Karjakin to play for Russia
by GM Mikhail Golubev
Yesterday Yury Vasilyev included in his ChessPro report from Nalchik the unofficial news that Sergey Karjakin will play for Russia in the near future.
Afterwards I spoke with Sergey’s father Alexander who confirmed that it is not a secret, and such transfer is their intention. Alexander said that they have nothing against Ukraine, and they are grateful to everyone who helped them in the past.
I also spoke with the Ukrainian federation president Viktor Petrov, who was not extremely happy to talk about this matter (who in his place would). Petrov sarcastically sent his warm congratulations to the Russian federation president Mr. Zhukov for reaching the heights of the Slovenian federation – having in mind the story with Anna Muzychuk’s transfer to the Slovenian federation several years ago, which also made our federation quite unhappy.
Petrov also added that in his opinion the Karjakins’ decision is not very correct because they had much support in Ukraine, specifically in
Kramatorsk and in Crimea.
Also, in Petrov’s opinion, current FIDE rules regarding transfers of players from one federation to another contradict the Olympic Charter [I underscore that this is the opinion of Petrov – personally I never had interest in what is written in the Olympic Charter – MG], and that FIDE officials are only interested in money that FIDE receives for the player’s transfers.
FIDE claims that chess wants to join the Olympic family, said Petrov, and FIDE introduces a senseless doping test, without paying attention to the more important things. Petrov also agreed, however, that it is not possible to hold Karjakin in the Ukrainian federation against Sergey’s will. From my side, I must add that it has been known for a long time that most (if not all) leading Ukrainian players have a strong feeling that they do not earn enough money inside the country.
Especially painful was the very limited size of rewards for winning the [men’s] Olympiad in 2004, and also the Women’s Olympiad in 2006. Ruslan Ponomariov has already refused to play for the national team for years, citing financial reasons. The decision by the Karjakin(s), which seriously diminishes the chances of Ukraine to win the world championship in the next 20 years or so, cannot make me happy. But it is not difficult to understand it.
In general, despite all efforts, there is still not enough money in Ukrainian chess for such strong players that we have. I am not sure if a more detailed analysis is of interest to the international readers… If some sixty our leading players move to the Russian, Slovenian federation, etc., then I will obtain a realistic chance to play for the national team and maybe even will read the Olympic Charter in this case.
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