SPRAGGETT ON CHESS
Last Thursday an appeal by the 3 sanctioned chessplayers (gm Feller,gm Hauchard and im Marzolo) over an earlier decision by the competent body in the FFE resulted in a serious setback for the players.
”The first appeal against the verdict in the case brought by the French Chess Federation against three of its players took place on Thursday in Paris. The verdict was always regarded as a formality and in fact Feller’s ban has risen to 5 years. However on May 24th the case goes before the French National Sports and Olympics Committee and possibly after that to a court. Here are the sentences : Feller : 5 years ban (in the first disciplinary commission he had a 3 years ban and 2 years community service) Marzolo : 5 years ban (same) Hauchard : 3 years ban and life-ban from being captain or team manager (he had only life-ban from being captain or team manager 2 months ago).”
GM Sebastian Feller’s increased sentence to 5 years now threatens to force the youngster out of the game all together,and sends a strong message to those who think that they can get away with cheating in chess tournaments.
Then today the French National Sports and Olympics Committee (CNOSF) , which acts as a type of body of mediation in such disputes, put one more nail in the accused coffins, recommending not only that the players accept the decision by the appeals committee made last week but also that this suspension be effective immediately. Tomorrow some sort of last ditch attempt will be made so that Feller and Hauchard will be able to participate in the French Team Championship.
”La séance de conciliation au CNOSF n’a pas eu le résultat espéré par les 3 joueurs accusés. La sanction de la commission d’appel a été confirmée et s’applique immédiatement. Un nouveau recours a été déposé par Maître Morel, mais la décision n’interviendra qu’après le début du top 12.
L’audience du CNOSF (Comité National Olympique et Sportif Français) annoncée par les avocats des joueurs lors de la Commission d’appel s’est tenue aujourd’hui 25 mai 2011. Ils demandaient une conciliation (plus d’information sur la procédure de conciliation du CNOSF sur leur site) suite à la décision de 1ère instance.
La décision de la commission d’appel étant intervenue entretemps, les avocats lors de l’audience devant le conciliateur ont dû reformuler leur demande et demander une conciliation sur la nouvelle sanction. Si cela a pu être possible pour Sébastien Feller (dont l’avocat était présent) et Arnaud Hauchard (dont le conseil avait donné mandat à Maître Morel), Cyril Marzolo était absent, non représenté et son cas a été disjoint. Il devra formuler une nouvelle demande sur la base de la commission d’appel. En attendant, c’est la sanction prise par la commission d’appel (5 ans de suspension), qui s’applique et Cyril Marzolo ne pourra pas participer au Top 12.
La conciliation proposée par le CNOSF était que Sébastien Feller et Arnaud Hauchard acceptent leur sanction. La décision du CNOSF annule et remplace toutes les décisions précédentes et est effective immédiatement. Par conséquent, ni Sébastien Feller, ni Arnaud Hauchard, ne pourront prendre part au top 12 qui commence demain à Mulhouse.
Le parcours juridique se poursuivra dès demain 14 h 00 devant le Tribunal de Grande Instance de Versailles, où Maître Morel a assigné en référé d’heure à heure (une forme d’urgence du reféré, qui est lui-même une demande urgente), afin que la décision du CNOSF soit suspendue.
Même si le tribunal faisait droit à cette demande, ce serait trop tard pour la 1ère ronde.”
GM Sebastian Feller is one of France’s strongest players
Should the players have no success at tomorrow’s hearing, then the players will have no choice but to advance thru the criminal courts, challenging the authority of the FFE in making the original accusations, and suing the FFE for millions of dollars of damages.
This however, will be a very risky move by the players, given the overwhelming evidence against them. An earlier attempt by the FFE to legally acquire hundreds of SMS messages made by those involved during the last chess Olympiad (where the original cheating incident took place, allegedly) was blocked by the players’ lawyers who successfully argued that until the case becomes a criminal process, the SMS messages will remain protected by existing privacy laws.
If the players move to make the process a criminal case, then the SMS messages could very likely work against them.
We will just have to wait and see!
MEANWHILE, BACK IN CANADA…
The last round incident that took place in the recently completed Canadian Championship involving two 2200-ish players (Plotkin and Calugar) that was reported on this blog (LINK TO BLOG ARTICLE
) has generated considerable email to me from my international readers.
Readers from as far away as Brazil, Germany and Malaysia wrote of their surprise that such incidents of alleged title-rigging could take place in a national championship in Canada, let alone go un-investigated by the tournament organizers or the national chess federation.
In truth, while such incidents are more common place in 3rd world countries in Africa and Asia, they are beginning to take place more frequently in Canada in recent years. The CFC, however, just buries its head in the sand and pretends that no such things ever happen…even though this year several witnesses to the game in question suspected that something was not quite kosher.
Much of the problem is aggravated by a catch-22
type of situation: in recent years the Canadian Zonal has been actively promoted
to players in the run-up publicity of the event as a relatively painless–if not easy– way to get FM and IM titles in one shot–all of this designed to attract more low-rated participants and hence give the organizer more money from entry fees. Naturally, it is more convenient to ignore those key last round games where titles are actually decided –and to turn one’s eyes away– than to discourage any incorrect or inappropriate behaviour by acting as a watchdog.
In its place, the CFC simply attacked me for reporting the alleged incident. One of the executive members of the CFC, Mark Dutton (photo below), even went so far as to slur my reputation with 5-dollar words from a text on pyschiatry and –in a final act of overkill–to label my blog ”pornographic” (!). Personally I am not offended: I am flattered when it is necessary to resort to lies and defamation to counter me reporting what actually happened!
Mark Dutton is well known to my readers. His past history is filled with controversy and scandal.
However, in this day and age it is very difficult to prevent news of such incidents from freely circulating on the net. Which is what happened here….one day both players involved might find the entire incident to come back and bite them in the butt….
SPRAGGETT ON CHESS