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3 Dec, 2022 15:14

Controversial grandmaster to run for Russian Chess Federation presidency

Previously banned Sergey Karjakin has announced his candidacy on Telegram
Controversial grandmaster to run for Russian Chess Federation presidency

The formerly banned Russian chess grandmaster Sergey Karjakin has revealed his intention to run for the presidency of the Chess Federation of Russia (CFR).

Karjakin recently served a six-month ban by the world governing body FIDE after voicing support for Russian President Vladimir Putin and the ongoing military operation in Ukraine.

Now that the suspension has expired, he seeks to occupy the most powerful position in Russian chess, Karjakin confirmed via his Telegram channel on Saturday.

“After long deliberations, I decided to run for the presidency of the CFR. My goal is to organize work with young talents, hold many new tournaments, [and] help in every way to ensure that our players and coaches do not go abroad in search of a better life,” Karjakin wrote.

“And it is equally important to organize real support to the [other] regions [around Russia] from the federal center. I guarantee that I will do my best to improve the organization’s activities in all areas. I believe that if I am elected, I can give it a new impetus for development.” 

The election to decide the president of the CFR will be held on December 17 in Moscow. Last month, on November 17, current president Andrey Filatov revealed to TASS that he would stand for re-election.

Karjakin, 32, most recently made headlines by insisting that he would not compete in the World Rapid and Blitz Chess Championship 2022, which begins on Christmas Day in the Kazakh city of Almaty, if he is not allowed to do so under the Russian flag.

Russians have not been banned from competing in international chess competitions, in contrast to many other sports which have done so as a reaction to Russian military action in Ukraine. But they must perform under neutral status, which means not being allowed to use the Russian flag or national anthem.

“If speaking about the game of chess only, I would have certainly participated,” Karjakin said to TASS. “Kazakhstan is a lucky site for me personally.”

“This is where I became champion in the blitz, this is where Russia won the world championship in the teams’ competition.

"However, as far as I understand [FIDE President Arkady] Dvorkovich has no plans of bringing back the anthem and the national flag to Russian teams and is unwilling to lift the sanctions, although he could have managed it just like in the sport of boxing. I hoped for such an outcome.

“In any way, this is a matter of principle to me and I will not be playing without the national flag of Russia,” Karjakin added.