Russia Banned from World Chess, Karjakin Faces Ethics Case

Otis Adams

Chess, the sport that is perhaps most associated with Russia, has reacted to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

FIDE, the governing body of international chess, has released a statement condemning the military action taken by Russia in Ukraine, and plainly describes that military action as being started by Russia.

FIDE expresses its grave concern about the military action started by Russia in Ukraine. FIDE stands united against wars as well as condemns any use of military means to resolve political conflicts. FIDE will take any necessary action to ensure the security of chess players and other members of the chess community. No official FIDE chess competitions and events will be held in Russia and Belarus. (FIDE Statement on Russian military action in Ukraine)

Their measures include Russian and Belarusian flags not being allowed to be displayed, nor their anthems played, at FIDE rated events. FIDE is also terminating any sponsorship deals with Russian and Belarusian companies.

Two players were mentioned by name in the public statement. The most noteworthy of the two is Grandmaster Sergey Karjakin, who challenged Grandmaster Magnus Carlsen for his World Championship in 2016 and lost.

FIDE Council condemns any public statement from any member of the chess community which supports unjustified military action and brings the case of chess grandmasters Sergey Karjakin and Sergey Shipov to the Ethics and Disciplinary Commission. (FIDE Statement on Russian military action in Ukraine)

Karjakan was born in Ukraine, but at 19 began considering himself a Russian chess player. In his loss to Carlsen in the 2016 World Chess Championship, Karjakan chose to play under the Russian flag instead of the Ukrainian flag.

As Karjakan feuds with website Chess24, the ethics investigation conducted by FIDE puts his spot in the next candidates tournament in question.

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Author of Lavatory Reader #1: This Road, now available on Amazon. Otis Adams is the author of three books and has won two dozen awards for his screenplays and short fiction. He writes regularly on and can be contacted at

Columbia, MO

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