Sunday 15 April 2018

Still not getting it right

Another high profile case involving accusations of cheating has recently blown up, although in this case it was the accuser who ended up in trouble. GM Evgeniy Solozhenkin was suspend for 18 months by the FIDE Ethics Commission, after an investigation concerning the World Girls Under 14 Championship last year.
Solozhenkin's daughter was playing in the tournament, and reported an opponents suspicious behaviour to her father. At this stage Solozhenkin seemed to do the right thing, by making a report to the arbiters, and making a formal complaint to the FIDE Anti-Cheating Commission. And if he had left it at that he would have been fine.
However, he then made this accusation public, and compounded his error by making other accusations against the player in a public forum (and not to the ACC). At this point the mother of the player concerned filed a complaint with the FIDE Ethics Commission. After a hearing the Ethics Commission sanctioned Solozhenkin, not for the initial complaint, but for his other statements.
Unless it can be demonstrated that complains to the ACC are clearly malicious, there is no penalty for making a formal complaint. Even if no evidence of cheating is found, as it was in this case, there is no blow-back to the complainant.  But what you can't do is to go shooting off your mouth to all and sundry, as you can find yourself in trouble. So in this case the process almost worked for Solozhenkin, until he decided to shoot himself in the foot.
For more info on this (plus a number of comments), click on this link.

(NB I was a member of the FIDE ACC when the initial regulations concerning formal reporting were drawn up)


siow, weng nian said...

Dear Shaun,

What are your thots on the petition of support by a sizeable number of GMs against the sanction? I do not access FB, hence have not read the explanations proffered, eg by Aagaard. I think yours is a good explanation that GM S overstepped the mark. But now to have GMs arguing against the ban without acknowledging the "harm" done against a 14 yo, that is just "not cricket"!

Shaun Press said...

Based on a brief read, the petition seems to be (a) about the length of the sentence and (b) a worry that this sends the wrong message about reporting cheating. I can understand the issue about the length of the sentence (although 9 months was suspended) but I suspect they misunderstood the reason for the ruling when arguing point b.