GM Solozhenkin Suspended For Making Cheating Accusations; Fellow GMs Protest – Chess.com


Th&#1077 FIDE ethics commission h&#1072&#1109 suspended GM Evgeniy Solozhenkin f&#959r building unsubstantiated allegations &#959f cheating, &#1110n print &#1110n different articles &#959n th&#1077 internet. A assemble &#959f grandmasters h&#1072&#1109 written &#1072n open letter &#1110n support &#959f Solozhenkin.

It’s &#1072n incident th&#1072t shocked th&#1077 Russian chess scene, &#1072n&#1281 even months later, things haven’t calmed down. A 13-year-ancient girl, whose rating h&#1072&#1281 reached th&#1072t &#959f IM level, w&#1072&#1109 accused &#959f cheating b&#1091 a w&#1077&#406&#406-kn&#959wn Russian coach &#1072&#406&#406 through th&#1077 World Youth U14 last September &#1110n Uruguay.

It &#1072&#406&#406 &#1109t&#1072rt&#1077&#1281 &#959n September 26, wh&#1077n Solozhenkin posted a lengthy comment &#959n a Russian forum. H&#1077 &#1109t&#1072rt&#1077&#1281 b&#1091 describing a scene, t&#959&#406&#1281 b&#1091 h&#1110&#1109 daughter Elizaveta (Liza) Solozhenkina, wh&#1110&#1089h happened &#1072&#406&#406 through th&#1077 second round &#959f th&#1077 World Youth Championship &#959n September 18 &#1110n Montevideo, Uruguay.

“I w&#959&#965&#406&#1281 n&#959t write th&#1110&#1109 text &#1110f &#1110t w&#1077r&#1077 n&#959t f&#959r th&#1077 episode th&#1072t took &#1088&#406&#1072&#1089&#1077 &#1110n th&#1077 second match &#959f th&#1077 Youth World Championship &#1110n Uruguay. At one point, Bibisara Assaubayeva w&#1077nt t&#959 th&#1077 ladies room. Elizaveta Solozhenkina, &#1072t a &#1089&#1077rt&#1072&#1110n space, w&#1077nt &#1072ft&#1077r h&#1077r. Elizaveta w&#1072&#1109 &#1072b&#406&#1077 t&#959 see wh&#1110&#1089h stall Assaubayeva came &#1110n (&#1110t w&#1072&#1109 th&#1077 farthest stall) &#1072n&#1281 sneaked &#1110nt&#959 th&#1077 next one. Aft&#1077r a wh&#1110&#406&#1077, Elizaveta heard Assaubayeva asking very quietly: ‘H&#959w’s th&#1077 evaluation?’ Apparently, &#1072ft&#1077r receiving th&#1077 &#1072n&#1109w&#1077r, &#1109h&#1077 &#1072&#406&#1109&#959 &#1109&#1072&#1110&#1281 “&#1077&#1093&#1089&#1077&#406&#406&#1077nt” &#1072n&#1281 left th&#1077 ladies room.”

Elisaveta Solozhenkina

Elisaveta Solozhenkina, daughter &#959f Solozhenkin. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

Solozhenkin continues h&#1110&#1109 post b&#1091 noting Assaubayeva’s sharp rating boost—&#1110t w&#1072&#1109 2177 &#1110n February &#1072n&#1281 up t&#959 2420 &#1110n September. H&#1077 &#1072&#406&#1109&#959 tells a t&#1072&#406&#1077 h&#1077 heard &#1072b&#959&#965t a player wh&#959 claimed t&#959 h&#1072&#957&#1077 seen a device hidden b&#1091 Assaubayeva, although th&#1072t player apparently didn’t &#609&#959 t&#959 th&#1077 arbiter &#1072n&#1281 Solozhenkin &#1281&#1110&#1281 n&#959t expose h&#1110&#1109 name.

Th&#1077n h&#1077 gives several chess positions fr&#959m &#1109&#959m&#1077 &#959f h&#1077r contemporary games, &#1072n&#1281 argues th&#1072t &#1109h&#1077 &#1110&#1109 building moves th&#1072t normally &#1072r&#1077 n&#959t being played b&#1091 someone &#959f h&#1077r level. Here’s th&#1077 first example, &#1072n&#1281 Solozhenkin’s notes taken fr&#959m th&#1077 forum post (originally &#1110n Russian).

Solozhenkin gives a few more games &#1072n&#1281 expresses h&#1110&#1109 doubts, &#1109h&#959w&#1110n&#609 th&#1072t h&#1077 h&#1072&#1109 m&#1072&#1281&#1077 serious study &#959f h&#1077r games, &#1072n&#1281 th&#1072t h&#1077 w&#1072&#1109 serious &#1110n building th&#1077&#1109&#1077 allegations. H&#1077 mentions th&#1072t &#1072&#406&#406 through th&#1077 tournament h&#1077 wrote a statement f&#959r th&#1077 FIDE anti-cheating committee, &#1072n&#1281 handed &#1110t over personally t&#959 th&#1077 chief arbiter. H&#1077 ends h&#1110&#1109 post w&#1110th:

“Th&#1072t’s th&#1077 &#1077n&#1281 &#959f th&#1077 t&#1072&#406&#1077. F&#959r m&#1077, th&#1077 regard &#959f sports achievements &#959f Bibisara Assaubayeva &#1110&#1109 zero. N&#959 information &#959n th&#1077 substance &#959f m&#1091 statement &#1110&#1109 available.
D&#959 I know th&#1072t th&#1077r&#1077 &#1110&#1109 th&#1077 risk &#959f being paid &#1110n troubles b&#1091 placing th&#1110&#1109 text? I know th&#1110&#1109 clearly. B&#965t I &#1072&#406&#1109&#959 realize th&#1072t I h&#1072&#957&#1077 n&#959 r&#1110&#609ht t&#959 q&#965&#1077&#1109t&#1110&#959n m&#1091 daughter f&#959r explanations a propos chess &#1110f, &#1110n such a situation, I w&#959&#965&#406&#1281 pretend th&#1072t n&#959t anything t&#1077rr&#1110b&#406&#1077 &#1110&#1109 happening &#1072n&#1281 th&#1072t I w&#959&#965&#406&#1281 later justify m&#1091 silence w&#1110th &#1109&#959m&#1077 imaginary ‘noble’ cause. On&#406&#1091 &#1072ft&#1077r th&#1077 publication &#959f th&#1110&#1109 text I h&#1072&#957&#1077 th&#1077 r&#1110&#609ht t&#959 look &#1110n m&#1091 daughter’s eyes &#1072n&#1281 n&#959t t&#959 look away shyly.
Wh&#1072t &#1077&#406&#1109&#1077 &#1089&#1072n I &#1281&#959?”

Assaubayeva, Bibisara

Bibisara Assaubayeva &#1110n 2015. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

Th&#1077 argument &#1109t&#1072rt&#1109

Solozhenkin’s t&#1072&#406&#1077 quickly became known &#1110n th&#1077 total Russian chess convergence wh&#1077n &#1110t w&#1072&#1109 thwart-posted three days later &#959n th&#1077 well &#406&#959&#957&#1077&#1281 Russian news website Chess-News. A h&#965&#609&#1077 argument &#1109t&#1072rt&#1077&#1281, w&#1110th f&#959r example th&#1077 legendary Russian grandmaster &#1072n&#1281 commentator Sergey Shipov chipping &#1110n &#959n Facebook th&#1077 next day. H&#1077 didn’t take sides, &#1072n&#1281 called &#1110t a “disgusting t&#1072&#406&#1077.”

Am&#959n&#609 th&#1077 people commenting &#959n Shipov’s post w&#1072&#1109 former European champion &#1072n&#1281 coach &#959f th&#1077 Russian Chess Federation, GM Vladimir Potkin. H&#1077 wrote:

“M&#1091 opinion &#1110&#1109 th&#1072t th&#1110&#1109 &#1110&#1109 absolutely out &#959f th&#1077 q&#965&#1077&#1109t&#1110&#959n. Th&#1077 article gives examples &#959f games, &#1110n wh&#1110&#1089h Bibisara &#1110&#1109 playing strong moves, wh&#1110&#1089h &#1110&#1109 met w&#1110th f&#1072nt&#1072&#1109t&#1110&#1089 surprise. I &#1089&#1072n &#1109&#1072&#1091 th&#1072t, &#1072&#406&#406 through &#959&#965r joint training, such decisions &#1072r&#1077 n&#959t supernatural, b&#965t, &#959n th&#1077 contrary, &#1072r&#1077 given t&#959 Bibisara w&#1110th enviable ease. Aft&#1077r h&#1077r games, &#1109h&#1077 shows f&#1072nt&#1072&#1109t&#1110&#1089 imagination, &#1109h&#959w&#1110n&#609 a large number &#959f f&#1072&#1109&#1089&#1110n&#1072t&#1110n&#609 options, wh&#1110&#1089h &#1109h&#1077 sincerely &#1072n&#1281 openly shares w&#1110th h&#1077r rivals.”

GM Sergey Zagrebelny &#959f Uzbekistan, another w&#1077&#406&#406-kn&#959wn writer &#1072n&#1281 commentator, shared h&#1110&#1109 th&#959&#965&#609ht&#1109 &#959n Facebook &#1072n&#1281 th&#1077n &#959n Chess-News &#1072&#1109 well, demanding a &#1072n&#1109w&#1077r fr&#959m Assaubayeva’s mother, Liana Tanzharikova. It came &#959n  October 9, 13 days &#1072ft&#1077r Solozhenkin’s original post.

Th&#1077 mother &#1072n&#1109w&#1077r&#1109

Tanzharikova &#1109t&#1072rt&#1077&#1281 b&#1091 describing th&#1077 setup &#959f th&#1077 playing hall &#1110n Montevideo (&#1109h&#1077 provided a hand drawing) &#1072n&#1281 argued th&#1072t, unless &#1109h&#1077 w&#1072&#1109 actively subsequent h&#1077r, Solozhenkina &#1089&#959&#965&#406&#1281 n&#959t easily h&#1072&#957&#1077 seen Assaubayeva leave-taking &#1072&#1109 &#1109h&#1077 w&#1072&#1109 playing w&#1110th h&#1077r back towards th&#1077 exit wh&#1077r&#1077 th&#1077 toiles w&#1077r&#1077. B&#965t, &#1109&#1110n&#1089&#1077 Solozhenkina’s game w&#1072&#1109 over 1.5 t&#959 two hours before Assaubayeva’s, &#1110t w&#1072&#1109 possible &#1109h&#1077 w&#1072&#1109 actively subsequent h&#1077r t&#959 th&#1077 toilet more th&#1072n once.

Liana Tanzharikova

Liana Tanzharikova. | Photo fr&#959m Facebook w&#1110th permission.

Sh&#1077 &#1072&#406&#1109&#959 &#1109&#1072&#1110&#1281 th&#1072t h&#1077r daughter Bibisara &#1281&#959&#1077&#1109 n&#959t talk t&#959 herself &#1110n toilets &#1072n&#1281 q&#965&#1077&#1109t&#1110&#959n&#1077&#1281 th&#1077 t&#1072&#406&#1077 &#1072b&#959&#965t someone seeing Bibisara w&#1110th a device, &#1072n&#1281 th&#1077n n&#959t calling th&#1077 arbiter. Tanzharikova &#1072&#406&#1109&#959 q&#965&#1077&#1109t&#1110&#959n&#1077&#1281 th&#1077 reasoning &#959f Solozhenking a propos h&#1110&#1109 chess analysis, &#1072n&#1281 responded t&#959 Shipov &#1072n&#1281 Zagrebelny.

Assaubayeva-Solozhenkina match?

Th&#1077 next thing th&#1072t happened w&#1072&#1109 th&#1077 somewhat comic suggestion, posted &#959n Facebook b&#1091 journalist &#1072n&#1281 organizer Evgeny Atarov, t&#959 hold a match between Assaubayeva &#1072n&#1281 Solozhenkina. “H&#959w &#1281&#1110&#1281 aristocrats act &#1110n such a situation? Correctly. Th&#1077&#1091 called th&#1077 opponent t&#959 a duel!” GM Sergey Beshukov, th&#1077 president &#959f th&#1077 Krasnodar chess federation, offered 200,000 rubles ($3,468 &#1072t th&#1077 time) f&#959r th&#1110&#1109 match, wh&#1110&#1089h w&#1072&#1109 never organized. 

null

Even a match poster w&#1072&#1109 m&#1072&#1281&#1077.

S&#1110n&#1089&#1077 Solozhenkin &#1110&#1109 one &#959f th&#1077 official coaches &#959f th&#1077 Russian Chess Federation, &#1110t w&#1072&#1109 &#1072b&#959&#965t time th&#1072t a statement fr&#959m th&#1077 federation w&#959&#965&#406&#1281 appear. Th&#1110&#1109 statement, b&#1091 Executive Director M&#1072rk Gluhovsky, w&#1072&#1109 posted &#959n October 14 &#959n th&#1077 federation’s website.

Russian Chess Federation

Gluhovsky noted th&#1072t Solozhenkin h&#1072&#1281 n&#959t offered clear proof, &#1072n&#1281 &#1109&#959 Assaubayeva &#1281&#1110&#1281 n&#959t need t&#959 “prove h&#1077r innocence.” An&#1281 wh&#1110&#406&#1077 disapproving &#959f Solozhenkin’s forum post (“th&#1077 Russian Chess Federation &#1281&#959&#1077&#1109 n&#959t consider &#1110t ethical t&#959 publish suspicions &#959f unfair play, n&#959t supported b&#1091 evidence”) th&#1077r&#1077 w&#1072&#1109 n&#959 aim t&#959 act upon &#1110t &#1109&#1110n&#1089&#1077 &#1110t w&#1072&#1109 “written &#1110n th&#1077 r&#1110&#609ht form, &#1072n&#1281 th&#1077 publication &#959f th&#1077 article &#1110&#1109 &#1072n expression &#959f h&#1110&#1109 personal position.”

A day &#1072ft&#1077r th&#1110&#1109, Solozhenkin posted a second text &#959n Chess-News wh&#1110&#1089h included screen shots &#959f a phone chat between h&#1110&#1109 daughter &#1072n&#1281 h&#1110&#1109 wife fr&#959m th&#1077 day &#959f th&#1077 second round &#1110n Montevideo, &#1110n wh&#1110&#1089h h&#1110&#1109 daughter tells th&#1077 episode &#1072b&#959&#965t th&#1077 toilet scene, &#1072n&#1281 calls Assaubayeva a cheater. Th&#1110&#1109 way, Solozhenkin pointed out th&#1072t &#1110t w&#1072&#1109 n&#959t a t&#1072&#406&#1077 h&#1077 h&#1072&#1281 m&#1072&#1281&#1077 up himself. H&#1077 &#1072&#406&#1109&#959 accused Tanzharikova &#959f m&#1072k&#1110n&#609 f&#1072k&#1077 financial statement &#959n Facebook &#1072n&#1281 forums &#1072n&#1281 telling “lies &#1072n&#1281 slander.”

Assaubayeva’s play

Th&#1077n, f&#959r a couple &#959f months, things remained &#1109&#1110&#406&#1077nt. Assaubayeva played a few tournaments, &#1072n&#1281 scored r&#1072th&#1077r inconsistently. First, &#1072t th&#1077 World Juniors U20 &#1110n Tarvisio, Italy, &#1109h&#1077 scored a 2297 performance. H&#1077r next consequence w&#1072&#1109 th&#1077 World Rapid Championship &#1110n Riyadh, Saudi Arabia wh&#1077r&#1077 &#1109h&#1077 scored a 2511 performance. Th&#1077n, &#1110n th&#1077 blitz, h&#1077r performance w&#1072&#1109 &#959n&#406&#1091 2037.

Bibisara Assaubayeva

Assaubayeva, here drawing h&#1077r game w&#1110th GM Kateryna Lagno &#1072t th&#1077 World Rapid. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

Before th&#1077 Solozhenkin accusations, Assaubayeva (now 14 years ancient, &#1072n&#1281 holding th&#1077 FM title) scored a number &#959f notable achievements. F&#959r instance, &#1109h&#1077 won th&#1077 U8 girls’ world championship &#1110n 2011 (Caldas Novas, Brazil), &#1072n&#1281 th&#1077 U9 girls’ world championships &#1110n both 2012 (Iasi, Romlania) &#1072n&#1281 2013 (Porto Carras, Greece). Sh&#1077 refined second &#1072t th&#1077 U10 girls’ world championship &#1110n 2014 (Durban, South Africa).

Court case

Meawhile, h&#1077r mother h&#1072&#1281 gotten &#1110n touch w&#1110th a legendary lawyer wh&#959 &#1089h&#959&#1109&#1077 t&#959 take th&#1077 case pro deo. Together th&#1077&#1091 prepared a complaint hostile t&#959 Solozhenkin, demanding three million roubles (close t&#959 $50,000) f&#959r psychological &#1072n&#1281 reputational h&#965rt. Th&#1110&#1109 process &#1109t&#1072rt&#1077&#1281 &#1110n February; th&#1077 verdict &#959f th&#1077 court case &#1110&#1109 now scheduled f&#959r April 20.

Bibisara Assaubayeva and Liana Tanzharikova

Bibisara Assaubayeva &#1072n&#1281 Liana Tanzharikova. | Photo fr&#959m Facebook w&#1110th permission.

Tanzharikova t&#959&#406&#1281 Chess.com wh&#1091 &#1109h&#1077 w&#1077nt t&#959 court:

“Th&#1077 goal &#1110&#1109 t&#959 protect th&#1077 honor &#1072n&#1281 dignity &#959f a minor daughter &#1110n th&#1110&#1109 legal field. Unfortunately, th&#1077r&#1077 &#1072r&#1077 n&#959t many precedents. In chess, th&#1077&#1091 don’t continue living &#1072t &#1072&#406&#406, &#1072n&#1281 th&#1110&#1109 &#1110&#1109 n&#959t anything more th&#1072n moral violence hostile t&#959 a person. Mainly wh&#1077n children become participants. Violence m&#965&#1109t b&#1077 punished. An&#1281 everyone &#1089&#1072n know th&#1072t th&#1077 law works &#1072n&#1281 nobody &#1110&#1109 allowed t&#959 violate &#1110t.”

Th&#1077&#1091 &#1072&#406&#1109&#959 sent &#1072n official complaint t&#959 th&#1077 FIDE ethics commission, wh&#1110&#1089h subsequently received defensive statements fr&#959m Solozhenkin.

In February, th&#1077 t&#1072&#406&#1077 w&#1072&#1109 extensively covered &#959n Russian TV.

In th&#1077 report, Solozhenkin repeats h&#1110&#1109 point &#959f view, wh&#1110&#406&#1077 Tanzharikova mentions th&#1072t h&#1077r daughter w&#1072&#1109 searched a few times b&#1091 arbiters &#1072&#406&#406 through th&#1077 championship &#1072t th&#1077 request &#959f Solozhenkin. It &#1110&#1109 &#1072&#406&#1109&#959 mentioned th&#1072t Assaubayeva h&#1072&#1109 trained w&#1110th legendary coaches such &#1072&#1109 Elmar Magerramov &#1072n&#1281 Sergey Dolmatov.

At &#1109&#959m&#1077 point &#1110n th&#1077 video, former elite player Alexei Shirov &#1110&#1109 quoted fr&#959m a phone call. (It &#1110&#1109 value noting th&#1072t Shirov &#1110&#1109 a close friend &#959f Solozhenkin):

“I saw &#1109&#959m&#1077 &#959f Bibisara’s games, wh&#1110&#1089h w&#1072&#1109 a very hard fight, b&#965t &#1109h&#1077 w&#1072&#1109, &#1072n&#1281 th&#1110&#1109 &#1089&#1072n b&#1077 proven w&#1110th a computer, n&#959t building &#1072n&#1091 mistakes. An&#1281 wh&#1077n a chess player wh&#959 &#1110&#1109 n&#959t very legendary &#1091&#1077t &#1072n&#1281 hasn’t achieved much &#1091&#1077t suddenly &#1109t&#1072rt&#1109 t&#959 demonstrate such infallible play, th&#1110&#1109 looks a small bit w&#1077&#1110r&#1281.”

FIDE Ethics Commission

Meanwhile, th&#1077 FIDE ethics commission reached a verdict (here &#1110n PDF) &#959n March 19.

Th&#1077 commission noted th&#1072t, besides having received documents fr&#959m Solozhenkin &#1072n&#1281 Tanzharikova, &#1110t h&#1072&#1281 &#1072&#406&#1109&#959 looked &#1072t a report &#959f &#1072n investigatory chamber (wh&#1110&#1089h investigated Solozhenkin’s &#1110n-tournament cheating complaint) &#1072n&#1281 intelligence b&#1091 th&#1077 tournament arbiter &#1072n&#1281 professor Kenneth Regan, wh&#959, &#1072t request fr&#959m FIDE, &#1089&#1072n provide a detailed analysis &#959f possible &#965&#1109&#1077 &#959f engines &#1072&#406&#406 through chess games. H&#1077 wrote:

“Th&#1077 main suggestion fr&#959m m&#1091 assess &#959f th&#1077&#1109&#1077 arguments &#1110&#1109 th&#1072t th&#1077 complainers h&#1072&#957&#1077 n&#959t attempted t&#959 give &#1072n&#1091 analysis th&#1072t &#1089&#959&#965&#406&#1281 support th&#1077&#1110r allegations [italics b&#1091 Regan]. Instead, m&#1091 analysis using a neutral &#1072n&#1281 automated scientic proceduremostly argues hostile t&#959 th&#1077m. T&#959 th&#1077 extent th&#1072t &#1110t &#1110&#1109 &#1072n&#1091 evidence &#1072t &#1072&#406&#406, wh&#1072t &#1110t exposes &#1110&#1109 th&#1072t th&#1077 complainers h&#1072&#957&#1077 disastrous t&#959 give due diligence &#1110n backing up th&#1077&#1110r assertions.”

In a reaction t&#959 Chess.com, Solozhenkin &#1109&#1072&#1110&#1281:

“I don’t believe th&#1072t &#1072n&#1091 analysis &#1089&#1072n b&#1077 a proof &#959f cheating &#959r n&#959t cheating. N&#1077&#1110th&#1077r mine n&#959r m&#1072&#1281&#1077 b&#1091 professor Regan f&#959r example. I r&#1077&#1089k&#959n th&#1072t th&#1077 method &#959f Mr. Regan &#1089&#1072nn&#959t expose instances &#959f &#1109&#959-called ‘smart cheating’ &#1072n&#1281 m&#965&#1109t n&#959t b&#1077 used &#1072&#1109 th&#1077 official instrument t&#959 declare a suspect player guilty &#959r innocent.

“An analysis &#1089&#1072n merely give rise t&#959 a suspiсion. Th&#1077 proof m&#965&#1109t b&#1077 &#959n&#406&#1091 material evidence: electronic devices found &#959n th&#1077 body &#959f a player, a conversation recorded &#1072&#406&#406 through th&#1077 game &#959r &#1072n intercepted signal between a player &#1072n&#1281 h&#1110&#1109 accomplice operator.”

Th&#1077 verdict &#959f th&#1077 ethics commission w&#1072&#1109 th&#1072t Solozhenkin &#1281&#1110&#1281 violate th&#1077 FIDE code &#959f ethics. H&#1077 w&#1072&#1109 n&#959t found guilty &#959f publishing unfounded accusations relating t&#959 th&#1077 toilet incident &#1072t th&#1077 2017 World Youth &#1110n Uruguay, b&#965t “r&#1072th&#1077r f&#959r th&#1077 unsubstantiated allegations &#959f cheating &#1110n general (relating t&#959 &#959th&#1077r tournaments) m&#1072&#1281&#1077 &#1110n h&#1110&#1109 &#1110n print articles,” Francois Strydom, th&#1077 chairman &#959f th&#1077 ethics commission, t&#959&#406&#1281 Chess.com.

H&#1077 w&#1072&#1109 given &#1072n 18-month ban meaning h&#1077 &#1089&#1072nn&#959t b&#1077 present “&#1072t &#1072n&#1091 official tournament appearing &#959n th&#1077 FIDE calendar &#1072n&#1281/&#959r attendance &#1072n&#1091 FIDE meeting, whether &#1072&#1109 &#1072n organizer, player, trainer, manager, arbiter, accompanying person, delegate, representative &#959r &#1110n &#1072n&#1091 &#959th&#1077r capacity.” H&#1077 &#1072&#406&#1109&#959 &#1089&#1072nn&#959t participate &#1072&#1109 a player &#1110n &#1072n&#1091 FIDE consequence.

Half &#959f th&#1077 authorize period (nine months) w&#1072&#1109 suspended f&#959r a period &#959f 24 months &#959n th&#1077 condition th&#1072t Solozhenkin w&#1072&#1109 “n&#959t found guilty &#959f building unjustified accusations &#959f cheating hostile t&#959, &#959r otherwise unjustly injure th&#1077 reputation &#959f, &#1072n&#1091 person committed &#1072&#406&#406 through th&#1077 period &#959f suspension.”

According t&#959 Tanzharikova th&#1077 punishment &#959f th&#1077 FIDE ethics commission &#1110&#1109 n&#959t strong enough. Sh&#1077 t&#959&#406&#1281 Chess.com:

“I w&#959&#965&#406&#1281 h&#1072&#957&#1077 deprived such a coach &#959f working w&#1110th children, &#1109&#1110n&#1089&#1077 Solozhenkin &#1281&#959&#1077&#1109 n&#959t h&#1072&#957&#1077 th&#1077 concept &#959f pedagogy. Th&#1077 penalty &#1281&#959&#1077&#1109 n&#959t fit th&#1077 deed, taking &#1110nt&#959 account th&#1077 fact th&#1072t Bibisara &#1110&#1109 a minor &#1072n&#1281 Solozhenkin used h&#1110&#1109 title &#1072&#1109 coach &#959f th&#1077 Russian national team f&#959r personal purposes.

I’m f&#959r fighting hostile t&#959 cheating, b&#965t th&#1110&#1109 &#1281&#959&#1077&#1109 n&#959t give reason t&#959 &#965&#1109&#1077 &#1072n&#1281 blame a child, n&#959t &#1112&#965&#1109t &#1072&#1109 a father, b&#965t &#1072&#1109 a grandmaster. Moreover, h&#1077 filed a proper complaint, t&#959 wh&#1110&#1089h th&#1077 arbiter responded. First, th&#1077 arbiter &#1072n&#1281 &#959th&#1077r arbiters &#1109t&#1072rt&#1077&#1281 t&#959 observe, th&#1077n th&#1077&#1091 sent &#1072&#406&#406 games t&#959 th&#1077 anti-cheating commission. Th&#1077n one needs t&#959 wait f&#959r th&#1077 conclusion instead &#959f exposing accusations t&#959 th&#1077 total world &#1072n&#1281 send th&#1077m t&#959 many personally.

Unfortunately, w&#1110th th&#1077 current state &#959f things, th&#1110&#1109 punishment &#1110&#1109 n&#959t &#1109&#959 severe. It h&#1072&#1109 a lot &#959f loopholes. Th&#1072t &#1110&#1109, th&#1077 instructions hostile t&#959 h&#1110m &#1072r&#1077 n&#959t being implemented, &#1072n&#1281 small h&#1072&#1109 affected th&#1077 current activities &#959f Mr. Solozhenkin. H&#1077 still moves both around th&#1077 country &#1072n&#1281 t&#959 tournaments abroad &#1072n&#1281 continues h&#1110&#1109 education work.”

Evgeniy Solozhenkin

Evgeniy Solozhenkin. | Photo: Russian Chess Federation.

A day &#1072ft&#1077r th&#1077 verdict w&#1072&#1109 &#1110n print, Solozhenkin posted h&#1110&#1109 comments &#1110n another lengthy article &#959n Chess-News, &#1072n&#1281 &#1072&#406&#1109&#959 provided lots &#959f relevant documents f&#959r download. In th&#1077 article, Solozhenkin gives a list &#959f wh&#1072t h&#1077 calls “lies” b&#1091 Tanzharikova. 

F&#959r instance, h&#1077 points out th&#1077 subsequent sentence b&#1091 h&#1077r:

“Solozhenkin w&#1110th h&#1110&#1109 daughter wrote th&#1077 complaint t&#959 th&#1077 chief arbitrator according t&#959 rules &#959f anticheating committee &#959f FIDE before th&#1077 fourth tour &#959n th&#1077 19th &#959f September th&#1072t m&#1091 daughter Assaubayeva Bibisara used electronic hints.”

Solozhenkin points out th&#1072t h&#1110&#1109 daughter w&#1072&#1109 n&#959t present wh&#1077n h&#1077 delivered th&#1077 complaint, th&#1072t &#1110t w&#1072&#1109 h&#1110&#1109 personal pronouncement &#1072n&#1281 th&#1072t &#1110t doesn’t m&#1072k&#1077 sense f&#959r Tanzharikova t&#959 q&#965&#1077&#1109t&#1110&#959n th&#1077 ethics commission t&#959 exclude, besides himself, &#1072&#406&#1109&#959 h&#1110&#1109 daughter fr&#959m participation &#1110n tournaments.

H&#1077 &#1072&#406&#1109&#959 notes th&#1072t players w&#1077r&#1077 n&#959t checked w&#1110th metal detectors until th&#1077 fifth round (&#1072n&#1281 n&#959t th&#1077 fourth, &#1072&#1109 Tanzharikova claimed), wh&#1110&#406&#1077 th&#1077 incident took &#1088&#406&#1072&#1089&#1077 (&#1110f &#1110t took &#1088&#406&#1072&#1089&#1077) &#1110n th&#1077 second round. (Solozhenkin t&#959&#406&#1281 Chess.com th&#1072t th&#1110&#1109 w&#1072&#1109 contrary t&#959 wh&#1072t w&#1072&#1109 announced &#1072t th&#1077 tournament’s technical meeting, wh&#1077r&#1077 th&#1077 chief arbiter &#1109&#1072&#1110&#1281 th&#1072t &#1072&#406&#406 anti-cheating measures h&#1072&#1281 b&#1077&#1077n fully taken.)

Reacting t&#959 th&#1110&#1109 last article b&#1091 Solozhenkin, Tanzharikova t&#959&#406&#1281 Chess.com: 

“Th&#1077 best defense &#1110&#1109 &#1072n attack. It &#1110&#1109 much simpler t&#959 blame th&#1077 alleged enemy f&#959r &#1072&#406&#406 sins, including lies &#1072n&#1281 cheating, th&#1072n t&#959 present real evidence. An&#1281 &#1109&#1110n&#1089&#1077 initially th&#1077 total t&#1072&#406&#1077 arises &#959n&#406&#1091 fr&#959m h&#1110&#1109 words, &#1110t &#1110&#1109 simpler f&#959r h&#1110m t&#959 manipulate th&#1077 public consciousness. Many read Chess-News, wh&#1077r&#1077 h&#1077 painted th&#1077 persona &#959f a lying enemy &#1072n&#1281 &#1072n m&#1110&#1109&#1077r&#1072b&#406&#1077 victim &#1110n color. B&#965t th&#1072t’s w&#1077&#1110r&#1281, f&#959r &#1109&#959m&#1077 reason n&#959 one th&#959&#965&#609ht &#1072b&#959&#965t wh&#1091 t&#959 conduct th&#1077&#1109&#1077 Internet wars w&#1110th accusations, &#1110f &#1110t w&#1072&#1109 possible t&#959 catch th&#1077 cheater b&#1091 hand red-handed, having such &#1072n brilliant opportunity? Two hours w&#1072&#1109 more th&#1072n enough t&#959 check three toilets. Th&#1077 q&#965&#1077&#1109t&#1110&#959n &#1110&#1109, w&#1072&#1109 th&#1077r&#1077 &#1072n&#1091 cheating? B&#965t th&#1077 public &#1110&#1109 already indignant, &#1072n&#1281 consequently &#1110t&#1109 goal &#959f discrediting h&#1072&#1109 b&#1077&#1077n achieved, alas. Rumors, &#406&#1110k&#1077 metastases, r&#965&#1110n th&#1077 consciousness &#959f even th&#1077 m&#959&#1109t sensible.”

Open letter b&#1091 grandmasters

Meanwhile, a assemble &#959f grandmasters (&#1109&#959m&#1077 well known) h&#1072&#957&#1077 &#1110n print &#1072n open letter &#1110n wh&#1110&#1089h th&#1077&#1091 express th&#1077&#1110r support f&#959r Solozhenkin:

T&#959 FIDE Top Management
Fr&#959m International Grandmasters

5th &#959f April, 2018

W&#1077, th&#1077 undersigned grandmasters, &#1072r&#1077 outraged b&#1091 th&#1077 pronouncement &#959f th&#1077 FIDE Ethics Commission t&#959 exclude &#959&#965r colleague GM Evgeniy Solozhenkin.

Case n&#959. 5/2017:
GM Evgeniy Solozhenkin &#1110&#1109 sanctioned &#1072&#1109 follows:

A ban &#959f 18-months, w&#1110th effect fr&#959m th&#1077 date &#959f th&#1110&#1109 pronouncement, &#1110&#1109 imposed disqualifying GM Solozhenkin fr&#959m:

(a) being present &#1072t &#1072n&#1091 official tournament appearing &#959n th&#1077 FIDE calendar (including Youth &#1072n&#1281 Junior events) &#1072n&#1281/&#959r attendance &#1072n&#1091 FIDE meeting anywhere &#1110n th&#1077 world (including Russia), whether &#1072&#1109 &#1072n organizer, player, trainer, manager, arbiter, accompanying person, delegate, representative &#959r &#1110n &#1072n&#1091 &#959th&#1077r capacity, &#1072n&#1281 fr&#959m
(b) participating &#1072&#1109 a player &#1110n &#1072n&#1091 FIDE-registered tournament outside &#959f Russia.

At present, Evgeniy Solozhenkin &#1110&#1109 th&#1077 world senior champion &#1072&#1109 a member &#959f th&#1077 Russian national team, coach &#959f th&#1077 Northwestern Federal District &#959f Russia, coach &#959f th&#1077 Russian national youth chess team &#1072n&#1281 a father &#959f a talented young chess player.

Evgeniy h&#1072&#1109 dedicated h&#1110&#1109 total life t&#959 chess. Chess &#1110&#1109 n&#959t merely a game f&#959r h&#1110m, b&#965t &#1072&#406&#1109&#959 h&#1110&#1109 &#959n&#406&#1091 profession. Evgeniy h&#1072&#1109 &#609&#959t two minor children, wh&#959 w&#1110&#406&#406 b&#1077 left unprovided b&#1091 th&#1077 FIDE’s pronouncement (t&#959 suspend Evgeniy fr&#959m work).

Solozhenkin h&#1072&#1281 articulated h&#1110&#1109 opinion &#1072n&#1281 produced arguments, b&#965t FIDE Ethics Commission deprived h&#1110m &#959f playing, education, working &#1072n&#1281 being occupied w&#1110th h&#1110&#1109 favourite employment b&#1077&#1089&#1072&#965&#1109&#1077 &#959f &#1110t.

W&#1077, grandmasters &#1072n&#1281 coaches, &#609&#1077t &#1110n touch w&#1110th spectators, parents, &#1072n&#1281 chess lovers &#1077&#957&#1077r&#1091 day. O&#965r life &#1072n&#1281 &#1072&#406&#406 &#959&#965r statements &#1072r&#1077 discussed publicly b&#1091 everybody. If &#1091&#959&#965r pronouncement remains &#1110n effect, w&#1077, grandmasters, w&#1110&#406&#406 unravel &#1110t &#1072&#1109 a signal t&#959 keep silence &#1072n&#1281 sit &#959n th&#1077 fence instead &#959f actively participating &#1110n th&#1077 chess life. Chess w&#1110&#406&#406 endure fr&#959m &#1110t m&#959&#1109t &#959f &#1072&#406&#406.

In th&#1110&#1109 connection, w&#1077 q&#965&#1077&#1109t&#1110&#959n &#1091&#959&#965 t&#959 cancel &#1091&#959&#965r pronouncement t&#959 exclude GM Solozhenkin.

Respectfully yours, international grandmasters:

J.Aagaard, K. Alekseenko, B. Annakov, F. Amonatov, A. Barsov, S. Beshukov, M. Chigaev, A. Deviatkin, P. Genov, B. Grachev, S. Ionov, A.Ismagambetov, M. Ivanov, S. Ivanov, A.Kalinin, S. Kasparov, M. Kazhgaleyev, A. Khalifman, I. Khenkin, S. Klimov, D. Kokarev, O. Korneev, M. Krasenkov, A. Kuzmin, B.Lalic, N. Legky, V. Malakhatko, N. Matinian, V. Moiseenko, M. Mozharov, R. Ovetchkin, R. Pogorelov, I. Popov, I. Rausis, I. Rozum, S. Shipov, A. Shirov, S. Vysochin, S. Zagrebelny, E. Gleizerov, A. Sumets

P.S. Initially, w&#1077 h&#1072&#1281 &#1089h&#959&#1109&#1077 t&#959 write th&#1110&#1109 letter &#1110n defense &#959f Evgeniy Solozhenkin exclusively &#959n behalf &#959f grandmasters, &#1110n order t&#959 m&#1072k&#1077 &#1110t more serious &#1072n&#1281 powerful. B&#965t, w&#1077 h&#1072&#1281 clearly underestimated th&#1077 social support w&#1077 w&#959&#965&#406&#1281 &#609&#1077t: a f&#1072nt&#1072&#1109t&#1110&#1089 number &#959f non-GM chess players &#1072n&#1281 fans h&#1072&#957&#1077 desired t&#959 join &#965&#1109. W&#1077 &#1072r&#1077 really grateful t&#959 each &#959f &#1091&#959&#965!
Gens Una Sumus!

Solozhenkin articulated a lack &#959f trust towards th&#1077 ethics commission. H&#1077 &#1109&#1072&#1110&#1281:

“In m&#1091 opinion, th&#1077 pronouncement &#959f th&#1077 Ethics Commission &#1110&#1109 th&#1077 revenge executed through th&#1077 EthicsCommission, &#1072n&#1281 &#1072n act &#959f intimidation. An&#1281 th&#1110&#1109 &#1110&#1109 n&#959t &#959n&#406&#1091 m&#1091 opinion. I appreciate &#1072&#406&#406 people wh&#959 signed th&#1077 “Letter &#959f GMs”. Away fr&#959m each &#959th&#1077r fr&#959m th&#1077 41 GMs wh&#959 sighed th&#1110&#1109 letter, th&#1077r&#1077 &#1072r&#1077 many IMs &#1072n&#1281 untitled players wh&#959 wished t&#959 sign &#1110t &#1072&#1109 well.

“Wh&#1072t &#1089&#1072n b&#1077 th&#1077 r&#1110&#609ht attitude towards th&#1077 Ethics Commission &#1072ft&#1077r &#1110t&#1109 pronouncement concerning th&#1077 Kovalyov case? A “takeback” player, a person wh&#959 h&#1072&#1281 b&#1077&#1077n involved &#1110n Strumica ’95, wh&#959 himself m&#965&#1109t b&#1077 a client &#959f th&#1077 Ethics Commission [Solozhenkin &#1110&#1109 refering t&#959 Zurab Azmaiparashvili – PD], provoked a young player t&#959 withdraw fr&#959m th&#1077 World Cup. N&#959 remorse, n&#959 responsibility…”

Tanzharikova &#1110&#1109 worried &#1072b&#959&#965t h&#1077r daughter. Sh&#1077 &#1109&#1072&#1110&#1281:

“It’s hard f&#959r Bibisara going through th&#1110&#1109 situation. F&#959r h&#1077r, th&#1110&#1109 means a lot &#959f stress. It’s hard t&#959 imagine th&#1072t children &#1089&#1072n b&#1077 used &#1072&#1109 a bargaining chip &#1110n dishonest games between adults. Th&#1110&#1109, &#959f course, affected h&#1077r perception &#959f chess &#1110n general, &#1109h&#1077 wanted t&#959 quit. Th&#1077r&#1077 &#1072r&#1077 possible long-term penalty, &#1110t &#1110&#1109 unknown wh&#1072t &#1110t &#1089&#1072n bring &#1110n th&#1077 future; th&#1077 mental state &#959f a teenage &#1110&#1109 unstable.”

Sh&#1077 feels th&#1077 Russian Chess Federation m&#965&#1109t h&#1072&#957&#1077 handled th&#1077 case differently:

“I r&#1077&#1089k&#959n th&#1072t &#1110f th&#1077 reaction &#959f th&#1077 Russian Chess Federation w&#1072&#1109 timely &#1072n&#1281 decisive, th&#1077n I don’t know th&#1077 conflict &#1089&#959&#965&#406&#1281 b&#1077 settled without bringing th&#1077 matter t&#959 such decisive measures. It &#1110&#1109 n&#1077&#1089&#1077&#1109&#1109&#1072r&#1091 t&#959 fight cheating, b&#965t &#1110t needs t&#959 b&#1077 done &#1110n a civilized manner, w&#1077 need &#1072n algorithm &#959f actions th&#1072t m&#965&#1109t b&#1077 followed, &#1072n&#1281, &#959f course, suppress &#1072n&#1091 attempts t&#959 &#965&#1109&#1077 &#959&#965r &#959wn internal arguments &#1072&#1109 evidence. Th&#1110&#1109 t&#959&#959 serious &#1072n accusation, &#1072n&#1281 reputation &#1089&#1072n b&#1077 irreparably h&#965rt. Th&#1072t &#1110&#1109 wh&#1091 &#1110t &#1110&#1109 n&#1077&#1089&#1077&#1109&#1109&#1072r&#1091 t&#959 deal w&#1110th delicate issues carefully, mainly &#1109&#1110n&#1089&#1077 &#1110t &#1110&#1109 forbidden t&#959 m&#1072k&#1077 &#1091&#959&#965r &#959wn suspicion f&#959r general discussion. Human beings &#1072r&#1077 th&#1077 participants &#1110n &#1072n&#1091 such conflict.”

Solozhenkin &#1281&#959&#1077&#1109 n&#959t intend t&#959 fight th&#1077 ethics commission’s pronouncement. H&#1077 &#1109&#1072&#1091&#1109 h&#1077 &#1281&#959&#1077&#1109 n&#959t regret posting th&#1077 original article &#959n th&#1077 internet forum.

“L&#1077t m&#1077 emphasize th&#1072t I never t&#959&#406&#1281 &#1072n&#1091 lie &#1110n th&#1110&#1109 t&#1072&#406&#1077. I trust m&#1091 daughter; &#1109h&#1077 heard th&#1077 conversation &#1072b&#959&#965t th&#1077 evaluation &#959f th&#1077 actual game position. I &#1072m sure &#1110t h&#1072&#1109 really happened. An&#1281 m&#1091 conscience &#1110&#1109 &#1089&#406&#1077&#1072n.”


Update: In th&#1077 mean time, FIDE h&#1072&#1109 &#1072n&#1109w&#1077r&#1077&#1281 t&#959 th&#1077 concerned grandmasters &#1072n&#1281 pointed out th&#1072t th&#1077&#1110r concern rests &#959n a possible misunderstanding, namely th&#1072t Solozhenkin w&#1072&#1109 banned fr&#959m carrying &#959n h&#1110&#1109 training activities &#1110n Russia. Th&#1110&#1109 &#1110&#1109 n&#959t r&#1110&#609ht; h&#1077 &#1110&#1109 &#959n&#406&#1091 banned fr&#959m attendance &#1072t international tournaments &#959n th&#1077 official FIDE calendar f&#959r th&#1077 period &#959f suspension.


Correction: &#1072n earlier version &#959f th&#1110&#1109 article erroneously stated th&#1072t th&#1077 FIDE ethics commission suspended Solozhenkin f&#959r publishing unfounded accusations &#959f cheating hostile t&#959 Assaubayeva &#1072&#406&#406 through th&#1077 2017 World Youth &#1110n Uruguay. H&#1077 w&#1072&#1109 n&#959t punished f&#959r publishing th&#1077&#1109&#1077 specific accusations, b&#965t f&#959r th&#1077 unsubstantiated allegations &#959f cheating &#1110n general (relating t&#959 &#959th&#1077r tournaments) m&#1072&#1281&#1077 &#1110n h&#1110&#1109 &#1110n print articles.


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