Grandmaster Sergey Karjakin has been suspended after making a series of pro-Russian statements
FIDE has suspended Sergey Karjakin. © Soeren Stache / picture alliance via Getty Images
Russian grandmaster Sergey Karjakin has been hit with a six-month ban by the chess authorities after the 32-year-old issued support for Russia’s military operation in Ukraine.
Karjakin, who was born in Crimea and changed his nationality from Ukrainian to Russian in 2009, will miss the forthcoming Candidates Tournament between June 16 and July 7 barring a successful appeal, after the International Chess Federation (FIDE) imposed sanctions.
Karjakin had already found himself blacklisted from several chess events due to his political stance, with chess organizations in both the UK and Norway telling him that he is no longer welcome.
He has also been the subject of bans by the Grand Chess Tour and from Chess.com.
Reacting to the news, Karjakin said: “I’m disappointed. You understand, this is not just a suspension for six months, everything was planned.
“The idea was to prevent me from playing in the Candidates Tournament and to deprive me of a possible entry into the [world title] match with Magnus Carlsen.
“I don’t know if I’ll be returning in six months to tournaments under the auspices of FIDE. They dishonored not me, but themselves.
“I just don’t remember such a precedent when a chess player was not allowed on principle. It’s a shame.“