More Clashes Between FIDE, Silvio Danailov

More Clashes Between FIDE, Silvio Danailov

| 19 | Chess Event Coverage

Earlier this week FIDE threatened to exclude the Bulgarian Chess Federation after Silvio Danailov called them “not competent and professional enough.” Meanwhile, he has appealed at CAS to a ruling from the FIDE Ethics Commission.

The last few years, Silvio Danailov, former second of GM Veselin Topalov and former president of the European Chess Union, hasn't been best friends with FIDE officials — to put it mildly. Currently the two parties are clashing once again.

Velchev Case

It started with a letter posted on the FIDE website eight days ago, addressed to the Bulgarian Chess Federation. In the letter, sent to both Danailov (BCF president) and Nikolay Velchev (BCF executive director), information was requested about the Bulgarian chess player Ivan Tetimov.

Tetimov was suspected of cheating at the 2014 Benidorm Chess Festival. He refused to undergo a thorough search from the arbiter and was then banned from the tournament. 

FIDE's Anti-Cheating Committee (ACC) received a complaint against Tetimov from the chief arbiter in Benidorm, and the ACC requested his contact details on two occasions. The ACC also offered the BCF the possibility to file comments on the case.

The first email from the ACC, on March 27, was left unanswered. The second email, sent April 21, was replied to by Danailov as follows:

“Unfortunately Bulgarian Chess Federation have no intention to collaborate with the current FIDE management. In my personal opinion this management together with the commissions appointed by them are not competent and professional enough to rule FIDE and the world of chess.”

FIDE's lawyers then quote Article 2.4 of the FIDE Statutes to point out that the BCF is “obliged to support FIDE activity in all chess activities” and that according to ACC guidelines are “required to cooperate with the [ACC's Investigatory Chamber].”

The letter actually ends with FIDE threatening to exclude the Bulgarian Chess Federation from FIDE if the requested information wasn't received by May 11.

Furthermore, FIDE writes that it “reserves the right to take further action against Mr Danailov pursuant to the FIDE Code of Ethics with regard to his comments about FIDE's management and Commission members.”

Eventually the deadline of May 11 was met, and the Anti-Cheating Committee did receive the requested information in time. A statement from the ACC was published on the FIDE website on May 12.

Pushkin Tournament

On the same day, Chess-News reported on the plans for a “Pushkin Tournament” in November in Pyatigorsk, where Danailov will be the head of the organizing committee. As it turned out, the Russian Chess Federation declined to support the event.

According to Danailov, who strongly believes the Russian Chess Federation controls FIDE, this was no coincidence.

Ethics Commission

Meanwhile, Danailov has appealed to a ruling from the FIDE Ethics Commission at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne.

In the fall of 2014, the Ethics Commission had received complaints from the European Chess Union (under a new administration since August 2014) and the Montenegro Chess Federation concerning the organization of the 2013 European Youth Chess Championship in Budva, Montenegro.

In these complaints, Danailov, together with Vladimir Sakotic (then ECU Executive Directory) and Sava Stoisavljevic (then ECU Secretary), were accused of violating clauses of the FIDE Code of Ethics related to fraud, untrustful behavior, partiality, and reputation damage.

On December 15, 2014, the Ethics Commission ruled that for three of the four clauses, the complaints were “admissible,” i.e. the EC was going to deal with the matter. This decision was later formally motivated, on April 15.

Through a Bulgarian law firm, Danailov together with Sakotic and Stoisavljevic have now appealed at CAS that the complaints are admissible. The three argue that the Ethics Commission's decision is “unfounded and contradictory to FIDE Statute, and also delivered in abuse of [the three's] right to be heard and right of fair process.”

According to Danailov/Sakotic/Stoisavljevic, the Ethics Commission “has neither direct nor indirect (extended) jurisdiction to resolve on the issues raised in the complaints, it has no instruments to adjudicate on them (...) and the complaints are inadmissible as not falling within the range of the misconduct or actions determined in Clause 2 of FIDE Code of Ethics.”

In a reaction, two members of the FIDE Ethics Commission stated that they had not been informed about the appeal at CAS. It is “a procedure which in my view is not open to them until conclusion of the whole case,” wrote EC Chairman Francois Strydom in an email.

“As far I know [Danailov] is invited to defend himself [in] front of [the] ECU board next month in Romania... So why all this noise?” wrote EC member Willy Iclicki.

Danailov emailed to [text corrected here and there]: 

“This is wrong. I have nothing to defend because I did nothing wrong, nor [did my] my colleagues. It's more that I am very proud of what we did for chess in the European Parliament and Unesco during our term. Things FIDE can only dream of. If I go to Bucharest to offer a peaceful solution for one unnecessary conflict started and created by them without fundament, it is going nowhere.

I went to CAS for a question of principles. In my opinion the FIDE Ethics commission have no jurisdiction to judge the ECU president and shouldn't accept such a case. The ECU needs to have its own ethics commission or another way to punish its members if they consider them guilty, but they can't deliver the case to FIDE EC ever.

Also,I doubt very much of the objectivity and independence of one of FIDE EC members, Willy Iclicki. This person was boycotting our work in the ECU on purpose during the last four years and hates us personally.

The ECU is a completely independent organization with its own statutes and has nothing to do with FIDE.

The problem is that the current FIDE management, which I call Makro & friends “FIDE”, consider themselves as owners of FIDE and the chess world and can't stand any opposition with independent thinking. Right now I am the only opposition existing and they are fighting against me with all FIDE machine power using all kind of measures. They eliminated Karpov and Kasparov and I am the last one, there is nobody else left.”

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