29 January 2019

FIDE Election Ethics

In last week's post, FIDE's Ethics Commission 2018 (ETH), I discussed the commission's two reports to the recent FIDE Congress. I ended the post saying,

That first report is August 2018. The second report is from the 89th Congress. [September; ...] Case 5/2018 was given priority because it had an impact on the upcoming FIDE election. Several other cases opened in 2018 were also political in nature, but their impact goes beyond the scope of the present post.

Intrigued by those political cases, I went back to look at the details on ethics.fide.com, and found three cases from 2018, including 5/2018. They were summarized on the ETH site as follows:-

Case no. • Complainant • Respondent • Outcome

2/2018 • FIDE Presidential Board • K Ilyumzhinov • Guilty - 18 months ban (12 months suspended)

5/2018 • G Makropoulos • A Dvorkovich, D Cogoljevic & Serbia • Not guilty - A Dvorkovich; Guilty - D Cogoljevic & Serbia: 6 months ban

7/2018 • Mr A Dvorkovich & others • Mr G Makropoulos • Provisional measures rejected

All cases related to the FIDE Presidential election that was to be held during the same Congress. All decisions for the cases are available in more detail from the ETH website. Let's look at the highlights for each of them. The first case was against the former FIDE President.

Case no. 2/2018 – Alleged misconduct by the FIDE President following his inclusion in the OFAC Sanctions list

OFAC stands for 'Office of Foreign Assets Control', an agency of the U.S. Treasury Department. ETH marked the case 'strictly confidential'.

2. The ETH notes its ruling of 11 June 2018, issued by the Chairman of the ETH, that the proceedings concerning this matter and the contents of the case file are declared to be strictly confidential. [...]

8. The ETH notes that the Respondent was included in the OFAC Sanctions list on 25 November 2015 and remains on the list till today.

9. The ETH finds that on numerous occasions during the period March 2017 until April 2018, and whilst on the OFAC sanctions list, Mr. Ilyumzhinov acted in a manner incompatible with his duty to put the interests of FIDE above his own personal interests and in defiance of valid decisions of the FIDE Presidential Board by inter alia seeking to exercise powers which had been delegated to the FIDE Deputy-President, seeking to discredit members of the FIDE Presidential Board, making untrue or provocative public statements and refusing to resign following the closure of FIDE’s bank accounts, and in so doing created confusion and instability within FIDE and further inflicted serious reputational, operational and financial harm upon FIDE and brought FIDE and the game of chess into disrepute. [...]

11. Upon due consideration of all the statements filed and arguments advanced:

11.1 The ETH unaminously decides that Mr Ilyumzhinov is guilty of the violation of art. 2.2.3, 2.2.10 and 2.2.11 of the FIDE Code of Ethics.

11.2 The ETH holds (all members agreeing) that Mr Ilyumzhinov must receive recognition, as a strong mitigating circumstance, of the outstanding service to FIDE and the chess community over a period of 22 years, as well as his decision to put FIDE first by his decision not to partake in the 2018 FIDE Presidential elections given the fact that his name still remains on the OFAC Sanctions list.

That was the FIDE's 'trial' for Ilyumzhinov. I've covered the 'tribulations' both on this blog and on my World Championship blog:-

That first link points to previous posts on this blog. The second case, the priority 5/2018, was also shrouded in mystery.

Case no. 5/2018 - Alleged electoral irregularity in regard to the Serbian Chess Federation relating to sponsorship and substitution of delegate

1. The ETH notes the complaints received from Deputy-President Mr. Georgios Makropoulos ("the Complainant"), dated 8 September 2018, directed against a number of federations and individuals concerning alleged violations of the FIDE Code of Ethics in relation to the upcoming elections. [...]

20.2 Mr Dvorkovich is found not guilty on the complaint levelled against him under case no. 5/2018 for alleged violations of art. 2.1, 2.2.1, 2.2.2, 2.2.3 and 2.2.11 of the Code of Ethics on the basis of the absence of sufficient proof, at the level of the ETH’s comfortable satisfaction, of an involvement by Mr Dvorkovich or his representatives in the substitution of the delegate for the Serbian Chess Federation and the conclusion of the sponsorship contract between the Serbian Chess Federation and Mr Cogoljevic’s educational institution;

20.3 Mr Cogoljevic and the Serbian Chess Federation are found guilty of a violation of art. 2.1 of the Code of Ethics (offer and acceptance of consideration with a view of influencing election into FIDE office) on the basis that the Serbian Chess Federation permitted Mr Cogoljevic’s appointment as delegate and agreed to a casting of his vote in the FIDE elections at his discretion in exchange for the conclusion of the sponsorship contract between the Serbian Chess Federation and Mr Cogoljevic’s educational institution;

That appears to be the tip of the iceberg. A fuller story was explained in detail on Chessbase.com: Serbian delegate suspended after he "sold his vote to himself" (by Macauley Peterson). The upshot of the decision was that the Serbian federation was denied a vote during the election. The third case was even more inscrutable.

Case no. 7/2018 - Complaint against Mr Makropoulos : Alleged misuse of FIDE funds and resources and other matters related to the 2018 FIDE Elections (Application for Provisional Measures). [...]

3. The ETH notes the application for urgent provisional measures incorporated in the Complaint, namely for the immediate provisional suspension of Mr Makropoulos ("the Respondent") as FIDE Deputy President, for the purposes of avoiding any interference with the proposed investigation into an alleged misuse of FIDE resources and funds for Mr Makropoulos’ election campaign and to protect FIDE against any undue spending of money ("the Application"). [...]

7. In the result, the ETH unanimously decides that the Application for Provisional measures falls to be dismissed.

In other words, the Dvorkovich ticket tried to have Makropoulos removed from his position as FIDE Deputy President before the election. The Ethics Commission saw the ruse for what it was and squashed it.

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