Nazí Paikidze is a Georgian American chess player who holds the FIDE titles of International Master and Woman Grandmaster.
She was twice world youth girls’ champion and four-time European youth girls’ champion in her age category. She won the 2016 U.S. women’s championship.
In October 2016, Paikidze announced that she intends to boycott the Women’s World Chess Championship 2017 in Tehran, Iran due to its hijab dress code: “I will not wear a hijab and support women’s oppression.
Even if it means missing one of the most important competitions of my career.” She received support for her stance from the United States Chess Federation, as well as prominent players Nigel Short and Garry Kasparov.
Her online petition asking for the championship to be moved or the hijab laws to be relaxed has received over 15,000 signatures.
It has been pointed out in this context that the U.S. Department of State has issued a warning that there is a “risk of arrest and detention of U.S. citizens”, and also states that travelers “should very carefully weigh the risks of travel and consider postponing their travel”.