Renowned Russian Chess Grandmaster Changes Allegiance to UK Amid Opposition to Ukraine Conflict
In a notable turn of events, Nikita Vitiugov, a distinguished Russian chess grandmaster and the 2021 national champion of Russia, has officially shifted his allegiance to the United Kingdom.
This dramatic move is a manifestation of his strong opposition to Russia’s military involvement in Ukraine.
Vitiugov’s decision has been met with enthusiasm by the English Chess Federation, who anticipate that his presence will catalyze the growth of chess within the UK, already on the ascent in terms of popularity.
Notably, as a result of this allegiance switch, Nikita Vitiugov will ascend to the coveted position of England’s highest-ranked chess player.
This elevation in his status renders him eligible to participate in the prestigious 2024 Olympiad, scheduled to take place in Budapest, Hungary. The Olympiad stands as one of the most prominent events in the world of chess, attracting the finest players from across the globe.
Last year, the 36-year-old grandmaster used his social media platform to condemn Russia’s military actions in Ukraine, passionately asserting, “Russians and Ukrainians are brothers, not enemies.
Stop the war.” He further articulated his despair, stating, “It’s impossible to believe. In 2022, in Europe, people are dying in war, the fates of tens of millions of people are being shattered. Horror…”