Friday, August 31, 2007

Ethics plus 3...

Back in May, I reported that the Ethics Comm. of FIDE planned to conduct a hearing involving GM Nigel Short and two FIDE officials namely GM Zurab Azmaiparashvili and Georgios Makropoulos, Fide Deputy President and Vice President respectively. The case centers around name-calling and claims of ineptitude by Short. The two FIDE bigshots felt that the statements were damaging to their honor and reputation. So, they reacted. To be exact, Short claimed :
"FIDE deputy president Georgios Makropoulos and vice-president Zurab Azmaiparashvili spent more time in San Luis at their hotel 16 km away than they did in the tournament hall despite being paid thousands of dollars, plus considerable expenses, to do their job on the Appeal’s Committee. It came as absolutely no surprise to me that these dunderheads would flunk the first crisis that they were presented with i.e. Elista toiletgate. I might add that Azmai is singularly inappropriate for such work having, by his own admission, cheated in winning the 2003 European Championship".

Zurab Azmaiparashvili took exception to the term " dunderhead, " a word he felt was used to define him as a stupid person, that it was a personal insult to him. Anyway, all these verbal shrapnel supposedly violated par. 2.2.10, and 2.2.11 of the FIDE Code of Ethics.

The end of July came in Athens, and the Ethics Commission handed down its decision. As for the matter relating to Azmaiparashvili being a dunderhead, the ruling stated:
" using the word "dunderhead," Mr. Nigel Short exceeded in the expression of his opinions, abusing of the right to criticism and committed a conduct likely to injure or discredit Mr. Zurab Azmaiparashvili’s reputation, thus violating art. 2.2.11 of the FIDE Code of Ethics. "
The EC further argued that " dunderhead " was a " needless insult, integrating a conduct likely to injure or discredit the reputation of the plaintiff and a violation of the FIDE Code of Ethics." Score one for GM Azmaiparashvili.
So, what is the punishment? As the EC put it, " Mr. Nigel Short is sanctioned with a warning. " Boy, that was easy. Short evens the score.

As for the comments relating to ineptitude and inappropriateness:
" criticising Mr. Zurab Azmaiparashvili in an interview, Mr. Nigel Short exercised his right to criticism and did not violate the FIDE Code of Ethics, thus on this part the complaint against him has to be dismissed. " Make that Two-to-One in favor of Short.

As for the comments damaging the reputation of the two gentlemen from FIDE and by extension FIDE itself, the EC ruled that
" the complaint filed by Mr. Zurab Azmaiparashvili is not admissible nor receivable and the charge concerning the violation of art. 2.2.10 of the FIDE Code of Ethics has to be dismissed. " Short wins the game.

If you want to read the full text of the decision, you can find it here:

For the record, the members of the FIDE Ethics Commission are:

Mr. Roberto Rivello (Chairman), Mr. Ralph Alt, Mr. Laurence Ball, Mr. Dirk J.A. De Ridder, Mr. Noureddine Tabbane, and Mr. Ian Wilkinson.


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