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Ethics Commission meets in Madrid

The FIDE Ethics Commission (ETH) recently met in Madrid, Spain to decide a number of disciplinary cases and to conduct a hearing in two cases of alleged cheating.

In case 1/2016 (R Smith / Trinidad & Tobago Chess Association) the ETH held that the matter, arising from a suspension imposed by the TTCA against Mr Smith, was a national case and the ETH lacked the necessary jurisdiction to intervene. The complaint of Mr Smith was thus held to be not admissible and the case was dismissed.

In case 4/2016 (S Al Afoo / Asian Chess Federation officials and the Bahrain Mind Sports Association) the respondents were found not guilty by the ETH regarding the complaint that financial assistance had been given to influence elections.

The ETH also arrived at provisional findings in case 3/2015 (M Sandu / 15 other players) relating to false accusations of cheating that were allegedly made in the 2015 European Individual Women’s Chess Championship. The final verdict will be announced soon once the players have had a chance of making further representations.

A hearing was necessary in the cheating cases 8/2015 (I Tetimov) and 2/2016 (A Ricciardi) to receive the expert evidence of two computer science and mathematics experts in the persons of Prof Kenneth Regan (USA) and Dr Mark Watkins (AUS). Also present was Mr Israel Gelfer, the chairman of the FIDE Anti-Cheating Commission. The two accused players chose not to attend. Relying in part on the expert evidence of an extremely high statistical probability of cheating, based amongst other things on move matching with the best moves as suggested by a number of chess engines, the ETH found both players guilty of cheating and sanctioned them with a 2 year ban each.

The ETH also discussed its continuing investigation in case 5/2016 which looks into the matter of fictitious invoices which were issued to the Bulgarian Chess Federation in the years 2011 – 2014 by perpetrators abusing the name of the European Chess Union. This matter remains the only unfinished case after the Madrid meeting. Further information relating to the decided cases can be found in the decisions as published on the ETH webpage. The full motivation for the decisions in cases 3/2015, 8/2015 and 2/2016 will also be published in due course given the general interest and precedential value of these cases.

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