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August 10, 2022

Garry Kasparov in Bucharest: Russian athletes who support Putin’s war should be banned from all international competitions

Russian chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov told a news conference in Bucharest at Wednesday’s opening of the Superbet Chess Classic Romania 2022 tournament that the Russian athletes who support Putin’s war should be banned from all international competitions.

He explained that the only way Russian athletes should be allowed to compete in international events is if they sign a public letter condemning Russia’s war in Ukraine.

I have always been asked about the participation of Russian athletes in competitions. I believe that anyone who supports this criminal war deserves to pay this price. In my opinion, Russian athletes should be accepted on one condition, to sign public letters condemning the war. For example, Ian Nepomniachtchi, like other chess players, has signed a letter speaking out against the war, therefore Nepomniachtchi can today take part in this tournament under a neutral flag. Any athlete who shows support for Putin’s war should be banned and excluded from sports competitions. It’s a price to pay because we know what happened in Germany 80 years ago. That’s why I support the suspension of these players, and I expect the International Chess Federation to uphold this decision, said the former world champion.

Ever since my professional retirement in 2005, but even before, I never separated my life from the outside world, and now I am very active in helping Ukraine fight Vladimir Putin’s aggression. My vision is known, I have often spoken out on political and geopolitical subjects, and my attitude in this regard is straightforward, just as when I was playing chess. Thinking in black and white hurts sometimes. Politics is gray and you have to be flexible. But in history and even these days, things are either black or white. It’s not about chess, but they are black and white. And a direct attitude is the only way to see things right. That’s why my binary vision I owe to chess helps me navigate the murky waters of world politics, Garry Kasparov said, according to Agerpres.

Chess grandmaster and multiple world champion Garry Kasparov and chair of the Senate’s Education Committee Monica Anisie made the symbolic opening move of the Superbet Chess Classic Romania 2022, the first leg of the Grand Chess Tour, featuring a 10-player round-robin competition among nine full tour players and one wildcard, Romanian grandmaster Bogdan-Daniel Deac.

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