The US female chess champion who shot to fame after boycotting Iran for insisting she compete in a hijab has come out for Donald Trump.
Paikidze said she would rather sacrifice her own career than put up with compulsory laws that would control what she could wear.
She briefly became a liberal darling for her stance championing women’s rights – though some dubbed her a “white saviour” and Islamophobe.
Paikdize, an immigrant from Georgia, the small nation on the Russian border, had kept quiet about politics during the campaign.
But since the dust settled on last week’s election she has been encouraging people to back the Donald.
The day after he was elected she wrote of her hopes American would “come together” behind Trump:
Elections are finally over! I hope that our nation can come together and that @realDonaldTrump will be a good president. Goodnight all 🇺🇸
— Nazi Paikidze-Barnes (@NaziPaiki) 9 November 2016
She then shared a series of posts mocking over-the-top reactions from Hillary supporters, including this one:
Accurate representation of America right now pic.twitter.com/PNhFiVXe0L
— Shane Jam (@FourScore64) 10 November 2016
And a viral infographic comparing “liberal fearmongering” about Trump with “reality”:
Given Paikidze’s own links with Russia, her apparent optimism about the Trump-Putin bromance is particularly striking.
Meanwhile, Paikdize’s campaign against the Iranian chess competition continues, though the pace of signatures on her Change.org petition has slowed significantly.
According to a report from sports site Inside the Games, any chances of the world chess federation backing down seem increasingly slim.
— Nazi Paikidze-Barnes (@NaziPaiki) 10 November 2016
On a recent visit to Tehran, the organisation’s president Kirsan Ilyumzhinov endorsed Iran’s compulsory hijab law, and said that chess players should put up with it.
He said: “There are 188 members in FIDE, each of them has the right to hold chess competitions. All these countries have their own laws and customs, under which the tournaments are held.
“FIDE adheres to the belief that these laws should be respected.”