Karjakin’s prank call

by ChessBase
5/10/2022 – Sergey Karjakin was born in 1990 in Simferopol, the second-largest city in Crimea – Ukrainian territory that was annexed by Russia in 2014. At 12 he became (at the time) the youngest grandmaster in history. In the past months, Karjakin publicly supported the Russian assault on Ukraine, for which he was banned for six months from all FIDE chess competitions. Now he has sought revenge with a deep-fake call to FIDE Director General GM Emil Sutovsky. The British Chess Magazine reports.

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In its May issue, the British Chess Magazine gives a detailed analysis of challenges and issues currently surrounding the chess world. One of the issues analysed is the downfall of Sergey Karjakin and how his dispute with FIDE has dragged both him and the International chess federation down.

After receiving a ban for six months for his rhetoric in support of Russia’s war by FIDE’s Ethics Commission, Sergey Karjakin played a risky move.

Two friends of his set up a fake call with FIDE Director General Emil Sutovsky, posing as the Ukrainian Minister of Sport. In the ‘interview’ they provoked Sutovsky to say several things openly: that he was the first to suggest Karjakin’s ban, that in his opinion six months was too short, and that if Karjakin is allowed to play he will resign from his post. Sutovsky also gave unflattering descriptions to some high-ranking Russian officials and businessmen.

If you are interested in more details, you can watch this video of the call (with English subtitles) on YouTube.

Sutovsky took to Twitter to call the prank Karjakin’s new low, while Karjakin gleefully enjoyed the success of his move.

It is difficult to see Karjakin return to chess after everything he’s done, so Sutovsky’s post is safe (until the elections and likely after them, too). Still, it is probably a good idea for FIDE officials to be a bit less enthusiastic when it comes to interviews with unconfirmed collocutors.


There is only one conclusion that can be drawn from the omnium-gatherum above. The chess world, just like the real world, is in total chaos without a clear direction or vision. Anything can happen, and it probably will.

The May issue of BCM also brings you problem studies, endgames, openings advice and much more!

British Chess Magazine is the world's oldest chess journal in continuous publication. First published in January 1881, it has appeared at monthly intervals ever since.

Published continuously during the reigns of six British sovereigns, twenty world chess champions, twenty-five British prime ministers, and two world wars, BCM has featured the play of every world champion, from Wilhelm Steinitz through to current world champion Magnus Carlsen.

You can subscribe to the British Chess Magazine here (£55 per year, £4.58 per issue) or download a sample copy free.

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