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Monday, March 21, 2011

French chess cheating scandal: Disciplinary Committee suspends 'guilty' players!

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011

Hello everyone,

On Saturday the Disciplinary Committee of the French Chess Federation suspended GMs Sebastien Feller and Arnaud Hauchard and IM Cyril Marzolo, saying they were "guilty of a violation of sporting ethics”. The Committee concluded that there was enough proof that the three players cheated during the Olympiad in Khanty-Mansiysk, in September last year.

19-year-old Sebastien Feller played an excellent Olympiad. Rated 2649, he won the gold medal on board 5 with a score of 6/9 and a TPR of 2708. Arnaud Hauchard was French team captain in Khanty-Mansiysk. The federation at this stage didn’t reveal any details about their accusations that Feller’s success was a result of cheating.

Not long after the publication of the communiqué, Sebastien Feller completely denied the accusations of cheating. However, in a communiqué published on the French website Europe-Echecs, the other team members in Khanty-Mansiysk – Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Laurent Fressinet, Vladislav Tkachiev and Romain Edouard – gave their full support to the federation in investigating the case seriously. More details can be read here.

The meeting of the Disciplinary Committee took place on Saturday, March 19th in a hotel in Paris. Europe-Echecs has published an extensive report. You can also read more here.

You can read all the previous posts on the issue here.

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  • At March 21, 2011 at 12:11 PM , Anonymous Sebastian Wolff, Maryland said...

    I found this somewhere:

    According to Jean-Claude Moingt the cheat the system went as follows: Cyril Marzolo sent SMS text messages with phone numbers which functioned as code. The first two digits were always 06, the following two were the number the move, the 5th and 6th figures would refer to the starting square, the 7th and 8th to the ending square, and finally, two counts of no importance. For example: 06 01 52 54 37, 06 01 57 55 99, 06 02 71 63 84, 06 02 67 65 43 are the codes for the moves constituting the Latvian Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 f5). This is actually the international notation of correspondence chess.
    Arnaud Hauchard kept the two phones with him: his own and that of Sebastien Feller. He consulted and then returned to the bar at the venue. The way to indicate moves to Feller was as follows: the opponent of Vachier-Lagrave: A and 1, the opponent of Fressinet: B and 2, the opponent of Tkachiev: C and 3, the opponent of Feller: D and 4, Feller: E and 5, Tkachiev: F and 6, Fressinet: G and 7 and finally Vachier Lagrave: H and 8. For example if Arnaud Hauchard revolved around the table and stopped some time behind the opponent Tkachiev, and then behind that of Fressinet, he was signalling square c2.

  • At March 21, 2011 at 12:11 PM , Anonymous Srinath, Colombo said...

    I cannot believe this. Now what? What about their poor opponents what was their fault?

  • At March 21, 2011 at 12:15 PM , Anonymous Amrit Puri, Knights Chess Club, New Delhi said...

    I have no words to express my anger and shock as a chess player. What sacrilege to abuse the sacrosanct title of Grandmaster. Stricter punishment required.

  • At March 21, 2011 at 12:17 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    There are going to be appeals - Maybe we should just wait a bit. Not the final verdict in my opinion.

  • At March 21, 2011 at 12:18 PM , Anonymous alexis cochran, new zealand said...

    Could they have been set up by the Federation? In that case it's obvious that the Federation would suspend them. But well, one doesn't know. I am just aghast at the situation as a chess fan. The sad part is that either way this episode is bad for the chess community.


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