Reports | March 12, 2011 18:07

French cheating case: federation cannot use text messages as proof

The French Chess Federation is not allowed to use SMS text messages as proof for their claim that GMs Hauchard and Feller and IM Marzolo have cheated during the Khanty-Mansiysk Olympiad. This was ruled by a Nanterre court judge on Thursday.

It's been more than a month since we updated our readers on the French cheating case. Yesterday, however, there was news, brought by the French Chess Federation on its website. You can download their PDF here for the official, French version. Here's our translation:

On December 22, 2010, the French Chess Federation (FFE) initiated disciplinary action against Sébastien Feller, Arnaud Hauchard and Cyril Marzolo, following suspicions of “organized cheating during the Chess Olympiad that took place in Khanty-Mansiysk (Russia), September 21 to October 3, 2010”. The complaint was declared admissible by the Commission of Appeal and Federal Ethics (CADE), who appointed an examining magistrate; the case is now in the hands of the Disciplinary Committee of the FFE. Concurrently, during a hearing on February 24, 2011, the judge of the Nanterre court considered the request of the FFE to obtain "the appointment of a bailiff" to "transcribe incoming and outgoing messages" from the telephone line of Mr Cyril Marzolo to the telephone lines of Mr. Sebastien Feller and Arnaud Hauchard during the Khanty-Mansiysk Olympiad. The FFE’s request was motivated by the fact that "Ms. Joanna Pomian, Vice-President of the Federation, had realized that this phone line, which she had allowed Mr Marzolo to use, was used by the latter to exchange text messages with Mr. Hauchard who (...) provided wrongful assistance to M Feller while the latter was participating in the competition." It was up to the federation, in strict compliance with the legislation and case law governing the confidentiality of correspondence, to obtain further documentation for the dossier that will be presented to the Disciplinary Committee of the FFE. The judge ruled: - Firstly, that "although he is not himself the subscriber to the telephone line [in question], Mr Marzolo enjoys the right to the confidentiality of the correspondence exchanged via this line, since its permanent use had been granted to him by the owner of the line, Ms. Pomian." - Secondly, that "no legal provision gave him the authority to waive this confidentiality”, unless the infringement involved “criminal or security matters." - Finally, the magistrate judged that "it would be unfair for Mr. Marzolo, Feller and Hauchard (...) to bear the full cost of the proceedings," and he ruled that the FFE should reimburse part of the fees. As it announced in a press release on January 27th, the FFE reserves the right to turn to the criminal courts, which could lift the confidentiality of correspondence. Nevertheless, in light of the judge’s ruling, the FFE, which notes the categorical refusal of the defendants to allow these items to be handed to a bailiff, has waived its request to solicit the messages, which would, in any case, only have supplemented the other elements of the disciplinary case. In any event, in his ruling the judge only expressed an opinion about the possibility of obtaining the communication contained in the exchange of text messages, without addressing the merits of the case. Indeed, it is the Disciplinary Committee alone that has to decide on the question of alleged cheating during its hearing on Saturday, March 19, 2011 at 10.30, in Paris. The FFE also emphasises that it had an absolute obligation to institute such proceedings, in order: - firstly, to clear Ms. Pomian from any potential liability as the owner of the telephone line in question - and secondly, to respect, in accordance with the commitments made to regulators, the sporting and ethical values which are the basis of its existence. The Federal Bureau of the FFE

To start with, it's finally become clear (and public) what the FCF had based their claims on. As it turned out, they had obtained insight from several incoming and outgoing SMS text messages between Mr. Hauchard, Mr. Feller and Mr. Marzolo, between 18 September 2010 and October 5, 2010 (the period of the Olympiad in Khanty-Mansiysk). How? Well, during the Olympiad Marzolo had borrowed a phone from Vice-President Ms. Joanna Pomian. Later, the federation appears to have obtained - presumably deleted - messages with the help of the phone company. And apparently the content of the messages, or perhaps the time of sending and receiving (during the rounds!?) were enough reason for the federation to accuse the players. Feller, Hauchard and Marzolo refused to make the text messages available to the federation, arguing that the messages are covered in Article 1 of the secrecy of correspondence Act of July 10, 1991. Only in criminal cases or security situations can this secrecy be lifted. And yesterday, the Nanterre judge said they were right. Even though they hadn't used their own phone, the text messages were still private, and so the federation didn't have the right to obtain them with the help of the phone company. As Europe-Echecs reports, the result of the ruling was that the French Chess Federation, on the basis of Article 700 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, was ordered to pay:

  • Mr. Marzolo the sum of 2500 Euro
  • Mr. Feller to the sum of 2500 Euro
  • Mr. Hauchard the sum of 2000 Euro
  • the SFR service client (the phone company) the sum of 500 Euro

The ruling seems to be a major setback for the French Chess Federation: it has become clear that in France, text messages cannot be used as proof in a civil case. However, as mentioned above, the federation reserves the right to turn to the criminal courts, which could lift the confidentiality of correspondence. We've got the feeling that the last word hasn't yet been spoken.


Update: Delinquncy points out the following in the comments:

(...) [I]t seems Ms. Pomian can access old SMS messages to/from her phone via some user feature on their website. The phone company was officially dropped from the suit, and the FFE and Pomian both requested that either she be allowed to do this, or a court-appointed bailiff be sent to transcribe the messages from the website, with the phone company no longer requested to retrieve the messages themselves. The legal issue then became ownership (Pomian) versus possession (Marzolo) of the phone line vis-a-vis secrecy, and the judge ruled possession was the intent of the law.

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    Peter Doggers's picture
    Author: Peter Doggers

    Founder and editor-in-chief of ChessVibes.com, Peter is responsible for most of the chess news and tournament reports. Often visiting top events, he also provides photos and videos for the site. He's a 1.e4 player himself, likes Thai food and the Stones.

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    Comments

    Mejnour's picture

    We need more Zeblak, Poopalov and Lala comments to make this thread untertaining!

    Chesslov's picture

    I am not a judge, and try not to judge. It seems you have already judged.

    Yes indeed, I do not believe that it is so suspicious that an IM and a IGM exchanged moves in sms while not being themselves the players.

    I still do not understand how the sms'content could reach the third, playing, IGM involved. So opening the content would be a PR disaster for the two players exchanging the sms but will in no way prove anything beyond doubts.

    But if the FFE is able to prove that the sms contained analysis of the games in real time, that this information reached the playing IGM and that he used that information - then I will of course gladly ask for the ban of all three players.
    And I will ask the FFE leadership if this whole story could have been handled in other way, less shady for the federation, chess, and the players themselves.
    Morever when you know that Mrs Pomian used to dislike Mr Feller at the time when he regulary beat her son in youthz competition, earning selection to world championships when her son had to be happy with european selection only.

    Everyone here act as if all the parties involved are completely new to each other. They have an history, and I suspect that we do not know enough yet to evaluate properly the situation.

    And yes: if the guy standing with the knife can not be proved without any doubt that he was the murderer, he has to be released. For one OJ Simpson that seems to have been actually the murderer, there are a lot of presumed guilty guys or girls released after years after introducing new evidence proving their innocence.
    Doubt benefiting to the accused is one of the great asset won through democracy and state of right.

    Wouter Otto Levenbach aka Dave's picture

    Thank you for actually bringing information to this thread instead of, like some wannabe prosecutors, blindly judging the players without knowing anything about the case and the actors...

    S2's picture

    That should be reasonable doubt.
    Not the case here.

    Thomas's picture

    It isn't suspicious if two titled (or untitled) players discuss an ongoing game. It is at least unusual and suspicious if one of them writes "hurry up to send me some moves". It is also a bit odd if the team captain only cares about one game out of four in progress in a given match France - (some other country) ... .

    I agree that the moves (or related hints) still had to reach Feller. Now at the Olympiad, the team captain can watch the games live on the board - as opposed to live on the Internet - and will have the opportunity for at least direct eye contact with the player. He doesn't have to whisper "play Nc2", it might be enough to give some non-verbal hint such as "the sacrifice is correct". I am not saying that this actually happened, just saying that it is possible (without anyone else noticing immediately).

    S2's picture

    Wikileaks?

    S2's picture

    And why do you think would he do that? You are like a judge who acquits a guy standing netxt to a dead body with a bloody knife because he didn't actually see him kill the man.

    SXL's picture

    Otto, they are not "personal attacks." my posts are observations.
    You have been all over these reports, writing like mad, handing out "thumbs down" to everything you disagree with, deliberately skewing translations, misrepresenting facts and trying to sow doubts as to the integrity of the FFE.

    Your behavior is rabid.

    I speak French, I know how easy it is to cheat in today's chess, and I have every right to voice my opinions and to criticize your spamming of the discussion.

    (I have not given you a single thumbs down. Those are not for opposing viewpoints in a civil discussion on the net.)

    Wouter Otto Levenbach aka Dave's picture

    "Otto, they are not “personal attacks.” my posts are observations."

    You use terms to qualify me that are personal attacks. Instead of debating the content of my posts which is the symptoms of lack of arguments.

    "You have been all over these reports, writing like mad, handing out “thumbs down” to everything you disagree with,"

    First, these news are Chess-Justice-France, and those things are among the things I love the most, so it is normal I write comment about it, you actually dont see me on any other article on CV, I dont post comment just for the sake of posting but because I feel there is a purpose of informing people about things I know.
    How do you know I thumbs you down?

    "deliberately skewing translations, misrepresenting facts and trying to sow doubts as to the integrity of the FFE."

    Again you need to give some examples of what you're claiming.
    LOL don't tell me you care about the FFE, you just want to see this juicy story to go rogue, you want them to be guilty and the whole thing to be a scandal.
    The Judge forced the FFE to pay the players their legal expenses, that is what the judge think about the FFE's integrity...

    Inkly's picture

    "Perhaps, in keeping with their doubtful standard of professionalism, FFE should anonymously leak the contents of the sms to a blogger and let us read!"

    The only problem with that is the leak could only be made by Ms. Pomian, and Wiki leaks are predicated on anonymousity.

    xenyatta's picture

    Pomian could claim that her account was hacked, and that the sms messages were leaked without her authorization. Could Feller and his cohorts prove otherwise?

    At any rate, should a new cheating case arise in France, those with the evidence will take the hint, and publicly post that evidence, even in an anonymous fashion. Much preferable than to allow it to be suppressed outright.

    Due process is all well and good, but it should not lead to a travesty of justice.
    Murderers should be convicted, as should rapists, thieves, embezzlers, and yes, cheats (if the cheating constitutes a material fraud, as Feller's case would)

    Best to let the evidence into the open, and allow "The Court of Public Opinion" to render judgment.

    Chesslov's picture

    It would only prove that Marzolo sent moves to Hauchard while watching the game, not that Feller played this moves thanks to the sms...

    SXL's picture

    It's quite simple, isn't it?

    The Time Stamps on the sms-messages will let the world know whether the move transmitted was sent before it was played on the board, as we have the time stamps for the moves from the match itself.

    Chesslov's picture

    (copying here what I wrote on another flame to have aeverything on the same flame)
    It seems there is a misunderstanding in the english translation.

    It is not the Federation that gave a mobile phone to Marzolo, but Mrs Pomian, as CEO of her self-owned consultancy company, to her accountant in this company, Cyril Marzolo.
    Mrs Pomian is by accident and addition as well the VP of the French Federation, and Cyril Marzolo an IM.
    But the connection between Pomian and Marzolo is the one from an employer with an employee, and it seems that both are as well currently in conflict on the term of terminating Marzolo employment and will have a hearing in front oif the Judge for Working Affaire (Prudhomme) in a near future.
    So Mrs Pomian had access to the webportal of this company account, and that’s the way she seems to have seen SMS exchanged between Marzolo and Hauchard. As she was not supposed to supervize this account, this is already in two way against the law: against the law protecting the employee against illegal intrusion from the employer (the employer has to inform the employee about the suprvizing of communication) and secret of correspondance.
    This is what has been confirmed by this judgement: Mrs Pomian has no right to have access to this messages (and any other messages) whatsoever.

    There are still no information yet on what happenned with these sms and on their contents.
    Even, let’s imagine that, if an IM is exchanging analysis with a IGM during a tournament, both not playing that tournament, how do they complete the cheat?
    How do this informnation reach the playing IGM?
    Did the information reached him? How?
    And even if the information reached him, did he used it? Did he asked for it? Or was it in fact a disturbance?

    The SMS are just one of the flaws in the way the Federation is managing the whole story.
    And the fact that one of the player accused by the French Federation VP is in fact a previous employee of this very VP shades IMHO a very stange light on the whole story.

    Wouter Otto Levenbach aka Dave's picture

    very very interesting... thank you for the info.

    SXL's picture

    If this is "objective," I wonder what our "subjective" is like.

    Zeblakob's picture

    Of course...

    Rob Brown's picture

    All that can be said with any certainty at this point is that the accused want to keep the information on the cellphones private. This suggests that this information would be damaging to them. Since the French Chess Federation has demonstrated that they want to make the same information public and use it to justify sanctions against the accused, we can confidently assume that Feller, Hauchard, and Marzolo didn't use the phones to solicit prostitutes, arrange drug deals, or commit some other indiscretion, but used them to transmit chess moves.

    The trio of French players must know that in cases like this the accusation alone is punishment and the burden of proof shifts to the accused, all the laws to the contrary notwithstanding, Their vindication lies in presenting as much proof of innocence as they can muster. To this end one would expect them to want the phone data on the record where it could be used to prove that cheating couldn't possibly have taken place.

    S2's picture

    Well said Rob! (and SXL)

    SXL's picture

    A voice of reason amidst "the players are innocent victims" chants.
    It's very obvious, and Otto the PR flacks protestations of "you haven't seen the SMS-messages, so you don't know" are disingenuous, at best.
    They forgot to delete the messages; people high in the federation found out; to their honor they have informed the chess community about the cheating, in spite of this costing French chess a loss in stature and standings.

    The players are desperate to avoid the messages becoming public, with pleas of "I need moves fast" going in one direction, and moves going in the other.

    S2's picture

    Laws don't protect you from cheaters nor do they protect you from people like me. As for privacy, bleep that. What do you think that the players send each other? Steamy sms's? It's pretty obvious it has been chess content.

    Wouter Otto Levenbach aka Dave's picture

    Maybe, but how the SMS sent to Hauchard from Marzolo eventually got to Feller playing ?
    If it was that easy the question would be instead who didn't cheat in the Olympiads?

    Wouter Otto Levenbach aka Dave's picture

    Also you ask why the FFE would do this if there wasn't strong evidence ? therefor they must have done it.

    Well, If the FFE wants you to think that then they are successful...

    The reasons why they would do that in a case the players didn't really cheat can be multiple, that wouldn't be the first time baseless accusations are thrown for other reasons than the case itself, it could be personal, political, etc who knows... Only the actors know the truth, but remember there is a lot stories where people are mislead to think one way or the other because we just simply think that an institution can't be that stupid or evil or unprofessional, and that is why there is a lot of civil lawsuits for reparation of reputations for baseless accusations...

    S2's picture

    The three players could just publish the content of the sms. That would clean the air. If they were innocent...

    Wouter Otto Levenbach aka Dave's picture

    Somebody pointed out that the content is probably chess related but it doesn't prove that Feller got the information while playing, so if they release them it might induce people to think they are cheaters even if they didn't cheat.
    Also it is like paying a ransom to release the hostage, it will encourage kidnappers to take people in hostage, if people release information as soon as they are asked to do so it would encourage some kind of pressure that we can see in dictatorships. The information is precious and if anybody can take it away from me then I'm not free anymore...

    Wouter Otto Levenbach aka Dave's picture

    That's a good point. That is why the right to privacy is more important that anything unless it is criminal or a security matter. If any judge based on any claim could go through people's phones and emails this would lead to total chaos at best and dictatorship with thought police at worse...

    S2's picture

    On a side note, you are polluting this threat and the site with personal attacks. Just a side note.

    Wouter Otto Levenbach aka Dave's picture

    Besides responding to SXL personal attacks I didn't attack anybody, I just try to bring relevant information to people that are not familiar with the FFE, the French Law or the French language in general in order for them to understand this case and not draw conclusions too quickly.

    Now tell me, what did you bring besides attacking me?
    Do you speak French ? have you ever been part of the FFE ? Do you know how the French legal system works ?
    what relevant information did you add to this thread?

    Wouter Otto Levenbach aka Dave's picture

    who said I was against people speaking their mind ?
    I was attacked personally because I'm seen by some wannabe prosecutors as the players defendant while I brought to light some aspects of the case people might not know, so when I'm attacked I ask the question to the attacker "what do you know that I don't know? what can I learn from you ?" those are legitimate questions.

    "the players may well be guilty, SMS messages apparently played a role, but they might survive the investigation due to some peculiarities of the French legal system."

    That I always said, they might be guilty and they might not, we don't know, as of today and the advancement of the whole thing there is no way we can draw conclusions, some here assure that they are guilty and this is wrong.
    The legal system is not perfect but is fine, the secrecy of correspondence is a principle guaranteed by the constitution and as far as I know the parliament is not ready to give it up because of some cheating case in a chess tournament...

    Wouter Otto Levenbach aka Dave's picture

    I put asides the insults and I'm gonna explain it for the last time:

    The Law system works like a giant pyramid with on top the Constitution which is the highest rank of laws, meaning this law prevails to others in case of conflicts, the more you go down the pyramid the less important the law is.

    No third party can use SMS, emails or letters to court because it is private, this comes from "The secrecy of correspondence, or literally translated as secrecy of letters, is a fundamental legal principle enshrined in the constitutions of several European countries. It guarantees that the content of sealed letters is never revealed and letters in transit are not opened by government officials or any other third party. It is thus the main legal basis for the assumption of privacy of correspondence.
    The principle has been naturally extended to other forms of communication, including telephony and electronic communications on the Internet as the constitutional guarantees are generally thought to cover also these forms of communication"
    this principle directly comes from the European Convention on Human Rights which level is more or less equivalent to the Constitution.
    Basically "The secrecy of correspondence" > "Chess tournament regulations".

    Of course there is exceptions to principles, in this case it is crime act or a security matter. The only way to get to a penal court would be to demonstrate alleged "cheating" constituted some kind of fraud involving money gain, even then I doubt the judge would think the "offense" justifies the violation of The secrecy of correspondence...

    Now if you tell me I'm American and I've never been to Europe then I understand your misunderstanding, you should have said it in the first place, in the USA this principle is not guarantee by the constitution, "The secrecy of letters and correspondence derived through litigation from the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution" is limited by "the expectation of privacy" which is a legal test which is crucial in defining the scope of the applicability of the privacy protections.
    Basically the American Constitution is, most of the time, not gonna stop the Government or any other third party to go through your mail or phone...

    S2's picture

    Seriously, Sebastian Feller is no longer respected by many and for all we know he worked up his way by cheating. If he wants respect he should battle against these accusations with reason, not hide behind some privacy rules.

    S2's picture

    I don't avoid the content, I point out that you twisted it.
    I too don't see a reason why it shouldn't be allowed as evidence. Having that opinion doesn't prove that I did not read the article. Basically you are just making things up without a shred of evidence. With no proof. That reaks of slander and insult. Very bad for someone who claims to have done law school.

    Thomas's picture

    As far as I am concerned: I speak French, lived in France in the past and played for/in French clubs (so I was part of the FFE), but I don't know much about the French legal system.
    But does it matter? This is an international chess site which apparently considers cheating in chess an international issue (I agree), also on this topic anyone can "speak his mind".
    The current situation is: the players may well be guilty, SMS messages apparently played a role, but they might survive the investigation due to some peculiarities of the French legal system. Yet the decision of a single judge might be overruled by higher instances, so even in that respect the current evaluation is "unclear".

    Wouter Otto Levenbach aka Dave's picture

    (the judge said it wasn't a criminal case but he didn't say it will never be a criminal case)

    Yeah lets hope it is brought to a criminal court and let's hope they go to jail for at least 15 years !!! those criminals!!

    Seriously Sebastien Feller is respected and talented Grand Master with a FIDE rating of 2657, he is still a teen and worked his way up to the best youngsters in the world, he one day will be part of the 2700+ club, why don't you give him some credit and wait the end of this legal battle before considering him guilty of an horrible crime?

    Wouter Otto Levenbach aka Dave's picture

    "Asking a question" "posing a problem" "making a point" all mean the same thing you play on words to avoid the content...

    Wouter Otto Levenbach aka Dave's picture

    Jee!! let me break it down for ya, she's asking a question the judge answered to and it was clearly reported in the article, she asks "why can't we use the SMS as a proof of cheating?" the judge answers "because you can lift the right of privacy (which forbid any authority to go through somebody's phone) only in a case of criminal act or for a security matter, and this is not a criminal case or security matter therefor you cant use the SMS for anything, period."

    S2's picture

    She doesn't ask anything. Learn to read.

    S2's picture

    By the way, I was under the impression that the judge didn't say whether or not this was a criminal case. The federation can try to prosecute them at a criminal court and I sincerely hope they do so.

    SXL's picture

    In this thread alone, Otto, you have 24 posts.
    If we were to go by verbiage, you have well over half the words in the comments on this page.
    It is a well known technique used by pr-people who have been given the task of astroturfing discussions to lead them in a specific direction.
    If you're not being paid for your effort, you should be.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astroturfing

    Wouter Otto Levenbach aka Dave's picture

    How do you know I'm not being payed ? maybe I'm Feller's lawyer, who knows...;-)

    you forget that more than halt of my post where answers to the 2 wannabe prosecutors, you and S2...

    It is sad you don't want to go into the my posts content because I'm sure there is stuff that can make you understand this case better...

    Wouter Otto Levenbach aka Dave's picture

    you probably need to read the article before commenting...

    S2's picture

    You probably need to read and understand the comment before replying. Nothing shows (or "proofs"-that is what you need isn't it?) that the tutor did not read the article and I think that her statement is for most people quite defendable.

    Wouter Otto Levenbach aka Dave's picture

    "Otto seems to be basing his rabid effort* on the following reasoning: The FFE is eager to have the SMS-messages admitted as evidence because they will prove the players’ innocence."

    Lol funny logic, again It is easy to make people like you (simpletons?) think that the playing player cheated because his captain who he is not in contact with received SMS from a chess friend...That is the FFE intention, to make you think that!

    "*Rabid, because he’s been at it for weeks now, changing translations, twisting arguments and misrepresenting facts."

    My translations were pretty accurate concerning the facts but there was grammatical mistakes pointed out by a English speaking reader. If you compare the corrected translation with the original I was pretty close.
    As for the arguments they were mostly favored and for the misrepresenting facts you need to back it up, what fact I misrepresented?

    On a side note, I notice that you become personal, please stick to the arguments, it makes it more interesting...

    S2's picture

    The federation can prove cheating, but the judge orders the proof inadmissable because of privacy-that's the problem. Cowards and bureaucrats will always act 100% accordingly to the law that is in place at the moment, no matter how unjust, but the federation did the right thing and just spoke the truth. Morally you can't dismiss evidence just because of privacy reasons when it involves such a grave offense as cheating.

    Otto says we did not see the sms's, so we don't know if there was real evidence. But then why went the gang of cheaters to such great length to hide them and dismiss them as evidence?
    Does anyone really think there was information so private in the sms-es between the chess players that privacy must be mantained at all costs? Maybe you think they didn't cheat but were just involved in a triangle of hot steamy telephone s** during the Olympiad?

    Wouter Otto Levenbach aka Dave's picture

    "Cowards and bureaucrats will always act 100% accordingly to the law that is in place at the moment"

    Yes right, I don't know where you live, but it is probably a fantasy world...

    "Morally you can’t dismiss evidence just because of privacy reasons when it involves such a grave offense as cheating."

    Well, the judge said yes you can= right to privacy > solving chess cheating case
    but right to privacy < criminal cases and/security matters...

    Wouter Otto Levenbach aka Dave's picture

    Well, there is degrees in offenses and cheating is probably one of the lowest in the ranking while a crime (which qualify a criminal) is the highest, so you cannot call a cheater a criminal.

    FFE doesn't respect the normal course of Justice going public before anything started really, this court decision is might make them end up paying more than just their legal expenses, if they cant prove their claims this becomes defamation...

    "I think it’s a problem when impressionable people go to law school and are thought not to care about the truth but only about the rules"

    Well "rule" and "law" are synonym and nobody is supposed to ignore it as long as we live in the society. They've been put in place to set boundaries for people's behavior in order to maintain the society civil, so the idea of justice is more some kind of balance than the quest for the truth a any cost, for example I probably can know the truth by torturing people but the consequences of my acts are not worth the truth, and that is why torture is illegal...

    Chesslov's picture

    Then you have information we do not have.

    Have you seen the sms, do you know who was sms whom and to which time, do you know what was smsed and can you prove that all those sms reached the one playing?
    The sms might include chess moves - I do not know - but still, it does not prove that Feller got those moves and used them.

    What I presume is two guys whose job/hobby is to play chess discussing in sms about chess. That's really very surprising indeed and at least proof of criminal intent. Let's hang hem.

    Let's ban from chess all chess players communicating on real-time game with other chess players, coud be that the information might leak out to one of the player by some kind of mystical mean.

    What is reasonable doubt in your opinion?

    Anne Cottez - French Tutor's picture

    I do not see any reason a text message cannot be proof of cheating, they use phone records in criminal cases.

    pb0071's picture

    @Ann Cottez-- Its not a criminal case as of yet.

    Wouter Otto Levenbach aka Dave's picture

    Again, the fact the SMS were chess related content, which is not that surprising when an IM communicate with a GM in a chess tournament, doesn't mean they cheated, it doesnt mean Feller got the information while playing, actually if you can prove that Hauchard communicated with Feller then you get something more interesting...

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