Pro-Putin grandmaster loses ban appeal
Sergey Karjakin was sanctioned by chess authority FIDE in March
Russian chess star Sergey Karjakin has lost his appeal against a six-month ban imposed by global governing body FIDE, the organization announced on Friday.
Karjakin was sanctioned on March 21 after he issued vocal support for Russian President Vladimir Putin and the military offensive in Ukraine.
Confirming its decision to reject Karjakin’s protest, FIDE said the ruling by its Ethics and Disciplinary Commission ensured that the suspension remained in place.
However, it noted that the Russian player could still turn to the Court of Arbitration for Court (CAS) in Switzerland.
Responding to the news, Karjakin, 32, said the decision had been entirely expected.
“I wouldn't have bet a single penny that they would grant the appeal,” Karjakin told Match TV.
“On the other hand, we had to take this procedure, this formality.
“Now, with this paper in hand, we can go to court. With CAS there is slightly more chance, although there are no illusions either.
“It depends on what kind of lawyers we have, what kind of lawyers they have. A lot will depend on the lawyers here,” added the star.
Karjakin is set to be deprived of the chance to compete in the upcoming FIDE Candidates Tournament – the winner of which will get a world title shot against five-time champion Magnus Carlsen.
Karjakin previously contested a tight world championship battle with Carlsen in New York back in 2016, which was only settled in the Norwegian great’s favor following a series of rapid tiebreaks.
Carlsen has gone on record as questioning whether the decision to ban Karjakin is the right one.
The Crimean-born Karjakin represented Ukraine up until 2009 before switching to Russia, and backed the reunification of the peninsula with Russia in 2014.
At the onset of the conflict with Ukraine in February, Karjakin penned an open letter to President Putin, wishing him and Russia success in the military campaign.
Karjakin – a former rapid and blitz chess world champion – has not relented in his stance and has even pledged to set up a rival federation to FIDE.
At the end of April, FIDE director general Emil Sutovsky was caught out by Russian pranksters, revealing that he had been among those to push hardest for the suspension imposed on Karjakin.
Sutovsky even claimed that “the fact that he was [made to] endure only six months seems to me an excessively short period.”