Autors: Ivans Trofimovs
We continue to discuss the situation with matches for the title of world champion in international drafts.
In the first three parts, Alexander Georgiev , Alexander Getmansky and Anatoly Gantvarg introduced readers to a number of facts and other useful information, and also shared their views on the essence of the problem and suggestions for solving it.
This time we will turn to the direct participant of the General Assembly (GA) of the FMJD, a member of the Technical Committee (TC) and the Special Commission Ljubljana Turiy .
Note that during the GA, Ljubljana read out a rule, according to which, if the match for the title did not take place, the 1st and 2nd places of the new world championship should play in the next cycle in the match.
– Hello, Ljubljana! What do you think: when there was a vote at the General Assembly on the match-2020 – was it clear to all the participants in the vote that if the match-2020 was canceled, the first and second places in the 2021 World Cup would be eligible for a new match in 2022?
– Hello Ivan, hello everyone. Before answering your question, I must make a few notes.
Firstly, you should probably immediately explain on what basis I, a completely non-public and little-known person, give here an expert assessment of recent events. It all started when in 2020 I was asked to join the FMJD Technical Committee after Frank Thier and Jacek Pawlicki left there. The first task that I received in the committee was to take part in the work of the Special Commission, created at the request of the Latvian Drafts Federation regarding the match Georgiev – Bomstra, scheduled for this fall. The commission, which, besides me, included Jean-Marc Njofang from the Players Committee and Aare Harak from the FMJD leadership, very carefully considered the complaint itself and all documents related to it. Unfortunately, Latvia did not agree with the compromise solution proposed by our commission (resolution ), and put forward its demand for the cancellation of the belated match to the General Assembly. I write “unfortunately” because, although I respect their indisputable rights to continue to defend their position as defined by the FMJD Charter, however, if they listened to our opinion and put the question to a vote in our editorial office (about the rights of the participants in the match, not the match in general), then, perhaps, this dispute could have been avoided and there would have been fewer victims. In any case, at the time this issue was put up for voting at the GA, I was deeply informed about the essence of the problem and the possible consequences of the vote.
Secondly, in order not to appropriate other people’s laurels, I want to note that the President of the Latvian Drafts Federation Vladislavs Vesperis was the first to remind the participants of the General Assembly about the consequences of canceling the match . We must thank the Latvian Federation for what they, one might say, “unearthed” this article, which was lost and has not yet been published on the FMJD website, and confirmed its legality in correspondence with the FMJD leadership. FMJD letter dated 02/18/2021 (note point 1).
Vesperis’ commentary on GA was made in response to Harry Otten’s statement that in the event of a negative vote, the new champion will be able to play a match with Georgiev (note that Bomstra’s name was not even mentioned to him at that moment – obviously, he was sure of his victory in the championship the world – 2021). Well, then – instead of relying on someone’s opinions, I advise everyone who is looking for an answer to this question, just listen to the audio recording from the GA meeting or read its transcript translated into Russian (see below) – and take their own conclusion … I can simply supplement this audio recording with my “testimony”, which remained outside of it.
An important point: this discussion took place BEFORE voting on the proposal from V. Vesperis to cancel the match Georgiev – Bomstra… In general, it was like this: after Vesperis’s speech, the current president of the FMJD, Janek Maggi, instructed Rimma Chertok to find the text of the article. Rimma was at a loss because the article was missing from the published version on the FMJD website (see above). After the end of this discussion, Rimma turned to me for help, and together we found the full text of the article on the computer of FMJD treasurer Aare Harak. The text of the article was given to Otten to read – after he got acquainted with it, no comments from him followed. To be honest, at that moment I was sure that the incident was over. The publication of the decision of the new FMJD council the day before the end of the World Cup and just 10 days after the assembly and this discussion, put me in a state of shock. But more on that later.
Returning to the GA and the discussion that preceded the vote. After a short time, while unsuccessful searches for the article were going on, Otten again took the floor and, in my opinion, from his phone read the beginning of Article 11 of Annex 17 familiar to me by ear .without getting to the point where it is discussed what happens when the match is not played (third sentence). I don’t know: either he had a different (old?) Version, or he didn’t read it himself, or it was done intentionally, I don’t want to guess. It was just at that moment that I realized that Otten’s speech contradicted Vesperis’s previous correct answer, and raised my hand to restore the truth. There were several who wanted to speak, and they all talked about other aspects of the cancellation of the match, and not about the text of the article. In short, when Maggie finally gave me his word, I focused the attention of those present on the rightness of Vesperis (and the wrongness of Otten). After listening to me, Maggi commented that this article was adopted by the previous General Assembly and this GA can change it if it wants. As far as I remember, there were no further comments or suggestions from anyone, and the GA immediately voted on the text proposed by V. Vesperis. More GA did not return to this issue, and, apart from behind-the-scenes demonstration to Otten of the full text of the article on Aare Harak’s computer, which I wrote about above, there were no further discussions on this issue (all the attention of those present turned to the important issue of electing a new leadership).
Surprise was caused by the letter ( in Russian I in English) of the new FMJD President Jacek Pawlicki dated July 26, 2021, which states: “The mistake of the General Assembly is that they made a decision without discussing the possible consequences. Neither the chairperson of the GA meeting, nor the FMJD – GS informed the discussants / decision makers about the consequences. ” At the same time: 2 members of the GA, both well acquainted with this article (one of whom is a representative of the Technical Committee), twice informed the rest of the participants about its content; the former president who chaired the meeting instructs the secretary to track down and confirm the text of the article; not one of the questions asked from the field was left unanswered; all who wanted to were given the opportunity to speak. How else was it necessary to inform about the consequences? As far as I remember, Pavlitsky was present at the GA meeting in person, but since he was sitting behind me, I do not know if he was in the hall, when this discussion was conducted, or went out on business, or was distracted by something else – otherwise it is difficult to explain how he could have made such a statement. In general, as A. Getmansky aptly said, “whoever wanted to hear it”.
And if we seriously say that the decision taken by the GA is invalid, because some of the audience did not pay attention to the speeches and comments, then we can agree that any decisions made at the GA session are invalid, including perhaps the election of a new Executive Committee?
– Why did Rul Bomstra’s candidacy for the match-2022 suddenly surfaced in the decision of the FMJD Executive Committee on July 10 , were there any prerequisites for this during the discussion of this topic of the future match-2022 at the General Assembly ?!
– Again, I will turn to the direct text ( see the transcript to the audio recording ). Bomstra’s name, in my opinion, has never been spoken aloud during a discussion on this matter. Is that in the context of the match with Georgiev (last year), which the GA decided not to hold. In his original proposal, as quoted above, Otten spoke of Georgiev’s right to a match with the winner of the 2021 championship, but (as pointed out by Vladislav Vesperis and myself) this is contrary to Annex 17 article .
For me personally, since I was not present during the announcement made by Chief Judge Frank Tyr in the “men’s hall” and saw a message about the decision of the new FMJD council about the planned match between the new champion Alexander Shvartsman and Rul Bomstroy on the FMJD website a few minutes before the ceremony closing the championship, this message came as a complete surprise. I could not understand in any way: how can it be logically explained / justified? The first thing that came to mind: this is just a technical error, and as soon as the new management receives a notification that they accidentally violated the current article of the Annex, they will immediately apologize for an unintentional error and correct the message about the match-2022 – in the new legal composition. Unfortunately, the above-mentioned letter from Jacek Pawlicki dispelled these illusions. It became clear that the new executive committee will stubbornly insist on its own, regardless of any facts or laws. But if only they provided at least some arguments to catch on! To do this, of course, is very difficult, since there is a current article where everything is spelled out clearly and clearly (if we compare it with the conflict of the 2020 match, where one could nevertheless see at least some legitimate arguments on the part of the FMJD). In this case, Pavlitsky’s answer did not give any satisfactory answers at all.
As Alexander “Getmansky” already wrote, our Technical Committee, represented by the chairman Christie Promet, and the Players Committee, headed by Jean-Marc Njofang, have already spoken about this. I am looking forward to the decision and argumentation from the Ethics Committee, although personally it seems to me that in this case, since we are talking about the FMJD Annexes, the final word should have been with our committee. But, unfortunately, as far as I know, no one consulted either Christie or me on this matter.
Leaving a little from the topic, I want to note: it seems to me that annoying conflicts with both the previous match and the future, perhaps, could be prevented (saving all the participants a lot of nerves, time and money), if the rules of relations between the Executive Committee and The Technical Committee would be revised in order to make it mandatory for the FMJD Executive Council to consult with the members / chairman of the Technical Committee before adopting resolutions affecting topics that are spelled out in the Annexes, because ensuring compliance with the Annexes is the direct responsibility of our committee! Otherwise, it turns out that we are attracted selectively, at will and for the most part ignored – and, as the events show, this does not lead to anything good, except for another scandal.
– In 2021, the 2020 Olympics, the European Football Championship – 2020, the Candidates Chess Tournament – 2020 took place. Do you think there is still a legal opportunity to hold such an interesting official match for the fans for the 2020 world title Alexander Georgiev – Rul Bomstra and what needs to be done for this ?!
– It’s not an easy question. When, as part of the Special Commission, we examined the issue of the admissibility of this match retrospectively, our overall balanced decision was: the match can be played with prizes, trophies, etc., but the rights of the winner are an ambiguous question, and therefore we proposed to leave it for decision members of the GA. The motivation was this: why not give the two strongest players the opportunity to please all the fans of the drafts game with new potential masterpieces, especially in a year when many tournaments were canceled due to the pandemic. As far as I know (this was announced as in option 3 on page 2 of the open letter to LFSand during a joint discussion), the option that the match would be held, but without any rights to the next match, at some point suited the Latvian side. Nevertheless, unfortunately, after the publication of our decision, Latvia nevertheless decided to raise the “question squarely” about the match at the GA. I think that if GA members were given 3 options:
1) a retroactive match with the winner’s rights to the 2022 match,
2) a match without further rights,
3) no match at all for 2020 in 2021, –
then many of the countries participating in the GA would also choose option 2. And it so happened that they had to choose only between “1” and “3”. In any case, this is how the question was voiced. What has been done cannot be returned, and now, after a negative vote on this issue, it is impossible to legally hold this match without any further agreements. In my opinion, the correction of one illegal decision by another, which also tramples on the decision of the GA as the main legislative body, will only lead to further problems.
Nevertheless, there is one possibility (which, in my opinion, does not contradict the FMJD laws) – to conduct a match in accordance with option 2 – there is still. To begin with, it is undoubtedly necessary to secure fresh consent from Latvia for option 2, since the proposal to vote came from them and it is extremely unethical to act without their consent and may lead to a new scandal. Let’s say they don’t mind. Next, I would know if the organizers agree to hold the match on such conditions and play Bomstra against Georgiev. Again, if no one objects, then you can hold an emergency vote (explaining what happened), leaving only options 2 and 3. Fortunately, I succeeded on behalf of my federation (USA – Ed. )to approve at the GA our proposal on the possibility of absentee voting (for example, by e-mail). So now such issues can be resolved more urgently, without waiting for the official assembly.
Another interesting proposal is circulating on the Internet – to hold a 4-5-6-sided match-tournament, which includes all potential participants in the failed 2020 and future, 2022 matches, so that no one is offended: Georgiev, Bomstra, Shvartsman, Getmansky, Pan Iming, Valneris – i.e. one “extended” match with winner rights to the 2024 match. The idea is certainly interesting, but here we must take into account that in some way it infringes on the rights of the legitimate participants in the 2022 match – Shvartsman and Getmansky, possibly reducing their statistical chances of winning, not to mention a slight decrease in status, etc. …
Since such a match is not prescribed by the Annexes, if Shvartsman and Getmansky do not mind, it can, of course, be carried out experimentally and to some extent will correct the situation of potential participants in the 2020 match unfairly affected by the pandemic and erroneous decisions of the FMJD … In this case, it seems to me that even the approval of Latvia and the GA is not necessary, since this is a completely new format, which does not directly contradict the decision of the GA.
Yes, it sounds unorthodox, but why not ?! Perhaps it will be very interesting, because the old formats are boring!
– Thanks for the interview, Ljubljana!
– Thank you, Ivan!