Eight-year-old chess prodigy Or Shatil won second place in the European School Chess Championships, which took place in Mamia, Romania, a press release reported on Sunday.
Shatil defeated Ismayilova Khanim, a chess player from Azerbaijan, who was undefeated until that round.She was able to do so while playing the black, giving her rival a slight edge as the player who uses white pieces gets to open the game and make the first move.
While the noble game of kings is played around the world, Israeli players must at times face discrimination when matches are held in countries which are hostile to the Jewish State or when players must compete against those who hail from the Islamic Republic of Iran.
In April, Iranian chess champion 15-year-old Alireza Firouzja refused to play against his Israeli opponent Or Bronstein during the Grenke Chess Open being held in Germany.
In January, another Iranian player Aryan Gholami refused to play Israeli Ariel Erenberg in the Rilton Cup in Sweden. Gholami forfeited his chance to win $10,000.
Hailed a hero in Iran, the 17-year-old met with Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in February who praised the young man for his decision.
Gholami told Swedish chess website Schack.se that he had no ill will towards the Israeli, but “if I were to play against an Israeli, it would have serious consequences for me.”
Playing chess against Israelis could have major consequences for Iranian players, as was the case for Borna Derakhshani in 2017. The 14-year old Iranian chess player, was banned by the Iran Chess Federation for life for playing against an Israeli.
If banned by the Iranian Chess Federation, one cannot participate or play in any international chess games.