Tuesday 22 March 2022

Karjakin gets 6 months

 The FIDE Ethics Commission has suspended GM Sergey Karjakin for 6 months for his comments supporting Russia during the current invasion of Ukraine by that country.

To be honest I am astonished that they even decided to hear the case, let alone suspend him. For me, the right to say dumb, hurtful, stupid, offensive or ignorant words, is met with the right to say that the first speaker is dumb, hurtful, stupid, offensive and ignorant. In the case of Karjakin, his comments have been rightfully condemned, his invitations to tournaments are likely to disappear, and anything he says is countered by people who point out he is lying about many things. Banning him is unlikely to change his opinions, but speaking against him might.

For some, a decision like this sets an unfortunate precedent. There is now a clear mechanism for dealing with chess players who have opinions that are considered wrong or unpopular, simply applied because the person is a chess player. My worry however isn't the precedent it sets, but the previous precedent it ignores. Previously chess players were able to say all sorts of stupid things without punishment (cf Bobby Fischer), because they were people first, and chess players second. As this appear not to apply any longer, then I guess almost anything that is considered a poor look for chess is now actionable. 


Eugene said...

Shaun, I would have thought that there are "stupid" things (as you pointed out) and the things that can and should be qualified quite differently (but not just lies). What Karjakin said (and in fact did) are the latter. Consequently, FIDE quite rightfully decided to condemn. It might be appropriate to remind, that the next step could be the International Court in The Hague.

MachoM said...

Shaun, you are really SPOT ON. The world is not Black and White. If chess organizers don't want to see him, they don't invite him.