Borna and Dorsa Derakhshani

October 10, 2017

An Iranian teenage chess player banned by the authorities in his homeland for playing an Israeli has been accepted to play under the English flag.

Borna Derakhshani, 15, will now be able to play in international events after making a personal appeal to the English Chess Federation.

His acceptance comes after his older sister, Dorsa, who was banned by Iran for attending an international competition without wearing an Islamic headscarf, became affiliated to the US Chess Federation.

Borna, who started at CATS College in Canterbury a couple of months ago, got in touch with Dominic Lawson, the president of the English Chess Federation, last month asking if he could join.

“He sent me an email saying that he wanted to play under the English flag, ” Mr Lawson said. “As far as I am concerned it is not a matter of politics but of standing up for chess players put in a most invidious position — effectively being banned from international events for doing nothing contrary to fair play or morality. ”

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