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On The Invasion Of Ukraine

On The Invasion Of Ukraine

CHESScom
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In the first days of the invasion of Ukraine led by the Russian government, we issued this statement condemning Russia's invasion and war of aggression and expressing our support for Ukraine. We receive many questions daily about the conflict and our position and policies. In this post, we have organized some of the most common questions and linked our responses and policies. As new facts arise, we will update this post with information and policies as appropriate.

Those wishing to support Ukraine directly may consider these organizations that have a strong track record of providing effective relief in times of crisis and make it easy to donate:

Here are the most common questions our members are asking us:


What is Chess.com's position on the invasion of Ukraine?

Chess.com condemns in the strongest possible terms Russia's invasion and war of aggression waged against the Ukrainian people. We believe in a world where peace, freedom, and human rights are non-negotiable values ​​​​that should never be violated. We express our deep support for Ukraine, and we plead for the Russian government to end this war.

What is Chess.com doing to support Ukraine?

Our first priority is to support our own team members in Ukraine. To all who wish to leave Ukraine, we are helping to pay those costs and supporting them as best we are able.

The chess community has come together to raise tens of thousands of dollars in support of Ukraine. We are supporting our community with direct funding and promotion on our site. For example, GM Hikaru Nakamura 's fundraising stream raised a total of just over $135,000 , for which Chess.com matched $25,000 in donations. Chess.com's Chief Chess Officer IM Danny Rensch and CEO Erik each donated an extra $5,000. GM Ben Finegold raised just under $20,000 , and ChessDojo raised just over $15,000; countless members of the chess community have contributed. Additionally, all ad revenue from Russia is being donated to Ukrainian relief efforts.

On our site, we have also provided extended vacation days for all Ukrainian daily chess games and have reversed any forfeits during this time. We are also doing our best to provide reliable information about the severity of the situation for Ukrainians. We have recently published a news article where many Ukrainian players voiced their opinions and shared how the war affects them.

Is Chess.com banning members from Russia and Belarus?

Specific Russian and Belarusian players sanctioned by the global community have been banned from Chess.com. We have identified and closed accounts from multiple sanctioned Russian oligarchs.

Chess.com is not instituting a ban on all Russian or Belarusian players on our site and events. We believe it is counterproductive to isolate innocent Russian and Belarusian citizens from the global community. Participation in the global community is important to spreading truth.

While we are not banning or limiting accounts, payment processing is currently blocked for all major payment processors in Russia and Belarus. Members who currently have active premium memberships are not affected; however, once existing premium memberships expire, they will not be renewed.

We have sent a message to all our Russian and Belarusian members with a link to the open letter signed by 44 prominent Russian players condemning the war and urging its end. Below is the text of the open letter.

Appeal of the Russian chess players to the President of the Russian Federation

"We are against any military action on the territory of Ukraine and call for an immediate ceasefire and a peaceful decision to the conflict through the path of dialogue and diplomatic negotiations. For us, it is unbearably painful to see the catastrophe that is happening these days with our people.

"We've played for Russia in individual and, which is a special honor, team competitions. We are sure that chess and sports in general should unite people. Our country has done its best to organize the most complex and prestigious international events even on the peak of the pandemic.

"Chess teaches you to be responsible for your actions; each move is meaningful and a mistake can bring you to a fatal point of no return. This used to be a sport, but now the human lives, human rights and freedoms, human dignity, the present and the future of our countries are at stake.

"During these tragic days we are thinking of all the people caught in the midst of this frightful conflict. We share the pain of our Ukrainian colleagues and call for peace."

We share the pain of our Ukrainian colleagues and call for peace.

"The Ukrainian chess team is the reigning European team champion and one of the strongest teams in the world, like ours. We've played tens of matches and hundreds of games. For us, fair competition has always been above politics, and the Ukrainians shared this feeling. We beg you to preserve the chance for mutual respect among the teams, players and people from both countries.

"We support peace. Stop the war."

Is Chess.com displaying Russian and Belarusian flags?

We are not displaying Russian or Belarusian flags in broadcasts of any FIDE or prize events.

On Chess.com, the Russian flag has been replaced with this flag (). The flag links to this article outlining present policy.

Is GM Sergey Karjakin allowed to play on Chess.com events?

Individuals who support the war are not eligible to participate in prize events. Sergey Karjakin has been informed that he will not be eligible to play in prize events on Chess.com.

What is Chess.com doing about pro-war messages on Chess.com?

Posts which are supportive of the war or that spread misinformation on the war will be removed, and members posting such content will be banned from Chess.com.


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