Karjakin Appeal Dismissed: Door Open For Ding To Enter Candidates

The Russian Chess Federation’s appeal against GM Sergey Karjakin‘s six-month ban was dismissed by the FIDE Ethics and Disciplinary Commission (EDC). This opens the door for GM Ding Liren to replace Karjakin in the FIDE Candidates Tournament.

The dismissal of the appeal was announced today on the FIDE website. It means that the six-month ban, which Karjakin received in March of this year, will stand. Therefore, the 32-year-old Russian grandmaster cannot participate as a player in any FIDE-rated chess competition until September 21, 2022, and so he will be missing out on the FIDE Candidates Tournament for which he had qualified.

FIDE is likely to announce soon that Ding will be replacing Karjakin in the Candidates. According to FIDE regulations, in the case of a player dropping out, the highest-rated player in the FIDE May 2022 rating list would be invited, provided he/she has at least 30 standard games rated in the FIDE rating lists from June 2021 to May 2022.

When Karjakin received his ban on March 21, Ding had only four rated games, played in November 2021. However, he then played no fewer than 28 rated games in about a month’s time, between March and April of this year, and thus fulfilled the requirement.

Karjakin could still appeal the EDC’s dismissal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). For that, a case needs to be opened within 21 calendar days. If that happens, the EDC’s decision remains in effect while under appeal unless the CAS directs otherwise.

The decision to go to the CAS is probably one that the Russian Chess Federation needs to make. Karjakin himself stated right after receiving his ban that he would not appeal, but then Andrey Filatov, the President of the Russian Chess Federation, announced that an appeal was going to be made soon. After several weeks, that appeal was dismissed today.

Karjakin, who is a fierce supporter of Russian President Vladimir Putin, received the ban for his statements on social media that supported Russia’s warfare in Ukraine. According to the EDC, this involved a breach of FIDE’s Code of Ethics:

“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 First Instance Chamber of the FIDE Ethics and Disciplinary Commission (EDC) is formed by Yolander Persaud (Guyana), Ravindra Dongre (India), and Johan Sigeman (Sweden) as Chairperson.

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