Dubov faces criticism in Russia after working for Carlsen

by Carlos Alberto Colodro
12/14/2021 – Soon after defending the World Championship title in Dubai, Magnus Carlsen revealed the team of seconds that helped him keep his crown. Among them was Daniil Dubov, a member of the Russian team. A controversy erupted, with some of Dubov’s compatriots criticizing his decision to work for Ian Nepomniachtchi’s opponent. | Photo: Niki Riga

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Few countries take as much as pride in the achievements obtained by their athletes as Russia. Following a Soviet-era practice, when the royal game was used as a symbol of intellectual superiority, the Russian government often gets involved (at the very least symbolically) when a representative of the country or the national team participate in international competitions.

Although the times of Soviet supremacy in chess are long gone, Russia continues to be a force to be reckoned with in the sport’s elite. Currently, 11 out of 39 players rated 2700 or above hail from Russia, with China and the United States tying in second place (in terms of number of players) with 5 representatives each. Moreover, at the latest edition of the Candidates Tournament, 3 out of 8 players were Russian — albeit including the organizer’s nominee, Kirill Alekseenko.

However, what the Russians are lacking is the World Championship title. Ever since Garry Kasparov — a vehement opposer of the Putin’s regime — dominated the world of chess and was then succeeded by his compatriot Vladimir Kramnik, Russia has failed to produce a player capable of taking the crown away either from Vishy Anand or Magnus Carlsen. They did get two challengers though: Sergey Karjakin in 2016 and Ian Nepomniachtchi in 2021.

Vladimir Putin

Vladimir Putin at the training camp of the Olympiad Russian teams in Sochi (2018)

While Nepo is not one to often voice his political opinions — or talk much about his private life in general — Karjakin openly showed his nationalistic pride during his preparations to face Carlsen five years ago. Thus, it was not very surprising to see him being the first one to question on social media the fact that a member of the Russian team had worked for Carlsen’s team as a second.

Karjakin was referring to Daniil Dubov. Right after the match, Peter Heine Nielsen, the world champion’s top aide, shared on Twitter the names of the players who had helped Carlsen prepare for the match in Dubai. None of the names was particularly surprising — not even Dubov’s, since it is a well-known fact that he had worked with the Norwegian in the past.

Daniil Dubov, Magnus Carlsen

Daniil Dubov right after winning the 2018 World Rapid Championship — the Russian finished ahead of Magnus Carlsen, shortly after helping the Norwegian defend his classical title against Fabiano Caruana in London | Photo: Maria Emelianova

The controversy was not obvious for non-Russians, although after seeing Karjakin’s tweet and given the factors mentioned above, it is not difficult to put two and two together, and note that Dubov most likely had to consider this aspect when deciding to work for Carlsen this time around. The 25-year-old clarified to Grigory Telingater for championat.ru (see an English translation of the interview by Colin McGourty here):

GT: And when did you start [working for the match in Dubai]?

DD: Before the start of the Candidates. I was asked what I thought about the idea of helping. I replied that it would be normal. That’s perhaps the first thing I’d like to point out about the rather strange criticism. In normal teams all the agreements are formulated in advance. 

You don’t have to wait for who wins the Candidates in order to start preparing.

The ever-confident Dubov was aware of the potential backlash once his compatriot became the challenger, though. His stance on the subject is clear, nevertheless, and is based on the fact that the match for the World Championship title is an individual competition, not a contest between national teams:

GT: When Ian won the Candidates Tournament, did you think that hate would come your way because of your cooperation with Magnus?

DD: That someone might not like it is nothing new. It’s not the first time I’ve encountered this and I’m relatively calm about it. For me there’s no issue. I think it’s the same for Ian. When people talk about the state or the Russia team, then that’s precisely the Russian team. Here, after all, it’s not Russia versus Norway.

Daniil Dubov

At Magnus Carlsen’s training camp

In the same outlet, championat.ru, Vishy Anand was asked about the whole controversy, with the Indian making a useful analogy:

We live in a globalized world, where people calmly work for foreign companies, move to other countries, take foreign players into their football teams and even support football clubs from other countries.

Dubov shared a similar sentiment, and even went as far as noting that his involvement in Carlsen’s team could be presented as a worthy achievement by a member of the Russian national team:

In general you could logically look at all this differently. From the point of view of the Russian team: one of the best Russian chess players, relatively young, has worked with the best chess player in history — he’s gained experience that will help him in his career.

Magnus Carlsen presents his team

Dubov: I think it’s kind of important for him to actually like the guys. For instance, the Russian team it’s exactly the opposite — they would normally bring all the biggest guns in, it’s basically you just use all the power. Here it’s a European approach — mostly you care about some atmosphere and so on, and only then you need people to work well.

There is talk about Dubov being banned from the Russian team after this ‘incident’. Not getting to see such a creative player in team events will surely be a huge loss for the chess community worldwide. Therefore, let us hope this issue is solved by different means, or that it be simply left alone.


Carlos Colodro is a Hispanic Philologist from Bolivia. He works as a freelance translator and writer since 2012. A lot of his work is done in chess-related texts, as the game is one of his biggest interests, along with literature and music.


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lajosarpad lajosarpad 12/22/2021 10:45
@Aighearach Shankland was not our main topic here. He was brought here as a topic by an anti-nationalist to illustrate that Americans train non-Americans against Americans in the world championship as well and that they are not criticized by Americans.

My answer was that I'm not aware of Americans criticizing Shankland for that, but, according to me it is quite normal that people might dislike one of their best chess players preventing their nation to get the world championship title. If Shankland was not criticized for this, then I'm worried about the state of the affairs in America. If nationalism is non-existent or, if nationalists do not dare to openly say their opinion about this, whatever may be the case, then in my opinion American national values might be unprotected. Who knows? Maybe we are about to witness some statues being teared down in America. Oh, wait, we have seen that for 1 - 1.5 years, right?

As a closing to my answer to you, let me wish you a merry Christmas and a happy new year and share a quote from Shakespear:

" When wasteful war shall statues overturn,
And broils root out the work of masonry" Sonnet 55
lajosarpad lajosarpad 12/22/2021 10:32
@Aighearach you seem to misunderstand the conversation we had here. In this comment section nobody advocated the forcing of anyone to be loyal to his/her nation. I cannot speak for others, but I do not question Dubov's or Shankland's right to serve foreign interests against their own national interests. Also, in this discussion there were two main positions. The first, quite aggressive position was an anti-national position, which was attacking the human dignity of the Russian people who happened to dislike Dubov's attitude in this world championship. They were called "braindead" and the like. I expressed the fact that I disagree. My position is that Russian people should have free speech and if they dislike the fact that Dubov served foreign interests against their own, then they should be free to openly express that opinion. It's quite understandable that they expected Dubov to represent Russian national interests in this world championship, or at least to avoid doing harm to it. Instead, Dubov has chosen to serve foreign interests at the expense of the national interests of his nation. The anti-nationalist position seems to be intolerant to nationalist voices and your comment confirms that for me. I consider that to be an extremist attitude, because we should at least agree that we may have different opinions. The rational approach is to try and find out why the other person thinks differently and possibly learn from that. I certainly read disagreeing comments attentively, yet, instead of rational thoughts, on your part I see some American pride being offended by something nobody has said. Yes, Shankland is a free person. But so am I. If he has the freedom to support Carlsen against American interests, then I should also have the freedom to express my opinion about that. Even if it offends you.
Aighearach Aighearach 12/22/2021 06:49
Shankland is a great American. To Americans, the idea that you furriners get to decide what is "betrays" us is absurd. That itself is the attempted betrayal; betrayal of our Freedom. Betrayal of Shankland's freedom. And even a betrayal of the United States' existence, for Norway is an ally, and to be a citizen of an ally is morally the same as be a citizen of the United States.

But anyway, our national pride is not based on forcing citizens to do this or that. Even if Shankland was coaching for the Olympiad team of another country, no freedom-loving American would complain. If he was playing for another country, while still living here, he might bet booed, but even the people who didn't like it wouldn't call it a betrayal; merely a sign of poor character. In the regular Olympics, we have coaches from all over the world. Other countries also hire American coaches. This is all fine. Coaching is a job. It is between an employer and a coach.

You don't realize how deeply you insult your own nations when you engage is such petty freedom-hating demands of others.
lajosarpad lajosarpad 12/17/2021 05:35
@arzi That being said, you mentioned an event regarding ice hockey, where Swedish people were proud of the Swedish head-coach who helped Finland beat Sweden. Since I did not know about this event, for now I will assume that everything happened just like you described. What could we conclude about this story? We could conclude that in the Sweden of the 90's (1995 to be precise), nationalism was not really a thing in Sweden, since even the Sweeds who revered their national values were celebrating a person who did an outstanding performance against Sweden's interests, so even the Swedes who liked Swedish values were not considering Swedish interests (winning the match against Finland in this case) to be important. and where is Sweden now? It has become a cosmopolitan, multicultural society that is highly probable to abolish Swedish values, immigration rates skyrocketed and the country is considered unsafe to women. https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/5195/sweden-rape

So, the Swedish example that I presume you have brought up as an attractive example turns out that without nationalism, a country is at a generation's distance from collapsing. It is quite logical. Nationalism aims to preserve national values, like the language, its literature, folklore, music, habits, history, the way of living of the people there. Without nationalism nothing protects those values. And in the case of Sweden, we may very well be witnessing the disappearance of a nation.

A TV Ad confirms this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X3-_KZExlJ0&t=6s

Without the patriots who build and defend their nations, the nation - whichever it may be - will collapse.
lajosarpad lajosarpad 12/17/2021 05:32
@arzi "I just don`t know how this is connecting to the word, betrayal? Do you really think that american people say that Shankland is a betrayer because he was hired to do what he is suppose to do as a profession chess player/coach?"

In honest dialogues or debates we try to address the precise arguments of the other side. My point was that Shankland was working against American interests in 2018. I did not say that Americans said that Shankland was a betrayer. I evidently pointed out the fact that I do not know about American criticism against Shankland's attitude towards the 2018 world championship match. So, while you claim that I said something about what Americans say, in fact, quite the contrary was true and I did not quote anything from Americans regarding this specific topic, since I'm not aware of American reactions to Shankland's approach. Since you have put words into my mouth which were quite the opposite of what I said, you have committed to another logical fallacy, called the strawman argument, which consists of misrepresenting your debate opponent's argument and then attacking your misrepresentation. I will act as if I assumed that you just misunderstood the argument in this discussion for the sake of amiable and cultured approach to misunderstandings, but I kindly ask you to address my actual arguments in the future. I surely try to address your actual arguments and if/when I misunderstand your point, then I would welcome any clarification.
lajosarpad lajosarpad 12/17/2021 05:32
@arzi Stalin was a communist dictator. Everyone having basic knowledge about the history of the first half of the 20th century will acknowledge this established fact. Stalinism is a branch of communism. Hence every stalinist is a communist but not every communist is a stalinist. I'm not sure what you want to achieve by saying that stalinism is not communism. It's just like saying that birds are not animals because they fly. A subtype is not equivalent with the main type because of its particular attributes. But the subtype IS part of the main type. Stalinism is a subtype of communism. Saying that stalinism is not communism is in unsync with reality. Someone asked this specific question on quora and the overwhelming majority agrees that stalinism is communistic and they also point out that not all communism is stalinism. Maybe you want to read that instead of debating established obvious facts: https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-difference-between-stalinism-and-communism
arzi arzi 12/17/2021 03:39
@lajosarpad: So, Shankland was actively working against American interests, because he helped Carlsen in preventing the American candidate from becoming a world champion.

I just don`t know how this is connecting to the word, betrayal? Do you really think that american people say that Shankland is a betrayer because he was hired to do what he is suppose to do as a profession chess player/coach? When Finland won the first WC cold medal on ice hockey against Sweden in 1995 their head coach was a Swede, Curt ”Curre” Lindström. Swedish people were angry on their own team and coaches but they seem to be very proud of Finland`s Swede coach? How come? :)
arzi arzi 12/17/2021 03:23
@lajosarpad: " Your main argument against my point that Stalin was a communist seems to be that he killed other communists. Yet, you seem to forget the fact that the reason for which he killed his comrades was the desire to stay in power and not some anti-communism."

Actually you are making your own conclusion of my thoughts. I just pointed to you that Stalin might have been a communist in his early years but he changed communist idea to his own idea of communist, stalinism. The reason he killed his comrades we will never know but one strong hint could be his kind personality.

@lajosarpad: It is strange that you debate the fact that Stalin was a communist, since usually we do not debate facts."

Heh, I don`t know what is strange about that. I do know what is the difference with communist and stalinist.
lajosarpad lajosarpad 12/17/2021 12:42

In the U.S.A. we see flag burning and statue destruction, as well as cancel culture and a possible civil war. This is a possible explanation of why Shankland's service for Carlsen against Caruana was not harshly criticized according to my current knowledge. However, if we view the American interests, then it is obvious that if the U.S.A. could have a chess world champion, then Americans would be proud and that status would help form and heal their social cohesion. Also, children would start learning chess, American chess would be much more respected internationally, members of other nations would admire American chess for producing the world champion. The fact that the world champion is not American is not in line with American interests. So, Shankland was actively working against American interests, because he helped Carlsen in preventing the American candidate from becoming a world champion. Maybe a nation that's busy in tearing down its statues will not have time to recognize the fact that Shankland's assistance in the 2018 match on Carlsen's side was active work against American interests.
lajosarpad lajosarpad 12/17/2021 12:39
@arzi Stalinism is Stalin's version of communism. We have Leninism, Stalinism, Maoism, etc. Yet, all these people were communists. Your main argument against my point that Stalin was a communist seems to be that he killed other communists. Yet, you seem to forget the fact that the reason for which he killed his comrades was the desire to stay in power and not some anti-communism. Your statement according to which Stalin was not a communist but a Stalinist is a well-known fallacy type, called the no true Scotsman fallacy, which shifts definitions and goalposts to defend a faulty idea. Stalin was a communist. He was a follower of Lenin's interpretation of marxism and called it marxism-leninism, while he called his own policies stalinism, which was, without doubt a practical version of communism. It is strange that you debate the fact that Stalin was a communist, since usually we do not debate facts.
Michael Jones Michael Jones 12/17/2021 01:55
If Dubov does get banned from playing for Russia, I'm sure he'd find another federation willing to accept him - the USA has been particularly keen on "signing" players from other countries in recent years - or he could just play in individual events under the FIDE flag and skip the team ones. It would be Russia's loss, not his.
WillScarlett WillScarlett 12/16/2021 09:11
So, according to calvinamari, anyone who can see the positive aspects of nationalism ( as described below by lajosarpad ), and is not for globalism or cosmopolitanism is perforce an antisemite, hiding behind "dog whistles" and
insidious tropes. This is not so, despite his paranoia. It is akin to the current madness in the USA in which practically everything is somehow racist - including mathematics and highway design. One irony stands stands out immediately in calvinamari's extrasensory vigilance. What country exhibits more strident and belligerent nationalism than Israel ?
arzi arzi 12/16/2021 07:31
In this Dubov`s case and also with Shankland the answer is simple. If the Russian allows its citizens to educate themselfs for the chessplayer or/and chess coach occupation which can last for decades then the Russian can`t criticize or prevent their citzens from working on chess. There are no any gray areas. It is either black or white 1 or 0 yes or no. You are allowed to do your profession or not but not both at the same time.
mehmet17 mehmet17 12/16/2021 06:33
Lajosarpad I totally agree with your words. You are one of the rare truthtalkers in chess forums .
arzi arzi 12/16/2021 03:21
lajosarpad: "Well, I would very much understand if Americans would criticize Shankland for actively working against the American guy's attempt to become a world champion. I have not heard about such criticism either. But it does not mean that such criticism could not be justified."

Of course anything can be justified but is it really possible in all cases? If Shankland was a worker of the goverment or US army then such criticism could be justified, but this is chess.
arzi arzi 12/16/2021 03:12
@lajosarpad "first of all, Stalin was a communist. Communism is an internationalist ideology"

Actually Stalin was not a communist but stalinist. Yes, he was in a communist party, the biggest one, but he killed most of the communist "friends". After death of Lenin he did not follow the idea of Marx and companions but his own.
lajosarpad lajosarpad 12/16/2021 11:24
@maxharmonist The normal way of life is that someone is not living in a war. And, therefore, the normal situation is that you are not against the member of other nations. In warlike situations, however, if your nation is at war with another nation, then you are quite expected to support your nation. If you are not supporting your nation, then members of your nation will consider you to be a traitor. And it is understandable why they would think like that. Basically, Nepo and Carlsen were in a war-like situation. Dubov supported Carlsen. So, Russian nationalists quite understandably question Dubov's fidelity towards the Russian nation. If he was a loyal member of the Russian nation, then he would have avoided the participation in struggles against the Russian challenger, preventing him from becoming a Russian world champion. You are not a nationalist, it's obvious from your comment. However, some other people are nationalists. Nationalists - obviously - consider their nation to be important. As a result, they also consider their national interests to be important. Which means that they dislike it whenever members of their nations work against their national interests.
lajosarpad lajosarpad 12/16/2021 11:24
@maxharmonist you confound nations with countries, nationality is not citizenship, nationality is the cultural belonging to a group of people. History is bloody and borders are not everywhere in line with the nations. The borders - which you have correctly described as arbitrary - were drawn by politics. Politics contains nationalist politics and non-nationalist politics alike. So, the borders of the nations are arbitrary because of nationalist and non-nationalist politics. As a result, it is a mistake to blame nationalism alone for the arbitrariness of the borders. Tibet is a nation completely inside China, a non-nationalist, communist country. The Uighurs, Kurds also do not have their own countries, Jews didn't have a country for a very long time. After 100 years of the Trianon treaty, which stripped off 66% of Hungary's territory, there are many many Hungarians to this day in Transylvania, Slovakia, Serbia, Ukraine. There are Ukrainians in the Crimea. There are Romanians in Moldavia. Catalonians and Basks in Spain. Russians everywhere where the Soviet Union existed. Nationalism is embracing the national heritage and the cultural values associated to it. It is like a broader family. By the way, families tend to have fences around their houses, I find the analogy quite plausible. As about supporting the member of your nation against the member of another nation, you are depicting a war-like situation. Wars are undesirable.
lajosarpad lajosarpad 12/16/2021 11:16
@calvinamari first of all, Stalin was a communist. Communism is an internationalist ideology. Yes, Stalin committed genocide, but his grounds for his genocide was not nationalism. It was communism. Stalin advocated a certain centralist Soviet socialist patriotism. Calling him a nationalist is a mistake.

Yes, Albert Eisntein criticized nationalism. Albert Einstein was a genius. If we assume that geniuses never go horribly wrong, then I would like to remind you that Fischer was a genius too. And he went horribly wrong. So, geniuses can go horribly wrong and as a result, by the sheer fact that Einstein said something, he is not automatically right.

You repeat an example about Shankland helping Carlsen in his match against Caruana. Well, I would very much understand if Americans would criticize Shankland for actively working against the American guy's attempt to become a world champion. I have not heard about such criticism either. But it does not mean that such criticism could not be justified.
maxharmonist maxharmonist 12/16/2021 09:15
”I have to wonder if those who would criticize nationalism - and would find fault with lajosarpad's thinking - are, as probable devotees of cosmopolitanism, ready to disown their families”

Families and friends are not defined by arbitrary borders. Everyone is different and can decide what to believe in. As for myself, I don’t feel ”forced” to support this or that person for being born on one side of a border against another person born on the other side of the border. I don’t feel more inclined to disown family of another citizenship than me, than people of the same citizenship as me. As for myself, I identify more with common interests and opinions than with citizenship. But no one is forced to think like me :-)
calvinamari calvinamari 12/16/2021 07:07
Again, Shankland was on Magnus’s team in the match against countryman Caruana. Nobody criticized or even thought this was particularly notable. That is the precise analogue to what we have here, so why is the outcome different? Einstein said “Nationalism is an infantile disease.” But of course he was cosmopolitanist, no? And we all know what that is a euphemism for. But if there is any doubt, let’s cite that great nationalist hero of Russia, Joseph Stalin, who charged Jews with being “rootless cosmopolitans” with predictable consequences. Antisemitic tropes and dog whistles have even less place here than hyper-nationalism.
WillScarlett WillScarlett 12/15/2021 03:52
I wish to congratulate, commend, and second lajosarpad's last comment. I was gratified to read a post that was so sensible, intelligent, and well-put. There is absolutely nothing inherently wrong or bad with nationalism. It is ONLY when nationalism metastasizes into expansionism, conquest, and occupation (at the severe cost of property and lives) that we have evil. But there's another word for that behaviour, isn't there?
I have to wonder if those who would criticize nationalism - and would find fault with lajosarpad's thinking - are, as probable devotees of cosmopolitanism, ready to disown their families and prefer the company of strangers.
oxygenes oxygenes 12/15/2021 03:40
Just remember tragicomedy with kneel down in Formula 1 or football.
arzi arzi 12/15/2021 12:27
If your profession is chess, football or what ever sport then no one has any right to dictate where you can work and where you can`t and who you may work for.
lajosarpad lajosarpad 12/15/2021 12:06
Nationality consists of the culture of a group of people, whose predecessors were struggling together to build and defend the same country. Nationalism is the ideology that embraces the nation's cultural heritage, considers one's language and culture to be important. The antithesis of nationalism is cosmopolitanism, which considers all nationalist values to be bad. Nationalists intend to conserve the national values, while cosmopolitans intend to transcend national values and embrace some global values instead. There are many types of cosmopolitanism, we can think of communism as an example, or cosmopolitan liberalism, or even the islamic umma. Russian nationalists consider the Russian language, cultural heritage and social cohesion to be valuable and they expect their sportsman to represent those. If the world champion might be a Russian, then Russian nationalists understandably expect every Russian to help him, or, at least, to avoid doing harm to his struggle. Since Dubov was actively working for the current world champion, he was also doing everything he could to prevent the player who (was not allowed to) represent the Russian flag from winning. This was something Russians, especially Russian nationalists are probably not happy about. And it is understandable. I would not call this approach braindead. Why would Rex Sinquefield pay so much money into players in order to ensure that they will represent the American flag? It is because he wants American chess to be successful. Why would we deny the right for the same type of feeling from Russians? They want their nation, their country to be successful. And how could a country be more successful in chess than by the possible fact that the best player of the world would be part of that nation/country? It's not rocket-science. It is very simple. Russian interest is that the world champion will be a Russian. Dubov actively worked against this, so, he opposed Russian interests.
lajosarpad lajosarpad 12/15/2021 11:51
Karjakin is a Russian. He was born in the Soviet Union in 1990 in the Crimea and shortly later the Soviet Union collapsed and Ukraine emerged as a new state. A state that is younger than Karjakin. Since he was not born in Ukraine, he was handed to Ukraine independently of what he wanted and he is culturally a Russian, I see no problem in the fact that he decided to play for Russia officially. People do not magically become Ukrainian by the very fact that the borders have changed. National identity does not change with borders, citizenship is not always in line with national identity. France was occupied by nazi Germany in WWII. Did every Frenchman magically transform into Germans at that point? Was everyone in the colonies magically becoming English/French/Dutch, etc.? No, of course not. Is everyone in the Crimea Russian now? No, there are still Ukrainians, even though the borders have changed. So, I think the civilized attitude to Karjakin's switch of federations would be to accept the fact that he has always been Russian. For me it is more strange that a Russian - Karjakin in this case - was representing Ukraine before his switch. I did not check it, but I would bet that he played representing Ukraine even against Russia. If we need to find hypocrisy regarding Karjakin, then the fact that he represented Ukraine while being a Russian and then judging others for not always representing Russia springs to my mind. His suggestion that Nepo should win game 9 is also unfortunate.
nasarelhassan nasarelhassan 12/15/2021 09:37
Blaming others for your mistakes, such an anti-chess mentality!?
Gerald C Gerald C 12/15/2021 08:02
Betrayal ? S. Kariakin is really in no position to make such a comment !
tom_70 tom_70 12/15/2021 07:22
Claiming the seconds were the reason for Carlsen's victory is patently absurd. Nepo lost because he made blunders late into the games where both players were on their own.
Masquer Masquer 12/15/2021 03:57
@craniotomy A little knowledge of history can go a long way.

The *Soviets* conspired against Fischer at Curacao 1962. More precisely, 3 out of the 5 Soviet players: Petrosian (Armenian), the eventual winner, Keres (Estonian) and Geller (Ukrainian). Do you see any "Russians" among those 3?
Bezim Bezim 12/15/2021 02:59
The whole article is based on a tweet from a single Russian chess player (Karjakin) out of thousands of Russian chess players. The author even threw in a totally unrelated picture with Putin to make the story more dramatic.
I guess, Dubov should request asylum asap because he might be executed by firing squad upon arrival to Russia.

Oh Boy, this is hilarious.
Aighearach Aighearach 12/15/2021 01:31
Why would they want to damage the marketability of their chess professionals? Haven't they already lost enough of their players and coaches? This sort of braindead nationalism does nothing to help them become a chess power again.
craniotomy craniotomy 12/15/2021 01:02
Didn't Bobby Fischer once accuse the Russians of conspiring against him? If Dubov is ostracized by other Russian players for working with Carlsen, isn't Bobby Fischer's accusation ostensibly proved?
lagrigorescu lagrigorescu 12/14/2021 11:02
I would have taken Karjakin's tweet in a different light: as Firouzja seem to be "the next big thing" and likely a future challenger, would he take Tari (of Iranian origin) in his team? I would not be surprised if Carlesen takes him anyway.
parselmouth parselmouth 12/14/2021 09:53
Too bad the criticism came from Karakin or the Nepo team in general. I think Nepo should have played more aggressively and used say the sicilian rather than Petrovs. Sicilian fits his style. I guess he feared Bb5 lines for White. Maybe there was some failure on team Nepo.

I also think Anand's comments are valid about globalization and Dubov has also pointed out the precedence of helping Carlsen in the previous championship. And yes, Dubov has improved with a Carlsen association. Dubov is one of the players I'd root for against Carlsen in a world championship match. He plays exciting chess and is a real talent. This Nationalism doesn't mean you have to be stupid. Don't really like Karjakin much--too political. Too opportunistic. Too much distraction.
adbennet adbennet 12/14/2021 09:30
From his answers to the interview questions, Dubov seems quite calm and level-headed. Plus being such a strong player, it is easy to see why Carlsen wanted to work with him, and why fans of Nepomniachtchi wished he hadn't. As long as Dubov remains one of the "biggest guns", I can't imagine any serious consequences for him regarding team selection.
e-mars e-mars 12/14/2021 07:53
@fixpont it is not if you live under a dictatorial regime.
What I also find extremely hypocritical is that Karjakin - the first to make such a comment about Dubov - defected his home country Ukraine to join Putin's army for personal, political and economical benefits: so who's the traitor?
KrushonIrina KrushonIrina 12/14/2021 07:49
Refreshing candor from Dubov, instead of the usual Guard-your-nuts, Putin-may-be-watching crap.
malfa malfa 12/14/2021 06:46
@oxigenes: actually Karjakin was not the only one to promote this ridicolous holy war against Dubov: other prominent chess personalities like Shipov and Levitov went on fire. True, they do not represent whole Russia (hopefully).
oxygenes oxygenes 12/14/2021 06:23
I agree, involving politic into sport has doubleedged consequences. But if you look at headline of this article and then read next, one can have feeling of deceiving. "Criticism in (whole) Russia" is actualy presented just like Karjakin personal oppinion, nothing more, so initialy nasty work, which starts this "Hollywar", was probably done by author of this article, even if not intentionaly. So headline could be easy changed - Karjakin criticise Dubov for his help to Carlsen.
Question remains, why author of this article did not it by such way.