Saudi Arabia has been going through winds of change and the beneficiaries have been women. Next month, the country will have the World rapid and blitz chess championships to be held in Riyadh from December 26th to 30th. FIDE the world chess governing body has reached an agreement with the organisers regarding the dress code wherein there is no need for women to wear a hijab or an abaya. Instead they can wear dark blue or black formal trousers and high necked blouses.
Dronavalli Harika has welcomed the move and said that earlier when the event was held in Iran,all players were forced to wear a hijab.She said that this is a positive development. However not all chess players welcomed the move. Ukraine’s Anna Muzychuk and England’s Jovanka Houska would be boycotting the event. Even World no 10 player Hikaru Nakamura criticised FIDE”s decision to award the world championship to Saudi Arabia.