A Russian chess player who opposed the war became the champion of Europe

A Russian chess player who opposed the war became the champion of Europe

Russian Alexey Sarana won the European Chess Championship, which was held in the Serbian resort town of Vrniacka-Bana.

It is noted that the Russian grandmasters performed at the tournament under the flag of the International Chess Federation (FIDE), this was a condition for their participation in the championship. As a result, the competitor Sarana and two more Russians, Andrey Esypenko and David Paravyan, who took eighth and eleventh place, respectively, won the right to participate in the FIDE World Cup, which will be held in August in the capital of Azerbaijan, Baku.

In March last year, Alexey Sarana spoke out against the war in Ukraine and decided not to return to Russia, staying in the capital of Serbia, Belgrade, after one of the chess tournaments. “The actions of our authorities cause complete disgust. I do not agree with them, but I cannot influence them. I do not like this war, its causes are terrible,” Sarana said then.

According to media reports, at least seven well-known grandmasters have left Russia over the past hour due to disagreements with the government’s policies and the war in Ukraine: in addition to Sarana, they are Dmitry Andreykin, Vladimir Fedoseev, Alexander Predke, Kirill Alekseenko, Nikita Vytyugov, and Alexandra Kostenyuk. The latter, being a multiple world chess champion, changed her sports citizenship and joined the women’s national team of Switzerland.

However, a number of chess players, including one of the most famous Russian grandmasters in the world, Sergey Karyakin, publicly supported the so-called “special military operation” in Ukraine.

At the end of February this year, the Russian Chess Federation officially moved from the European Chess Union to the Asian Federation.

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