During last year's World Chess Championship, Daniil Dubov became persona non grata in his Russia. You see, he was on the team that helped Norwegian Magnus Carlsen and not native son Ian Nepomniachtchi.
It didn't matter that Dubov is one of Russia's best players and recent World Champion in rapid chess. Ir didn't matter that Dubov and Carlsen have been friends for years. It didn't matter that the World Championship is an individual, not a national competition. Dubov was labeled a traitor.
Did it matter that Dubov was one of the few in Russia who publicly spoke out against Vladimir Putin? We'll get right to that.
Dubov actually criticized Putin prior to the despicable attack of Ukraine. This year, soon after the war started, he led a contingent of Russia's leading chess players (including Nepomniachtchi) to pen an open letter against the war.
Sadly, Dubov and his chess brethren are greatly outnumbered. Most Russian sportsmen continue worshiping at the altar of Putin. This even includes those who make their living elsewhere. (We're looking at you, brown-nosing ass-licker Alexander Ovechkin!)
Perhaps it's time to join those abroad, Mr. Dubov. Russia certainly doesn't need or want the likes of you...