Short accused of libel

By Malcolm Pein
Last Updated: 12:01am BST 30/04/2007

There have been some laughable episodes in Fide over the years but I thought Nigel Short was joking when he told me that he has been hauled before the Fide Ethics Committee accused of defaming Fide Vice President Zurab Azmaiparashvili and Deputy President Georgios Makropoulos. Given the antics of this pair over the years I cannot see how this is possible.

At issue is an interview the former world title finalist gave on 30th January 2007 to the Indian newspaper DNA. Short heard of the move in a letter from Fide which did not reveal the source of the complaint.

Short was a commentator at the Fide World Championship which was held in the Argentinian town of San Luis in 2005 and the interview touched on some of the goings on there and the infamous ‘Toiletgate’ scandal at last years world title match at Elista between Vladimir Kramnik and Veselin Topalov.

The whole issue was so mishandled by the Fide officials that it nearly caused the termination of the match and Kramnik eventually defaulted a game rather than walk away.

In his interview Short was highly critical of Azmaiparashvili and Makropoulos who were both on the Appeals Committee in San Luis and Elista:

”The Fide Deputy President + Vice President spent more time at the hotel 16km away despite being paid 1000s of dollars plus considerable expenses to do their job on the Appeals Committee. It came as absolutely no surprise to me that these dumbheads would flunk the first crisis they were presented with (Elista). I might add that Azmai is singularly inappropriate for such work having by his own admission cheated to win the 2003 European Championship.”

The letter from Fide accuses him of violating articles 2.2.10 and 2.2.11 Fide code of ethics. Short is unrepentant and intends to use the simple defence of truth. He said: ”I have nothing to retract and I look forward to humiliating them in any hearing or court.”

Here is the full article.

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