Anna Muzychuk is taking a stand for women’s rights at her own expense. The Chess Grandmaster won the 2016 Women’s World Rapid Chess Championship and the Women’s World Blitz Chess Championship. She’s currently ranked the number two woman by Fédération Internationale des Échecs (FIDE), which governs international chess competitions. And she’s walking away from this year’s world championships.
She’s not retiring or concerned about her challengers. She’s taking a stand for herself and for women in general by refusing to play in Saudi Arabia. She wrote on 23 December on her Facebook page:
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. The same goes for my sister Mariya – and I am really happy that we share this point of view. And yes, for those few who care – we’ll be back!
Mariya, currently ranked 6th, deserves an equal amount of credit for standing up to a country that only recently agreed to allow women to drive.
To keep reading, click here: The Reason this Chess World Champion Is Stepping Away From Her Titles