FFE accuses its own players of cheating

1/22/2011 – Shocking news: the French Chess Federation (FFE) has announced that it has initiated disciplinary action against three players – one of them one of France's most promising talents – on suspicion of "organized cheating, serious breach of sport ethics, undermining the image of the national Olympic team in Khanty-Mansyik”. We are following the investigation. Press release.

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Source: French Chess Federation home page

Translation

French Chess Federation engages its Disciplinary Committee against members of the French team for “cheating”

The French Chess Federation (FFE) announced that it initiated on December 22, 2010, disciplinary action against the International Grandmasters Arnaud Hauchard and Sebastien Feller as well as against International Master Cyril Marzolo, on suspicion of "organized cheating, serious breach of sport ethics, undermining the image of the national Olympic team, at the World Team Chess Championship that took place in Khanty-Mansyik (Russia) from September 21 to October 3, 2010”.

Information on this procedure has also been sent to the International Chess Federation (FIDE), and Ministry of Sports, as the overseeing administration of the FFE.

Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, January 21, 2011


The players accused of cheating are grandmasters Sébastien Feller, France’s fifth-ranked player, Arnaud Hauchard, No. 16 in the country, and Cyril Marzolo, an international master, ranked No. 46. The announcement does not provide any details about what it is they are said to have done, but it is extraordinary for a national federation to accuse its own players in this way. Usually, accusations of cheating involve getting the help of chess computers during games as computers have surpassed people as chess players. Such aid is illegal under the rules.

France is the No. 3 ranked country in chess, and Feller, 19, is one of its most promising young talents. He was actually the only one who played on the national team during the Olympiad, so perhaps the federation was accusing the other two of helping him. He started out with two wins, two losses and a draw in his first five games before winning three games and drawing his last. His record is on the Olympic Web site. His performance was good enough for him to earn an individual gold medal as the top Board 5 player in the competition. If the accusations are substantiated, presumably he would forfeit that prize.

Cheating accusations and incidents are nothing new. In 2006, two people were accused of cheating at the World Open, the biggest tournament in the United States each year. A year later, a Dutch player was banned for three years for using using PocketFritz, a hand-held version of the popular computer program Fritz, during a tournament. In December 2006, an Indian player named Umakanth Sharma was caught with a receiver in his cap and was banned from playing in India for 10 years.

Source: New York Times Chess Blog


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