Monday, March 21, 2011

French players found guilty of cheating

The Displinary Committee of the French Chess Federation have found three French players guilty of organized cheating at the Khanty-Mansiysk Olympiad last September.

The guilty parties are GM Sebastien Feller and Arnaud Hauchard and IM Cyril Marzolo. Arnaud Hauchard was French team captain. Feller won the gold medal on board 5 with a score of 6/9.

Marzolo was sentenced to a 5-year suspension from play. Feller received a 3-year ban followed by 2 years of community service with the federation or another association. A lifetime ban will be imposed on Hauchard and he will never act as a captain again.

According to what I understand the scheme went like this. Marzolo used a computer engine to analyze Feller's game. He then sent a SMS message in code to Hauchard. As team captain, Hauchard could move freely about the playing area. He would then stand behind the French opponents briefly. Using a coded system by standing at boards 1-4 he could then signal the computer move to Fellers. For example board 1 is A and 1, board 2 B and 2, board 3 is C and 3 and so on. To signal the c2 square, he first stands behind board 3 then move on to board 2.

This is quite a simple system but requires the involvement of the team captain as a relay for the moves.

I really admire the French Chess Federation for tackling this issue so seriously rather than close one eye and let it slip by. It says something about the integrity of its president and the committee.


Anonymous said...

How did the French Chess Federation find out about the cheating?

Jimmy Liew said...

Hauchard confided in other players who informed the federation officers.

Anonymous said...

Ah-Ha! Trust no one!

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