The origins of chess are not 100% known. Historians believe it was invented in India or China but either way, it spread to Persia until the Arabs conquered the country and then spread it around the world.
It’s exciting to know that one of the best chess players in the world is Iranian-born Dorsa Derakhshani. She recently fled the oppressive middle-east filled with religious tension and the treatment of women as second-class citizens (at best).
Photo from Beyond Chess
She recently penned an editorial worth reading. In it she refers to how Iranian federation officials were more concerned about the tightness of her jeans or head-covering than her ability to play chess.
They eventually banned her from playing, Her brother was banned as well for playing an Israeli.
She concludes that chess is like America at its best. Neither cares how old you are, what you wear, your gender or how much money you have.
She is applying for U.S. citizenship because as she says, barring people from playing chess because of their ethnicity, religion or clothing is so wrong. She wants to represent us in the Olympics.
In the 1950s, Nadji Tehrani left Iran because he saw no future there. He was my father. About one-million people followed him and the U.S. is a better place as a result. Let’s hope Ms. Derakhshani sees her wish come true.