Numlock News: May 4, 2022 • Chess, Charged…

By Walt Hickey Chess.com One of the most popular ways of playing chess on the planet and with tens of millions of players, the mobile app Chess.com is also home to about 3.5 million Russian players. However, starting on April 23, Russia’s media supervision agency Roskomnadzor has blocked access to the site following the platform’s stated support for Ukraine following the invasion. Needless to say, Russia’s got a pretty rich history of world-class chess players, and they’re not exactly thrilled with the ban. Many want to remove the politics from the game, you know, a game in which a ridiculously powered elite bloodlessly trades the lives of a resource-deprived front line of pawns in order to settle a conflict with unclear goals beyond the monomaniacal protection of a single strongman overseeing an predominantly male elite in a heteronormative and ultimately hierarchical society where upward social progression is both rare and difficult and available to only a laughably small fraction of the lucky lower class. Anyway, yeah, come on people, let’s keep the politics out of it obviously, it’s just a game.

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