Tehran WWC: Bittersweet beginnings

by Elshan Moradiabadi
2/12/2017 – The first round of the Women's World Championship 2017 was off to a controversial start in Iran. For a handful of higher rated players, it was a frustrating opening round as they were held to draws. Some even lost. Check out GM Elshan Moradiabadi's illustrated report with analysis and more.

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Tehran WWC: Bittersweet beginnings

by Elshan Moradiabadi

As is usual in tournaments of such a format, we saw a lot of nerve-wracking moments, upsets, and surprises. However, the remarkable fact is the almost equal percentage of draws’ compared to decisive games. Given the bimodal distribution of players ratings in this event, one might expect a high number of decisive results in the first round. However, it is quite interesting to see that apart from a few top board players who outclassed their much lower rated opponents we saw tense battles on every other board.

Round one of the first stage of the nerve-wrecking FIDE Knockout Women’s World Championship ended around midday in Texas (February 11) where I am based. Here is my recap of the games with a number of observations, pictures, and commentaries.

From today onward, we will be able to bring you more visual content because two of the chess world’s greatest chess photographers — David Llada and Anastasia Karlovich — have joined the Iranian press to provide us with better insight of the tournament hall and actions.

Speaking of the tournament hall…

The President of the Association of Chess Professionals (ACP) lashed out online against the poor state of affairs in the playing hall! Read more.

Everything seems to be ready for round 1.

The games began with a minute’s silence to respect the memory of IM Cristina Foisor. [Photo: Reza Mahdipour]

Women are always fashionable whether in hijab or without it! Here we see IM Elisabeth Paehtz who is dressed like a typical Amish girl, maybe inadvertently, meanwhile…

…one of the veterans and ex-finalist of world championships, Ekaterina Kovalevskaya from Russia decided, again, probably inadvertently, to dress like Katherine Hepburn in The Lion in Winter.

While most competitors, like Bela Khotenashvili, who has visited Iran in a number of times before, chose the typical modern Tehrani outfit.

The CEO of MCI, a company also known under its brand name Hamrahe Aval, the first and largest mobile operator in Iran, made the opening move. [Photo: Reza Mahdipour]

But it was not official until the chief arbiter Anastasia Sorokina started the clock running on board one. [Photo: Reza Mahdipour]

Today was not a bad day for the host but the bad news for Iranian fans was the surprising loss of Sara Khademalsharieh. The local superstar, probably due to the pressure of playing at home and having the eyes of fans and press on her, did not manage to handle the stress and lost her game without much of a fight. Luckily for her, she has white pieces tomorrow which gives her the good chances to fight back and equalizes the match. [Photo: David Llada]

For instance, in an interview after the opening, Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs, Masoud Soltanifar, said to the press that he thinks Sara can become a world champion. Such words and attention, although not intentional, might have put a lot of pressure on the Iranian superstar. She received a bitter lesson at the hands of…

IM Sopiko Guramishvili from Georgia who demonstrated an excellent positional understanding. [Photo: Reza Mahdipour]

[Event "World women chess championship (1.1)"] [Site "?"] [Date "2017.02.11"] [Round "1.1"] [White "Guramishvili, Sopiko"] [Black "Khademalsharieh, Sara"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "E20"] [Annotator "Elshan Moradiabadi"] [PlyCount "75"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] [SourceDate "2003.06.08"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. f3 $5 {Sopiko, unlike Anish's style, plays very uncompromising chess. It'd be a mistake to think of her recent result in Tata Steel as an indicator of her strength. This move, suggests that she is up to her task to make the most out of her white pieces.} c5 $5 {Interestingly, Sara is up for the challenge and chooses the most committal and complicated continuation. When I was her coach long ago we were conceding to much safer, yet a bit passive, d5.} 5. d5 O-O 6. e4 d6 {we soon will get a form of what is known as snake-Benoni. I have to confess that I personally am not a fan of this set up.} 7. Nge2 Ba5 {This move has only been player once before, however it was played between two corresponding chess GMs. It means that the two parties must have thoroughly analyzed it. However, from human standpoint, I really cannot understand where black is heading to with this move. This is a very difficult position to play as black. It is not something I'd pick for an event with such brutal format. But it seems that Sara is up for the task.} ( 7... a6 {Here is a beautiful victory from Aronian in this line against current world no.2 Wesley So.} 8. a4 Ba5 9. Bd2 exd5 10. cxd5 Nh5 11. g3 Nd7 12. Bg2 b5 13. g4 b4 14. Nb1 Qh4+ 15. Kf1 Ne5 16. Be1 Qf6 17. gxh5 Nxf3 18. Bf2 Bg4 19. Qc1 Nd4 20. Nxd4 cxd4 21. e5 dxe5 22. Nd2 Rac8 23. Qb1 b3 24. Nxb3 Bb6 25. a5 Ba7 26. Kg1 Bf5 27. Be4 Qg5+ 28. Kf1 Qf4 {0-1 (28) So,W (2779)-Aronian,L (2765) Saint Louis 2015}) 8. Ng3 a6 {Change in plans?} (8... b5 $5 9. cxb5 exd5 10. exd5 Bb7 11. Bd2 Nxd5 12. Nxd5 Bxd5 13. Bxa5 Qxa5+ 14. Qd2 Qxd2+ 15. Kxd2 Rd8 16. a4 Nd7 17. h4 Rab8 $132 {1/2-1/2 (60) Papenin,N (2687)-Clever,H (2520) ICCF email 2013}) 9. Bf4 $146 exd5 10. cxd5 b5 $6 (10... Nbd7 {is possible.} 11. Bxd6 $4 Qb6 {and loss of b2 and winning the knight on c3 leads to disaster for white.}) 11. Be2 Ne8 12. O-O Nd7 (12... f5 {is a move hard to play but the position calls for it. Although, white is still mich better after it.}) 13. Kh1 (13. a4 b4 14. Nb1 {[#]}) 13... Rb8 14. Qc1 Ne5 15. Nd1 (15. a4 b4 16. Nd1 { might have been better.}) 15... Ng6 16. Be3 Qc7 17. f4 f5 18. Nxf5 Bxf5 19. exf5 Ne7 20. g4 Nxd5 (20... h5 21. h3 Nf6 {is preferred by engines. However, it is hard for human to voluntarily enter this position.}) 21. Bf3 $1 {white has an eye on d5 square.} Qf7 $2 {The queen does not belong to this square. Black had to remove his knight.} 22. Nf2 {This knight will land on g5 one way or another.} Nef6 23. Nh3 Nc7 24. Bg1 Qe8 25. Qc2 {white is strategically winning.} Kh8 26. Rad1 Rd8 27. b3 {From here till the end of the game, Sopiko Guramishvili, slowly but surely, converts her advantage into a full point. Her technique is rather impressive.} Qf7 28. a3 Bb6 29. Ng5 Qg8 30. Rfe1 Rfe8 31. b4 Rxe1 32. Rxe1 Qf8 33. Qa2 Rd7 34. Bc6 Re7 35. Rxe7 Qxe7 36. Nf7+ Kg8 37. Nxd6+ Kf8 38. Nc8 {Have an eye on their return match tomorrow!} 1-0

However, it seems that Sara is not disheartened and ready for a good fight. Here is what she communicated with her fans through Instagram.

Nevertheless, Iranians didn’t end the day empty-handed — WGM Mitra Hejazipour, who qualified by winning the 2015 Asian Championship, pulled out a miraculous victory in a ‘soon-to-be-worse’  endgame against IM Bodnaruk from Russia

Mitra was Caissa’s choice for round one. Let us see if she can make the best out of it! [Photo: David Llada]

[Event "World women chess championship (1.1)"] [Site "?"] [Date "2017.02.11"] [Round "1.1"] [White "Hejazipour, M."] [Black "Bodnaruk, A."] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B80"] [Annotator "Elshan Moradiabadi"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "2r2b1R/R7/3ppk2/1N3p2/5P2/3B1b2/KPP5/6r1 b - - 0 37"] [PlyCount "2"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] [SourceDate "2003.06.08"] {[#]} {[#] After a tupsy-turvy game, through which, Bodnaruk had the upper hand the players are reaching 40th move in a somewhat balanced position but it is white who has to be cautious. In time pressure, Bodnaruk had a number of safe choices to enter a slightly better ending, however, time pressure took its toll and she blundered right away} 37... Kg6 $4 {a painful loss for Bodnaruk} (37... Rh1 38. Rg8 Rb8 39. Nd4 Bd5+ 40. b3 Rh4 {Mitra needed to find} 41. c4 {in order to keep the balance.}) ({Or} 37... Rb8 38. Rhh7 Ra8 39. Rhf7+ Kg6 40. Nd4 Rxa7+ 41. Rxa7 Be4 42. Bxe4 fxe4 43. Nxe6 Bh6 {when black's passed pawns are more dangerous.}) 38. Rg8+ 1-0

If these two games were a bit of a surprise, GM Nana Dzagnidze’s loss with the white pieces to WGM Mona Khaled from Egypt was the biggest upset of the day! My research may be inept but it seems that Mona Khaled's victory in this game is the first victory by any African player in the modern form of Women’s World Championships! Go Figure. [Photo: Reza Mahdipour]

[Event "World women chess championship (1.1)"] [Site "?"] [Date "2017.02.11"] [Round "1.1"] [White "Dazgnidze, N."] [Black "Khaled, M."] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "A09"] [Annotator "Elshan Moradiabadi"] [PlyCount "128"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] [SourceDate "2003.06.08"] 1. Nf3 d5 2. c4 d4 3. g3 Nc6 4. Bg2 e5 5. d3 Bb4+ 6. Bd2 a5 7. O-O Nf6 8. Na3 O-O 9. Nb5 Re8 10. Bg5 Be7 11. e3 h6 12. Bxf6 Bxf6 13. exd4 exd4 14. Nd2 Ne5 15. Qc2 c6 16. Na3 Bg4 17. Rae1 Qd7 18. f4 Ng6 19. c5 Bh3 20. Nac4 Bxg2 21. Kxg2 Rxe1 22. Rxe1 Qd5+ 23. Ne4 Bd8 24. Qb3 b5 25. Ncd2 Qd7 26. a4 Bc7 27. axb5 cxb5 28. Qd1 Re8 {[#] Mona Khaled outplayed Dzagnidze out of opening and as the game went through Dzagnidze bounced back and got a much better position, however, a couple of inaccuracies caused her advantage to fizzle out and Mona got the upper hand again. Here, black is slightly better but what happens next is Dzagnidze get herself into trouble in a couple of moves.} 29. Kf1 $2 { planning to play knight f2? probably} Ne7 $1 {Great piece play by Mona Khaled. This knight is heading to e3.} 30. Nf3 $2 {Dzanidze plans a piece sacrifice but her plan does not work at this instance.} Nf5 31. Kf2 Ne3 32. Qc1 Qh3 ( 32... f5 $19) 33. Rxe3 dxe3+ 34. Qxe3 Qd7 35. f5 $6 Rd8 $1 {wins a pawn.} 36. d4 Qxf5 {and Mona Khaled converted her advantage gradually.} 37. Ned2 Kf8 38. Qc3 Re8 39. Qb3 g5 40. Qxb5 g4 41. Qc6 Bb8 42. Qxh6+ Ke7 43. Qg5+ Qxg5 44. Nxg5 f5 45. Nc4 Kf6 46. h4 Rd8 47. Nxa5 Rxd4 48. Nc6 Rd2+ 49. Ke3 Rxb2 50. Nxb8 Rxb8 51. Kd4 Rd8+ 52. Kc4 Ke7 53. c6 Rd1 54. c7 Rc1+ 55. Kd5 Rxc7 56. Ke5 Rc5+ 57. Kf4 Kf6 58. Nh7+ Kg7 59. Ng5 Kg6 60. Ne6 Rc4+ 61. Ke5 Re4+ 62. Kd5 Kf6 63. Nf8 Re7 64. h5 f4 0-1

Other African players also proved prominent — Sabrina Latreche from Algeria... [Photo: Reza Mahdipour]

...had ex-world champion Aleksandra Kosteniuk on the ropes until when she failed to find a decisive tactic. [Photo: Reza Mahdipour]

[Event "World women chess championship (1.1)"] [Site "?"] [Date "2017.02.11"] [Round "1.1"] [White "Kosteniuk, A."] [Black "Latereche, S."] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C78"] [Annotator "Elshan Moradiabadi"] [PlyCount "57"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] [SourceDate "2003.06.08"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. d3 Bc5 6. O-O b5 7. Bb3 d6 8. a4 Bg4 9. c3 O-O 10. Qe2 b4 11. a5 bxc3 12. bxc3 Rb8 13. Nbd2 Nh5 14. g3 Qf6 15. Kg2 {[#] The Alegerian player had pressed with black pieces so far against one of the strongest female player in the world, however in the next two moves, she goes astray.} Bxf3+ $4 {Not only losing her chances to get a huge advantage. This move also gives white a huge positional advantage.} (15... Qh6 $1 16. Bd1 Nf6 (16... Bh3+ 17. Kh1 Bxf1 18. Nxf1 Qg6 {winning an exchange is also a choice.}) 17. h4 Qg6 {and black's pin looks very deadly. Specially when Nh5 and f5 are coming next!}) 16. Qxf3 Qxf3+ 17. Kxf3 Rb5 $4 {final blunder.} 18. Ba4 Na7 (18... Rxa5 19. Nb3 $18) 19. Bxb5 Nxb5 20. Bb2 f5 21. exf5 Rxf5+ 22. Kg2 Nf6 23. Rab1 d5 24. c4 dxc4 25. Nxc4 Ng4 26. h3 Nh6 27. Nxe5 Nf7 28. f4 Nfd6 29. g4 1-0

Finally, I think the best game of the day is the following king hunt by Melia Salome against Ekaterina Atalik from Turkey.

[Event "World women chess championship (1.1)"] [Site "?"] [Date "2017.02.11"] [Round "1.1"] [White "Salome, M."] [Black "Atalik, E."] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C54"] [Annotator "Elshan Moradiabadi"] [PlyCount "69"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] [SourceDate "2003.06.08"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. c3 Nf6 5. d3 O-O 6. O-O d5 7. exd5 Nxd5 8. Nbd2 Nb6 9. b4 Be7 10. b5 Na5 11. Nxe5 Naxc4 12. Ndxc4 Nxc4 13. Nxc4 a6 14. bxa6 Rxa6 15. Re1 Be6 16. Bf4 Bf6 17. Ne5 Ra3 18. Qc2 Qa8 19. d4 Rd8 20. Qb2 c6 21. h3 h6 22. Re3 c5 23. dxc5 Qa4 24. Bg3 h5 25. Nf3 Rxa2 26. Rxa2 Rd1+ 27. Kh2 Bxa2 {[#]} 28. c6 $1 {Black queen is overloaded and white cuts its way to e8 while opening up b-file for a final brekthbreakthroughher rook and queen.} bxc6 29. Re8+ Kh7 30. Qb8 Bd5 31. Rh8+ Kg6 32. Qg8 {simple and effective. The check on h7 is decisive.} Kf5 (32... Bxf3 33. Qh7+ Kg5 34. h4+ Kg4 35. Qxh5#) 33. Rxh5+ Ke4 {The king is rushing to join other black's pieces but Melia Salome seals the deal with this cute tactic.} 34. Qh7+ g6 35. Rh4+ {A queen up is enough! you can checkmate the king later!} 1-0

Results from Round 01:


Elshan Moradiabadi is a GM born and raised in Tehran, Iran. He moved to the US in 2012. Ever since, he has been active in US college chess scenes and in US chess. is a veteran instructor and teaches chess to every level, with students ranging from beginners to IM. He can be contacted for projects or teaching.


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sxb103 sxb103 2/21/2017 10:36
@fgkdjlkag At least I quoted sources, Fons quoted nothing. I will take a country with a free press any time over a non democratic country like Iran. Note that France and Germany also recognize Hezbollah as a terror group. Iran is the main sponsor of Hezbollah.
"In May 2013, France and Germany released statements that they will join other European countries in calling for a EU-blacklisting of Hezbollah as a terror group.[324]"

chessdrummer chessdrummer 2/14/2017 02:55

You should ask why your points were not brought up when they voted 159-0. That's all that is relevant. You also grossly underestimate Iranian women. Debating a country's culture is useless because you apparently don't have the knowledge or historical perspective to objectively comment. Every single country has national laws that visitors are bound to follow... every one of them. Some are gender-neutral and some are gender-specific. Regardless, FIDE members (including delegates from countries who are protesting) selected Iran and the tournament is in progress. If you can't enjoy the coverage because of the head covering, there are plenty other events to follow.
hellzorganist hellzorganist 2/13/2017 11:05
The UK pays its women workers 9.4% less than their male equivalents. Russian newspapers tell women to be proud of the bruises legally inflicted on them by their husbands. The USA elects as their president a man who brags about sexual assault. Seriously, I don't think the West is in a position to lecture to Iran about women's rights.
hellzorganist hellzorganist 2/13/2017 10:39
If you want to be upset by hijab-wearing in Teheran, should you not also be commenting on recently legalised wife-beating in Russia? Maybe we could organise a boycott? Oh the hypocrisy.
Exclam Exclam 2/13/2017 07:27
In my opinion you should respect the culture of the country you are visiting, regardless as to whether or not you share the same beliefs as them. Other than that your don't have to visit it.
hansj hansj 2/13/2017 05:01
And if, headdrummer, if, which is not the case, wearing headscarves (women only) was national culture, why the hell should the men in charge force that national culture on women from other cultures, visiting to play chess???
hansj hansj 2/13/2017 04:56
chessdrummer, wearing these headscarves is not, as you call it "national culture".
It is a decree by the fanatically religious men rigidly ruling Iran.
fons fons 2/13/2017 12:41
@ Balthus

I also used to believe everything that came out of the US, well, mostly. Long time ago. Until I started reading some independent journalism. The amount of propaganda -and yes fake news- coming out of the US and most of the mainstream media (including outlets like the Guardian that once upon a time still had some credibility) is much much worse than you can imagine. So I can understand why you would believe that.

I'm not going to defend Iran, there are certainly questionable things there. And I am also against forcing people to wear religious headgear. And I also don't think Iran was the best place to have this tournament.

But calling Iran "number one State sponsor of worldwide terrorism" is categorically wrong. It's just propaganda. And you're going to hear much more of it because it's going to be their main talking point actually as it looks like the US is getting ready for war with Iran.

But of course you're not going to read about stuff like that or about who is really funding ISIS in the New York Times.

Read some independent media. Use a search engine. You're on the internet after all.
offpister offpister 2/13/2017 10:09
@grandmastermac I suggest you try walking down the street in Iran dressed as a woman without a Hajib and see how "safe" you feel. Only recently did Iran give up (cut back) on stoning women to death. There is no question that Iranian culture is rich and deep, and that many (most) in Iran (Tehran, that is) lament the religious fantacis that have taken over their country. It is a sad degradation of one of the greatest cultures on the planet. But the facts are very clear regarding Iran's state's sponsored terrorism. This is not American propoganda or anything of the sort. Suggesting you have never felt safer than in Iran does not respond to the justified criticism of holding the WCC in Iran. You were a tourist and as such you saw what you wanted to see. Pointing to Donald Trump's misogyny is hardly a meritorious point as his election provoked one of the largest demonstrations and protests by women and men in US history. This alone is a testament to the rights of a free and open society.
Balthus Balthus 2/13/2017 09:47
@fons, that remark was just moronic. (Do you even reread what you write?) Also, "reason to believe" is not a factual statement, unlike your sweeping and unfounded retort. Statements like that go a long way to discredit your opinion in other issues as well (e.g. Hou Yifan in Gibraltar).
chessdrummer chessdrummer 2/13/2017 04:26
Sorry... the comments here are totally off base. FIDE's executive body did not make the decision to have it in Iran. At the General Assembly in Baku, Azerbaijan, 159 members of FIDE voted to have the tournament in Iran. Not a single objection... 159-0. Don't blame Iran, their national culture or political system. They followed the process and their proposal was accepted by the body. Either blame each member nation for not objecting, or move on to the next issue.
grandmastermac grandmastermac 2/13/2017 04:24
I have just spent a month visiting Iran, embracing it's culture and understanding the country and it's people better. From the comments here it is quite plain that Iran is not well understood. I can confidently say from my experience that the view espoused on this post that somehow woman are mistreated in Iran is unequivocally wrong. In my experience from being in Iran, woman are treated with a great deal of respect by men. In fact, men value woman in Iran far more than Western countries! I didn't hear once of a man talking of a woman in a sexual way. Shame on you Mr. Trump!

Re the comment about Iran being a state sponsor of worldwide terrorism, I really don't know enough of the state - I suspect very few do. But what I can say is that I never felt safer. In fact, I felt safer in Iran than in any other country I have visited and that incudes Western countries.

And finally in regards to wearing a scarf, this is a requirement that came into force some 30 years prior as part of the revolution which brought with it the indoctrination of Islam. It is clear from the comments that somehow it is interpreted that the head-scarf is somehow representative of persecution of women. Nothing could be further from the truth. The people of Iran regardless of gender having clothing requirements - men and woman. The requirements are generally supported by the population - both genders. If I walk outdoors in my shorts, I will be told soon enough by a member of the public to cover up. It is their culture based on the beliefs of Islam.

In saying this, most locals I spoke with would have preferred the revolution never happened. They want freedom to choose their own religion. My impression was the younger females would like it if they didn't have the requirement to wear a scarf.

The good news is the rules in Iran are slowly being relaxed. Over time, I think you will find the state will become less and less controlling of it's citizens. But to have total freedom would likely require another revolution and that is not a welcome thing for anybody as it will put the economy backwards another 30 years.

So my advice, is don't believe everything you hear on TV and definitely don't believe American politicians and propaganda.
I have never felt more welcome in any country than I was in Iran. If you want to make judgements, fine but I challenge you to go there and experience their culture first. Get educated and informed. Understand it's people. Then comment from your own experience.
CMPonCB CMPonCB 2/13/2017 04:05
Nice costume party, if you like that sort of thing, but I'm finding it hard to take the chess seriously. Thanks to the FIDE President and his questionable motives, what should have been a flagship event has become little more than a comedy caption writing exercise. If Chessbase cares about chess, then they and the rest of the chess press should impose a photo blackout on all further reports. And I say that with a heavy heart, as David Llada's pictures are always a joy to behold.
FIORI FIORI 2/13/2017 01:59
Iran's chess organizaers are not Iran's terrorists, they have nothing to do with each other. It is necessary to separate things.
And considering all Iranian people terrorists is the same of what Americans did in the "Witches os Salem" episode in the late 18th century, in an completely insane act. As for the hijab, all we have to do is to consider wearing it a cultural matter. Iran is not ready as yet to complete occidentalization of their habits, so, it is up to us to be tolerant with their traditions and not to take them as impositions.
FIORI FIORI 2/13/2017 01:41
Many people here are mixing up things.
racesyn racesyn 2/12/2017 11:12
Abhorent! If all Germans, British, Norwegians or Russians, men and women, were required to wear clothing signifying that they were nothing more than chattel I think the outrage would be quite different. How about having Magnus wear a hajib?! Ridiculous.
fgkdjlkag fgkdjlkag 2/12/2017 10:06
@sxb103, fons stated that it was American propaganda, and you are using an American source to disprove it? That logic does not follow...
Aighearach Aighearach 2/12/2017 09:28
@PatrickP well, that is something obvious to consider when choosing the tournament location! If you want people to talk about the games, you have to hold the tournament in one of the many places in the world that respect the rights of the participants! If you hold it in Iran, holding it in Iran will forever be the story.

Or at least, it will be the story until the event concludes and the story becomes, the new "Champion" never defeated the much stronger real Champion, and FIDE had to hold the event in a place like Iran in order to make sure they got a new champion...
offpister offpister 2/12/2017 09:25
Why are people complaining about the oppressive conditions in Iran, when we have Emil Sutokovsky to make sure that....the air conditioner is working. The flimsy joke about Ekaterina Kovaleskaya dressing like Katherine Hepburn in The Lion in Winter and the comment that most competitors chose "the typical modern Tehrani outfit" does not mitigate the disgrace in holding such a tournament in Iran. Nor does fixing the air conditioner under the guise that FIDE must respect chessplayers.
edelgado edelgado 2/12/2017 08:52
beautiful photography!!
sxb103 sxb103 2/12/2017 06:49
Just now
@fons, Sorry Lachesis is right. Iran is the biggest state sponsor of terrorism. The State Department says so (Obama administration). I think they're more believable than the Mullahs, Hezbollah or Hamas http://www.cnn.com/2016/06/02/politics/state-department-report-terrorism/
PatrickP PatrickP 2/12/2017 06:26
Maybe by now we should focus on the games and what is happening there? The people making this report cannot change anything about that situation... Good article with very good photographs!
Augusta2022 Augusta2022 2/12/2017 04:43
Totally agree with above statements!It's sickening to see a WCC contest being held in a country where women are worth nothing more than a dog. The chess world needs to mark against countries like Iran. By accepting to have the event there, they also accept the country itself.
fons fons 2/12/2017 03:32
@ Lachesis
>> "There is reason to believe that Iran is the number one State sponsor of worldwide terrorism."

No they're not, that's American / Israeli propaganda. (Do you hear yourself talk?)
Lachesis Lachesis 2/12/2017 01:51
I agree with those that posted comments criticizing the Sponsors for allowing Iran to host this chess event. There is reason to believe that Iran is the number one State sponsor of worldwide terrorism.
sigirisetti sigirisetti 2/12/2017 01:44
I'm sure chess has better sponsors who respect players preferences than enforce sponsors customs. Sad
James L Hankins James L Hankins 2/12/2017 12:57
Looking at this pictorial report, doesn't it make Chessbase a little bit uncomfortable viewing photo after photo of professional, adult women being forced to wear a costume that they may or may not wish to wear? The entire thing is unsettling and overshadows the chess content.
thirteen thirteen 2/12/2017 12:54
Such is the present state of chess. When WCC contestants are obliged to compete in the controlled kennels of superior dogs that treat all of their own girls and wives like nothing more than suppressed bitches. It is outrageous. Why was a low respecting human values country like Iran even considered for such a special and elite, multi-national tournament? Guess it must all be about money? Shame on those that picked it. This act is almost sympathising and most certainly permitting accommodation of their ways.