During the World Rapid Chess Championship, Polish Grandmaster Jan-Krzysztof Duda made headlines when he refused to shake hands with Russian chess player Denis Chismatullin. This gesture by Duda was observed during their match at the championship held in Samarkand. The refusal to engage in the customary handshake was seen as a clear statement against Chismatullin, who is an open supporter of Vladimir Putin’s regime and the Russian invasion of Ukraine​​.

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Denis Chismatullin’s Participation

Denis Chismatullin was allowed to compete in the championship under a neutral flag, despite his public support for Russian aggression in Ukraine. The International Chess Federation (FIDE) permitted his participation, clarifying that it did not verify the statements of chess players and found no grounds to disqualify Chismatullin from the competition. This decision by FIDE has brought attention to the ongoing debate about the involvement of individuals in sports who publicly support contentious political regimes​​.

Jan-Krzysztof Duda’s Performance

Jan-Krzysztof Duda concluded the championship in the 10th position. The victory in the tournament went to Norwegian chess player Magnus Carlsen, who claimed his seventh world title. Duda’s stand against Chismatullin, however, overshadowed the tournament results, reflecting the complex intersection of politics and sports​​.

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The refusal of Jan-Krzysztof Duda to shake hands with Denis Chismatullin is not just a personal choice but symbolizes the broader complexities and controversies surrounding political stances within the realm of international sports and competitions.