Chess Champion Banned From Competing For “Wrong” Ideas

( After making public statements in support of Russian President Vladimir Putin and his invasion of Ukraine, a Russian chess player has been banned from competition for six months.

The International Chess Federation’s Ethics and Disciplinary Commission voted unanimously to impose a six-month worldwide ban on Sergey Karjakin barring him from participating as a player in federation chess competitions.

The 32-year-old Russian is a chess grandmaster, the highest level a chess player can attain.

The Commission found that Karjakin’s statements about the ongoing war in Ukraine breached the Federation’s code of ethics and “led to a considerable number” of negative reactions both on social media and elsewhere.

When Russia initially invaded Ukraine in late February, Karjakin tweeted his support for the invasion, saying, in part, “How lucky I am to live in Russia!”

After losing invitations to tournaments over his initial support of the invasion, in early March, Karjakin said on Twitter that many people have asked him if he regrets his public support. He said in his tweet that he is on the side of Russia and President Putin “no matter what happens” adding that he would support his country “in any situation without thinking for a second!”

In a press release following the Commission’s decision, the International Chess Federation explained that because of Karjakin’s connection to the game of chess, his statements could “damage the reputation” both of the Federation and the game of chess, adding that the damage to Karjakin’s reputation will also be considerable.

The Ethics and Disciplinary Commission also investigated the statements of another Russian grandmaster, Sergei Shipov. However, the commission determined that Shipov was not guilty of breaching the Federation’s code of ethics. His statements, the Federation concluded, were less provocative and Shipov is “considerably less known” and therefore doesn’t have the platform Sergey Karjakin has.

Karjakin was given 21 days to appeal the decision.