In an unbreathable climate in elite chess, the FIDE has finally intervened in the controversy over the alleged cheating suffered by the world champion, who dropped out of a tournament and was allowed to win a game in another, as an obvious sign of protest. The president of the organization, the Russian Arkady Dvorkovich, has issued a statement this Friday, which does not offer the answers that many expected. The leader has pulled the ears of Magnus Carlsonwithout too much force, and has requested that evidence be provided to open a full-fledged investigation into the behavior of hans niemann.
From the outset, Dvorkovich clarifies that the two tournaments in which the controversy has broken out were not organized by FIDE. Despite everything, they have been forced to react: «As the governing body of world chess, it is our duty to protect the integrity of the game and its imageand as the incident continues to escalate, we find it necessary to take a step forward,” the president said in his statement, which can be read in full (in English), in this link. Of course, there is no eschatological allusion to the possible forms of cheating that have been speculated on these days.
“First of all, we firmly believe that the world champion has a moral responsibility linked to his status, since he is considered a global gaming ambassador. His actions have repercussions on the reputation of his colleagues, on sports results and, in the long run, can be detrimental to our game. We strongly believe there were better ways to handle this situation.”
We reproduce below the highlights of the text:
“At the same time, we share your deep concern about the damage that cheating does to chess. FIDE has led the fight against cheating for many years and we reiterate our policy of zero tolerance for cheating in any way. Whether online or ‘on the board’, cheating is still cheating. We are strongly committed to this fight and have invested in training a group of specialists to design sophisticated preventive measures that are already applied in major FIDE events.”
FIDE also calls for “strengthening the cooperation between major platforms online, private tournaments and high-level players, most of whom have already expressed their willingness to join forces with the Federation.
Here the document begins to become more subtle. It is noted that its wording has been carefully crafted. From the outset, he asks for evidence to intervene: «FIDE is willing to order to its fair play commission a thorough investigation of the incident, when the appropriate initial evidence is provided and all parties involved disclose the information available to them. We are fully aware that in some cases uncertainty can harm player performance. It can also be detrimental to a player’s reputation; That’s why we insist that anti-cheat protocols be followed.”
Dvorkovich also proposes putting in “a dedicated panel, which would include representatives from major chess platforms, grandmasters, anti-cheat experts, and FIDE officials, to combat this risk and prevent it from becoming a veritable plague.”