Banned Chess Grandmaster: 'I Regret Nothing'

Sergey Karjakin was suspended for supporting invasion of Ukraine
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 22, 2022 5:46 PM CDT
Grandmaster Banned for Pro-Invasion Remarks
Sergey Karjakin studies the board during the fourth round of the World Chess Championship in New York, Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2016.   (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

A chess grandmaster who publicly supported Russia's invasion of Ukraine has been taken off the board for at least six months. The International Chess Federation says Sergey Karjakin has been banned from competition for bringing the game into disrepute, AFP reports. The ruling noted that the 32-year-old grandmaster posted a letter on social media supporting the invasion and restating the Kremlin's line that intervention was necessary for the "denazification" of Ukraine. Another Russian player, Sergei Shipov, escaped a ban after the federation decided that he is a less prominent player and his pro-Russia remarks were less inflammatory.

Karjakin was born in Crimea and represented Ukraine until 2009. He described Monday's decision as "shameful" and said he was a patriot first and an athlete second. "I regret nothing," he said. Karjakin, who is ranked 18th in the world, is now unlikely to be able to take up his place to challenge world champion Magnus Carlsen at a tournament in June, though the Russian chess federation plans to appeal the suspension. The Kremlin said Tuesday that the international chess federation should annul the decision and stay out of politics, reports Reuters. (Read more chess stories.)

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