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‘One or two idiots’ behind chess ‘traitor’ row, says Russian star who helped Norwegian world champ

Daniil Dubov has slammed a minority of ‘idiots’ who suggested he had betrayed his country by teaming up with Magnus Carlsen ahead of the Norwegian’s world title win

Russian chess prodigy Daniil Dubov has hit back at chess figures who criticized him for helping Danish world champion Magnus Carlsen prepare for his world title match against Ian Nepomniachtchi.

Norway’s Carlsen underscored his reputation as one of the finest chess players in history with a conclusive win against Nepomniachtchi in their best-of-14 series in Dubai earlier this month, in what was the 31-year-old’s fifth victory in a world title showdown. 

Nepomniachtchi, better known to his fans as ‘Nepo’, attempted to rally on several occasions but ultimately couldn’t overcome a handful of blunders made throughout the series.

But the aftermath has partly been dominated not by Carlsen’s impressive showing, nor by Nepo’s mistakes, but by Dubov’s decision to team up with Carlsen to help him prepare to face the challenge of Nepomniachtchi.

Social media saw accusations that Dubov betrayed his homeland by assisting the Norwegian grandmaster ahead of the series against his compatriot, as well comments from some prominent figures in Russian chess. 

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Magnus Carlsen was helped by Russia's Daniil Dubov. © Getty Images
Chess ‘traitor’ row erupts in Russia after Carlsen world title win

But these were accusations swiftly shot down by the 2018 world rapid chess champion this week.

I don’t think there was talking really… Sometimes talking is caused by many people sharing their opinions on stuff and sometimes you just have, like, one or two… one or two idiots who simply want to start some weird wave,” said Dubov to Norwegian media on the sidelines of this year’s rapid chess championships in Poland. 

When I check my messages, or Instagram or whatever, most of the people are supporting me. When I say most, it’s not like 60% – it’s like 90%… in Russia as well

I’m a civilized man going back to Russia, and running into trouble? No this is not the case. The whole history was a bit fake, to be honest.

And who are the aforementioned idiots?

I mean, check Twitter. Check the news. You can find the names,” Dubov said. 

Dubov, who has enjoyed a friendly relationship with Carlsen throughout a shared history of competition against one another, had previously stated that Carlsen’s strategy of surrounding himself with players he personally gets on well with has served him well as a method of preparation for high-level events.

By contrast, Dubov said that the Russian approach is more methodical – and that the top-ranked players are gathered together to assist one another regardless of whether or not they get along personally.

It’s kind of important for [Carlsen] to actually like the guys,” he announced in a video detailing Carlsen’s preparation.

For instance, the Russian team it’s exactly the opposite. Normally they would bring all the biggest guns in, it doesn’t matter if they’re fighting or they are friends, or whatever. You just use all the power.

“Here it’s a European approach, mostly you care about the atmosphere and so on, and only then you need people to work well.”

It was these types of comments which drew criticism from the likes of Russian grandmasters Sergey Shipov and Sergey Karjakin, as well as former Russian Chess Federation president Ilya Levitov.

Dubov, though, apparently remains steadfast in his position that it was only ‘idiots’ who attempted to stir up controversy when it comes to his link Carlsen – something he says will only serve to help him, and Russian chess as a whole, continue to flourish for years to come. 

https://ift.tt/3JpCcR1 29, 2021 at 12:12AM
from RT – Daily news

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