Dorsa Derakhshani

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Dorsa Derakhshani
Dorsa Derakhshani.png
Derakhshani in 2017
United States
Born (1998-04-15) 15 April 1998 (age 22)
Tehran, Iran
TitleInternational Master (2016)
Woman Grandmaster (2016)
Peak rating2405 (July 2016)

Dorsa Derakhshani (Persian: درسا درخشانی‎; born 1998) is an Iranian chess player representing the United States since September 2017.[1] She was awarded the titles Woman Grandmaster and International Master in 2016.

Chess career[edit]

Dorsa Derakhshani won three gold medals at the Asian Youth Chess Championships, in 2012 (in the Girls U14 division),[2] 2013 and 2014 (in the Girls U16).[3] She played for the Iranian team in the women's division of the Asian Nations Cup in 2012[4] and 2014.[5]

Derakhshani also qualified for the title of FIDE Trainer in 2016[6] and is an accredited FIDE journalist.

Derakhshani was a speaker at TedxTalk in Munich, Germany in July 2019. She pursues the audience to "Take their freedom of choice seriously."at the TEDxYouth@München[7].

Conflict with Iranian Chess Federation[edit]

In February 2017,[8] the Iranian Chess Federation[9] banned Derakhshani from playing for the Iran national team or playing in any tournaments in Iran for "harming national interests", after she played in the 2017 Gibraltar Chess Festival (when she was already a temporary resident of Spain) without wearing a hijab. Her 15-year-old brother Borna, who is a FIDE Master, was also banned for playing Israeli grandmaster Alexander Huzman in the first round of the same tournament. Derakhshani had previously played in several tournaments without a hijab.[10][11] Dorsa only did one interview in response to the media outburst, to[12] She also wrote a piece for The New York Times at the end of 2017.[13]

Transfer to Saint Louis University[edit]

Following the ban, Derakhshani accepted a place at Saint Louis University to study Biology on a pre-med track, winning a scholarship to play on the Saint Louis University Chess Team.[14] Other notable members of the team[15] include Alejandro Ramírez as coach, Francesco Rambaldi and Dariusz Świercz. Because of this, Derakhshani began to play for the United States of America in 2017. Saint Louis chess team won silver in 2017 Pan American intercollegiate chess championship.[16] She played in the 2018 US Women's Chess Championship.[17]. In 2019, she accompanied her team to achieve bronze in the World Prestigious University Chess Invitational in Tianjin, China.[18] and she individually, achieved the first runner-up on board three in the tournament.


  1. ^ Player transfers in 2017. FIDE.
  2. ^ "Asian Youth Chess Championship 2012 Under 14 Girls". Retrieved 2017-09-11.
  3. ^ Banjan, Priyadarshan (2014-11-24). "Asian Youth Championship". Chess News. ChessBase. Retrieved 2017-09-11.
  4. ^ "Asian Nations Chess Cup 2012 – Complete Lineups". Chessdom. 2012-05-17. Retrieved 2017-09-11.
  5. ^ "Chinese men crush Vietnam, Indian women beat Iran-B" (PDF). Asian Nations Cup Bulletin. 5. 2014-05-24.
  6. ^ Dorsa Derakhshani's FIDE card
  7. ^ Take your freedom of choice seriously | Dorsa Derakhshani | TEDxYouth@München, retrieved 2019-08-25
  8. ^ Chess prodigy moves west to play hijab-free, The Australian, October 10, 2017
  9. ^ Iranian Chess Federation
  10. ^ Iran bans teenage chessplayers for "harming national interests", ChessBase, 21 February 2017
  11. ^ Mike Klein,Ousted Iranian Player: 'My Wardrobe Should Not Be Anyone's Business!',, 28 February 2017
  12. ^ Klein, Mike. "Ousted Iranian Player: 'My Wardrobe Should Not Be Anyone's Business!'". Retrieved 2020-03-26.
  13. ^ Derakhshani, Dorsa (2017-12-29). "Why I Left Iran to Play Chess in America". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-03-26.
  14. ^ "Saint Louis University Chess". Saint Louis University. Retrieved May 18, 2020.
  15. ^ "About the SLU Chess Team". Saint Louis University. Retrieved May 18, 2020.
  16. ^ "Results in at Pan-Ams: Webster Wins Sixth Title". US Chess. 31 December 2017. Retrieved 9 April 2019.
  17. ^ Saint Louis Chess Club, Pairings & Results - 2018 Women's Championship,, April 2018
  18. ^ "提示". Retrieved May 18, 2020.

External links[edit]