Another pointless CAS case

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NickFaulks
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Another pointless CAS case

Post by NickFaulks » Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:24 pm

After almost five months of cogitation the CAS has unsurprisingly concluded that IM Fernando Braga's demand that he be given the GM title has not a shred of merit.

http://www.fide.com/component/content/a ... braga.html

This case followed the usual pattern for such frivolities. The appellant was required to put up no surety against costs and was permitted various exemptions from the normal procedures because his lawyer didn't know the rules. Neither he nor his lawyer could be bothered to travel to Lausanne to attend the case. His "expert witness" was too busy even to give evidence by Skype. That was probably a sensible decision, since his written testimony was rubbish.

Braga has been ordered to pay the court's costs, which must be huge, but I'm sure that he will not do so and there will be no consequences. He has also been told to pay a small contribution towards FIDE's costs ( why not all of them? ) but I assume he won't do that either. This is enforcable and I would like to see FIDE send in the bailiffs to demonstrate that such vexatious nonsense carries at least some cost - his legal work was done by a personal friend, so from his point of view this whole thing has so far been just a free punt. Won't happen, though.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Another pointless CAS case

Post by Roger de Coverly » Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:47 pm

NickFaulks wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:24 pm
After almost five months of cogitation the CAS has unsurprisingly concluded that IM Fernando Braga's demand that he be given the GM title has not a shred of merit.
It's not as if the rules are particularly difficult, three Norms and a 2500 rating which doesn't even have to be one of the monthly published ones.

Was there a tournament that would have taken him to 2500 had it been rated? If so, then perhaps he had a quarter of a case, but it should have been possible, once he had the Norms, to prove himself worthy of the title by pushing his rating over 2500. Admittedly he's getting on a bit in age.

A Google search comes up with
https://www.chess.com/news/view/italian ... title-7342
He also claims to have broken 2500 in the late 1990s. Playing the Mar del Plata Open in 1997 and 1998, he won more than 30 Elo points but back then these points were never added to his rating because the results of the tournaments were never submitted to FIDE.
Stubenvoll also told Chess.com that it's much too late anyway for these tournaments to be counted. Paragraph 1.55 of the FIDE Title Regulations says:

Title norms gained before 1.7.2005 must be registered with FIDE before 1.7.2013 or they will be considered to have expired.
Lawrence Cooper when International Director and FIDE ratings officer went to immense lengths, firstly to identify all historic performances by English players regarded as unused Norms and secondly to get the data registered with FIDE.

Roger Lancaster
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Re: Another pointless CAS case

Post by Roger Lancaster » Wed Jun 13, 2018 3:56 pm

Would it be fair to say that CAS appears to have decided it had jurisdiction only over decisions made by sports bodies such as FIDE and that, because the specific document which Braga identified as being a decision was not in fact a decision but simply confirmed an earlier decision, it consequently had no jurisdiction? If so, would it also be fair to say (without prejudice, one way or the other, to the underlying merits of the case) that FIDE won on a technicality?

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Another pointless CAS case

Post by Roger de Coverly » Wed Jun 13, 2018 4:02 pm

Roger Lancaster wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 3:56 pm
If so, would it also be fair to say (without prejudice, one way or the other, to the underlying merits of the case) that FIDE won on a technicality?
It does seem so, as the decision makes reference to a right of appeal to the FIDE General Assembly. The point being that no such appeal was made, so FIDE's internal processes hadn't been exhausted.

CAS didn't comment on the required rule bending to give the guy a GM title, being to allow an Olympiad result to count before the rules had been loosened to permit this and to notionally rate a tournament which hadn't been rated.

NickFaulks
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Re: Another pointless CAS case

Post by NickFaulks » Wed Jun 13, 2018 5:42 pm

Roger Lancaster wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 3:56 pm
Would it be fair to say that CAS appears to have decided it had jurisdiction only over decisions made by sports bodies such as FIDE and that, because the specific document which Braga identified as being a decision was not in fact a decision but simply confirmed an earlier decision, it consequently had no jurisdiction?
During the case it was established, I think to the satisfaction of the court, that the various technical elements of Braga's claim were all faulty. I was hoping to see his "expert witness" cross-examined in defence of their numbers, but as I have said he wisely decided to absent himself.

In the end, you are correct that the Court skirted these arguments in its decision by pointing out that he had been told that his next recourse was to appeal to the General Assembly and for some reason he had chosen not to do that. He had therefore not exhausted FIDE's internal procedures. We had made that point from the start, which does make you wonder why they had accepted this lengthy and expensive case in the first place.

Roger Lancaster
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Re: Another pointless CAS case

Post by Roger Lancaster » Wed Jun 13, 2018 5:58 pm

NickFaulks wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 5:42 pm
In the end, you are correct that the Court skirted these arguments in its decision by pointing out that he had been told that his next recourse was to appeal to the General Assembly and for some reason he had chosen not to do that. He had therefore not exhausted FIDE's internal procedures. We had made that point from the start, which does make you wonder why they had accepted this lengthy and expensive case in the first place.
It's a basic legal concept (in most jurisdictions, except the more obviously corrupt ones) that, if one doesn't follow the correct procedure, one's case is liable to be chucked out irrespective of its intrinsic merits - not that I'm suggesting this one had any merits - and it's very hard indeed to believe that Braga's lawyer didn't point this out to him, in which case the man is an idiot. I agree that, on the facts as disclosed here, he should be made to pay for his idiocy, if only to discourage repeats. Of course, if it turns out that he has no obvious assets and no obvious income, that may be easier said than done.

NickFaulks
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Re: Another pointless CAS case

Post by NickFaulks » Wed Jun 13, 2018 6:18 pm

Roger Lancaster wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 5:58 pm
and it's very hard indeed to believe that Braga's lawyer didn't point this out to him, in which case the man is an idiot.
He is a chess GM. I expect he pointed out to his client that, based on history, suing FIDE in the CAS is just a free swing.

Roger Lancaster
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Re: Another pointless CAS case

Post by Roger Lancaster » Wed Jun 13, 2018 10:08 pm

Quite so, Nick, so we agree this strengthens the argument for attempting to enforce the costs judgment to deter others following suit.

David Sedgwick
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Re: Another pointless CAS case

Post by David Sedgwick » Wed Jun 13, 2018 10:57 pm

NickFaulks wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 5:42 pm
During the case it was established, I think to the satisfaction of the court, that the various technical elements of Braga's claim were all faulty. I was hoping to see his "expert witness" cross-examined in defence of their numbers, but as I have said he wisely decided to absent himself.

In the end, you are correct that the Court skirted these arguments in its decision by pointing out that he had been told that his next recourse was to appeal to the General Assembly and for some reason he had chosen not to do that. He had therefore not exhausted FIDE's internal procedures. We had made that point from the start, which does make you wonder why they had accepted this lengthy and expensive case in the first place.
Braga sent the FIDE Office the fee for his "GM Title". He received a reply acknowledging receipt of the payment and informing him that his GM Title certificate would be sent to him.

If it wasn't apparent to the FIDE Office that he wasn't actually a GM, perhaps the CAS thought that they should look into the matter when FIDE subsequently denied him that status.

If FIDE don't want such cases to be accepted by the CAS in future, perhaps they themselves should only accept title fees from persons qualified for the relevant titles.

NickFaulks
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Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2010 1:28 pm

Re: Another pointless CAS case

Post by NickFaulks » Thu Jun 14, 2018 1:26 am

David Sedgwick wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 10:57 pm
If FIDE don't want such cases to be accepted by the CAS in future, perhaps they themselves should only accept title fees from persons qualified for the relevant titles.
It was the first time the Athens office had been subjected to this scam. Safeguards are now in place.

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