Double world chess champion, 27, REFUSES to defend her title in Saudi Arabia in defiance of the full-length robes women are required to wear in the kingdom
Anna Muzychuk, 27, is World Champion of two chess disciplines
The Ukrainian has refused to play in this year’s championship
It is being held in Saudi Arabia where women are routinely oppressed
She says her refusal is in response to gender inequality in Saudi Arabia
By Sara Malm For Mailonline
Published: 11:59 EST, 26 December 2017 | Updated: 12:05 EST, 26 December 2017
A reigning chess World Champion is refusing to defend her title’s in this weeks world tournament because it is being held in Saudi Arabia where women are living under oppression.
Anna Muzychuk, 27, from Lviv, Ukraine is the World No 1 in two speed disciplines – rapid and blitz – and shocked the chess world when she announced that she would not be competing in the championships.
Ms Muzychuk said it would go against her principles to subject herself to the Saudi Arabian laws which requires women to cover themselves and not walk unaccompanied in public.
‘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,’ Ms Muzychuk wrote in a statement on her Facebook.
‘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.’