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ACP is expressing its concern in regards to the decision of FIDE's Ethics Commission on the so-called "Sandu Case".
The decision of the Ethics Commission comes almost two years after the events took place and the chess community may have forgotten the important details of the case. To remind you: the FIDE anti-cheating regulations approved in 2014 foresaw the possibility to file a complaint against a suspected player. Yes – you could suspect a player and file an official complaint. There is a special downloadable form that should be filled by the complaining player – unfortunately, in Chakvi this was not done according to the regulations and that is definitely the fault of signatories.
However, ACP is convinced that the burden to secure a player-friendly environment and to properly advise on these delicate matters lies foremost on the organizers and arbiters of the event. That was clearly mishandled in Chakvi. As a result, the complaint came in a form of a signed letter addressed to the officials only. It was not rejected, but instead of advising to use the special form the officials published the letter openly, thus creating further damages.
In a nutshell, the mistakes of the organizers and arbiters played a very significant role in leading to very unfortunate consequences. Some may even say it was mainly their fault that exploded the whole situation. That is why we strongly disagree with the decision of the Ethics Commission that blamed and sanctioned the players while hardly mentioning the unfortunate role of the officials.
In fact, ECU itself realized it should adjust and improve on these issues: as a result of this awareness all the necessary measures were taken in the recent Women's European Championship in Riga 2017, much to the satisfaction of all involved parties. In a safe environment, all players feel safer.
More importantly, ACP further believes that the current anti-cheating provisions fail to achieve the goal as we witness more and more cases of computer-assisted cheating. As in other sports (football, ice hockey, table tennis...), players should be allowed to express their suspicions by addressing the arbiters and organizers – albeit in a proper way. We must strike a balance here and work out the details and limits, thus not opening the Pandora box of witch-hunting. Not everybody will like this solution, but we see it as a lesser evil.
It is clear to us that there is a strong need for better regulations and ACP is ready to lead the way and work together with FIDE in achieving this objective that is vital for the survival of our beloved game.