French Chess Federation investigates cheating players

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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: French Chess Federation investigates cheating players

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Sun Jan 23, 2011 8:13 am

Chessbase have pasted together the press release and something from the New York Times chess blog:

http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=6963

andrew martin

Re: French Chess Federation investigates cheating players

Post by andrew martin » Sun Jan 23, 2011 5:36 pm

I presume someone has caught them red-handed,otherwise I don't see how this can be proven.

It is just such a strange thing for a strong GM to do or even contemplate.

Michael Jones
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Re: French Chess Federation investigates cheating players

Post by Michael Jones » Sun Jan 23, 2011 7:25 pm

Jonathan Bryant wrote:I'm not so sure that you're right there Matthew. It seems to me that there are various other readings of the situation just now. I guess in part it depends on what
"French Chess Federation (EFF) announced that it has initiated, December 22, 2010, disciplinary action against...."
means.

It kind of sounds like they already know the players are guilty so they just need to decide on punishment. I'd not want to assume that based on a google translation of the original French though. It could just as easily be that the meaning of the statement is that the EFF are starting an inquiry to find out what - if anything - went on.
Although I'm not exactly fluent in French, I would say that the English version of the statement which appears on Chessbase is an accurate translation. While I certainly agree that the players concerned should be considered innocent until proven guilty, I would side with Matthew over Steve in their linguistic argument: as far as I know the terms "tribunal" and "hearing" refer to processes intended to decide whether someone accused of a particular misdemeanour is guilty of it or not. The term "disciplinary action" refers to a process intended to determine the punishment for someone who has already been proven guilty.

Having dared to express on a public forum an opinion in opposition to that of Steve Giddins, I presume I can now look forward to being the subject of his next column, condemning me for such dreadful words. That guy needs to get a life - most of the rest of us can manage to live with the fact that someone disagrees with us, without feeling the need to write a blog entry detailing at length why we were right in the first place.

Jonathan Bryant
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Re: French Chess Federation investigates cheating players

Post by Jonathan Bryant » Sun Jan 23, 2011 11:49 pm

Michael Jones wrote:... as far as I know the terms "tribunal" and "hearing" refer to processes intended to decide whether someone accused of a particular misdemeanour is guilty of it or not. The term "disciplinary action" refers to a process intended to determine the punishment for someone who has already been proven guilty.
Well yes. But misunderstandings are so easy when we're all talking the same language - so much more so when we're talking about a translation that (a) may or may not be technically correct and (b) even if it is correct in a literal sense may not correctly reflect the intended meaning.

For example if,
French Chess Federation (EFF) announced that it has initiated, December 22, 2010, disciplinary action against the International Grandmasters Sébastien Feller and Arnaud Hauchardand, and against International Master Cyril Marzolo
really meant that guilt has already established - as the use of the words "initiated" and "disciplinary action" would suggest - would we really expect the follow up to be,
following suspicions of "organized cheating.
Suspicions? If guilt was established and now it was only a question of punishment surely you'd leave out "suspicions of".

Also, note the quotation mark before 'organized'. What's it doing there? It's never closed. I point this out not just to be a pedant, but to suggest that if this one error has crept into the statement there might be more and the intended meaning might have been changed along the way.

To my mind, then, I still am reluctant to follow Matthew's logic and conclude that from this announcement alone it must be likely that those named are guilty. That does not necessarily mean, mind you, that I don't share your feelings about Mr. Giddens in general terms even if I think he happens to have a bit of a point in this case.

Eoin Devane
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Re: French Chess Federation investigates cheating players

Post by Eoin Devane » Mon Jan 24, 2011 3:36 am

Michael Jones wrote:Having dared to express on a public forum an opinion in opposition to that of Steve Giddins, I presume I can now look forward to being the subject of his next column, condemning me for such dreadful words. That guy needs to get a life - most of the rest of us can manage to live with the fact that someone disagrees with us, without feeling the need to write a blog entry detailing at length why we were right in the first place.
I stand by you on this one, Michael. One of the greatest aspects of this forum is the opportunity it provides to us to read opinions from all sides of any particular argument. Whether "correct" or not, all views are valuable to the discussion, and none deserve to be publically derided.

Regarding the topic:
As a fan of professional cycling, I know the value of "innocence until proven guilty" in sport. In cycling, if all rumour and intrigue were taken to heart, then the sport would not have much credibility left. :roll: That said, for the EFF to open proceedings, if indeed that is what they have done, against their own players, there must be something more to this. As I see it, this means that either they have some hard evidence of malpractice, or they made the announcement to pre-empt an allegation that they saw coming from another federation / an insider in their own camp. Evidence of cheating in chess is, of course, much harder to obtain than in cycling, so if there is no hard evidence at the moment, then I fear this might be a case that could run for a considerable period of time.

LozCooper

Re: French Chess Federation investigates cheating players

Post by LozCooper » Mon Jan 24, 2011 10:22 am

Sebastian Feller has issued a denial of the accusations: http://www.chess-news.ru/node/1527 and is suing the French Chess Federation for libel.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: French Chess Federation investigates cheating players

Post by Roger de Coverly » Mon Jan 24, 2011 10:30 am

The Kosteniuk blog has a reply by Feller.

http://www.chessblog.com/2011/01/french ... tests.html

He denies wrong-doing and says it's a vendetta being pursued by the FFE President. Feller accuses the President of being anti-Kirsan (saying that he, himself, supported Kirsan) and alleges accounting irregularities in the French Federation.

I nearly wrote "denies the allegations" but there aren't any concrete ones. You might be able to establish that a match captain was in contact with third parties during play, which is or should be dubious. In the absence of direct witnesses, I don't know how you would prove messages passing between a match captain and players.

2700 players are usually just as good at finding good moves as Rybka etc., so analysis of the games doesn't prove anything.

andrew martin

Re: French Chess Federation investigates cheating players

Post by andrew martin » Mon Jan 24, 2011 10:51 am

One point Roger; you are totally wrong about 2700 players and Rybka. Even a very small amount of information passed to a strong player during a game can affect the result.

Sean Hewitt

Re: French Chess Federation investigates cheating players

Post by Sean Hewitt » Mon Jan 24, 2011 10:58 am

Official Statement from Sebastien Feller wrote:Je conteste totalement les accusations de tricherie de la Fédération Française d' Echecs.Cette procédure disciplinaire est en réalité liée au fait que j'ai soutenu lors des Olympiades,l' actuel président de la FIDE en opposition avec l 'acutelle direction de la Fédération Française des Echecs. Le président de la FIDE est d' ailleurs diffamé sur le blog de Jean-Claude Moingt, lequel prétend qu 'il a bénéficié de procurations fictives. De plus, j' ai fait état lorsde conversations privées, lesquelles ont été répétées, d' irrégularités comptables de la Fédération Française (des précisions seront données ultérieurement), lesquelles ont déclenché la colère du président. J'ai demandé à mon avocat, Me Charles Morel, d' engager une action en justice en dommages et intérêts contre la Fédération Française pour avoir de façon injustifiée cité mon nom dans un communiqué, repris sur tous les sites français et étrangers, ainsi que dans la presse internationale.
Best regards,
Sébastien Feller
Google Translation wrote: I completely deny the accusations of cheating from the French Chess Federation. The disciplinary procedure is in fact related to the fact that I supported during the Olympics, the current president of FIDE in opposition to the leadership of the French Chess Federation. The president of FIDE is in fact defamed on the blog of Jean-Claude Moingt [President of French Chess Federation], which claims that it he received ficticious proxies. In addition, I have reported in private conversations, which were repeated, accounting irregularities of the French Federation (details will be given later), which have angered the president. I asked my lawyer, Charles Morel, to initiate legal action for damages against the French Federation for having unjustifiably mentioned my name in a statement included on all French and foreign sites, as well as in the international press.
Best regards,
Sebastien Feller

matt_ward
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Re: French Chess Federation investigates cheating players

Post by matt_ward » Mon Jan 24, 2011 11:00 am

Well I'm totally with agreement with Andrew Martin I can not comprehend why at GM level players would use chess software or in an other way cheat in such a big event were they're very likely to be caught out.

Perhaps they are trying to spice there images up, or maybe they are trying to make chess more controversial, whatever the reason I am sure the Federation of France will use the appropriate action for whatever the outcome.

I just hope this does not give chess a bad reputation.

Matt. :) :) :) :D :D

Roger de Coverly
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Re: French Chess Federation investigates cheating players

Post by Roger de Coverly » Mon Jan 24, 2011 11:16 am

andrew martin wrote:One point Roger; you are totally wrong about 2700 players and Rybka. Even a very small amount of information passed to a strong player during a game can affect the result.
I'm sure a small amount of Rybka information passed on, or discovered in home preparation would affect the result. The point is that a 2700 player is rather more likely to find a stunning move using his own resources than you or I would. Therefore it's not evidence of cheating that strong players play good moves even if their choice coincides with an engine.

Passing on evaluations from third parties goes back well before the computer age. There was a story that Black's win in the 1970 game Fischer-Kovacevic owed something to a Petrosian suggestion - allegedly communicated through the players' wives.

andrew martin

Re: French Chess Federation investigates cheating players

Post by andrew martin » Mon Jan 24, 2011 11:23 am

I will be very interested to see how this develops. One would think that to issue the initial statement, the case would have to be cut and dried. Otherwise it's a serious allegation with nothing to back it up.

Andrew Farthing
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Re: French Chess Federation investigates cheating players

Post by Andrew Farthing » Mon Jan 24, 2011 11:31 am

Roger de Coverly wrote:Passing on evaluations from third parties goes back well before the computer age. There was a story that Black's win in the 1970 game Fischer-Kovacevic owed something to a Petrosian suggestion - allegedly communicated through the players' wives.
Korchnoi tells the story in his autobiography, Chess is my Life. According to Korchnoi, Rona Petrosian spoke directly to Kovacevic.

Interestingly, in the 1977 Batsford version of the book, Korchnoi states that Kovacevic was playing very well and "had no doubt worked out the complications himself" whereas in the revised and updated 2005 Olms edition, it is described as only "probable" that Kovacevic would have worked it out for himself. Ken Neat is the translator each time, so presumably the difference reflects a shift in Korchnoi's views. In other respects, the later edition seems to direct rather less venom towards Petrosian, so the change is a little odd.

IanDavis
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Re: French Chess Federation investigates cheating players

Post by IanDavis » Mon Jan 24, 2011 11:33 am

The title of this thread could do with a little alteration. There was a top French Othello player who was found to have had a computer wrapped around his thigh during computers. He wore trousers that allowed him to see the screen when stretched. After his discovery the entire French Othello community was decimated by the scandal, and, actually, nobody at all plays the game in France anymore.

matt_ward
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Re: French Chess Federation investigates cheating players

Post by matt_ward » Mon Jan 24, 2011 11:34 am

This is starting to become a war, I think it's best left to the FFE, and Fide association to decide on the issue.

However I think if these GM players are proven innocent their could be a massive court case possibly, because if these accusations are proven to be false, I think the titled players who have been hit in the media should pursue a court case.

Could this not be described as slander, by the President but there must be substantial evidence but i'm yet to see it in any reports or articles. It seems to be hear say.

I remember there being an incident between someone that is part of the English Chess Federation and someone else who made publication of the book "The Sniper", and this was not to do with cheating but trying to claim the ideas of someone else. Who had published the book "Th Sniper".

Matt.

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