Shohreh Bayat

Chief Arbiter*
2020 Women’s World Chess Championship

According to an Opinion piece written by Shohreh herself and published by The Washington Post in February 2020, she defected from Iran and found asylum in Britain. 

After the last game of the 2020 Women’s World Chess Championship match, Shohreh found herself in Russia with an Iranian passport fearing for her life or imprisonment if she returned to Iran.

*Being the Chief Arbiter at the 2020 Women’s World Chess Championship match is comparable to being the head referee at the NFL’s Super Bowl in the USA! 

She makes a life-changing decision. See the rest of the story and photos below.

In Her Own Words

Shohreh Bayat hair in wind sitting on rock at ocean bay in UK

The wind blows in my hair,

blows away all sorrow in my heart,

makes my heart light,

I know it is on my side.


Embraces Repressed Jewish Heritage

Shohreh Bayat in front of London Bridge in UK

After some time in Great Britain, Shohreh embraced her family’s Jewish heritage that had been repressed her entire life in Iran.

“My whole life has been about showing the wrong image of me to society because Iran wanted me to be an image of a religious Muslim woman, which I wasn’t,” Ms. Bayat said in an exclusive interview with the Telegraph about her Jewish roots that first came while she was waiting for asylum in the UK.

Her paternal grandmother, Mary, who moved to Iran from Azerbaijan’s capital, Baku, during World War II, was Jewish. 

“If Iran knew that I had a Jewish background, Iran would never allow her to be General Secretary of the Iranian Chess Federation,” she said, recalling anti-Jewish remarks she had heard from chess officials.

Recently, Ms. Bayat, who now wears her long, straight, dark hair loosely, celebrated the Jewish New Year for the first time in her life.

“It was wonderful. It was something I never had an opportunity to do,” said Ms. Bayat from her temporary home outside London, describing her excitement as she sat for the Rosh Hashanah dinner of apple, honey and challah.

A return to Iran is out of the question for Shohreh. 

Last year, Iran sentenced three women to a total of 55 years in prison in Iran for violating the hijab law.

Hoping to be with her family and husband again one day, she doesn’t apologize for her decision to drop the hijab and the defect.

“I have no regrets.”


The Rest of the Story

Shohreh Bayat in hijab at podium at 2020 Women's World Chess Championship

At 32 years old, Shohreh Bayat rose to the top of the FIDE–International Chess Federation arbiters.


What Happened?

In Shanghai, China, at the beginning of Round 3 of the 2020 Women’s World Chess Championship, Shohreh was photographed leaning over the chess table, where she appeared not to be wearing a hijab. 

The photo spread quickly on Iranian social media, which is heavily monitored by the government there
See photo below.

Shohreh Bayat leaning over chess table without wearing hijab


Then What Happened?

“The accusation was that I deliberately had no head covering in order to protest against the hijab,” Shohreh wrote in an email. “I was shocked and panicked.”

Shohreh
 told the BBC* that in the photo she was in fact wearing the hijab, which hung loosely on the back of her head in the image.

*Quotes from article by Nancy Gillen, reported by BBC.

Shohreh Bayat leaning over chess table wearing hijab

Escalation!

Shohreh said in her email that the Iranian Chess Federation asked her to issue a statement supporting the hijab, but she refused.

“In my conscience, I could not do it,” she said. “There are many people in prison in Iran because of the hijab, it’s a very serious issue.”


The Awakening, Decision & Transformation

Shohreh Bayat standing alone without wearing hijab at Closing Ceremony

“I believe people must be free to choose what they want to wear,” Shohreh said in the email. “I have never worn the hijab out of choice.”

She told the BBC that after reading the news accounts in Iran, she decided to stop wearing the hijab altogether so she could “be myself.”


“In my conscience, I could not do it.”

Shohreh Bayat standing without wearing hijab in pink top & red pants

“I have never worn the hijab out of choice.”


Chess Improves Academics, Exercises IQ

&

Aids Good Decision-Making!

 

Begin Here

with

The World’s Best Selling Scholastic Chess Workbooks!

 

Beginner’s Book – Chess Rules For Students

Chess Rules For Students workbook

“Knights Battle”

Chess Rules For Students is a workbook for students learning the game of chess and for beginning students returning to the game. No previous knowledge of chess is necessary. Parents unfamiliar with chess will find this booklet a valuable guide to their child’s new interest.

Chess Rules For Students is designed with students, coaches, and parents in mind. Reading level is appropriate for grade-school use. All major rules of chess are covered, and algebraic notation worksheets are included. Each page is in easy-to-use worksheet format.

A student-friendly Answer Key makes self-correction fun!


Beginners & Intermediate Book – Checkmate! Ideas For Students

Checkmate! Ideas For Students

“Knight Checkmates King!”

Checkmate! Ideas For Students is a workbook for beginning and intermediate students. Checkmate! covers the tactics used in checkmate attacks with clear explanations, diagrams and arrows to pinpoint the key features.

Unlike many other basic checkmate books, Checkmate! categorizes the checkmates by the tactics used to force the checkmate–like Pins, Sacrifices, Removing the Guard, Attraction, Clearance and Attacking Flight Squares–rather than only the checkmate pattern itself.

The worksheets and Answer Key are clear and simple for the student to use, and easy for the parent, teacher and coach to correct! Fun!


Intermediate & Advanced Book – Chess Tactics For Students

Chess Tactics For Students workbook

“Profiles Face-Off in King’s Shadow”

Chess Tactics For Students contains 434 carefully selected problems in worksheet format.

Chess Tactics has been extensively field tested with elementary, middle-school, and high-school students over a four-year period. This book is ideal for independent seat work as well as for homework and classroom instruction.

The worksheet format and Answer Key enable self-correction with minimal dependence or direct help from a chess teacher, coach, or parent.


Chess for Students Shop Now

SOLVE A PUZZLE & WIN!

Solve a chess puzzle, enter the weekly drawing as often as you like, and win awesome prizes! Winners’ prizes are listed below. If you don’t win this week, try again next week! New puzzles are posted daily!

CHESS PUZZLES WEEKLY PRIZES

Below are the weekly prizes we send out! If you don’t win, try again the following week for your chance to win! Click on the prize to learn more about it.

Checkmate In One Prize
Chess Rules For Students Workbook
An instructional workbook designed for students learning the game of chess. Click here to learn more!
Checkmate In Two Prize
Checkmate! Ideas For Students
An instructional workbook containing tactics in worksheet format used to checkmate--like Pins, Sacrifices, Removing the Guard, Attraction, Clearance, and Attacking Flight Squares!
Checkmate In Three Prize
Chess Tactics For Students
An instructional workbook containing 434 carefully selected problems presented in worksheet format.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This
Cart Item Removed. Undo
  • No products in the cart.