FIDE bans Russian GM Karjakin for six months over Ukraine stance

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The International Chess Federation or FIDE’s ethics and disciplinary commission has imposed a six-month ban on Russian Grandmaster Sergey Karjakin for his views on the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

The six-month ban is effective from March 21, and as a result he will miss the FIDE Candidates Tournament. Karjakin is ranked 18th in the World with an ELO rating of 2,747.

The international chess governing body said in a statement that the FIDE Ethics and Disciplinary Commission (EDC) has found Karjakin guilty of breach of Article 2.2.10 of the FIDE Code of Ethics, and is sanctioned to a worldwide ban of six months from participating as a player in any FIDE rated chess competition.

The EDC found another Russian Grandmaster, Sergei Shipov, not guilty of breach of Article 2.2.10 of the FIDE Code of Ethics.

The Article 2.2.10 of the Code of Ethics reads as follows:

“Disciplinary action in accordance with this Code of Ethics will be taken in cases of occurrences which cause the game of chess, FIDE or its federations to appear in an unjustifiable unfavourable light and in this way damage its reputation.”

“The statements by Sergey Karjakin on the ongoing military conflict in Ukraine have led to a considerable number of reactions on social media and elsewhere, to a large extent negative towards the opinions expressed by Sergey Karjakin,” FIDE cited the EDC’s report in its statement.

“A necessary condition for the establishment of guilt is that the statements have reached the public domain. This concept, with respect to disrepute clauses in sport, is not the world at large but the sport in which the accused engages, such as chess.

“Information concerning the accused’s conduct, which is not published in the media, but which can be learnt without a great deal of labour by persons engaged in the chess world or a relevant part of it, will be in the public domain and satisfy the public exposure element. The EDC Chamber is comfortably satisfied that this condition is fulfilled in this case,” FIDE quoted the EDC report.

The EDC found Shipov’s statements slightly different and less provocative than the ones made by Karjakin.

Also, according to the EDC, Shivpov is a lesser known player as compared to Karjakin.

Karjakin can appeal to the Appeal Chamber of the EDC within 21 days from the date upon which the ban decision was received by him.

However, the question that remains unanswered is whether a player cannot be patriotic and support his nation when it is at war with another country.

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