25 October 2012

Feller, Rybka, Arbiters, and More

If, like me, you have a passing interest in the administrative, organizational side of chess, then you might want to see FIDE's General Assembly 2012 Decisions. This lists the main decisions made at the 83rd FIDE Congress in September. I read through the summary document plus a number of the annexes, and while I found a few worthy of highlighting in a blog post, the most relevant was the 'Ethics Commission report'. A few years ago I wrote about this important commission in a post titled FIDE Ethics, and have been following the subject ever since.

While some of the ethics cases never reach deliberation -- 'rejected as not receivable and has to be dismissed' -- the majority are given full consideration. The most important case that reached a conclusion this year was one you might remember:-

Case 2/2011: "French Team" (complaint submitted by the French Chess Federation against Mr. S├ębastien FELLER, Mr. Arnaud HAUCHARD and Mr. Cyril MARZOLO and report submitted by the FIDE Executive Director), the EC unanimously rules that:
- all submitted objections and preliminary requests have to be dismissed;
- Mr. S├ębastien FELLER, Mr. Arnaud HAUCHARD and Mr. Cyril MARZOLO are responsible for the violation of par. 2.2.5 of the FIDE Code of Ethics [...]

Par. 2.2.5, along with other ethical sins, is defined in the FIDE Handbook, chapter Code of Ethics:-

Cheating or attempts at cheating during games and tournaments. Violent, threatening or other unseemly behavior during or in connection with a chess event.

Another case that garnered attention in the mass media is just getting underway:-

Case 2/2012: "Rybka and ICGA" (complaint by Mr Vas Rajlich and Mr Chris Whittington against the International Computer Games Association ("ICGA")) Procedural decision (preliminary request of additional information).

I last discussed this in The Rybka Affair: An Official Reaction, and am pleased to see that it is being pursued through formal channels rather than through open letters published on Chessbase.com. Another such case is

Case 10/2012: "Arbiters at the Chess Olympiad in Istanbul" (complaint submitted by the English Chess Federation against Mr Ali Nihat Yazici and against the Turkish Chess Federation), the EC unanimously rules that:
- the case against Mr Ali Nihat Yazici and against the Turkish Chess Federation concerning an assumed violation of par. 2.2.3 and 2.2.11 of the FIDE Code of Ethics has to be considered as receivable;

Another case involving Turkey:-

Case 14/2012: "Turkish young players in a European Youth Chanpionship". The EC unanimously ruled that the submitted complaint by the Turkish chess Federation is admissible.

I recall reading about the specifics of that case, but wasn't able to locate the background. If I do find more, I'll attach the information to this post. Not all of the cases dismissed as 'not receivable' are done so because they lack merit. One recent case was submitted by both sides:-

Case 9/2012: "Participation of Mr Suat Atalik in the Golden Sand tournament in Bulgaria" (communication/complaint by the Turkish Chess Federation against Mr Suat Atalik and the organisers of the tournament and complaint by Mr Suat Atalik against Mr Ali Nihat Yazici and against the Turkish Chess Federation)

and

Case 12/2012: "Participation of Mr Suat Atalik in a tournament in Kavala - Greece" (complaint by Mr Suat Atalik against the Turkish and the Greek Chess Federations)

The Ethics Commission offered a long opinion on this subject. It started,

Finally the EC, being requested of an advisory opinion, discussed the implications for FIDE rules of the suspension of a player following a decision of a national chess federation, a situation that was recently the object of various cases submitted to the EC.
FIDE and national chess federations are all independent entities, with their own internal legal systems, otherwise FIDE "unites national chess federations throughout the world" and "is the recognized international federation in the domain of chess", "recognized by the International Olympic Committee as the supreme body responsible for the game of chess" (1.1 FIDE Statute).

Other international sports federations expressly regulate the relationships between national and international sporting justice, the FIDE Statutes till now did not regulate the point. Without a specific regulation of the point, no limit to the respective competences can be presumed.

It's an important issue, fraught with commercial consequences, as the ongoing saga of Lance Armstrong in the cycling world should make abundantly clear.

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