Russian chess Grandmaster Sergey Karjakin lost an appeal to overturn his disqualification to play in competitions held by the International Chess Federation (FIDE).
FIDE’s Ethics and Disciplinary Commission on May 6 upheld a previous decision made by the chess governing body to ban the Crimea native of playing in officially sanctioned tournaments.
Karjakin, ranked the 17th best chess player in the world, was disqualified for supporting Russian President Vladimir Putin’s renewed invasion of Ukraine that started on Feb. 24.
He was found guilty of breaching article 2.2.10 of the FIDE Code of Ethics, according to a 10-page ruling on March 21.
“The statements by Sergey Karjakin on the ongoing military conflict in Ukraine has led to a considerable number of reactions on social media and elsewhere, to a large extent negative towards the opinions expressed by Sergey Karjakin,” a three-person panel wrote.
The decision means he won’t participate in the Candidates Tournament, whose outcome determines who gets to challenge the reigning world chess champion — Norwegian Magnus Carlsen — in a match.
The grandmaster repeatedly has shared overt Russian propaganda on social media and responded to questions on Twitter whether he regrets his previous posts in support of the ongoing, bloody war Russia is waging against Ukraine.
“My answer is simple. I am on the side of Russia and my President,” he wrote. “No matter what happens, I will support my country in any situation without thinking for a second!”
Karjakin has 21 days to appeal FIDE’s disciplinary action with the Court for Arbitration of Sport based in Lausanne, Switzerland.
He was born in Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula, which has been occupied by Russia since 2014. He immigrated to Russia in 2009 and became a naturalized citizen of his new country of residence.
According to National Public Radio (NPR), Karjakin called FIDE’s decision “shameful” in a post on Telegram. He said he had no regrets, describing himself as a patriot first and a chess player second.
He is believed to be the first chess player to be disciplined by FIDE over Russia’s war with Ukraine.
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