Dvorkovich Survives Ethics Ruling; Lawyer "Steals" Flyers
Team Makropoulos (left) vs team Dvorkovich during the open hearing of the Ethics Commission. | Photo: Nastja Karlovich/FIDE.

Dvorkovich Survives Ethics Ruling; Lawyer "Steals" Flyers

| 18 | Chess Event Coverage

In a ruling of the FIDE Ethics Commission, presidential candidate Arkady Dvorkovich was found not guilty of violating the FIDE Code of Ethics. The accusations came from complaints from his election adversary Georgios Makropoulos. On the same day, a Dvorkovich legal advisor got into an argument with the Makropoulos team.

In the background of the Olympiad's fifth round, last Friday, about 2km away from the playing hall an important meeting took place in the Sheraton Hotel in Batumi. The FIDE Ethics Commission had come together for a public hearing regarding case no. 5/2018 - "Alleged electoral irregularity in regard to the Serbian Chess Federation relating to sponsorship and substitution of delegate."

There was more at stake: Dvorkovich's possible disqualification from the FIDE presidential elections.

The case was treated separately and isolated from other complaints from Makropoulos (regarding several federations and individuals) concerning alleged violations of the FIDE Code of Ethics in relation to the upcoming elections. (It was decided that the commission will deal with those other complaints in a future meeting, after the elections.)

What was the Serbia case about? Well, the Makropoulos team had accused Dvorkovich of being involved in the substitution of Serbia's delegate, Goran Urosevic (who happens to be working for FIDE and would be an obvious vote for the Makro team in the elections), for Dusan Cogoljevic, the new president of the Serbian Chess Federation who now acts as the delegate. This change of delegates would have been related to a deal with Russian sponsors and the Serbian Chess Federation, and Cogoljevic’s own educational institution. 

The hearing was only partly public, until witnesses needed to be heard. The Dvorkovich team had unsuccessfully requested a postponement until after the FIDE elections. The Makropoulos team had unsuccessfully included last-minute evidence (which might be discussed at a later stage though).

Not guilty

No conclusion was reached on Friday, but after another two hours of deliberating on Sunday, the commission came to a decision in the case (here in PDF). By majority vote, Dvorkovich was found not guilty of being involved in what happened in Serbia, based on insufficient proof.

Commenting to, Dvorkovich was obviously satisfied. "After thorough and very detailed considerations, they came to the conclusion that I didn't do anything wrong. I was sure this would happen, and now it's confirmed."

Dvorkovich, like his main adversary Makropoulos in the elections, is claiming a lead in the current race. He thinks about 15 votes have not been decided yet, three days before the voting on October 3, 2018. "There is still work to do; we're not just drinking coffee," Dvorkovich said.

The Makropoulos team sees the ruling of the ethics commission as a victory as well. Although Dvorkovich wasn't found guilty, Cogoljevic and the Serbian Chess Federation were, and as a result Serbia lost the right to vote on October 3. Furthermore, Cogoljevic was sanctioned with a temporary exclusion as delegate.

Turmoil in the Expo

On the same day of the commission's rulings, the Expo hall of the Olympiad saw a scene of turmoil at the elections booth of Makropoulos. In short: someone from the Dvorkovich team removed a pile of flyers, against the will of the Makropoulos team. A heated discussion followed.

That someone was Alexander Martynov, legal advisor of the Dvorkovich team and lawyer of Berik Balgabaev, former assistant of Kirsan Ilyumzhinov and now working for the Dvorkovich team. Martynov had brought a document to the Makropoulos booth with the verdict of a court case, in which Balgabaev had successfully protested against a flyer for damaging his reputation.

That flyer had been printed a few days ago, and could be found at Makropoulos' elections booth. It suggests that Balgabaev has tried to bribe Arab federations.

Flyers Makropoulos booth

The flyers at the Makropoulos booth. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Martynov's document showed that the Georgian state court took provisional measures, which state that members of the Makropoulos team shall be prohibited to spread this slanderous information (which would be become libelous with the printing of the flyers). The Makropoulos team was given a copy, including an English translation.

Martynov explained: "After an hour, I saw that Mr Makropoulos junior [Iannis Makropoulos, who is helping his father in the elections period - PD] brought a new pile of flyers so I went to him and told him about the court ruling. He denied several times, and told me to leave. I think if we have a court ruling, and I am the lawyer of the claimant Mr Balgabaev, I have the right to take these documents to the trash."

Aleksandr Martynov taking flyers

Martynov taking the flyers. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Iannis Makropoulos told "A member of the Dvorkovich team came, coincidentally at the same time as the photographer of, Mrs Emelianova, and he started, more or less, threatening our Georgian volunteers. Then he grabbed from our desk our flyers which show a message which Berik Balgabaev has sent to at least one federation, and which was admitted by the ethics commission as authentic. Of course this is how our opponents are viewing freedom of speech."


Iannis Makropoulos (right) and Martynov (center) arguing. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Makropoulos junior said that Martynov was "screaming" to him and his volunteers, and "threatening in a very bad tone." He added, "We are used to this by now, but our volunteers should not experience this. It's a hit under the belt."

"Even if it was a court case, police should come and not by a member of the Dvorkovich team. This was admitted by Viktor Bologan, who is part of their team, and also by Mr Dvorkovich himself."

Ioannis and Georgios Makropoulos

Iannis and Georgios Makropoulos. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/

At some point, Olympiad organizer Zurab Azmaiparashvili tried to intervene and even contacted the police. After things had calmed down, he commented to

"When somebody here in Georgia has done something that is forbidden by law—you're actually taking property of someone else—normally, I feel that as a director of the event, I have to call the police to solve the problem.

But now, Dvorkovich has guaranteed as that such a thing will not happen again and this is a very good decision. I respect this very much. This is a peaceful Olympiad, and we don't want any scandal here."

A video of what happened in the Expo hall today.

Peter Doggers

Peter Doggers joined a chess club a month before turning 15 and still plays for it. He used to be an active tournament player and holds two IM norms.

Peter has a Master of Arts degree in Dutch Language & Literature. He briefly worked at New in Chess, then as a Dutch teacher and then in a project for improving safety and security in Amsterdam schools.

Between 2007 and 2013 Peter was running ChessVibes, a major source for chess news and videos acquired by in October 2013.

As our Director News & Events, Peter writes many of our news reports. In the summer of 2022, The Guardian’s Leonard Barden described him as “widely regarded as the world’s best chess journalist.”

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