FIDE clamps down on fake events

3/2/2006 – Remember the fictitious "Heroes of Chernobyl" tournament we reported on last year? At the time the organisers and FIDE vowed to take stern action against the unfortunate practice of inventing tournaments for the purpose of enhancing ratings or awarding titles. Now they have, with more or less draconian penalties.

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The following document was publishe on the web site of the Ukraine Chess Federation:

FIDE
Gens Una Sumus

Decision of the Ethics Commission on the complaint of the German Chess Federation against IM Miroslav Shvarts.

The Ethics Commission received a complaint from the German Chess Federation against IM Miroslav Shvarts concerning a GM norm he said he received in the Kali Cup GM tournament held in Mindzentkalla Hungary in February 2004. This was a double round robin event. As this was IM Shvarts 3rd GM norm, he notified the German Chess Federation that he was applying for the GM title.

The ratings officer of the German Federation, Mr. Christian Krause, became suspicious of the GM norm Mr. Shvarts received in Kali. Mr. Krause then notified the Hungarian Chess Federation (HCF) of his suspicions, and the Hungarians duly conducted an investigation. Quoting from a letter sent by the HCF to FIDE can best summarize the results of the investigation:

Departmental investigation of these cases started immediately, which resulted as follows:

Tournament indicated by you named Kali Cup GM 2004 was a complete fraud (Italics mine). Such an event did not take place. Disciplinary Committee elected by the GA of HCF has taken the following disciplinary measures.

IM Istvandi, Lajos organizer of the event in question has been forbidden to organize arbitrate and to participate in all chess events for two years.

IA Fazekas, Gyorgy who contributed creating the report for the request of the organizer has been forbidden to arbitrate at any chess event for one and a half years.

As can be seen, according to the HCF investigation, the Kali cup never took place. Therefore the Ethics Commission has decided to apply sanctions against all the participants in the tournament not just Mr. Shvarts.

An exception has been made for GM Nikolac, who has consistently maintained that he never participated in the tournament, and was seen in Germany during the time that tournament was supposed to have been played.

The following penalties will be assessed.

One-year suspension from tournament play beginning March 1, 2006:
IM Vadim Eschenko (Ukraine)
IM Timofey Galinsky (Ukraine)
GM Mato Damjanovic (Croatia)
GM Attila Czebe (Hungary)

Two and a half years suspension from tournament play beginning March 1, 2006:
IM Miroslav Shvarts

The Ethics Commission feels that Mr. Shvarts deserves a harsher penalty than the other players for the following reasons:

  1. Mr. Shvarts was the primary beneficiary of the tournament, receiving his third and final GM norm.
  2. Mr. Shvarts statements about his involvement in this tournament were misleading. For instance in a letter to FIDE dated August 18th 2004 Mr. Shvarts stated, “In February 2004 I achieved a GM norm at this tournament (Kali Cup) The title certificate signed by the arbiter, Mr. G. Fazekas, and by Mr. Zoltan Ambrus of the Hungarian Chess Federation.
  3. At a special hearing held by the Ethics Commission at last year’s FIDE Congress in Dresden Mr. Shvarts stated that he now realized the Kali tournament was fraudulent, but did not realize it at the time of the event. The Commission found his testimony unconvincing.
  4. Mr. Shvarts was president of the regional chess federation in the Federal Republic of Saxony, in Germany. In such a position, he should set a better example for the local players.

Two and a half years suspension from arbiting or organizing tournaments.
IM Lajos Istvan
IM Gyorgy Fazekas 

The Commission is of the opinion that the seriousness of their offences warrants a harsher punishment for the organizer and arbiter than that imposed by the Hungarian Chess Federation.

Ethics Commission


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