GM Sergey Karjakin is banned for 6 months by FIDE Ethics
The FIDE Ethics and Disciplinary Commission banned GM Sergey Karjakin from participating as a player in any FIDE rated chess competition, while GM Sergey Shipov faced no sanctions due to his less provocative statements.
It wasn’t long after Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine that GM Sergey Karjakin started tweeting in favour of the war and spreading propaganda all over his social media channels. The chess community, from companies to influencers, publicly disagreed with the Russian GM and demanded FIDE to take action over this matter. On the other hand, GM Sergey Shipov agreed with Karjakin and started tweeting as well, supporting Russia.
Karjakin continued provoking with his unremorseful attitude even after his compatriots made an official appeal to the President of the Russian Federation, and major chess events banned him from playing in their tournaments.
On February 27, 2022 the FIDE Council concluded on some urgent measures after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. One of them was to bring the case of GMs Sergey Karjakin and Sergey Shipov to the Ethics and Disciplinary Commission for their public statements.
Today, on March 21, 2022 the FIDE Ethics and Disciplinary Commission has reached a verdict on the case, sanctioning Karjakin to a worldwide ban of six months from participating as a player in any FIDE rated chess competition. The Council took into consideration the large extent of negative comments towards Karjakin’s opinions and also his powerful platforms in which he shares his ideas. On the contrary, Shipov’s statements were judged as less provocative so he is not facing any sanctions.
The FIDE Ethics and Disciplinary Commission (EDC) has reached a verdict on the case 2/2022, relating to public statements by grandmasters Sergey Karjakin (FIDE ID 14109603) and Sergei Shipov (FIDE ID 4113624).
The EDC First Instance Chamber, formed by Yolander Persaud (Guyana), Ravindra Dongre (India), and Johan Sigeman (Sweden) as Chairperson, unanimously decided as follows:
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.
Sergei Shipov is found not guilty of breach of article 2.2.10 of the FIDE Code of Ethics.
The article 2.2.10 of the Code of Ethics reads as follows:
“(…) Disciplinary action in accordance with this Code of Ethics will be taken in cases of occurrences which cause the game of chess, FIDE or its federations to appear in an unjustifiable unfavorable light and in this way damage its reputation.”
“The statements by Sergey Karjakin on the ongoing military conflict in Ukraine has led to a considerable number of reactions on social media and elsewhere, to a large extent negative towards the opinions expressed by Sergey Karjakin”, reads point 7.37 of the 10-page document where the EDC explains the reasons and legal background for its decision.
It continues: “A necessary condition for the establishment of guilt is that the statements have reached the public domain. This concept, with respect to disrepute clauses in sport, is not the world at large but the sport in which the accused engages, such as chess. Information concerning the accused’s conduct which is not published in the media, but which can be learnt without a great deal of labour by persons engaged in the chess world or a relevant part of it, will be in the public domain and satisfy the public exposure element. The EDC Chamber is comfortably satisfied that this condition is fulfilled in this case.”
“The EDC Chamber finds, against the background given above, on the standard of comfortable satisfaction that the statements of Sergey Karjakin, which, by his own choice and presentation, can be connected to the game of chess, damage the reputation of the game of chess and/or FIDE. The likelihood that these statements will damage the reputation of Sergey Karjakin personally is also considerable”, it concludes.
The Chamber explains its decision to not sanction Sergei Shipov with the following argument: “In comparison with Sergey Karjakin, Sergei Shipov is considerably less known and has, therefore, a less powerful platform. The statements made by Sergei Shipov are also of a slightly different and less provocative character than the ones made by Karjakin. In an overall evaluation of the potential negative impact on the game of chess and/or FIDE, the EDC Chamber is not sufficiently convinced that Sergei Shipov’s statements qualify as a breach of article 2.2.10.”
Sergey Karjakin has been advised by EDC that this decision may be appealed to the Appeal Chamber of the EDC by giving written notice of such appeal to the FIDE Secretariat within 21 days from the date upon which this decision is received. The notice of appeal must clearly state all the grounds for the appeal. Failing the due exercise of this right of appeal, the EDC Chamber’s decision will become final.