TEHRAN – Iranian chess player Dorsa Derakhshani, who was banned from her local club for taking part in competitions without wearing the required head covering, has joined the US national team.
The move, reported by the Iranian news agency ISNA on Monday, marks the first time an Iranian chess team member has switched to the team of its archrival.
According to the World Chess Federation, Derakhshani is in the top 200 active female players worldwide and holds the International Master and Woman Grand Master titles.
Women in Iran are required to wear a head covering and long jacket in public, including sports events.
The 19-year-old Derakhshani was banned earlier this year by Iran’s chess federation for playing at an international tournament in Gibraltar without covering her head.
Her younger brother, Borna, was also banned at the time for playing against an Israeli competitor. Due to political squabbles, Iranian players have not been allowed to play Israelis for nearly 40 years. -dpa