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Opinion
Stephen L. Carter

Putin Annexes Chessboard

A match to decide the world chess champion may be unraveling over financial issues related to the crisis in Ukraine. 
Will Magnus Carlsen hold onto his title of world chess champion?
Will Magnus Carlsen hold onto his title of world chess champion?

So it now appears that the crisis in Ukraine might upset the plans for November's chess match between reigning world champion Magnus Carlsen and ex-champion Viswanathan Anand. The match, to be held under the auspices of the World Chess Federation, may be unraveling over financial issues related to the crisis.

Carlsen has expressed unhappiness with the scheduling, but also seems skeptical about the purse. According to ChessBase, the $1.5 million reserved for prizes "appears to be coming from Aleksander Tkachev, who is Governor of the Krasnodar Territory and one of the leaders of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic. For this reason Tkachev has been blacklisted by the European Union, together with other key Russian officials from the region."