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EghtesadOnline: A group of foreign participants of the Women's World Chess Champs in Tehran described their trip to Iran as memorable, describing Tehran a suitable host for the event.

“I have never been in Iran. I have no chance to go out and look around the city, but I like it very much. I have many friends in Iran,” Australian head referee Anastasia Sorokina told IRNA in a recent exclusive interview.

“My job is not to analyze the games but up to here it is very successful, top level players, without having any problems until now,” IRNA quoted her as saying.

Regarding Iranians’ hospitality, Sorokina said that Iranians are very friendly and hopeful. She also liked Iranian foods.

“I don’t mind what people say about Hijab, but I don’t have any problems,” she added referring to the Islamic dress code that should be observed by foreign women arriving in Iran. 

The first round of Women's World Chess Championship kicked off with the attendance of 63 world top players including three Iranian ones on Feb 11 in Tehran.

Some 27 athletes from Europe, 12 from Asia, 8 from US, 3 from Africa together with some medal winners of the previous edition of the event have participated in the Women's World Chess Championship.

The final match of the event is scheduled to be held on March 4 in Tehran Espinas Hotel.

Meanwhile, World Chess Federation (FIDE) Press Officer Anastasia Karlovich also in an interview with IRNA thanked Iran for hosting the World Competition.

“No problem, so far everything is good, hospitality is more than what I believed,” Karlovich said.

“Scarf is a tradition in Iran and everybody understands it,” she said.

Ukraine player Anna Muzychuk was their third foreign participants of the event who talked to the Iranian state news agency saying, “It is my first trip. Level of competition is very strong because it is world championship.”

FIDE elected Iran as the host to the World Women Championship amid some disputes about it.

FIDE acted independently in granting hosting to the countries and it picked up Iran to play the host to the World Women Championship, FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov told reporters in a press conference before the event.

He described Iran as the motherland of chess which deserved to be chosen as the host of the World Women Championship.

Iran Chess World Chess Champs women chess