Chess-Karjakin mulling appeal against six-month ban for pro-Russia comments


FILE PHOTO: Chess - 2018 World Rapid and Blitz Chess Championships - Rapid Open - Saint Petersburg, Russia - December 26, 2018. Sergey Karjakin of Russia looks at a board during a game against Anton Demchenko of Russia. REUTERS/Anton Vaganov

(Reuters) - Russian grandmaster Sergey Karjakin is considering appealing against his six-month ban from competition for supporting Russia's invasion of Ukraine, he told Russian news agency TASS on Tuesday.

The 32-year-old, who challenged Magnus Carlsen for the world title in 2016, has defended his country's actions on social media in recent weeks, drawing intense criticism from the chess world.

The ban puts Karjakin's participation in the Candidates Tournament, which starts on June 16, in doubt.

"I am now thinking whether I will play or not in the Candidates Tournament," he said.

"Now all my thoughts are about filing an appeal. There are 21 days for this, and a week has already passed, and we need to hurry in this matter."

Karjakin, who was born in Crimea and represented Ukraine until 2009, added that his lawyers were figuring out whether it was best to file the appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) or the International Chess Federation (FIDE).

FIDE earlier stripped hosts Moscow of the Chess Olympiad and FIDE Congress later this year and Russian players are also banned from playing in tournaments under their flag.

The ban also covers Belarusian players as Belarus has been a key staging area for Russian troops in Ukraine's invasion.

(Reporting by Reuters)

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