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Sergey Karjakin Said To Take FIDE to Court

Russian Grandmaster Sergey Karjakin has been banned for 6 months by FIDE’s Ethics Commission for supporting Russia’s invasion in Ukraine and allegedly damaging the reputation of FIDE, the sport’s governing body.

Karjakin challenged Magnus Carlsen in 2016 in New York and lost the match on tie-breaks. He was leading after 8 rounds.

For the 32-year-old chess player, the ban means missing the Candidates Tournament, the key event of the World Chess Championship cycle, and the chance to take part in the title match. Karjakin went through a grueling qualifying procedure and secured his place in the Candidates via the World Cup.

The situation with Karjakin’s Candidates ticket is now as scandalous as it can get in a sport where smartly dressed women and men move wooden pieces across the board in absolute silence. Karjakin, who amassed support and likely financing for the legal effort from his Russian patrons, and who is in the position to turn up political pressure on Arkady Dvorkovich, the FIDE President, a Russian citizen, claims that he will appeal the ban in CAS, a court for sports federations. In the meantime, FIDE, which has to stand by its own decision to ban Karjakin, has to find a replacement. The event is scheduled for June, and the time for legal actionis scarce.

In an interview with Tass, a Russian news agency, Karjakin said that the appeal is the only thing on his mind at the moment. He has two weeks to file an appeal with FIDE’s ethics commission or with CAS. He is likely to do both for legal reasons, not to give the court an excuse to throw his case out because he didn’t follow the appeal procedures.

The Candidates will take place in Madrid, Spain. Two final participants have been determined by the Grand Prix Series organized by World Chess. 8 players who qualified are:

Ian Nepomniachtchi (Russia)
Fabiano Caruana (US)
Alireza Firouzja (France)
Teimour Radjabov (Azerbaijan)
Jan-Krzystof Duda (Poland)
Richard Rapport (Hungary)
Hikaru Nakamura (US)
Sergey Karjakin (Russia)

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