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Russian logo disrupts candidate tournament: chess of the pot!

IIsn’t the bruise on Jan Nepomnyashchi’s thermos the logo of Nornickel, a Russian mining company controlled by Vladimir Potanin, a friend of Putin? In a photograph taken during the second round of the World Cup Candidates Tournament in Madrid, very similar to the one printed in the June 20 issue of the FAZ, Peter Heine Nielsen spotted the logo. “This clearly shows that Russian oligarchs are still sponsoring chess on the international stage and using chess to ‘sportswash’ their image,” the Danish grandmaster tweeted.

Nielsen is the most vocal critic of the world chess federation FIDE. Together with the Ukrainian Andryj Baryschpolez he wants to replace the leadership of the Russian politician Arkady Dvorkovich in the elections on August 7th. Its most loyal man in FIDE management is Emil Sutovsky, an Israeli grandmaster who led the ACP Association of Professional Players until 2018. Sutovsky promptly informed Nielsen that the logo had been removed immediately. But during the fourth round, the thermos was seen again. The logo was also emblazoned on Nepomnyashchi’s suit.

Last year, FIDE also signed a sponsorship deal with Nornickel. After the start of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, the world association renounced it. The Kremlin-affiliated company also supports Nepomnyashchi. On Wednesday, a FIDE spokesman told the FAZ that Nornickel may no longer be shown in the Candidates Tournament. Nepomnyashchi be informed.

In Madrid he will fly under the FIDE flag and lead with three points from four rounds. At the opening ceremony, the focus was not on the players, but on President Dvorkovich. He traveled on to Delhi, where he met Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the occasion of a torch relay for the Chess Olympiad, which begins in five weeks. In world chess, the Russians remain in the front row.

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