Is life in the fast lane too much for Sergey Karjakin? Russian accused of running scared of Magnus Carlsen
Malcolm Pein, chess correspondent
8 APRIL 2016 • 10:14AM

Sergey Karjakin took home €95,000 (£75,000) for winning the Candidates Tournament in Moscow and earned the right to play Magnus Carlsen in November for the world title.

At the conclusion of the tournament, Hans Visser, Development Director of BMW Russia, the tournament’s transportation partner, presented Karjakin with a miniature replica of a BMWi8, a hybrid sports car.

Visser declared that Karjakin would be driving away with the real one which was parked outside the tournament hall.

The BMWi8 can go from 0-100 km/h in 4.4 seconds, has a top speed of 250Km/H and uses just 2.1 litres/100km. It also looks amazing.

At first sight this appeared to be a wonderful prize, until it was revealed subsequently that Karjakin only has the car on loan for a month.

On Thursday, the title contender was embroiled in a controversy when the Russian Chess Federation wrote to the organisers of the Altibox Norway Chess tournament to declare that their man was withdrawing from the event which starts on the 18th of this month.

Withdrawing from a tournament 12 days before it’s due to start is very poor form as well as a breach of contract.

The tournament had been billed as a dress rehearsal for the title contest and Karjakin’s absence will be keenly felt.

Jøran Aulin-Jansson for the organising committee described the move as “disrepectful”.

I’d put it more bluntly myself and suggest Karjakin is running scared.

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