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View Full Version : 5.2 Anton Kovalyov World Cup incident



Lyle Craver
12-10-2017, 10:59 AM
This was a major event of 2017 which has been widely discussed

Nikolay Noritsyn
12-10-2017, 12:20 PM
Perhaps Kovalyov could have done more to fight injustice, but nevertheless a huge fail by the CFC at representing him. Here in Ahmadabad at the technical meeting they mentioned the recent case while talking about their no-shorts-rule, everyone smiles and looks in the direction of team Canada. As if Canada/Kovalyov are notorious criminals or something. FIDE officials making fun of us. Lovely.

Mark S. Dutton, I.A.
12-10-2017, 12:41 PM
FIDE Ethics Commission (EC) in Antalya, Turkey on 9 October 2017. The major obstacle to this matter proceeding before the EC is the lack of a statement from the player as to what exactly transpired between him and the organizer and his unwillingness to give evidence in this regard at the hearing.

The result was regrettably that the complaint by the CFC, raising important issues of general concern for the better functioning of FIDE, cannot be admitted for want of a prima facie case due a lack of reliable evidence. This is not a decision on the merits of the complaint.

https://en.chessbase.com/post/kovalyov-the-canadian-case

Lyle Craver
12-10-2017, 02:20 PM
Perhaps Kovalyov could have done more to fight injustice, but nevertheless a huge fail by the CFC at representing him. Here in Ahmadabad at the technical meeting they mentioned the recent case while talking about their no-shorts-rule, everyone smiles and looks in the direction of team Canada. As if Canada/Kovalyov are notorious criminals or something. FIDE officials making fun of us. Lovely.

A large part of the problem was that Kovalyov basically was so ticked at FIDE that he didn't do things we needed to do to fight the case.

It wasn't for lack of effort on our part. I know what I think based on the facts of the case but I do think Hal did the best he could with what we had.

ian findlay
12-10-2017, 02:41 PM
Perhaps Kovalyov could have done more to fight injustice, but nevertheless a huge fail by the CFC at representing him. Here in Ahmadabad at the technical meeting they mentioned the recent case while talking about their no-shorts-rule, everyone smiles and looks in the direction of team Canada. As if Canada/Kovalyov are notorious criminals or something. FIDE officials making fun of us. Lovely.

I am not really sure how the CFC could have done anything more than they did. Hal Bond had prepared the protest, but without Anton testifying, the CFC did not have a case. As for the FIDE officials making fun of us, to quote Pierre Trudeau after Nixon insulted him, 'I have been called worse things by better people'.

Nikolay Noritsyn
12-10-2017, 09:23 PM
It seems to me, the FIDE ethics committee denying the appeal in the manner they did was a surprise to everyone - that certainly could be avoided. No precedent was created that bullying of players by organizers is bad. On the other hand, neither were there any amendments made to the FIDE dress code, and yet now they tell parti shorts aren't allowed. In a youth tournament in a warm country.

Hal Bond
12-11-2017, 07:28 AM
Dear Colleagues;

Anton's treatment at the World Cup was shameful. When Anton decided not to participate in the Ethics Commission Hearing, the prospects for "justice" from a Canadian point of view were all but eliminated. The Organizer made a big mistake and he admits it. Zurab wrote to our Federation but to my surprise his letter was not published. Although he was not formally disciplined by FIDE, no one on the Presidential Board was pleased with his actions. The incident has shone a spotlight on a problem with the FIDE dress code and all relevant commissions have been called to action. We shall see where this all leads.

For the record, below is the letter from Zurab Azmaiparashvili on September 22.

I am addressing the Canadian chess society, the Canadian Chess Federation, my Canadian friends!
Let’s start from the beginning – preparations.
It has been mentioned many times that the Chess World Cup is a prestigious tournament and that chess players are required to have a high regard for it. The dressing style is established by FIDE regulations and it is noted, that the chess player should be dressed accordingly in the tournament. But I do not agree with the claims that are expressed to this day, that the regulations about the dress code are vague and indistinct but since there were complaints I think it would be better if the regulations become more precise. It is obvious that Mr. Kovalyov, was dressed inappropriately both under the FIDE Dress Code and under Section 2.2.8 of the Code of Ethics.
FIDE should be more attentive towards its audience. It is obliged to reduce the amount of questions from the chess players and leave them with only one thing to think about before the tournament – to play chess! The regulations, that were written in the last century, are indeed outdated and need to be revised immediately, but every organiser of a prestigious tournament tries to make everything at a high level and naturally, we were not an exception either. As you already know, I have been playing chess for many years and nobody will be able to tell me that I am only talking as a functionary. The rules (written and unwritten) were quite simple – above all, we used to respect each other.
That said, before the start of the World Cup, which is conducted on behalf of FIDE, I could not have imagined that we would face such an unpleasant incident.
Before the 3rd round!
Mr. Kovalyov is correct, when he states that before the 3rd round no one had reprimanded him for the way he was dressed. In this case, the responsibility falls on FIDE representatives as well as the individuals, who are still part of the ongoing World Cup. In my opinion, it would have been desirable if they had reminded the chess players about the dress code at the technical meeting, conducted ahead of the tournament.
FIDE team is taking part in the management of the Chess World Cup coverage and website (including live broadcast). Official media representatives of the international organization were obviously not bothered with the way Mr. Kovalyov was dressed.
The arbiters should be held accountable above all. There are dozens of photos and videos which proved that the arbiters had the knowledge but did not take any action. Mr. Kovalyov has pointed out that he was entering the playing hall 15 minutes earlier before each game, in this case, it is far more surprising that none of the arbiters were surprised by his manner of dressing. If the arbiters, after noticing Mr. Kovalyov, could not make a decision (which was their job), they should have at least consulted with the organisers.
A different subject of discussion is the reaction of the Chief Arbiter right before the incident. The Chief Arbiter reprimanded Mr. Kovalyov but shortly after that he moved on to another, in his opinion, way more important subject – has he made a mistake and which colour Mr. Kovalyov should be playing with? In my opinion, it would have been better, if he had not changed the subject until he had resolved the first issue. To this day, it is unclear to me whether the Chief Arbiter and Mr. Kovalyov came to an agreement (for instance: the chess player would be dressed accordingly to the regulations on the next day), or simply ignored the first problem and moved on.
To sum up, no one (who had the direct responsibility) had notified the tournament organizing committee about any rule violation until the 3rd round. Naturally, I was not aware of that situation until that day either.
That is why, it is understandable, that my reaction after seeing the way Mr. Kovalyov was dressed was stronger than it would have been had I known all the facts. Especially, after I was notified that Mr. Kovalyov had ignored the Chief Arbiter’s reprimand. It has to be pointed out that my reaction was caused by his response which was “what’s wrong with my dressing?” I ask the Canadian Chess Federation exactly how they would have felt in my position.
I want to say, that it really was a mistake on my part to start an argument with Mr. Kovalyov about this matter before his match. Therefore, despite Mr. Kovalyov’s attitude (that one pair of shorts was enough for him, that no one had notified him about the dress code, etc.), despite the sponsors and financial loss, which was caused by the chess player’s attitude towards the tournament, I - as a former chess player and grandmaster – admit to my colleagues that I should not have argued with him before the game and because of that, I am ready to apologize to Mr. Kovalyov.
As for the rights and duties of the organisers, all of you probably remember the Women’s Championship that was held in Iran and which had a strict dress code – no chess player was allowed without covering their hair. I know for sure how uncomfortable it made the European women chess players feel, although, they respected the organisers and they respected the traditions of the host country. That being said, the organisers have their requirements when they are working tirelessly to organise a high rank tournament and want everything to be on top level.
I, myself, am a lover of a free dressing style and do not specifically ask for strict dress code (till today, at the Chess World Cup you could have seen me wearing a suit, as well as jeans or capri pants because I was doing organiser’s work, as well as everyday work), but there is a line and crossing that line means offending colleagues, rather than just having a free dressing style. If Mr. Kovalyov, as he stated in one of his interviews, asked the Chess World Cup Baku organisers for a permission to play in shorts, why did he ignore Georgian organisers?
And lastly, as you know the FIDE motto is – We are one family! – and if that’s the case, the members of the family will soon have to gather and discuss everything that is unclear and vague, that is unacceptable for the chess players, discuss what already happened and might happen in the future and will have to take the steps suitable for a modern, twenty-first century organisation.

Respectfully,
Zurab Azmaiparashvili

Victor Plotkin
12-12-2017, 02:19 PM
Is Canadian Team going to play in 2018-Olympiad in Batumi, Georgia?

Vladimir Drkulec
12-12-2017, 02:49 PM
Is Canadian Team going to play in 2018-Olympiad in Batumi, Georgia?

Yes. There was a vote of the executive. My initial inclination would be to boycott this Olympiad but even I voted with the majority due to an external factor which I am not at liberty to divulge at this point. I believe the vote was something like six for playing and one abstention.

Nikolay Noritsyn
12-12-2017, 08:19 PM
So the executive can vote on such a matter?..without even consulting the possible team members?

Victor Plotkin
12-12-2017, 09:55 PM
So the executive can vote on such a matter?..without even consulting the possible team members?

Executive can do everything. They have almost unlimited power.

6-1 is a very good score.

Nikolay Noritsyn
12-12-2017, 10:19 PM
Executive can do everything. They have almost unlimited power.

6-1 is a very good score.

Yes of course, but its still nice to get them to admit it in public once in a while.

Hal Bond
12-13-2017, 07:01 AM
If the Executive vote had been to boycott, we would have taken it to the VMs for a final vote.

Ken Craft
12-13-2017, 08:16 AM
The vote was 6-0-1. I thought the vote was premature, thus I abstained.

Victor Plotkin
12-13-2017, 05:36 PM
Thanks to Vlad, Hal and Ken for their explanation. Now we can understand better what happens with the idea of boycott, which was intially published on chesstalk about 2 months ago.

I have another question about the next Olympiad.

For 2018 for the first time we have a 20-games rule. So far, many of our very top players don't meet this requirement. Bareev - 0 games, Hansen - 7 games, Y.Yang - 9 games. Will the Executive follow this rule? Or will he grant "exemption", "exception" ...?

Vladimir Drkulec
12-13-2017, 09:40 PM
Thanks to Vlad, Hal and Ken for their explanation. Now we can understand better what happens with the idea of boycott, which was intially published on chesstalk about 2 months ago.

I have another question about the next Olympiad.

For 2018 for the first time we have a 20-games rule. So far, many of our very top players don't meet this requirement. Bareev - 0 games, Hansen - 7 games, Y.Yang - 9 games. Will the Executive follow this rule? Or will he grant "exemption", "exception" ...?

There is no plan to grant any exemption or exceptions. I suspect that there may be players scrambling to make the minimum but there is still time.

Nikolay Noritsyn
12-14-2017, 01:41 AM
There is no plan to grant any exemption or exceptions. I suspect that there may be players scrambling to make the minimum but there is still time.

I think a better statement to those scrambling players would be 'no exemptions or exceptions' will be granted period'.

Vladimir Drkulec
12-14-2017, 11:58 AM
I think a better statement to those scrambling players would be 'no exemptions or exceptions' will be granted period'.

No one has asked for any exemption with regard to the minimum games rule. Making a blanket statement prior to consultation with them annoys members of the executive. A slightly weaker team where we have players in a position to make GM norms and give a young player or two an opportunity to play on the highest stage is not a terrible outcome from my point of view. Giving someone an exemption would be taking an opportunity away from someone else. If the 20 game rule is too onerous then that is something that the voting members need to consider at a future meeting.

Fred McKim
12-14-2017, 10:27 PM
Thanks to Vlad, Hal and Ken for their explanation. Now we can understand better what happens with the idea of boycott, which was intially published on chesstalk about 2 months ago.

I have another question about the next Olympiad.

For 2018 for the first time we have a 20-games rule. So far, many of our very top players don't meet this requirement. Bareev - 0 games, Hansen - 7 games, Y.Yang - 9 games. Will the Executive follow this rule? Or will he grant "exemption", "exception" ...?

I don't remember the exact vote, but I think the VM's were pretty clear that they wanted more active players on the Olympic Teams. I can't think of any reason someone would be granted an exemption - it's no different than when we had the 10 game requirement - I can't think of any examples going back 40 years.

Victor Plotkin
12-15-2017, 08:18 AM
I don't remember the exact vote, but I think the VM's were pretty clear that they wanted more active players on the Olympic Teams. I can't think of any reason someone would be granted an exemption - it's no different than when we had the 10 game requirement - I can't think of any examples going back 40 years.

Fred, I absolutely agree with your aproach. The reason I asked this question was the violation of some CFC rules in this campaign. As you know, the executive granted exepmtion from 10 points penalty (Canadian Closed) for 2 players.

In one case (R.Preotu) it was a really exceptional situation, but I am not sure about the call even in this case. In another case (E.Hansen) it was a standard conflict of interest, which happens to everyone. Nothing was really exceptional here. The same ruling could potentially apply for many other players. Bareev, for example has a lot of students and a whole week costs him a lot of money.

You wrote that VMs were clear about this 20-games rule. That's right. They also voted for our motion about bonus/penalty for Canadian Closed.

I always want CFC to follow it's own rules. Eric has a gap of 100 points between him and next in the line (LeSiege), so his spot in the team is garanteed (it he plays 20 games). Very possible, Vlad's call doesn't change anything. However, I see it as a dangerous precedent.

One of the reason I initiated some changes in qualification rules was to increase transparency and to reduce uncertainty. The executive did exactly the opposite.

Fred McKim
12-15-2017, 02:52 PM
Fred, I absolutely agree with your aproach. The reason I asked this question was the violation of some CFC rules in this campaign. As you know, the executive granted exepmtion from 10 points penalty (Canadian Closed) for 2 players.

In one case (R.Preotu) it was a really exceptional situation, but I am not sure about the call even in this case. In another case (E.Hansen) it was a standard conflict of interest, which happens to everyone. Nothing was really exceptional here. The same ruling could potentially apply for many other players. Bareev, for example has a lot of students and a whole week costs him a lot of money.

You wrote that VMs were clear about this 20-games rule. That's right. They also voted for our motion about bonus/penalty for Canadian Closed.

One of the reason I initiate some changes is the qualification rules was to increase transparency and to reduce uncertainty. Executive did exactly the opposite.

I always want CFC to follow it's own rules. Eric has a gap of 100 points between him and next in the line (LeSiege), so his spot in the team is garanteed (it he plays 20 games). Very possible, Vlad's call doesn't change anything. However, I see it as a dangerous precedent.

One of the reason I initiated some changes in qualification rules was to increase transparency and to reduce uncertainty. The executive did exactly the opposite.

I think there is room for a motion that would outline any exceptions allowed for the 10 point penalty for not attending the Canadian Closed. As always, the Voting Members choose the Executive and can express their displeasure at the voting booth. I think a full discussion about the exceptions to this new rule would be welcome either for the next few days or at the next quarterly meeting. If the majority think the Executive did wrong, then it should be acknowledged for next time.

Nikolay Noritsyn
12-16-2017, 12:08 PM
I think there is room for a motion that would outline any exceptions allowed for the 10 point penalty for not attending the Canadian Closed. As always, the Voting Members choose the Executive and can express their displeasure at the voting booth. I think a full discussion about the exceptions to this new rule would be welcome either for the next few days or at the next quarterly meeting. If the majority think the Executive did wrong, then it should be acknowledged for next time.

No, it doesn't work like that. There was no way to express displeasure at the voting booth because there was no competition. There was no option to abstain either, as far as I remember. I think the point Victor is trying to make (which I fully agree with) is quite simple. There are rules, and they should be followed. If we don't like the rules - we vote to change them. No exceptions.

Hal Bond
12-17-2017, 07:26 AM
Speaking personally, I like what Victor and Nikolay are saying. I can't recall the voting at the time, but I know I was not sensitive enough to these concerns. So I am fine with stricter compliance.

Vladimir Drkulec
12-17-2017, 11:32 AM
I think the issue in this case is that the tournament was organized in a hurry with less than ideal notice to the players and without consideration of school schedules.

Fred McKim
12-17-2017, 11:39 AM
I think the issue in this case is that the tournament was organized in a hurry with less than ideal notice to the players and without consideration of school schedules.

That was exactly the issue, Vlad. Players had 6 weeks notice and when this rule was implemented I don't think anybody envisioned that possibility. I weighed the pros and cons in Eric's case. He had just accepted a work assignment that required him to be out of the country at the time of the tournament. This is different to me than someone who conducts ongoing lessons in their hometown.

Having said that I am interested in a straw poll or the motion being revisited.

Pierre Dénommée
12-17-2017, 03:50 PM
We should amend the Handbook so that the rules covers the possibility of insufficient notice to the players. The slots which are available for every student in Canada are very rare. The Women Zonal will use the December 26th time slot. Easter break is not an option because it is the most important religious holy day of the year for all Christians. Spring Break is not synchronized even between Quebec universities. July is the Canadian Open and CYCC time and in summer, many students do work to pay the tuition.

Vladimir Drkulec
12-17-2017, 11:04 PM
We should amend the Handbook so that the rules covers the possibility of insufficient notice to the players. The slots which are available for every student in Canada are very rare. The Women Zonal will use the December 26th time slot. Easter break is not an option because it is the most important religious holy day of the year for all Christians. Spring Break is not synchronized even between Quebec universities. July is the Canadian Open and CYCC time and in summer, many students do work to pay the tuition.

Timing is always an issue.