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FIDE Ethics Commission suspends Russian Chess Federation and reprimands FIDE President

In a notable move, FIDE’s Ethics and Disciplinary Commission issued a decision over the weekend threatening to suspend the Russian Chess Federation (RCF) for two years. FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich was also reprimanded for his role in the Russian Chess Federation. The Russian Chess Federation has traditionally had close ties to the Russian government and senior Russian politicians and decision-makers, some of whom sit on the Russian Chess Federation’s board of directors. These include Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov and Sergei Shoigu, who was recently replaced as defense minister. Peskov and Shoigu, along with several other members, were placed on the sanctions list following the start of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. Vladimir Dvorkovich is also a member of the Russian Chess Federation’s supervisory board. Dvorkovich was an economic adviser to the Russian government and served as deputy prime minister from 2012 to 2018, and has close contacts with the Russian government. He was seen at various official events with sanctioned persons. As a result, Dvorkovich would damage the reputation of FIDE, the FIDE Ethics Commission justified its decision.

The Russian Chess Federation was found guilty by the Ethics Commission of having seriously damaged the reputation of the World Chess Federation FIDE and of violating the obligations of the FIDE Charter, including by organizing tournaments in the Russian-occupied territories of Ukraine in violation of international law.

The Russian Chess Federation now faces a two-year exclusion from FIDE if it does not remove the members of its supervisory board on the sanctions list within 60 days and also cease all activities in the Russian-occupied areas of Ukraine.

If the Russian Federation is suspended by FIDE, it will no longer be allowed to participate in FIDE tournaments. Players, coaches and referees of the Russian Federation will not be affected by this measure.

Three members of FIDE, including Ukrainian Grandmaster Andrey Baryshpolets, who also ran for the office of FIDE President in 2018, and Peter Heine Nielsen, long-time second of Magnus Carlsen and FIDE critic, had already submitted the corresponding complaint to the FIDE Ethics Commission in 2023.

In its decision, the FIDE Ethics Commission also found that the FIDE Council had attempted to influence the Ethics Commission’s decision.

Dvorkovich and the President of the Russian Chess Federation argued that the FIDE Ethics Commission did not have the authority to make this decision. The Ethics Commission sees things differently.

FIDE Ethics Commission …