindu establishment where head coverings were needed, or women could not wear pants for example, no one would say anything... and rightfully so.

If the tournament was played in a place where certain cultural customs were expected, the players have a choice to comply, or not play. When you attend an event where a dress code is required, you either can comply or not go. These women, all of whom are intelligent and rational, chose to play in a country where it is expected that women cover. In some places, men would not be allowed to wear shorts or caps. Is this the end of the world? Not all the women playing are European by the way and none are ethnocentric. All of these women are worldly and they understand these issues, unlike many people here complaining.

Historically, most religions have a tradition where women cover their heads. Many have relaxed the custom. However, if the women decided to play, then either accept their decision, or simply go to a site where the games are presented without the photos. That would be reasonable. It is senseless to be upset over this.
cabanoprimeiro cabanoprimeiro 2/18/2016 05:55
Although all the wrapping, Valentina keeps on looking beautiful and sexy on the picture!!!
Logos Logos 2/18/2016 05:44
@ walirlan,

You have serious issues and need to calm down. Your opinions are debatable (and I understand where you are coming from), but your tone is rooted in frustrations that are distorting your ability to have a balanced debate. Chill out.

Also, Iranians are not Arabs. Do your research before you open your mouth. Grouping the world into bundles that fit your stereotypes is lazy and stupid.
thlai80 thlai80 2/18/2016 05:26
@global_homicide, you pointed an example in China, but only in the 1st or last round not the whole tournament, and not mandatory but for a cultural spectacle. Here, it is whole tournament, by forced or else someone would have taken the scarf off. Biggest point is one is optional and not tied to religion, the other is by forced and related to religion.

@algorithmy, you are getting very emotional. Previously in just the 1st 2 rounds, someone offered a guess to tone down the debacle by saying "it is not forced and maybe the ladies like it, so they wear it.". And what follows is every round, the participants were forced. So, the next excuse "The players do not complain, so it's none of your business"??

So, if there's a tournament say in European countries and participants are required to wear something of symbolic to Christians, what would you say? What about players forced to wear bikini (example) ... wouldn't you jump around with hoo-hah? As such, any forced dress code which is religion and sexism motivated should not exist at all!
Abhy Venkat Abhy Venkat 2/18/2016 01:23
Most people look at tournaments to see games, not what the players are wearing. I don't see how wearing headscarves should matter to any one of us unless it is affecting the quality of the players play.
Abhy Venkat Abhy Venkat 2/18/2016 01:20
Why are the same comments repeating every day? I would think after 2-3 days the discussion would blow over.
Bluehouse Bluehouse 2/18/2016 12:02
This submission of FIDE and these women players to the Iranian's theocratic-nazis is a disgrace. Is there any moral or political courage left in the world? Did any women refuse to submit? What has happened to them? Are they locked away in one of Iran's secret prisons?
Bluehouse Bluehouse 2/17/2016 11:59
Why has FIDE submitted to the Iranian theo-nazis' requirement that non-muslim women be forced to play in this event with head coverings? Why have the women thus submitted? Are there any women who refused to submit?
Bluehouse Bluehouse 2/17/2016 11:58
Why is FIDE submitting to this humiliation of non-muslim women? And why are they submitting to it? Are there any women who refused to do this, and stood up to the Iranian theo-nazis? What happened to them? Why do any chessplayers support FIDE anymore?
eltollo eltollo 2/17/2016 11:33
Thanks CWAM for pointing out the FIDE dress code: the two final lines of article 3d imply that female players are not allowed to not cover their hair in countries where that is usually done.
One may agree or disagree with the dress code rules, but they are in force.
sshivaji sshivaji 2/17/2016 11:22

Wanted to point out that its not only Europeans that are complying, the list includes Indians, Chinese, Georgians, Russians etc. Everyone except the one Iranian player is complying to something they have not done before.

The dress code is debatable of course, and is unusual but seems to be the norm for females in Iran. Interestingly, I dont even think most muslim nations mandate the headscarf for women. FIDE should request that this code be optional, players can do it if they desire but there should not be a hard and fast rule.
CWAM CWAM 2/17/2016 07:58
For all those who are dragging religion into the matter, kindly read "FIDE DRESS CODE POLICY" before you mock other's religion or tradition, which states as follows;

3.c. The following is acceptable for women players

Women's suits, dresses. skirts, blouses, turtleneck, T-shirts or poloʼs,
trousers, jeans or slacks, footwear (boots, flats, mid-heel or high-
heel shoes, sneakers with sock), jacket, vest or sweater, a scarf, as
well as jewelry (earrings, necklace, etc.) coordinated to the outfit
may be worn. Team uniforms, national costumes clothing.

3.d. The following is NOT acceptable for women players

Beach-wear slips, profanity and nude or semi-nude
pictures printed on shirts, torn pants or jeans. holes, noticeable
unclean clothing, sun glasses, sport caps. Revealing attire. Clothes
such as denim shorts, short-shorts, cut-off shorts, gym shorts, crop
tops, tank tops, and clothes made of see-through materials or
clothes that expose areas of the body usually covered in the location
where the event is taking place.

It also further states;

1.g. Exception can be made on the basis of health and religion.

We have to respect others if we want to be respected....

algorithmy algorithmy 2/17/2016 07:54
why do most of the comments here depict European culture as if it is against head scarfs?? as if European women should walk around naked to prove their freedom! after all Europe is mainly christian, and modesty dressing for women was always part of Christianity, can you imagine virgin Mary without head scarf?
JeanH JeanH 2/17/2016 07:45
Unfortunately the forced display of women with their heads covered take away all interest that I might have had for the chess being played. Shame on FIDE for this nonsense. As if it needed more shame...
algorithmy algorithmy 2/17/2016 06:40
a lot of people here are talking about freedom, and I doubt they even understand what does it mean, some of them even mix it with chaos, just like an idiot who plays an illegal move thinking that he is a creative player!!

so for those who are very concerned about the head scarf I want to remind them that the players themselves haven't made any objection, so every body shut up please it's none of your business!
you know what? we don't even know if they are forced to wear it, may be they like the tradition.
when a tournament is held in china, players wear the national clothes of the chines people, and no one ever talked about oppression.
global_homicide global_homicide 2/17/2016 06:00
when people go to china to play and wears chinese dress, no one bats an eye. when women cover their head, everyone loses their mind.

if these players didnt protest or at best didnt liked it, they would have already done it long time ago.

@wairlan, you said it yourself, if the arab cover their heads, its their business. likewise, if these women are satisfied covering their heads, how are we to judge? why should one be ashamed where these ladies are enjoying?

wow i never thought the love of chess would be overpowered by the hate of islam. just for a piece of of info, the chess we love, did indeed come from india and persia so it would be a more than fitting place to play. and also, chess was introduced too europe by the arabs but we the muslims hold no superiority over westerners on that.

its a game of mindful people not ranters, lets love it all together.

and for once lets discuss the games rather than people.

great article alina.
eltollo eltollo 2/17/2016 04:39
I guess the ladies have to cover their hair in order to be allowed to participate. As playing chess is their way of making a living, I can understand that they do so. I am looking forward to see them in Dirndl dresses in the German Bundesliga (but not as showgirls in the Las Vegas millionaire chess...)
ashishchess ashishchess 2/17/2016 04:25
Nice game by GM Harika
babycroc babycroc 2/17/2016 02:39
Shocking to see all the women in scarves. Cover the men's eyes if that's a problem. Jeez...
walirlan walirlan 2/17/2016 02:19
Thank you guys for supporting me. I have a tremendous respect for European culture.
It's very probable that I would have a respect for Islamic cultural norms IF THEY HAD the same respect for ours. But this is not what happens in Europe. And it is a shame.
This is insane what is going on in Europe. But it is also insane that this touches my beloved game, chess.
Do we, Europeans, have always be worse than Muslims?

I really doubt if any Muslim female player was forced to play chess without cover on her head. I really doubt. She is respected in Europe and I agree with it. I don't mind.

But I don't understand and I don't agree with this bullshit in Tehran. But unfortunately our European women are guilty of this farce. This is the bad trend. White people don't respect their own culture and heritage. I would never believe that this stupid, crazy and dangerous political correctness (of course always for other cultures, especially Islamic) will touch chess. And that's why it's a shock for me. These photos are disgusting. As a European, as a white man, I feel humiliated somehow.
helleniq helleniq 2/17/2016 01:27
Despite my tremendous respect for islamic cultural norms etc, I must agree that FIDE should have pressed harder for scarf-less play, apart from a couple of publicity photos that would be with head coverings to appease the sponsor. I am assuming FIDE asked each participant about this "deal" and the ladies agreed to the hijab, but the inability of the organisers to grant these women an exception "at work"is quite a bad precedent for Asia's chess emergence. Those in the know will have observed that the ladies already show too much hair, which possibly explains the police escorts - on their own, the ladies could very well be harassed by religious police and other fanatics. So yeah, visiting a mosque they should be wearing whatever is required, at work they should work whatever they want.
hpaul hpaul 2/17/2016 12:08
Interesting to see all these submissive ladies, forced to bundle up in high collars and cover their hair so as not to overexcite the mullahs.
walirlan walirlan 2/17/2016 12:08
Why ON EARTH beautiful European women must have their heads COVERED? As far as I know none of them is a muslim, am I wrong??? What on earth does that mean???

This is pathetic. If I were them I would never go there to play chess. Why do we have to ALWAYS comply to their culture and it doesn't mean if it is in their countries or in Europe? They flood Europe now and our culture offends them all the time. All the time I must hear that they don't like this or that. I am fed up with it.

Dear ladies! What you did is pathetic. You sold out your own culture and integrity. You are Europeans, not Arabs. If their women want to cover their heads or they are forced to do it, it's their business. But you didn't have to do it. You shouldn't do it for money and you shouldn't do it to make Arabs happy. This is my sincere opinion. When I watch these photos I am shocked. We always lose with Muslims, there and here in Europe. Shame on you.