Russian chess player suspended for supporting invasion of Ukraine

Sergei Karjakin

photo: KARIM JAAFAR (Getty Images)

Russian chess grandmaster Sergey Karjakin, one of the world’s top players, has been suspended by the International Chess Federation for six months after publicly expressing his support for his country’s invasion of Ukraine.

Karjakin, who was once the youngest player ever to achieve the title of grandmaster (at just 12 years old), had previously represented Ukraine in international competitions before switching allegiances to Russia in 2009. Since hostilities began, he has been vocal in support of the Russian invasion on social media, prompting confrontations with fans and his ilk chess player.

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screenshot: Twitter

He also spread Russian propaganda:

Image for article titled Russian Chess Champion Suspended After Publicly Supporting Invasion of Ukraine

screenshot: Twitter

Against this background, the International Chess Federation (FIDE) recently took disciplinary action against Karjakin and another Russian player, Sergei Shipov, who publicly spoke out in favor of the invasion. While exonerating Shipov for being “considerably less well known and therefore having a less powerful platform”, Karjakin was found to have violated FIDE’s code of ethics.

The regulation was published on the association’s website:

“Remarks by Sergey Karjakin on the ongoing military conflict in Ukraine have generated a significant number of reactions on social media and elsewhere, mostly negative towards the opinions expressed by Sergey Karjakin“, says point 7.37 of the 10-page document, in which the EDC explains the reasons and legal background for its decision.

It goes on to say: “A necessary condition for a finding of guilt is that the statements have become public knowledge. This concept is not the world in general in relation to infamy clauses in sport, but the sport that the defendant is involved in, e.g. B. Chess. Information about the defendant’s behavior that will not be published in the media, but which can be easily ascertained by persons active in the chess world or a relevant part of it, will be publicly available and the public element Fulfill reporting. The EDC Chamber is satisfied that this condition is met in this case.”

“With the background set out above, the EDC Chamber finds, on the basis of the standard of comfortable satisfaction, that Sergey Karjakin’s statements, which by his own choice and representation may be associated with chess, damage the reputation of chess and/or FIDE. The likelihood that these statements will personally damage Sergey Karjakin’s reputation is also significant.

In response to the suspension, Karjakin wrote on his Telegram page (translated by The guard):

An expected but no less shameful decision by FIDE. All sports were trampled, the basic principle that sport is out of politics was trampled. Above all, I am a patriot of my country first and an athlete second. When I think back to the situation when I supported the President Russia, the people and the army I would have done the same! I regret nothing.

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Curtis Crabtree

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