FIDE cancels Russia and Belarus from conducting world chess events

The FIDE Council's main mission is to preserve FIDE's unity while also respecting the basic human rights enshrined in the FIDE Charter.

The world governing body of chess, FIDE has announced that they have decided to ban Russia and Belarus from holding any world chess events following Russia’s attack on Ukraine.

According to FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich, the FIDE Council’s main mission is to preserve FIDE’s unity, while also respecting the basic human rights enshrined in the FIDE Charter.

FIDE said in a statement, “FIDE expresses its grave concern about the military action started by Russia in Ukraine. FIDE stands united against wars as well as condemns any use of military means to resolve political conflicts. FIDE will take any necessary action to ensure the security of chess players and other members of the chess community. No official FIDE chess competitions and events will be held in Russia and Belarus.”

FIDE made the following key decisions:

  1. Russia and Belarus are barred from hosting official FIDE chess tournaments and events.
  2. Russian and Belarussian players are not permitted to display national flags at FIDE-rated events, and the national anthem will not be played.
  3. FIDE will terminate all sponsorship agreements with sanctioned and/or state-controlled companies in Russia or Belarus.

FIDE also mentioned that it condemns any public statement made by members of the chess community in support of unjustified military action. It announced that two Russian grandmasters, Sergey Karjakin and Sergey Shipov, will face its Ethics and Disciplinary Commission after making controversial comments online.

Given that the organisation is largely funded by Russian corporate donors and sponsors, the decision was almost certainly contentious within the organisation.

The FIDE Council also suggested that, regardless of the organisation of the Chess Olympiad 2022, FIDE will hold the annual FIDE Congress from July 27 to August 2, with the election date on August 1. The FIDE Congress should be combined with the Chess Olympiad 2022. Consultations with potential organisers of the 2022 Chess Olympiad will be held, and the FIDE Congress dates may be adjusted if it does not result in a significant delay in elections. The FIDE Council confirms that the continental elections will be held in accordance with their constitutional provisions.

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