Sergey Karjakin has been banned from Chess for six months by International Chess Federation over his support of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The decision comes after Karjakin, in a series of social media posts, defended Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The 32-year-old Karjakin, who challenged Magnus Carlsen for the world title in 2016, defended his country’s actions on social media in recent weeks, drawing severe ire of the chess community.
Karjakin has repeatedly made comments on social media claiming Ukraine is a fascist country whose military has attacked its own cities and citizens.
“Sergey Karjakin is found guilty of breach of article 2.2.10 of the FIDE Code of Ethics, and is sanctioned to a worldwide ban of six months from participating as a player in any FIDE rated chess competition, taking effect from the date of this decision, 21 March 2022,” the governing body said in a statement.
The ban puts Karjakin’s participation in the Candidates Tournament, which starts on June 16, in doubt but the Russian has 21 days to challenge the verdict rendered.
“I made the hardest selection through the World Cup in the Candidates Tournament. Winning that would have put me in a match for the world championship. Alas, FIDE embarrassed themselves, not me,” Karjakin added.
“And most importantly, first of all I am a patriot of my country and only second of all I am an athlete. If I thought back to the situation when I supported the president of Russia, the people and the army I would have done the same thing! I don’t regret anything.”
The FIDE earlier stripped hosts Moscow of the Chess Olympiad and FIDE Congress later this year and banned Russian and Belarusian players from competing in tournaments under their respective flags.
Sergey Karjakin was born in Crimea and represented Ukraine until 2009 before switching his allegiances to Russia