ACC Statement Regarding The Accusations Against Mihaela Sandu: "Witch hunting might be not less serious offence than cheating itself"

Время публикации: 26.06.2015 21:48 | Последнее обновление: 26.06.2015 22:06

The FIDE website published a statement made by its Anti-Cheating Committee (ACC) regarding the European Women’s Individual Championship in Georgia. Let us bring back the situation: during the championship, a group of participants signed two letters addressed to the organizers. In the first letter, the signatories asked for 15-minite delay in transmission of all the games, while in the second one they were far more specific, asking the organizers not to transmit games of Romanian WGM Mihaela Sandu who was being in the lead. A few days later, Sandu made a written complaint against the unfounded accusations. She lost her last four games in the championship and didn't take any prize.

The text of the ACC statement is as follows:

"ACC regulations were published in Tromso 2014 as an answer to the rising - yet not unknown - phenomenon of cheating in chess, especially at a time when electronic devices are becoming more widespread. FIDE has dedicated a lot of thought and resources to this particular issue, and supported ACC activity since its inception.

Apart from tackling specific computer-assisted cheating instance, the ACC has also been aware – from the very beginning – of the possibility that players, for whatever reason, could come up with false or unsubstantiated accusations – a phenomenon that is commonly called ‘witch hunting’. It should be pointed out that witch hunting might be not less serious offence than cheating itself, and the ACC Guidelines provide for investigation and possible sanction of instances.

In the last European Women’s Individual Championship in Chakvi, Georgia, we seem to have witnessed such a case of unsubstantiated accusations. A letter was sent to the organizers asking to delay the games, singling out a specific player and asking to exclude her from the online transmission - without presenting proper evidence.

The ACC wishes to reaffirm that good or even outstanding performance by a player can never in itself be the basis for an accusation or complaint, and that it has published standards and procedures that must be satisfied by properly-submitted complaints. ACC will undoubtedly investigate and, if necessary, prosecute these instances when they come under the Commission’s attention.

As regards the incident involving Ms. Mihaela Sandu, and following an official Post Tournament Complaint filed by Ms. Sandu, the ACC has decided to nominate an Investigatory Chamber to establish whether there were violations of the existing Anti-Cheating Guidelines or the Laws of Chess.

Israel Gelfer
ACC Chairman".

The Anti-Cheating Guidelines have been first published in December 2014. As well as the proper complaint forms mentioned by Gelfer, they can be downloaded from the FIDE website.


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