The Karjakin Conundrum; When Cancel Culture Goes too Far

If political speech that is discordant with political sentiment of the powerful is sufficient to get a candidate banned from the candidates tournament shouldn’t more care be taken to inquire into the political ideas of additional candidates in case they are subversive too, using alcohol, tobacco or vote for Democrats? A new kind of ethics inquisition could examine past and present chess GMs and eliminate players from chess records that support the wrong side of things. Waterboards, not chessboards, float political boats. History and Candidates tournaments ought to be written by Victors on ethics committees or sundry Corporate or Communist bureaucracies such as interviewed Alexander Solzhenitsyn for his book The Cancer Ward.

World Marbles champion Ludvig Von Gates said that chess is just a game like marbles, and Sergei shouldn’t be banned even if he said bad your mama jokes.

Was Mikhail Tal an anarchist seeking to undermine the Liberal World Order with brash, non-union game plans? Was Robert James Fischer, disgruntled enough to seem anti-Semite, though he was Jewish enough to be World Champion, a communist? Are Quislings lurking in FIDE rolls? Can GMs with sympathies running toward imperialism or fascism be permitted to assault social media sensibilities with FIDE support? Ought not M. Botvinik and all red communist (or is communist blue these days) world champions be retroactively stripped of FIDE ratings and titles and be cast onto the chemical ash heap of history east of Eden? Can’t a three-hundred question test be put together to elicit criminal political opinions  from subversive GMs that need be taken before each tournament? Does FIDE have political officers as efficient as those of the player political branch of the Soviet Communist Party or the Nazi Gestapo to sort through social media for hints of player political incorrectness?

There is just one player to have led in a World Championship chess match with Magnus Carlsen besides Magnus Carlsen at any time (I don’t recall if V. Anand led at any point). That player was Sergei Karjakin. Booting Mr. Karjakin from what should be a non-political chess championship qualifier seems plain wrong. Dictatorships don’t tolerate dissent. FIDE might consider moving to chess boards and getting off waterboard style social media political correctness. What if Mr. Karjakin actually has the best chance to thrash MC in the WC this year? The Candidates without Karjakin will put an asterisk on the WC for 2022- *Magnus Carlsen was world champ in 2022 except perhaps the best qualified challenger was banned from challenging.