Exiled Iranian chess player Sara Khadem makes it to magazine cover in Spain

Just months after she was forced into exile for refusing to wear a headscarf at a chess tournament, IM Sarasadat Khademalsharieh — known popularly as Sara Khadem — was featured on the cover of Elle magazine’s Spanish online edition. The magazine has made the cover on occasion of International Women’s Day on Wednesday.

The 25-year-old Khadem made news in December last year after she competed in the 2022 FIDE World Rapid and Blitz Championships in Almaty without a headscarf, which was deemed mandatory by the Iranian government. In the aftermath, she had to flee Iran to her adopted nation of Spain. She currently lives in the Iberian nation with her husband and their one-year-old son.

Iran has seen street protests raging across the country since September 2022, when Mahsa Amini was killed in police detention where she was kept for allegedly breaking the nation’s strict hijab rules.

The protests also saw an effect in the world of chess where besides Khadem needing to go into exile, men’s GM Alireza Firouzja also chose to relocate to France.

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