FIDE Ethics Commission threatens to suspend Russian Chess Federation and reprimands FIDE President

by clement

FIDE’s Ethics and Discipline Commission has issued a decision threatening to suspend the Russian Chess Federation (RCF) from membership for two years. FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich has also been reprimanded for his role within the RCF, which has always been closely associated with the Russian government and senior politicians and decision-makers, some of whom sit on the RCF board.

These include Dmitry Peskov, Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, and Sergei Shoigu, who was recently replaced as Defense Minister. Peskov and Shoigu, along with several other members, were placed on the sanctions list after the start of Russia’s special intervention in eastern Ukraine. Vladimir Dvorkovich is also a member of the Supervisory Board of FRE. A government economic advisor, he was deputy prime minister from 2012 to 2018 and maintains close contacts with the Russian government. He has been seen at various official events with sanctioned individuals.

As a result, Dvorkovich would damage FIDE’s reputation, the FIDE Ethics Commission said to justify its decision. It further found FRE guilty of seriously damaging the reputation of the World Chess Federation (FIDE) and violating the obligations of the FIDE charter, in particular by organizing tournaments in areas of Ukraine it considers occupied by Russia, in violation, the commission argues, of international law.

The FRE now risks being excluded from FIDE for two years if it does not remove within 60 days the members of its supervisory board who appear on the sanctions list, and if it does not cease all its activities in the regions affected by the ethics commission’s decision. If the FRE is suspended from FIDE, it will not be allowed to participate in FIDE tournaments. However, players, coaches and referees belonging to the FRE will not be affected by this measure.

Three FIDE members, including Ukrainian GM Andrey Baryshpolets, also a candidate for FIDE president in 2018, and Peter Heine Nielsen, Magnus Carlsen’s long-time second-in-command and FIDE critic, had already lodged a complaint with the FIDE Ethics Commission in 2023. In its decision, the Commission also stated that the FIDE Council had attempted to influence its decision.

Mr. Dvorkovich and the FRE President argued that the FIDE Ethics Commission was not empowered to make this decision. The ethics commission sees things differently.

The International Chess Federation (FIDE) has excluded the Russian Chess Federation (RCF) from membership for two years. The decision was taken by the Ethics Commission. It is due to the fact that the RCF included among its members chess clubs from the occupied Ukrainian territories – Crimea, the regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson – and organized competitions in these territories, and failed to respect “political neutrality”.


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