26 November 2015

Ethics in Chess Politics - Stories

My previous post, Ethics in Chess Politics - Cases, listed nine recent cases considered by the FIDE Ethics Commission, all involving chess politics in some form. In this post, I'll look at the original stories behind those cases.


'Case 5/2014: Complaint of Kirsan Ilyumzhinov against Ignatius Leong and Garry Kasparov regarding agreements' and 'Case 7/2014: Complaint of the Philippines and Kenya Chess Federations against Kirsan Ilyumzhinov'

Both stories received widespread coverage during last year's FIDE presidential election. The decision of the Ethics Committee on the first (Case 5/2014: 'Respondents found guilty of breach of par 2.1 of FIDE Code of Ethics') received considerable coverage this year. For example, Peter Doggers' Chess.com report, Kasparov, Leong Found Guilty Of Breaching FIDE Code Of Ethics (September 2015), gave a summary of the entire affair which broke early in 2014.

The story behind the second decision (Case 7/2014: 'Respondent found to be not guilty and case dismissed') is not so obvious. A post on Kasparov2014.com, Kasparov's campaign site, blandly titled Open Letter from Continental Candidates, helps make the connection.

The complaint to the FIDE Ethics Commission regarding the Agon scandal submitted by Githinji Hinga of Kenya and Prospero Pichay of Philippines is attached herewith.

An accompanying attachment, Agon-Complaint-6-June-2014.pdf, now gives a '404 Not Found' message, but there are plenty of web reports from last year. See, for example, another Chess.com report by Peter Doggers titled, Leaked Agreement Between Ilyumzhinov & Paulson Suggests Conflict of Interest (January 2014).


'Case 8/2014: Complaint by Kirsan Ilyumzhinov against Garry Kasparov regarding an unsigned / proposed agreement for the support of the Salvadorian Chess Federation' and 'Case 10/2014: Complaint of Garry Kasparov against Margaret Murphy, Darcy Lima and Bharat Singh regarding alleged irregularities in Electoral Commission'

These two cases received less coverage from the chess press, but were also related to the 2014 FIDE election. The first (Case 8/2014: 'complaint withdrawn by Mr Ilyumzhinov') is mentioned on the English Chess Forum in a long thread titled Kasparov vs Ilyumzhinov: the FIDE Presidency battle begins (page 48, May 2014).

The corruption scandals escalate with another breaking story of Kasparov via Mig Greengard allegedly trying to buy the votes of Latin American countries (specific mention is made of El Salvador) for $30,000 each.

The second (Case 10/2014: 'complaint held to be not admissible') was reported on Chess.com by Mike Klein in Delegate Issues Deepen for FIDE Elections (July 2014), referencing the three FIDE representatives listed on the complaint.

Every federation gets exactly one vote at the 85th FIDE Congress, but who exactly gets to represent each federation is not as simple as it seems. The battle to select or recognize certain delegates represents a back-channel method for each candidate to improve his chances of election.


'Case 13/2014: Complaint of European Chess Federation against S Danailov, V Sakotic and S Stoisavljenic' and 'Case 14/2014: Complaint of Montenegro Chess Federation against V Sakotic and S Stoisavljenic'

The next two cases involved the 2013 European Youth Championships in Montenegro. In Organization of EYCC in Budva broke the law, authorities said (March 2014), Chessdom.com reported,

Montenegro Directorate of Youth and Sport, a government body, inspected the documents and accounts of 13 sport federations and 7 clubs. The inspection found that the Montenegro Chess Federation broke the law during the organization of 2013 European Youth Chess Championships in Budva, "Sahovska Hronika" quoted the Montenegrin News Agency MINA.

The report mentioned European Chess Union (ECU) President Silvio Danailov and Montenegro Chess Federation President (also ECU Executive Director) Vladimir Sakotic. ECU Secretary General was Sava Stoisavljevic. Since both cases had the same status -- 'complaint held admissible and respondents appealed to CAS; appeal pending' -- there's not much more to be said at this time.


'Case 4/2015: Complaint by K Georgiev, S Stoichkov and M Stoynev against Bulgarian Chess Federation' and 'Case 5/2015: Complaint by Bulgarian Chess Federation against Z Azmaiparashvili and T Tsorbatzoglou'

Two more ethics cases involve the Bulgarian Chess Federation. The first (Case 4/2015: 'complaint held admissible and matter awaits exchange of statements regarding the merits') was reported by Chessdom.com: Bulgarian Chess Federation in deep trouble, investigation by the Chief prosecutor announced at a press conference (June 2015); and Chess.com: Bulgarian Chess Federation Bans Whistleblowers, Danailov To Run For FIDE President (June 2015).

Last Thursday, Chess.com reported on a recent press conference where the Bulgarian Chess Federation was accused of fraud and corruption by GM Kiril Georgiev, Metodi Stoinev and Simeon Stoichkov. On Friday, during a management board meeting, all three were banned from the federation.

The second (Case 5/2015: 'decision regarding admissibility held over until outcome of CAS appeal in case 13/2014 [as above]') is on Danailov's web site, Danailov-for-president.com: BCF complaint vs. Zurab Azmaiparashvili and Theodoros Tsorbatzoglou regarding flagrant violations of the FIDE Code of Ethics (July 2015).

Bulgarian Chess Federation sent to FIDE Ethics Commission complaint vs. current ECU President Zurab Azmaiparashvili and ECU Secretary General Theodoros Tsorbatzoglou regarding flagrant violations of the FIDE Code of Ethics.

The CAS appeal was reported by Chess.com: More Clashes Between FIDE, Silvio Danailov (May 2015).

Danailov has appealed to a ruling from the FIDE Ethics Commission at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne. In the fall of 2014, the Ethics Commission had received complaints from the European Chess Union (under a new administration since August 2014) and the Montenegro Chess Federation concerning the organization of the 2013 European Youth Chess Championship in Budva, Montenegro. [...] The Ethics Commission "has neither direct nor indirect (extended) jurisdiction to resolve on the issues raised in the complaints, it has no instruments to adjudicate on them..."

The CAS is generally the last stop in FIDE legal matters.


'Case 3/2015: Complaint by Michaela Sandu against Natalia Zhukova and 14 other players'

The final 'political' case is a twist on the typical charge of cheating and is in process (Case 3/2015: 'for false accusations of cheating -- matter awaits appointment of Investigatory Chamber'). In Chess championship rocked by thinly-veiled allegations of cheating (June 2015), Malcolm Pein of Telegraph.co.uk reported,

The European Women’s Championship at Chakvi in Georgia was marred by some thinly-veiled allegations of cheating made against the early leader WGM Mihaela Sandu of Romania, who started the tournament with five straight wins.

A proper look at this case should discuss the evolving relationship between the Ethics Commission and the FIDE Anti-Cheating Committee. I'll save that for another time.

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