Ukrainian Anna Muzychuk is about to lose two of her champion titles - the outcome of her decisive denial to participate in this week's speed chess championship in Riyadh. While competitors from 70 countries worldwide will be struggling for the gold, Ukraine's Muzychuk sisters - Anna and Mariya - chose to stay away from the tournament.
'In what the World Chess Federation (FIDE) called an "historic agreement", Saudi Arabia relaxed its dress code for the tournament, which has a total prize pot of $2 million. This meant women would not need to wear the hijab or abaya -- the loose-fitting, full-length robes that women are typically expected to wear. Instead, inside the venue, women could wear dark formal trouser suits and high-necked white blouses. But these changes did not go far enough for Muzychuk. "I have refused to go," she said', Reuters wrote.
Hosts of the tournament in Saudi Arabia previously faced criticism for not issuing visas to Israeli competitors.