English Chess Federation vigorously defends Nigel Short

5/10/2007 – A short time after we published the report on English grandmaster Nigel Short being hauled before the FIDE Ethics Committee, accused of defamation of FIDE officials, we receive a letter written by the English Chess Federation to FIDE, formally complaining about the action that is being considered against a respected member of their federation. The protest comes with an interesting threat.

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After our original report had appeared we received the following letter which, the English Chess Federation tells us, "has been sent via post, fax and e-mail" on May 8th to the FIDE office. When we consulted Nigel Short, who is currently playing a very strong Open in Baku, Azerbaijan, it became clear that the protest had not been initiatiated by him, but that the action had been taken quite independently by the ECF.

ENGLISH CHESS FEDERATION

Formal complaint of the English Chess Federation to the Ethics Commission of FIDE

Dear Colleagues,

The English Chess Federation reacts with dismay and anger at the news that Grandmaster Nigel Short, a respected member of the federation, has been asked to appear before the FIDE Ethics Commission to answer for comments made concerning events surrounding the Kramnik vs. Topalov World Championship match and the San Luis World Championship tournament.

We understand the Commission may be acting following a complaint from Grandmaster Zurab Azmaiparashvili.

While the federation has formed no firm views on GM Short’s precise comments and the allegations contained therein, it believes that they were a legitimate response to a series of mistakes and missed opportunities made during the above events which have impacted disastrously on the worldwide image of chess, and made the important work of this federation much more difficult.

We ask the Commission:

1) To cease this attempt to stop GM Short commenting on issues which are of legitimate importance to all chess players. This is an abuse of the Ethics Commission against a former title contender who has always spoken passionately and honestly about chess.

In the event that this complaint should progress we ask the Commission:

2) To investigate with full vigour the background to GM Short’s remarks and the events at those tournaments which led him to make them, and if justified by the evidence, to charge Vice President GM Zurab Azmaiparashvili and Deputy President Georgios Makropoulos under 2.2.10 and 2.2.11 of the FIDE Code of Ethics for damaging the reputation of FIDE and its events.

Even in the event, that the complaint against GM Short is withdrawn, we reserve the right to ask the Commission to investigate the conduct of Messrs Azmayparashvili and Makropoulos.

Yours Faithfully,

Martin Regan (Chief Executive ECF)

Peter Sowray (ECF International Director)


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