Sergey Karjakin has accepted President Vladimir Putin’s invitation to join the Civil Chamber of the Russian Federation.
On Monday morning Karjakin posted a photo on his Twitter account showing the invitation signed by Putin.
“According to the Federal law from April 4, 2005 ‘Of the Civil Chamber or Russian Federation’ (I am) inviting you to join the Civil Chamber of the Russian Federation. Please, address your decision to the Moscow Kremlin,” reads the letter signed by Putin.
Karjakin reportedly accepted the offer on the same day.
“I accept this offer for two reasons,” Karjakin told Russian outlet RBK.
“Firstly, I respect Vladimir Putin as a strong president, as a person who does a lot for the sport of chess, attends chess tournaments, supports the players.
“Given the fact that the offer came directly from him, I think that declining would not be polite. Secondly, as a chess player, I think it’s important to popularize chess in all possible ways.”
The 27-year-old also said that among other things he is looking to use the new role to popularize a healthy lifestyle and family values – although he admitted that a busy competition schedule might make that task harder.
“I’m an active sportsman and I represent Russia at high-level tournaments, but that makes it more interesting to combine these two roles.”
The Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation, established in 2005, is a consultative civil society institution that analyzes draft legislation and monitors the activities of parliament.
The organization consists of 168 members, 85 of whom are delegated by civil chambers of each of Russia’s federal subjects, 43 who are delegated from national civil organizations, and 40 who join at the approval of the president.
At the end of November Karjakin fell short in his bid to defeat reigning world champion Magnus Carlsen at the 2016 World Chess Championship in New York, but later overcame his Norwegian rival at the World Blitz championship in Doha, Qatar, at the end of December.