Bindrich: "Where does it begin, where does it stop?"
Falko Bindrich today denied that he cheated during the first Bundesliga weekend. In a document of five A4 pages, the 22 year old German grandmaster rejected the suspicion of fraud and declared that his smartphone was "always switched off".
Falko Bindrich responds to allegations of cheating | Photo © Georgios Souleidis courtesy of the Bundesliga
Last Monday we reported on the incident of suspected cheating in the Bundesliga. In Sunday's second round, Falko Bindrich's game against Sebastian Siebrecht (part of the match between SC Eppingen and Katernberg) was declared lost for Bindrich, who refused to show his smartphone when the arbiter asked him to do so. The German grandmaster went to the toilet while it was his move, something he had allegedly done more than once during his Saturday game as well. In a case of suspected cheating the Bundesliga regulations allow the arbiter to search a player's clothes, bags or other pieces of luggage.
Today the popular German website Schach-Ticker published a statement by Bindrich, consisting of five A4 pages. We translate and summarize it below.
In the document Bindrich gives a chronological description and his opinion of the events during the first Bundesliga weekend in Mülheim. He states that although he doesn't play many tournaments anymore, he "still likes to prepare for a game professionaly". Bindrich says that in his game last Saturday against Tregubov he got the same line had played against Andrei Istratescu, three weeks earlier in the Swiss league. He points out that he made use of his analysis of that game, including the exchange sacrifice he played.
However, after reaching a clear advantage I didn't play the best way possible, as anyone who plays through the game at home can easily establish.
Bindrich managed to win anyway, and his team defeated Mülheim 4.5-3.5.
After the game Pavel Tregubov hesitated to shake hands with me, and felt very insulted.
Then Bindrich starts describing his game against Siebrecht on Sunday.
After an hour I had visited the toilet for the second time (It was Sunday morning - I think it is normal to visit the toilet after breakfast?) to do what someone does at the toilet. The notion that I went to the toilet while it was my move, is simply false. A number of witnesses present can confirm this. In my 15 years spanning career, I have never done this.
Bindrich points out that he wasn't the only one who went to the toilet more than once, and wonders why he was investigated.
While returning to his board, he was stopped by the arbiter. Bindrich refused to empty his pockets and show his mobile. He continues to emphasize that his game against Tregubov wasn't played perfectly by him.
Is it really so unlikely that a grandmaster with 2530 Elo wins with white against a grandmaster with 2600 Elo?
Then Bindrich describes how he was followed to the toilet several times, and how the arbiter and his opponent looked under the door "if his feet showed anything suspicious". Bindrich wonders:
How far have we come? Tracking, spying, eavesdropping in the toilet?
Bindrich explains his decision to not show his phone like this:
First and foremost, I see it as a direct invasion of my privacy. I cannot just allow anyone access to my phone. It contains my private data (very private images and messages) and sensitive business data. I should protect this. Releasing this data would cost me my job, and I'd damage important relationships. I could not take this risk. It is true that I have, like many chess players, a chess app on my phone which has chess analysis stored, including an analysis of my game on Saturday against Tregubov, which I had entered after the game in my hotel room.
Bindrich then wonders why he needs to "prove that he's innocent".
In principle this is not acceptable to me. The rule of law has a higher value to me. (...) Luckily, we are protected by human and civil rights in our lives, so why should we give this up in chess? This new rule will allow arbiters, theoretically, to investigate and harass any player who has visited the toilet two times, which they can call "reasonable suspicion"!
The third reason for Bindrich to reject the arbiter's request was that he did not know who accused him of cheating.
It was said that these accusations came from the team captain of Mülheim. Why didn't he just approach me personally? This is another point, anyone can anonymously accuse someone, and there are no consequences.
Bindrich then makes an important point. He declares that he was never informed of the new Bundesliga regulation which allows the arbiter to search players.
At the 2010 and 2011 German Championships each player received a letter in which he was asked whether he would be willing to undergo a doping control or not. In the Bundesliga the players were not informed of a change in the tournament rules nor was a written consent obtained.
Meanwhile, the President of the German Chess Federation Herbert Bastian has given a short statement on the federation's website. He says that
the only one who has jurisdiction in this matter is the Director of the first Bundesliga, Jürgen Kohlstädt. He has given the affected player and his team the possibility to express their views and to be heard until November 2, 2012.
Until then the German Chess Federation "will not express an opinion in this discussion".
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