Carlsen: “Karjakin wants to become a martyr”

by ChessBase
4/6/2022 – In an interview for the Norwegian newspaper VG, Magnus Carlsen talked about the recent developments involving Sergey Karjakin. The world champion clearly stated that he disagrees with his colleague’s stance, but also noted that he is not sure whether banning him from official tournaments was the right decision. | Photo: Albert Silver

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“I don’t know if it’s good or not”

Read the full article at VG.no

A number of players have already shared their opinions regarding FIDE’s decision to ban Sergey Karjakin for six months, which will likely prevent the Russian from participating in the Candidates Tournament (pending a potential appeal).

Although all condemn the Russian’s stance on the invasion, some, like Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, doubt whether banning Karjakin was the right decision. Others, like Wesley So, fully agree with the decision, while Daniil Dubov considers FIDE’s decision to be illogical — according to him, they should either not ban him at all or ban him for much longer.

Magnus Carlsen, the reigning world champion, had not talked much about the subject. In an interview for the Norwegian newspaper VG, Carlsen clearly stated that he disagrees with his colleague’s stance, but also noted that he is not sure whether banning him from official tournaments was the right decision.

Many Russians who previously either openly supported Putin or did not talk much about it have chosen to alter their views and now state that Putin has gone too far. Karjakin has gone the other way. He has increased his support for Putin. That type of attitude cannot be accepted.

[...] Of course, I do not agree with Karjakin on anything, but whether it is right to exclude people for opinions that we do not tolerate, I’m not sure. Maybe it pays off in a difficult time, but you also set a precedent for what may come later.

[...] Is it good that we are letting him have what he wants? He wants to become a martyr of the West’s “sanctions tyranny”. Now he is allowed to tell that story at home — and that works well there. We are helping him in doing so, we are letting him have what he wants. I don’t know if it’s good or not, I’m not sure.

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