Statement made by the B&DCL and DCCA

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Carl Hibbard
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Statement made by the B&DCL and DCCA

Post by Carl Hibbard » Wed Dec 11, 2019 5:49 pm

Joint Statement made by the B&DCL and DCCA on behalf of Declan Lovelock
(in response to recent comments and speculation on the English Chess Forum)

In light of recent comments made on the English Chess Forum concerning one of our league players, Declan Lovelock, and also having due regard to his age and inexperience in matters such as these, we feel obliged to step into this debate on his behalf at the earliest opportunity.

Therefore, without wishing to ignore the speculation surrounding his performances at the board as outlined on several pages on this forum, we believe the following post to be the most serious in terms of unfounded pre-judgement of the allegations of cheating raised and have accordingly directed our response to it in the hope that, by doing so, the matter can be dealt with as speedily as possible.

by Matt Bridgeman Tue Dec 10, 2019 7:20 am
Based on his run of Dorset games I think Declan is set to be the highest rated, or top 2-3, highest rated under 16 in the country. I think it puts Alex in a slightly awkward position in that he may have to consider inviting him onto the England Junior Team, especially if Declan manages to similarly increase his standard play FIDE somewhere. I get the impression Declan’s method of cheating is quite sophisticated, and may continue for quite some time if he now avoids high scrutiny events like the London Chess Classic and the 4NCL. There may well be some more highly rated ‘victims’ to come in 2020. Whether one idea might be to pool his games on this thread for people to consider? His win over Allan Pleasants was an engine-like destruction apparently.

The Bournemouth & District Chess League (B&DCL) and Dorset County Chess Association (DCCA) wish to make it unequivocally clear that no evidence to support the allegations of cheating made on the EC Forum has been uncovered by our organisations and we are very concerned and disappointed to see how quick to condemn some forum contributors have been, simply on the basis of supposition, conjecture and circumstantial evidence. Furthermore, one poor tournament performance by a 15 year old wearing a cap is hardly valid proof.

Mr Bridgeman may be in no doubt about Declan's guilt but unless he is prepared to elaborate on sketchy findings to date we would, with respect, advise him to formally apologise to Declan and his family for these flippant and inflammatory remarks, preferably on the EC Forum as soon as possible. We would like to see a positive response but not to do so would necessitate us taking further action as this may already have had an adverse affect on a promising chess career that has hardly began. For our part we shall continue to keep a watching brief without jumping to conclusions and suggest others do the same.

Alan Dommett - B&DCL President
Martin Simons - B&DCL Chairman
Ian Clark - DCCA President
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Carl Hibbard

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Carl Hibbard
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Re: Statement made by the B&DCL and DCCA

Post by Carl Hibbard » Wed Dec 11, 2019 5:52 pm

Please see the following formal statement so for the time being no further Declan speculation will be considered appropriate here.

viewtopic.php?f=7&t=10535
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Phil Makepeace
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Re: Statement made by the B&DCL and DCCA

Post by Phil Makepeace » Wed Dec 11, 2019 5:56 pm

I would suggest that most of the speculation has been extremely far from flippant. This is a serious issue.

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Re: Statement made by the B&DCL and DCCA

Post by Carl Hibbard » Wed Dec 11, 2019 5:59 pm

Phil Makepeace wrote:
Wed Dec 11, 2019 5:56 pm
I would suggest that most of the speculation has been extremely far from flippant. This is a serious issue.
Whilst I agree the age issue probably overrides all else at this point.
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Phil Makepeace
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Re: Statement made by the B&DCL and DCCA

Post by Phil Makepeace » Wed Dec 11, 2019 6:14 pm

Three of the highest profile cases I know of in the amateur game involved teenagers: a 14-year-old at the 4NCL International Congress last year and two more incidents in Ireland in 2013 and 2019. It’s not like any such speculation is without precedent.

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Re: Statement made by the B&DCL and DCCA

Post by Carl Hibbard » Wed Dec 11, 2019 6:17 pm

Phil Makepeace wrote:
Wed Dec 11, 2019 6:14 pm
Three of the highest profile cases I know of in the amateur game involved teenagers: a 14-year-old at the 4NCL International Congress last year and two more incidents in Ireland in 2013 and 2019. It’s not like any such speculation is without precedent.
Again perfectly correct Phil and normally the policy is very light if no moderation.

I rarely throw my toys out the pram but this forum is becoming bloody hard work with all the PM's and emails etc that nobody ever sees and the above is just one extra issue that I don't want to deal with at the moment.
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Matt Bridgeman
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Re: Statement made by the B&DCL and DCCA

Post by Matt Bridgeman » Wed Dec 11, 2019 7:39 pm

I do apologise if I’ve become carried away and I’m quite happy to go back into the thread in question and delete any excessive comments I may have made. I wish Declan all the best for 2020. I’ll make no further negative comments for risk of getting myself in bother, and look forward to seeing all the famous victories to come!
Last edited by Matt Bridgeman on Thu Dec 12, 2019 1:06 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Statement made by the B&DCL and DCCA

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Wed Dec 11, 2019 8:41 pm

I have to admit to some surprise that the player in question has been so openly named. Carl and Jack were quite strict about suppressing the name of an older Irish teenager caught cheating in a toilet cubicle during a tournament and in that case guilt had been proven and a ban applied.
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Carl Hibbard
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Re: Statement made by the B&DCL and DCCA

Post by Carl Hibbard » Wed Dec 11, 2019 8:45 pm

Andrew Zigmond wrote:
Wed Dec 11, 2019 8:41 pm
I have to admit to some surprise that the player in question has been so openly named. Carl and Jack were quite strict about suppressing the name of an older Irish teenager caught cheating in a toilet cubicle during a tournament and in that case guilt had been proven and a ban applied.
Yes I take responsibility for that after being away for a few days
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IM Jack Rudd
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Re: Statement made by the B&DCL and DCCA

Post by IM Jack Rudd » Wed Dec 11, 2019 11:20 pm

I think the sequence of events, and time interval between them, made it difficult for him not to be openly named.

David Sedgwick
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Re: Statement made by the B&DCL and DCCA

Post by David Sedgwick » Wed Dec 11, 2019 11:28 pm

Phil Makepeace wrote:
Wed Dec 11, 2019 5:56 pm
I would suggest that most of the speculation has been extremely far from flippant. This is a serious issue.
The episode demonstrates once again that the ECF are about a decade late in introducing proper Anti Cheating Regulations. If there were procedures and protocols which people could follow if they had concerns, there would be little justification for open discussion on this or any other Forum.

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Re: Statement made by the B&DCL and DCCA

Post by Roger de Coverly » Wed Dec 11, 2019 11:43 pm

David Sedgwick wrote:
Wed Dec 11, 2019 11:28 pm
If there were procedures and protocols which people could follow if they had concerns, there would be little justification for open discussion on this or any other Forum.
There should be potential for a discussion on methods.

Maybe there are at least three.

Relatively easy to prevent or detect should be the simple solo attempt of retiring somewhere secluded to consult a device.

Also perhaps relatively easy, if you know that's what you are looking for, is the collaborative attempt where it's a stooge who runs the device and communicates the recommendations.

The hi-tech ones may present difficulties. These would be solo attempts where all is apparently normal, but where the player has devices concealed on his or her person which can both receive moves and transmit recommended replies.

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Re: Statement made by the B&DCL and DCCA

Post by David Sedgwick » Thu Dec 12, 2019 9:12 am

David Sedgwick wrote:
Wed Dec 11, 2019 11:28 pm
If there were procedures and protocols which people could follow if they had concerns, there would be little justification for open discussion on this or any other Forum.
Roger de Coverly wrote:
Wed Dec 11, 2019 11:43 pm
There should be potential for a discussion on methods.
To clarify, I was suggesting that allegations against specific individuals should be pursued through the proper channels if they existed. General discussion about methods of cheating and how to prevent them should in principle be welcome.

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Re: Statement made by the B&DCL and DCCA

Post by Alex Holowczak » Thu Dec 12, 2019 9:58 am

David Sedgwick wrote:
Wed Dec 11, 2019 11:28 pm
Phil Makepeace wrote:
Wed Dec 11, 2019 5:56 pm
I would suggest that most of the speculation has been extremely far from flippant. This is a serious issue.
The episode demonstrates once again that the ECF are about a decade late in introducing proper Anti Cheating Regulations. If there were procedures and protocols which people could follow if they had concerns, there would be little justification for open discussion on this or any other Forum.
I doubt it. People would still discuss them here, just like they have with all the other cheating cases that have been discussed here in the past.

There is of course the other common battleground in English chess, which is that independent organisations in general would rather the ECF bugger off and leave them to it, and not interfere with their events. There is no evidence to suggest that the issue is any different from all the other issues where the ECF has been told that.

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Re: Statement made by the B&DCL and DCCA

Post by NickFaulks » Thu Dec 12, 2019 12:18 pm

Alex Holowczak wrote:
Thu Dec 12, 2019 9:58 am
There is of course the other common battleground in English chess, which is that independent organisations in general would rather the ECF bugger off and leave them to it, and not interfere with their events. There is no evidence to suggest that the issue is any different from all the other issues where the ECF has been told that.
True, but in this case there is an overriding reputational issue which the ECF simply cannot ignore.

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