Coffee, Igor Rausis and D-day for FIDE?
How are you today? It has been a while since my last coffee blog and now seems like an appropriate moment for the next. Lots is happening in the chess world.
On Monday WADA will announce to the world the suspension of Russian sports from international competitions for the next four years. As I wrote on December 1 (FIDE in Meltdown Mode?) this is likely to have very negative reprecussions to FIDE itself, being a member of the IOC and all.
D-day for FIDE?
Thomas Bach, the IOC president, has his hands tied and in a public statement on the 5th reiterated that the IOC has no choice but to follow WADA’s recommendations.
He did, however, insist that WADA be absolutely clear on Monday about which federations are affected, how and what the terms of their suspension are:
“I hope that WADA will be clear on the events to which this decision will refer and why it applies or not.”
Should the worse transpire on Monday and all of Russia sport will be put on suspension without exception, then FIDE will not be allowed to organize any event in Russia for the next 4 years.
Possibly 2020 might be an exception given everything be so sudden, but even so, in 2021, 2022 and 2023 there will be no exception allowed. And this is bad news for FIDE because most of the organization’s important events are traditionally organized in Russia, mostly because of lack of interested sponsors from the west.
Dvorkovich will have no choice but to organize every FIDE event in the west. This will be a major change of direction for FIDE and it is not so clear that FIDE will be up to the challenge. For decades now the organization has depended on Russian money.
In anycase, we will just have to wait until Monday to see how much damage there will be.
FIDE takes the Easy Way Out
On the 5th FIDE announced the 6 year suspension of disgraced Grandmaster Igor Rausis. Readers will recall that Rausis confessed to cheating in a tournament in Strasbourg earlier in the summer, after being shown a photo of himself in a washroom cubicle at the tournament site.
The punishment, handed down by FIDE’s Ethics Commission, which also includes Rausis losing his GM-title, was more or less expected given the gravity of the case.
However, the problem with the sentence is the ELEPHANT in the room: who took the above photo of Rausis in the cubicle? Evidence is beginning to indicate that the ‘official’ story is just a cover up for what was really an inside job.
Tracing a smartphone photo back to the owner
We do not own our smartphone: it owns us. It tracks us, every move we make. Whether the phone is turned off or on. It makes no difference. Dozens of apps constantly send information about our whereabouts, what we are doing on the phone, what angle we hold it at, how fast we are moving (if we are), etc. Etc.
We might disconnect the gps of our apps, but there is always another that gets around that. Edward Snowden told us so.
The digital image forensics community has made great strides in their work against paedophile rings. Today we know that every camera has a unique identity, like a finger print.
Each digital photo can be paired with the exact same camera that took it, due to the patterns of Sensor Pattern Noise (SPN) imprinted on the photos by the camera’s sensor.
Since each pattern is idiosyncratic, this allows law enforcement to “fingerprint” any photos taken. Technology has changed so much in the past 2 years that often even SPN is not necessary: today every single smartphone is traced 24/7.
The person who took the photo of Rausis in the cubicle could easily be identified by the authorities and arrested. And charged.
But, instead, FIDE wants to bury this issue and pretend it never happened. But it did happen. And it will always be the elephant in the room whenever the topic of Igor Rausis is brought up.