The 22-year-old Iranian woman has been a grandmaster and international master since 2016. She studied biology at the University of St. Louis (Missouri) and represented the United States in a tournament after a clash with the Iranian Chess Federation.
Dorsa Derakhshani, a 22-year-old Iranian woman, saw a psychological battle in chess that attracted her from an early age.
Currently, she obtained the title of Women’s Grandmaster and International Master at the age of 18 in 2016, and she is considered a prodigy of the sport both in her native Iran and in the United States, the country of her residence.
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Her story inevitably references that of Beth Harmon, the fictional character portrayed in the Netflix series based on the novel of the same name.
They share youth, femininity and a talent for chess, but unlike Beth Harmon, Dorsa Derakhshani has always had the support of her parents in sports and biological research.
“One aspect of Beth’s character that I really relate to is her confidence, and thanks to the early support of her parents, she still believed in herself even when she ended up in an orphanage. That’s a quality that I’m very grateful to my parents for. “I think it’s something that everyone should have; someone who gives you unlimited confidence. My mother commented on my opponents and shared what she said about them, it’s not chess, usually in front of me!” Dorsa Derakhshani told Vogue Mexico.
Between 2012 and 2014, Dorsa won three gold medals for Iran at the Asian Junior Chess Championship. Derakhshani also qualified for the 2016 FIDE Trainer title.
However, in February 2018, the Iranian Chess Federation banned Draghshani from playing for Iran after being accused of “harming the national interest”. That’s because she Dorsa didn’t wear a headscarf at the 2017 Gibraltar Chess Festival, when she lived in Spain.
After the suspension, Dragshani was selected to study biology at the University of St. Louis (Missouri, USA) and also received a scholarship for the university’s chess team. Dolsa has played for the US ever since.
Ella alfaguara will publish the novel Lady’s Gambit by Walter Tevis. But aside from the pushback she received from Iran, the young player told Vogue that one aspect of her identification with the Queen’s defection was sexism.
“Shaking hands between men and women is a taboo in Iran, and I vividly remember when I approached my opponent, I was 12 years old, he refused to shake my hand and shook his head. Beth’s opponent disrespected her because she scene where it was the girl who kept yawning reminded me of the story,” Drahshani told the magazine.
“I have countless stories of how wearing tight clothes, nail polish and lipstick can make you a ‘bad chess player,’ but I’m glad the character of Beth (Harmon) proves otherwise,” added the chess player.
“I love the wardrobe on the show and I tend to dress up some days when I’m feeling good, just for the mood. As I mentioned in my 2019 Ted Talk, I think most of the challenges of our society, including sexism and racism, if not eliminated, can be improved by spreading knowledge and trust,” said Derakhshani.
“Since considering becoming a doctor, I’ve learned a lot about gender differences, especially brain differences. Anatomically, the human brain looks exactly the same between genders. to distinguish gender. However, there are biological differences between human brains. I hope I can raise awareness in the chess community and break gender barriers. I can be proud of what my chess community has achieved,’” she expresses proudly.