FIDE Statement on the Carlsen - Niemann polemic

by ChessBase
9/23/2022 – The International Chess Federation has shared a statement regarding the scandal that has taken over the chess over. FIDE wrote: “As the world’s chess governing body, it is our duty to protect the integrity of the game and its image, and in view that the incident keeps escalating, we find it necessary to take a step forward”. | Photo: Amruta Mokal

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Press release by the International Chess Federation

Last week, World Champion Magnus Carlsen resigned in a game played in an online competition against GM Hans Niemann before making his move two. The week before, he left an over-the-board tournament after losing the game to the same Mr. Niemann.

These were not FIDE events; however, as the world’s chess governing body, it is our duty to protect the integrity of the game and its image, and in view that the incident keeps escalating, we find it necessary to take a step forward.

First of all, we strongly believe that the World Champion has a moral responsibility attached to his status, since he is viewed as a global ambassador of the game. His actions impact the reputation of his colleagues, sportive results, and eventually can be damaging to our game. We strongly believe that there were better ways to handle this situation.

At the same time, we share his deep concerns about the damage that cheating brings to chess. FIDE has led the fight against cheating for many years, and we reiterate our zero-tolerance policy toward cheating in any form. Whether it is online or “over the board”, cheating remains cheating. We are strongly committed to this fight, and we have invested in forming a group of specialists to devise sophisticated preventive measures that already apply at top FIDE events.

As we have already done before, FIDE calls for reinforcing the cooperation between major online platforms, private events and top players - most of whom have already expressed their will to join efforts with FIDE.

FIDE is prepared to task its Fair Play commission with a thorough investigation of the incident, when the adequate initial proof is provided, and all parties involved disclose the information at their disposal. We are fully aware that, in some cases, uncertainty can harm players' performance. It also can be damaging to a player's reputation - that's why we insist on the anti-cheating protocols to be followed.

It is our hope that this whole situation could have a long-term positive effect, if tackled properly. We propose to launch a dedicated Panel, that would include representatives of the leading chess platforms, Grandmasters, anti-cheating experts and FIDE officers, in order to fight this risk and prevent it becomes a real plague.

Arkady Dvorkovich

FIDE President

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Jacob woge Jacob woge 10/3/2022 01:17

“Maybe that's the truth. Or maybe he simply wasn't cheating. ”

Yes. Hence, “In the cheating scenario”
arzi arzi 10/3/2022 10:46
To JW and lajos, Investigation is very important. First, they have to do that investigation about Sinquefiled Cup. They have to make a decision about that event (and also the tournament where Carlsen gave up his game after move 2). At the same time or afterwards, an investigation must be conducted into the suspicions against Niemann (between 2019-2022). Another solution needs to be made from those research results. However, the most important thing is to understand that there are two different cases here, although they are partially related to the other. They must be resolved as separate cases.
lajosarpad lajosarpad 10/3/2022 03:23
@Jacob Woge

"Perhaps Niemann went deliberately for the draw. After all, this is the WC, and winning with black a little too obvious."

Maybe that's the truth. Or maybe he simply wasn't cheating.

"I side with FIDE. Double investigation. Cases are connected. "

Agreed. Carlsen's behavior seems to be incorrect, even if his allegations turn out to be factually correct. But he deserves a fair trial. As about Niemann, if he was actually cheating, he should be caught.

"But still. An opportunity to exonerate yourself should be grabbed. "

That's correct. However, as you also pointed out, being accused may have debilitating effects, while being good at interview analysis is different from being good at long OTB games. So, let's see what the investigation yields, whether they find enough incriminating evidence in order to convict him. If so, I will acknowledge that he is a cheater. Until then I will assume his innocence.
Jacob woge Jacob woge 10/2/2022 10:12

I would further say about game 4, after the veiled accusation: now was the time for Niemann to dispatch all of that. What he could have done during that interview was to give full insight into the brilliant Qg3, to which Firouzja after lengthy thought replied with the error Kh8, not grabbing material. The interview turned out to be non-sensical, chess-wise. In my opinion of course, playing at a substantially lower level. I was watching in real time (meaning 15 min. Delayed) and looking forward to a lesson in calculation. What had he seen? There wasn’t any.

I realise there may be explanations for that, too. A teenager being accused by the world champ, that is unprecedented, and he has got the right to be rattled. If the interviewer comes across as hostile, even more so. And - Being good at chess does not mean you are good at being interviewed.

But still. An opportunity to exonerate yourself should be grabbed.
Jacob woge Jacob woge 10/2/2022 09:34
I would say, in on-line chess statistics is enough to induce a time-limited ban. I mean, this is all you have got, frisking players is not an option. But this should in my opinion in no way spill over into OTB chess, sanctionwise. It will, however, cause colleagues to raise antennae.

In OTB chess, statistics such as presented can be used to raise awareness. But I agree, not sufficient to take chess-legal action. You will have to get caught.

If You can to cheat OTB with ~zero risk of being called out, chess is dead. This is what’s at stake here. Note that round 4 Niemann-Firouzja, was played after a significant raise of security.

Of course you are allowed to be incoherent in post-game interviews, and not want to reveal your thinking process, it’s just not common not to take pride in pulling a very daring play off, like leaving a piece en prise without giving it much thought (ca. 1 minute). One explanation is, there was no thought.

About Niemann not fully concentrating. Here is the broadcast of round 3

I have to agree with Carlsen - this is very odd indeed. The board is just not the main area of focus. And - different from Ivanchuk’s ceiling stare - almost everything else is, including Carlsen. Like waiting at the bus stop, passing time, brain on stand-by. Bored and curious.

As for -Nc4. In the cheating scenario - Perhaps Niemann went deliberately for the draw. After all, this is the WC, and winning with black a little too obvious. But Carlsen proceeds to deliver a sub-par performance from move 30 onwards, handing Niemann the game on a platter. This puts a lot of interest in the post-game interview, for which he wasn’t ready.

My initial take on this whole thing was - Carlsen has completely lost it. First the WC title, now a loss leads to quitting - next step is retiring completely. Instead, we are having a whistleblower scenario.

I side with FIDE. Double investigation. Cases are connected.
lajosarpad lajosarpad 10/2/2022 01:59
@Jacob Woge Carlsen said Niemann was not even fully concentrating against him. So, he implies that Niemann cheated in their game. Yet, no hard evidence was presented and Carlsen and others, suspicious to Niemann's possible cheating never speak about 29... Nc4. I cannot speak for others, but if I was to present evidence against someone, I would, besides presenting the evidence focus separately to the strongest counter arguments as well. If someone says that Niemann is probably cheated, then I would love to see him/her describing what he/she thinks about 29... Nc4.
lajosarpad lajosarpad 10/2/2022 01:58
@Jacob Woge I have watched the video since then. It makes a case for Niemann's performance being suspicious. The author, emplyee Yosha Iglesias honestly admits that this is nothing close to a conclusive proof, but makes the case that the video presents the most incriminating evidence. It is quite bold to claim that whatever she presents is "the most incriminating evidence", because it includes that somewhere someone might present an even more incriminating evidence, but let's put that aside and focus on its actual content. The content compares Niemann's performance in comparison to computers and claims, based on Let's Check results that he played suspiciously precisely.

I do not have a strong opinion about Hans being a cheater or not being a cheater. My position in the discussion is that in order to condemn Hans (or anybody) of cheating, one needs to present hard evidence, that is, video footage which unmistakenly proves he was cheating, devices found at him during the game, etc. The kind of indirect evidence that Iglesias presented at best makes the case that the guy might be suspicious. I do agree that he should be closely watched, by the way. However, I really expected Iglesias to speak about 29... Nc4? in Carlsen - Niemann, where Niemann allowed a draw with 30. Bxc4. That surely contradicts the whole narrative of the video and I do not think Iglesias did not see it (she was looking at the game with an engine), so I wonder why did she choose to ignore that?
tauno tauno 9/28/2022 02:54
First of all, FIDE strongly believes that the World Champion has a moral responsibility attached to his status.” We all understand what it means implicitly, but we cannot say it explicitly due to our moral responsibility. So what can we do? Believe, my friends, believe! It doesn’t matter if you believe in Magnus or if you believe in Hans. The main thing is that you believe in something.
Jacob woge Jacob woge 9/27/2022 10:38
“I was pointed to a video, which I did not watch yet.”

If it’s this one,

I suggest you do. “It’s damned close to CD”, to quote an old pseudo-japanese CrO2 cassette tape commercial. “Onehundredpercentsimilarityyoucannottellthedifferencewhy?”

You probably need to be fond of statistics. (In bridge, statistics, lies, and video tape is what gets cheaters caught.)

Some of the games referred to are played thru and discussed by Chirila and Caruana on C-squared. They work hard to find moves, sequence of moves, and time spent on moves incriminating. They have some success, but it is limited.
enfant enfant 9/27/2022 05:56
I doubt that any hard evidence against Niemann will
emerge, any more than it did for Borislav Ivanov.
In most situations, 16-year-olds who get caught
cheating, just don't rise to world championship play 3
years later. As genem said below, undetectable cheating
has been around for a decade or more. It is about time
that FIDE and other federations dealt with it.
lajosarpad lajosarpad 9/27/2022 08:38
I have not seen any evidence presented by Carlsen so far. I was pointed to a video, which I did not watch yet. Maybe that contains evidence, but I'm skeptical, because in order to prove that someone has cheated, we need hard evidence, as the career of a person is in play here. Comparing his moves to the engine at best can justify why one may think he was cheating, but nothing more. The kind of evidence I expect for such a grave accusation is a device found that was provably used by Niemann or some other similarly hard evidence. So, arguments that are only justifying why one believes Niemann was cheating are not enough in order to destroy a person. Is there hard evidence?
enfant enfant 9/27/2022 07:40
To cite another case in which a potential world champion
acted on their own intuition and perception, is Fischer's
article "The Russians Have Fixed World Chess". Which
he wrote after becoming convinced they were intentionally
drawing in their games with each other in the Candidates
tournament, in order to devote their energies to their
games with him.

Here too is an accusation of cheating without a shred of
evidence. Yet FIDE as a result, replaced the Candidates
tournament in following years with a series of elimination

Only a decade or more later did players such as Korchnoi step
forward and admit to the cheating.

My point being that Carlsen likewise needs no proof to act on
his gut instincts that he has been cheated out of a point, and
that cheating is now threatening the game at its highest level.

No such proof may exist. Had the organizers of the Sinquefeld Cup
been more vigilant, they might've captured the evidence had they
recorded the event more thoroughly.

But Americans are now rallying around their player to fend off the cheating
allegations in much the same way the Russians once did. Their arguments
both now and back then, are not particularly relevant to whether or not the
cheating really took place.

What is relevant is that the sophistication of chess cheating is such that
the game at its highest level is now in jeopardy. The turning point has
merely been reached while Carlsen is on the throne. Let's not kill the
messenger, then forget the message.

FIDE, the USCF and other national federations, need to come together to
safeguard the game from cheating, once and for all. I'm positive that
this is the World Champion's only motivation for his actions here.
arzi arzi 9/27/2022 06:22
science22:"My own test is very simple. Let Niemann play 10 games with standard thinking time against 10 strong grandmasters (+ 2600 players) in a room where there is no communication with the outside world.#

That's a really good test, and we don't have to stop there. We could put Niemann to play against 100 strong GMs, for a year, in some closed space. They would all be there under closely guarded conditions for a year. This is how we find out that no one has cheated, nor helped Niemann in cheating. Great! Of course, none of them would be paid anything, but this would be done for the sake of science and the truth.
genem genem 9/27/2022 05:54
FIDE's president Dvorkovich wrote: "we have invested in forming a group of specialists to devise sophisticated preventive measures that already apply at top FIDE events".
'Already'?? No sale Arkady.

This cheating problem has been around for a decade. FIDE is being Reactive too late, and should have been more Proactive many years ago. The 15 minute delay proposal was made a decade ago.
A ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
shivasundar shivasundar 9/27/2022 02:42
As for ATL Kings, @Science22, I believe it had errors. See this (proper analysis spreadsheet attached):
I have to point out though, that the ACPL analysis has also been dismissed as "suspect" by Finegold and other super-GMs as suspect (I hear)... just saying. I am still on the fence. Not sure.
shivasundar shivasundar 9/27/2022 02:22
Let's check analysis data is interesting. I just replied to Yosha's tweet asking her to do one on Magnus himself - for fairness' sake [and to preclude Leavenfish's doubts]. (I do not have Chessbase).
Science22 Science22 9/27/2022 12:20
In the years 1999-2005, the American Lance Armstrong won the Tour de France 7 years in a row. Few dared to say that the emperor was naked as in H.C. Andersen's fairy tale. In January 2013, Lance Armstrong finally admitted that he was doped. A scary long period.

I am deeply impressed by Yosha Iglesias and Atlanta King, who separately provide some crushing evidence that Hans Niemann uses computers to play his games. Niemann plays as ELO 2400 in tournaments that are not broadcast online. Contrary in online games, he sometimes sees 15 moves ahead (Nh2!) in pure Alpha Zero style. He always gain ELO online and lose not online.

The difference is statistically significant and pierces through the analysis that Kenneth Regan has provided by mixing all tournaments together. Regan forgets that the most important thing for the validity of a mathematical model is that the assumptions are thoroughly investigated.

My own test is very simple. Let Niemann play 10 games with standard thinking time against 10 strong grandmasters (+ 2600 players) in a room where there is no communication with the outside world.

After each game, Nieman must explain what he considered to be important moments in the game, as well as motivate why he chose the moves they did. No fraudster will be able to provide an analysis of his games corresponding to ELO 2850 without actually having ELO 2850.
Jacob woge Jacob woge 9/26/2022 07:31
“Regarding the Carlsen video, I don't think it was an off-hand game, wasn't it a prize-money tournament?”

In the same vein, I would like to report an incident that took place in the aftermath of the national blitz championship quite a while ago. Two IMs sat down and played some more, White got the upper hand due to black’s darksquare weaknesses. Black, after some thought, played Bc8-c7, solving this problem. White, unrattled, then focused on lightsquare weaknesses, and was successful to the extent that Black some moves later resorted to Bc7-c8.

An obvious cheater. I am sure all agree. The second bishop move may even have been suggested by an inebriated spectator.

It certainly looked like an off-hand game, but - I don’t think it was, and wasn’t there prize-money involved?
Tim Bogan Tim Bogan 9/26/2022 05:59
Magnus Carlsen throws a game. FIDE: "Come on, Magnus, there were better ways to handle that." Whew! I guess that'll teach him.
Frits Fritschy Frits Fritschy 9/26/2022 05:00
[Read words between |bars| as italicized.]
For an |indication| that you are cheating is enough ground to suspend you. No problem with that, players agree to that by competing there. They use statistical evidence that in itself is not considered |proof| in over the board chess.
I can't imagine that freely |admitting| to cheating (certainly when it happened three years ago by a 16-year old in |online| chess) can be considered as 'bringing chess into disrepute'. And also certainly not when the person involved at the same time admits to have been very wrong.
Moreover, online chess has no clear status within the FIDE Handbook. There are rules for the FIDE online arena (FOA), but it isn't even clear what the FOA is, according to the Handbook. can apply sanctions in its private tounaments, but FIDE has nothing to do with it.
fgkdjlkag fgkdjlkag 9/26/2022 04:12
@Frits Fritschy, FIDE is allowed to act if a player brings chess into disrepute. Niemann just publicly admitting a few weeks ago, to cheating on a 2 occasions, brings chess into disrepute. Also the question is who was feeding him moves when he was 12? That player needs to be disciplined as well.

Regarding the Carlsen video, I don't think it was an off-hand game, wasn't it a prize-money tournament?
tauno tauno 9/26/2022 03:52
@withcheaters_ You will find what you want to find. Pretty impressive evidence by a 2200-player. Nothing to be ashamed of. Thumbs up.
tauno tauno 9/26/2022 02:16
@arzi, ”Something different…”
Does this mean that Finlandization is on the way back? Absolutely not! I think it's all about ignorance. Some people have simply not followed the development of the case.

This photo of Karjakin selected by these Finnish and Norwegian newspapers is certainly one of the most sympathetic I have seen of him this year. Not to mention other pictures and videos he has posted on social media. - Just take a look at Karjakin's Twitter or Telegram feeds and you will understand (not recommended for sensitive people).

Karjakins knows very well that his international chess career is over. That is why he has chosen to become a small ugly voice without any boundaries in Putin's propaganda machinery (for financial or other reasons, mayby bitternes, I don't know).

Don't worry, FIDE will never again let him play chess in an international tournament. And even if it did, no respectable chess player would ever play him.
arzi arzi 9/26/2022 01:36
to withcheaters_youlose, new side character! Why don´t you write some nice racist text? Your credibility is gone. It doesn't matter what you write. Once a racist, always a racist. Just like you write about Niemann.
withcheaters_youlose withcheaters_youlose 9/26/2022 12:21
arzi, anyone that disagrees with your view, you start insulting them. You are very emotional and you should not twist the words, that is uneducated of you.

Hans Niemann has been caught cheating at least twice, and he still keeps cheating to this day. If that is not enough to warrant a punishment, then that is a clear statement from FIDE that cheaters are welcome in chess.
withcheaters_youlose withcheaters_youlose 9/26/2022 12:21
There is very strong statistical evidence that Hans Niemann has cheated "over the board" these past years:

Will FIDE keep ignoring the rampant cheating cases?
withcheaters_youlose withcheaters_youlose 9/26/2022 12:21
Hans Niemann is definitely a cheater, make no bones about it. It is so plain obvious, it is baffling how anyone can take his side. Hans Niemann has even admitted he has cheated before, just because he was caught red handed. His string of games to get his GM norm are suspicious, to say the least. Regarding the Sinquefield Cup game with Carlsen, his post-game interview is very revealing of his shady behavior. He states he had miraculously prepared the opening line that morning, which Carlsen had never player before, and yet he suggests white's Qh4 opening move, which is a blunder. That interview is so full of mistakes and incoherences, it cannot be possible that he actually played that game without any assistance.

Sooner or later he will be caught cheating again, that is a certainty. Let us hope it is sooner rather than later for the sake of the credibility of classical chess. FIDE has to make a bold statement about it and harden their anti-cheating measures, they must not keep ignoring the rampant cheating problem in online and "over the board" chess.
klefticuf klefticuf 9/26/2022 11:53
Convincing ? I would like to see the "Let's Check" analysis for some other players.
If it is indeed true that no other game has recorded a 100% result and Niemann has 10 of them in the last 3 years, statistically, that's over-whelming.
arzi arzi 9/26/2022 10:50
How many side characters do you have, Christian10 alias w_y?

Yes, all youtube-users come together! Stupidity condenses in a crowd. Maybe all players should be punished before they get caught? Better sooner than later.
arzi arzi 9/26/2022 06:58
Something different, let´s have some fun. Greetings from Norway and Finland. ;)
Jacob woge Jacob woge 9/25/2022 07:03
“The Video Speaks For Itself... ”

Judging from the video, and that is all there is, this is an obvious off-hand game. Who knows how many people at the other end of the line.

Total rubbish to even bring it up.
Jacob woge Jacob woge 9/25/2022 06:57
Thanks Lajos. I got my intel from the commentary so couldnt be certain.
Leavenfish Leavenfish 9/25/2022 06:43
@shivansudar - You say you thing I am the first person to "accuse Magnus" of cheating.

The Video Speaks For Itself...

Oh, and if you notice Magnus shouts out the word himself multiple he realizes what can be done and actually acts on the friends words...after asking "How?". That is solicitation for a move in itself. Honorable would have simply been to make a different move and admonish the friend. There WERE other options, yet he acted on the words of his friend. If one does not see that as 'cheating', well...not sure which world they live in.
jstomas jstomas 9/25/2022 03:42
Enough is enough. Magnus Carlsen either plays all opponents or he does not play at all. Unless he can demonstrate cheating beyond a doubt, he plays all games. If he does not, he is forfeited from his remaining games. Ken Regan (whom I once met) has demonstrated beyond a doubt that Niemann is not cheating. Even Carlsen's game against Niemann is beyond a doubt. I followed it live, and although my best rating was no more than 2400 (admittedly 40 years ago), that result was perfectly predictable. As he does so often, Magnus accepted a slightly inferior position out of the opening (cf. Carlsen-Giri Wazee) but this time, his opponent did not let him get away.
lajosarpad lajosarpad 9/25/2022 03:15
@enfant "Even though I think many would agree he could tell
whether an opponent is getting assistance or not."

1. I disagree with the content of the statement above, as super GMs often play very similar moves to the ones engines choose and Niemann is a super GM
2. I would not allow Carlsen to single-handedly determine whether his opponent cheated, as his subjective feelings and objective interests could cloud his judgement and also he may simply be wrong
3. Even if Carlsen would be able to determine that with 100% accuracy and also would be willing to put all his feelings and interests aside, he still needs to prove his point in order to convince others

@with-jews-you-lose you advocate the treating of Niemann as a cheater in his game with Carlsen without any evidence. But Carlsen received outside assistance at Lichess, so one can very plausibly argue that Carlsen is a cheater as well. So, should we treat Carlsen as a cheater because of that as well? Sorry, but I find your position to be less than rational.
lajosarpad lajosarpad 9/25/2022 03:15
@enfant The burden of proof is a concept applied in scientific and legal endeavors. It consists of defining the null hypothesis (in our case "innocent until proven guilty"), that is, the best hypothesis we can choose if we are forced to assume something (we need to choose our attitude towards Niemann, after all). Anyone disagreeing with the null hypothesis (in our case anyone that casts suspicion on Niemann) has the burden of proof resting on their shoulders, that is, they need to provide hard evidence in order to shift the null hypothesis into the direction they prefer. Since here Carlsen is the person who casted suspicion on Niemann, the burden of proof rests on Carlsen's shoulders. If he does not even attempt to prove the nonverbal accusation he made through his actions and insinuations, then we can conclude that he unjustly casted suspicion on Niemann. And this is factually true even if Carlsen happens to be right. Therefore it is perfectly normal to expect Carlsen to present his evidence or clear Niemann's name and apologize.

Yes, Carlsen's comments are not open accusations, but, his insinuations and actions together fulfill the criteria for an accusation. Carlsen is a very smart and rational person. I exclude the possibility that all his insinuations were made by accident and that later, upon realizing how toxic his actions were for Niemann, he simply forgot clarifying the matters.
lajosarpad lajosarpad 9/25/2022 03:14
@enfant A past crime does not prove a current one. A very important principle of any free society is not to punish anyone of an alleged guilt until the allegations are proven. It is often summarized as "innocent until proven guilty", that is, while the individual may or may not be guilty, if we assume any of the above, we may be wrong. But it is much worse to wrongly shame punish an innocent person for a crime he/she did not perpetrate than not catching an actual perpetrator, because law-enforcement in general is much more reliable if one can be fairly sure that he/she will not be punished for a crime he/she did not commit than in the scenario where, in the name of catching some criminals the law-enforcement would have no issues in sending innocent people into their doom. The philosophy of "you cannot make an omelette without breaking eggs" led to totalitarian states in the XX. century which became responsible for large crimes against humanity. As a result, whenever someone is accused of something, he/she should be treated as innocent until his/her guilt is proven. We need to apply this for Niemann's case as well.
lajosarpad lajosarpad 9/25/2022 03:13
@shivasundar I believe we should protect the future contributions to chess of Carlsen, Karjakin and all others, regardless of what we think of their behavior or views. Yet, I agree with your point according to which the current statement is ineffective in teaching Carlsen a lesson. Maybe a strong warning and harsh criticism in the statement would have been much more powerful, which would have pointed out how disingenious was Carlsen in this conflict. Also, as direct response and sanctioning FIDE could have rejected all of Carlsen's proposals for changing the world championship cycle. FIDE was always eager to hear out Carlsen's suggestions for the world championship and Carlsen always had reason to think he will have a strong influence on the system. Now, with his current misbehaviour FIDE should not feel obliged into trying and appeasing him. That would hurt without violating Carlsen's rights or depriving us from his games.

Niemann may be a cheater or he may be not a cheater. I do not know. But he deserves a fair trial before he is treated as a cheater. Carlsen did not accuse him of it, so Carlsen did not do anything for a fair trial, but he did everything in order to make sure he is treated guilty without a fair trial.

Fischer's lack of play as world champion and later as ex-champion was seen as a tragedy. I think it would be unwise to push Carlsen into "doing a Fischer".

@Leavenfish "Agreed...even though MC has abdicated his title, he still 'technically' holds it."

True. And even after he loses his title, he will still be ex-world champion.

"In any event, MC 'implying' Hans is a cheater....when that video of MC in an online lichess tourney exists, is well...kind of 'unbecoming' of anyone. Being a World Champion just makes it worse."

I fully agree. It is hypocritical and cynical to accuse someone of using outside assistance without proof while the accuser did so less than a year earlier openly, in our face.
lajosarpad lajosarpad 9/25/2022 03:13
@shivasundar I can see your point and I admit that there is rationale behind it. Yet, I still do not think we should ban any players for misbehavior. It is the job of their parents to teach them how to behave and not FIDE's. If we agree with the banning of players, then we

- lose the opportunity of benefit of their contribution to chess
- endanger anyone of losing their living based on behavioral or political controversies
- create a toxic environment in the chess world where people will be afraid to honestly express their opinion because of 'wrongthink'

To provide you an example of how serious this is, I would like to reflect back on some polemics the two of us had a difference of opinion. What if, at some point, the head of FIDE would strongly agree with my point of view and would ban those who agree with you because your opinion would be deemed anathema? Would that be a good development? I strongly believe that it would be far worse than allowing you and those who agree with you to express your opinion about White people. Even though I strongly disagree with your points made back in the day, I 100% support your right for expressing your opinion.

Similarly, if we ban players on the grounds of misbehavior, then it will not be too long until a decision-maker will use that as a flagellum against those whom he/she dislikes.
tauno tauno 9/25/2022 02:17
If Hans has broken the rules, he must receive a proportionate punishment. I think most would agree. This principle should also apply to Magnus, even if not everyone agrees.