26 April 201913:23

Another anti-Russian piece in the British media

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A piece of “investigative journalism” about the International Chess Federation (FIDE) and last year’s election of its head was published in a Sunday edition of Britain’s The Financial Times on April 4.

This article charges our country with under-the-table dealings, pressure on national delegations and machinations which, according to the author, make it possible for Russia to remain a leader in the world of chess.

The great Soviet grandmaster Mikhail Botvinnik was right when he said that chess players live and operate in a world permeated with politics.

It appears that the people from The Financial Times judge others by themselves. Russia has no need to resort to the methods they describe, as our country has a rightful place among the leading chess powers. Alexander Alekhin, Mikhail Botvinnik, Vasily Smyslov, Viktor Korchnoi, Anatoly Karpov, Garry Kasparov, Vladimir Kramnik and Sergey Karyakin are the greatest Russian and Soviet chess players, and the world knows their names.

Also, we dismiss the claims about the "pressure" allegedly exerted by the Russian Foreign Ministry on the national delegations. Informing partners about a national candidate for a particular position at an international organisation is common practice. Organising such work is a part of the direct professional duties of the Russian and other diplomats, including in the context of FIDE. Seeing such work as “pressure” means confusing responsible journalism with blatant propaganda.

We consider the article in The Financial Times as another inappropriate attempt to politicise this game, which does not meet the interests of the international chess community. Releasing such fakes, The Financial Times simply fulfils an order by the British establishment and works to increase the “toxicity” of the information background surrounding Russia. Moreover, this is done to the detriment of an objective and unbiased coverage of sports events, in this case, chess.

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