x
Chess - Play & Learn

Chess.com

FREE - In Google Play

FREE - in Win Phone Store

VIEW

Open Letter to FIDE from the Chess Federation of Canada regarding Anton Kovalyov at World Cup

  • #1

    An Open Letter to FIDE, from the Chess Federation of Canada regarding the Kovalyov incident at the World Cup.

    September 17, 2017

    Dear Mr. Makropoulos,

    I would like to thank you for your September 15, response to Hal Bond’s protest on behalf of Canadian chessplayer Anton Kovalyov on the incident at the World Cup.  I would like to preface my remarks by saying that I respect you and all you’ve contributed to FIDE and the world of chess.  I would also like to say that I understand that GM Zurab Azmaiparashvili has made huge contributions to chess organization and fundraising and I respect that as well.  I am aware of an incident in a previous World Youth Chess Championship where he was a voice of reason and was instrumental in resolving a problematic situation in favour of a very young Canadian who had made an improper claim of threefold repetition. I would certainly not expect nor hope that this current World Cup incident will be that which the Grandmaster and President of the ECU will be remembered for.

    The comments made by the president of FIDE, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov certainly gave hope that some measure of justice might be hoped for in this most unfortunate situation and that FIDE recognized the seriousness and implications of trying to minimize what happened to Mr. Kovalyov.

    I would ask that we avoid the error of seizing upon some pretext to explain the unexplainable and the unconscionable act which took place.  An organizer and member of the Appeals Committee intervened moments before a competition to distract and insult a Grandmaster who only a few moments before became aware that there might be a problem with the way he was dressed.

    https://ss.sport-express.ru/userfiles/materials/108/1080297/large.jpg

    I would like to point out this photograph dated September 7, 2017 where Zurab is himself pictured in shorts/capri pants at the same tournament in the presence of Magnus Carlsen.  The photograph came from the Russian sports news site https://www.sport-express.ru/chess/reviews/istoriya-kovaleva-kak-proigrat-turnir-zhizni-iz-za-otsutstviya-shtanov-1307659/   The picture appears to be a frame grab from the youtube video at the following location which shows the whole incident in context.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O0iBa18sGC0

    Any random check of coverage on sites like Chessbase.com shows that jeans and tee shirts are worn by many of the other Grandmasters.  One example of this is Grandmaster Aronian’s cat tee shirt, which I will not criticize, but which does seem to me to be no less problematic from a FIDE dress code perspective than Anton’s attire.   If it tries to reframe this episode as a question of a dress code which is vaguely formulated and sporadically enforced at this tournament FIDE will make itself look ridiculous and hypocritical to all independent observers.  If Anton saw Zurab’s shorts at that September 7th photo opportunity in the presence of both the current World Champion and Georgia's former Women's World Champion, and remembering that there were no warnings or complaints from Arbiters before or after any of the previous four games when he had worn those pants at this World Cup, Anton could be forgiven for not anticipating that there would be a problem if he wore them again for a fifth game.

    The future for chess in Canada appeared quite bright based on the performance of Anton up until the moment when Anton was inhospitably abused over his attire.   If the Chess Federation of Canada which has been a good citizen of FIDE since the day of its founding can expect this kind of treatment within FIDE for one of its top players, in his shining moment, the brightest moment of his chess career, with the world spotlight upon him, who is then safe?  I am certain I don’t need to point out that this has brought a great deal of unfavourable attention to chess and FIDE in the worldwide press coverage.  Please do not stoop to explanations which attempt to justify the unjustifiable.  We can accept the idea that there can be a dress code for chess competition.  Given everything that has gone on before and during this World Cup, we cannot accept that a young Grandmaster deserves to be distracted and insulted moments before a game that is part of the qualification for the World Chess Championship, merely because the organizer doesn't like his pants.

    If there is to be a dress policy it needs to be clearly enunciated before the tournament and should be enforced for all participants.  If chess is going to make inroads in the demographic groups which advertisers crave we must avoid the appearance of ridiculousness which this situation invokes.  It is a pity that instead of focusing on the chess that was played we are focusing on a pair of shorts.

    I think that a sincere apology to grandmaster Kovalyov from grandmaster Azmaiparashvili for this incident without qualification or blaming the victim of this outburst would be the first step required to move forward from this unfortunate situation.  As Hal Bond said in his letter about this incident “Mr Azmaiparashvili's behaviour in this case clearly violated the rules and norms of FIDE.”  Please do not send the message to the world at large that this is not the case and this behaviour is within the rules and norms of FIDE.

    Respectfully,

    Vladimir Drkulec

    President, Chess Federation of Canada

     

  • #2
    FIDE responded with this self-serving weak decision at http://www.fide.com/component/content/article/1-fide-news/10413-letter-from-chess-federation-of-canada.html
  • #3
    Link doesn't show up here is the text:

    Dear Hal,

    Thank you for your letter of 13 September.

    The incident with GM Anton Kovalyov in Tbilisi makes no one happy. However, we have to be accurate in evaluating the whole situation.

    The rules concerning the appearance of players in top events are very clear in requiring all players to be dressed properly and in a dignified way, emphasizing the need to preserve the image of our sport to sponsors. Even the Code of Ethics, in article 2.2.8, has such a requirement for players.

    A similar example is that the FIDE rules require the players to behave properly during a game. Can anyone imagine an arbiter allowing a player to behave badly during a game because the rules do not state explicitly what behavior is considered acceptable or not? The answer is obvious.

    Concerning GM Zurab Azmaiparashvili, please note that Mr. Azmaiparashvili is head of a team that has brought over 14 million dollars to chess during the last 5 years. You can understand how better positioned our sport would have been, worldwide, if chess had more fundraisers like Mr. Azmaiparashvili on a global scale. You can also understand that under such psychological pressure to secure these funds, especially for the Chess Olympiad next year, it is not strange that an organiser expects the players to have a proper appearance and show respect to sponsors and the public. This does not mean that organisers cannot be held accountable for their actions:

    FIDE has regulations and procedures in all top events allowing players to appeal against any action or decision of any FIDE official.

    I hope the above will help you in evaluating again the whole incident and I am looking forward to our next meeting in Antalya.

    Best regards,

    Georgios Makropoulos
    FIDE Deputy President
  • #4
    Did the player that forfeited still win the prize money???
  • #5

    So Makro says that because Azma has brought money he may do anything he wants and insult anyone he wants. I would call this corruption.

  • #6

    2.2.8

    In any top level tournament, players, delegations or teams must comply with a high standard dress code. Delegations includes both a player`s seconds and any other individual who the player allows to conduct business on behalf of the players. Players are responsible for the actions of acknowledged members of their delegations.

     

    FIDE DRESS CODE POLICY: HELP CHESS BY WEARING PROPER ATTIRE

    3.b. The following is NOT acceptable for men players, captains, head of delegation.

    Beach-wear slips, profanity and nude or semi-nude pictures printed on shirts, torn pants or jeans. holes, denim shorts,
    short-shorts, cut-off shorts, gym shorts, unclean clothing, sun glasses, sport caps.

     

    WorldCup2017 Regulations

    3. 13. 4.
    Players are requested to note the requirements of FIDE Regulations C.01 (Article 8.1) in respect of their dignified
    appearance at all times during the World Cup.
     
    8.1

    The Commission on Chess Publication, Information and Statistics (CHIPS) stresses the need for all chess players to take more care in their personal appearance. The image of the chess player should be a dignified one, and dressing properly would not only show respect for the game, but also to sponsors, potential or otherwise, to make it worth their while to spend their money.

    For example, some federations have barred slippers, sleeveless T-shirts and vests in their tournaments. Those with unkempt and greasy hair should be admonished, as well as those wearing old or torn jeans and battered attire generally.

     

    I'm not sure where any laws were broken here.

  • #7

    What is it about NO 'short-shorts, cut-off shorts, gym shorts' that Anton Kovalyov failed to understand? The idea that he was 'abused' and singled out because the organiser 'did not like the style of his pants', is quite frankly ludicrous. 

  • #8
    robbie_1969 wrote:

    What is it about NO 'short-shorts, cut-off shorts, gym shorts' that Anton Kovalyov failed to understand? The idea that he was 'abused' and singled out because the organiser 'did not like the style of his pants', is quite frankly ludicrous. 

    These are cut-off shorts:

     

    null

     

    These are gym shorts:

    null

     

    Are we talking about the same guy Robbie? grin.png

  • #9
    robbie_1969 wrote:

    What is it about NO 'short-shorts, cut-off shorts, gym shorts' that Anton Kovalyov failed to understand? The idea that he was 'abused' and singled out because the organiser 'did not like the style of his pants', is quite frankly ludicrous. 

    Umm, the URL says "proposal" and the shorts part looks added, when the story was first published there was no mention of this rule so it really does seem just a proposal, and when you look at the shorts part it's not even in the same font. He wore the same shorts last year, and in the first two rounds.

    Also his shorts are not short-shorts, denim shorts, etc. And look at the proposed rules again, some shorts are proposed to be allowed:

     

    3.a. The following is acceptable for men players, captains, head of delegation.
    Suits, ties, dressy pants, trousers, jeans, long-sleeve or shirt-sleeve dress shirt, dress shirt, alternatively T-shirts or polo, dress shoes, loafers or
     dressy slip-ons, socks, shoes or sneakers, sport coat, blazer,, Bermuda shorts, turtleneck, jacket, vest or sweater. Team uniforms and national costumes clothing.

  • #10
    [COMMENT DELETED]
  • #11

    Chess.com won't let me post gym shorts? XD Anyway, no you certainly would not classify what Anton was wearing as gym shorts.

  • #12
    penandpaper0089 wrote:

    Chess.com won't let me post gym shorts? [...]

     Actually, the photo is there, but visible only in V2 (aka "old site"), not in V3.

  • #13
    robbie_1969 wrote:

    What is it about NO 'short-shorts, cut-off shorts, gym shorts' that Anton Kovalyov failed to understand? The idea that he was 'abused' and singled out because the organiser 'did not like the style of his pants', is quite frankly ludicrous. 

    I don't think you actually understand the severity of the situation at all.

  • #14
    Khallyx wrote:
    robbie_1969 wrote:

    What is it about NO 'short-shorts, cut-off shorts, gym shorts' that Anton Kovalyov failed to understand? The idea that he was 'abused' and singled out because the organiser 'did not like the style of his pants', is quite frankly ludicrous. 

    I don't think you actually understand the severity of the situation at all.

    I know that anyone who wears surfing shorts to a FIDE chess tournament deserves a slap on the back of the head and told to go home and come back when he is suitably attired.

  • #15
    penandpaper0089 wrote:
    robbie_1969 wrote:

    What is it about NO 'short-shorts, cut-off shorts, gym shorts' that Anton Kovalyov failed to understand? The idea that he was 'abused' and singled out because the organiser 'did not like the style of his pants', is quite frankly ludicrous. 

    These are cut-off shorts:

     

     

     

    These are gym shorts:

     

     

    Are we talking about the same guy Robbie?

    and the cherry picking award goes to. . . the FIDE rules mention short shorts, cut off shorts, gym shorts.  The list does not need to be specific or exhaustive for anyone with even a modicum of sense to use their powers of discernment scant as they may be to come to the self evident understanding that shorts are not considered suitable attire for FIDE tournaments.

  • #16
    poodle_noodle wrote:
    robbie_1969 wrote:

    What is it about NO 'short-shorts, cut-off shorts, gym shorts' that Anton Kovalyov failed to understand? The idea that he was 'abused' and singled out because the organiser 'did not like the style of his pants', is quite frankly ludicrous. 

    Umm, the URL says "proposal" and the shorts part looks added, when the story was first published there was no mention of this rule so it really does seem just a proposal, and when you look at the shorts part it's not even in the same font. He wore the same shorts last year, and in the first two rounds.

    Also his shorts are not short-shorts, denim shorts, etc. And look at the proposed rules again, some shorts are proposed to be allowed:

     

    3.a. The following is acceptable for men players, captains, head of delegation.
    Suits, ties, dressy pants, trousers, jeans, long-sleeve or shirt-sleeve dress shirt, dress shirt, alternatively T-shirts or polo, dress shoes, loafers or
     dressy slip-ons, socks, shoes or sneakers, sport coat, blazer,, Bermuda shorts, turtleneck, jacket, vest or sweater. Team uniforms and national costumes clothing.

    More sophistry. The sap will know next time to wear a pair of trousers and hopefully a shirt and tie.  He's at the world championships for goodness sake, not some beach bum party.

  • #17

    There are other aspects about this issue which make me solidarize with Kovalyov, but I have to agree with the Northern barbarian on this one.

  • #18
    robbie_1969 wrote:
    penandpaper0089 wrote:
    robbie_1969 wrote:

    What is it about NO 'short-shorts, cut-off shorts, gym shorts' that Anton Kovalyov failed to understand? The idea that he was 'abused' and singled out because the organiser 'did not like the style of his pants', is quite frankly ludicrous. 

    These are cut-off shorts:

     

     

     

    These are gym shorts:

     

     

    Are we talking about the same guy Robbie?

    and the cherry picking award goes to. . . the FIDE rules mention short shorts, cut off shorts, gym shorts.  The list does not need to be specific or exhaustive for anyone with even a modicum of sense to use their powers of discernment scant as they may be to come to the self evident understanding that shorts are not considered suitable attire for FIDE tournaments.

    I doubt that would hold up in any legal setting. It would be sufficient to state that shorts are not allowed but this is not done here. They go into specific types which implies something different than what you describe. Your theory is also contrary to the fact that bermuda shorts are in fact allowed based on fide guidelines apparently.

     

    And let's try to be civil here OK? You seem to be taking this a bit... personally....

  • #19

    There are two elements here, what is law and what is the interpretation of the law.  

    NO short shorts is the recommendation, ruling, guidance call it what you will.  This was not an appendage or a proviso, it was clearly stated. Would you care to interpret legally the definition of short, or short shorts.  What shall we say in his defence? That they were Bermuda shorts and permissible?

     

    Were they shorts, yes they were shorts. 

    Were they short shorts - define short.

    Were they dignified? not really unless of course you count beach wear at a chess event as dignified.

     

    The player must have known that his attire was borderline at best and subject to interpretation.  Why risk being ejected because of your attire? It makes NO SENSE.  Fine there may be a case based on the ambiguity of the FIDE laws but to test it in the World cup begs belief.  

     

     

     

  • #20

    An internet forum is a place in which people go to discuss things... But ok lol...

Online Now