False promises lessen a penalty?

PeterDoggers
PeterDoggers
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0 | Chess Event Coverage
II Barza Memorial cancelledRemember the scandal around the Gedeon Barcza Memorial earlier this year? That tournament which was cancelled after the first round, and all players lost their money? Today the organizer received a 3-year ban from the Hungarian Chess Federation, but for our co-editor Robert Ris, who never saw his money back, this is just a joke.

On April 9th we reported that the 2nd edition of the Gedeon Barcza Memorial was cancelled after the first round, when it became clear that the organizer, Gabor Pali, didn’t have the money to pay the venue nor the players.

The top GMs were (and probably still are) still waiting for their appearance fees and the Ramada Resort Hotel, where the players were staying and where the (first round of the) tournament took place, never received any money from Pali either. On the second day they had to decide to close the playing hall, according to the basic economic rule: “no money, no business”.

As a consequence of the Hungarian organizer's misbehaviour, twelve chess players were seriously let down and financially harmed.

Today Chessdom reported that Pali received a 3-year ban from the Hungarian Chess Federation.

The disciplinary Committee of the Budapest Chess Federation has forbidden Gabor Pali from organizing tournaments for the next 3 years. Earlier this year, the Hungarian Chess Federation has announced that it "has never approved, supported, promoted any so-called Barcza Memorial tournament or provided any financial support for such a tournament to its organizer Gabor Pali." They qualified the tournament as a fraud and launched an investigation.


The same news was published at Susan Polgar's blog, with the following extra information:

Mr. Pali has 15 days after receiving the ruling to appeal. In addition, the reasons for this lesser penalty are:

- He never had a prior record of such conduct in the past. - He has made arrangements to compensate all the participants.


This is quite strange. On the one hand the Hungarian Chess Federation tries to make clear that they had nothing to do with Mr Pali, and that his tournament was "a fraud", but at the same time they seem to protect him - that's how we read Polgar's addition.

Not surprisingly, ChessVibes co-editor IM Robert Ris, participant in the tournament, immediately sent an open letter to the media (and to Gabor Pali!), which we're happy to publish:

Dear All, Today I read at Susan's blog and chessdom.com the news Mr. Pali got banned for 3 years from organizing chess events. If I understand well, the penalty was much lesser, for the following reasons: 1. He never had a prior record of such conduct in the past and 2. He has made arrangements to compensate all the participants. Probably both true, (at least I witnessed the second point) but up to date I haven't seen any of my money back. As people could read from my open letter one can see that Mr. Pali made various promises to compensate the players, but every time failed to do so. Now, 3,5 months later, I still haven't seen any of my money and therefore I'm very surprised by the soft decision of the disciplinary Committee of Budapest Chess Federation. False promises seem to lessen the penalty... Anyhow, I once more kindly ask Mr. Pali to transfer the money to the following account: (...) Kind regards, Robert Ris


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