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Sergei Karyakin removed from the board away – Gazeta Kommersant № 48 (7249) from 22.03.2022

Chess player Sergei Karyakin was the first known Russian athlete to suffer for public support for Russia’s military special operation in Ukraine. The Ethics Committee of the International Chess Federation (FIDE) suspended him for six months from participating in official competitions under its auspices. This means that Mr. Karyakin will not perform in the most important of them, which falls on 2022 – the Candidate Tournament, which will determine the holder of the status of a candidate for the title of world champion. The Russian Chess Federation (FDR) is ready to appeal the FIDE decision, but Sergei Karyakin himself seems to have no appeal.

The International Chess Federation has announced the decision of its Ethics Committee. He suspended famous Grandmaster Sergei Karyakin for six months from official competitions under the auspices of FIDE, who became the first Russian athlete to suffer for public support for Russia’s military special operation in Ukraine.

A high-profile case arose in late February over the publication on Twitter of Sergei Karyakin’s address to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Mr. Karyakin, 32, born in Simferopol and representing Ukraine before gaining Russian citizenship in 2009, said he saw the special operation as a struggle “for the security of the peaceful Russian population of Donbass and the Luhansk People’s Republic” and for the demilitarization and denazification of Ukraine. with its ruling regime, which has jeopardized the security of the whole of Europe and our country in favor of its political goals and ambitions. ” Sergei Karyakin expressed to Vladimir Putin as “our Commander-in-Chief” “full support in defending the interests of Russia, our multinational Russian people, eliminating threats and establishing peace” and wished “the speedy fulfillment of all tasks set before our valiant army.”

Meanwhile, FIDE, which previously, like the vast majority of sports, condemned the operation but, unlike many other federations, refrained from banning Russian and Belarusian chess players from participating in its tournaments, referred the Karyakin case to the Ethics Committee. As a result, a commission consisting of representatives of Sweden, India and Guyana Jonas Sigeman, Ravindra Dongre and Yolander Perso found in his statement a violation of Article 2 of the Code of Ethics of the Federation.

One paragraph refers to the possibility of disciplinary action in cases where “chess in general, FIDE or its member national federations are exposed in an unfavorable light” and their reputations are “damaged”.

According to members of the Ethics Committee, Sergei Karyakin’s remarks caused such damage, as they “got into the public space” and “caused a large-scale reaction on social networks” “mostly of a negative nature.” In the absence of such a reaction, FIDE saw sufficient reason not to punish another Russian grandmaster who supported the special operation, Sergei Shipov, a popular commentator who has not played at the elite level for a long time.

The main practical consequence of the removal of Sergei Karyakin will be a ban on the participation of the grandmaster in the most important chess competition of the year. This is the Candidate Tournament, which opens on June 16 in Madrid. In it, eight grandmasters will determine the holder of the status of a contender for the title of world champion, who will have the opportunity to play in the next championship match with its owner, the Norwegian Magnus Carlsen. Before the final stage of the Grand Prix series, part of the selection, which began this week in Berlin, six ticket holders were known. Together with Sergei Karyakin, who won his place thanks to reaching the final of last year’s World Cup, his compatriot Jan Nepomnyaschiy, who lost to Magnus Carlsen in last year’s title fight in Dubai, Pole Jan-Krzysztof Fadarze, Frenchman and American, managed to qualify for the Candidate Tournament. Teymur Rajabov. It is unlikely that Sergei Karyakin, currently ranked 18th in the FIDE rankings, would be the favorite of the Candidate Tournament. But, in any case, the experience (Mr. Karyakin played in the championship match against Magnus Carlsen in 2016 and lost only in the tie-break, and in the previous decade won many valuable prizes) and his fresh good form suggested that his chances of success will be.

After his removal, Russia will probably delegate to the Candidate Tournament the only grandmaster – Jan Nepomnyashchy.

After Dmitry Andreikin’s refusal to participate in the final stage of the Grand Prix “for personal reasons”, none of the Russians have any real prospects of making their way to Madrid through this series. The rules of the Candidate Tournament stipulate that the replacement for the retired chess player should be the one who occupies the highest line in the rankings for May 2022. None of the Russian grandmasters is in the top ten of the FIDE classification, except for Jan Nepomnyashchy. At the same time, there are several foreign chess players who do not have the opportunity to pass the “sports” selection for the Spanish tournament.

The Ethics Committee clarified that Sergei Karyakin has 21 days to protest the verdict in the FIDE appellate court. The Russian Chess Federation has already promised to appeal the decision, noting that “it opposes discrimination against athletes on any criteria.” Moreover, the head of the Federal Security Service Andrei Filatov stressed that its structure appeals to FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich “with a request to take the situation under personal control.” Mr. Dvorkovich, former Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the Skolkovo Foundation (Mr. Dvorkovich resigned on March 18), in an interview with Mother Jones in March, in fact, confirmed that his position on Russia’s operation in Ukraine agrees with the federation’s position, saying it opposes “any war” and “condemns any use of military means to resolve political conflicts.”

Sergei Karyakin himself told TASS that “there is no point in appealing” because “any court will side with Europe” and “FIDE is an international sports organization that does everything.” “And by some coincidence, the Russian is still leading it. I think it’s short-lived, “added the chess player.

Alexey Dospekhov

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