Rd3.1: Kovalyov Forfeited After Dress Code Violation

Anton Kovalyov was forfeited in Round 3.1 at the 2017 World Cup in Tibilisi Georgia today.

UPDATE: Anton has left the World Cup to protest his treatment by organizer Zurab Azmaiparashvili (for details, see the ChessBase link below)

A Short Round

Anton wore shorts to the game, as he had done in games in round 1 and 2, but this time was told that they did not meet the FIDE dress code which was part of the players' contract. Anton left the hall, but had not returned within 15 minutes of the start of the game and was forfeited.

Here are the relevant rules. 

From the 2017 FIDE World Cup Players' Contract:

3.13      Interviews, functions and mode of dressing. 

3.13.4.   Players are requested to note the requirements of FIDE Regulations C.01 (Article 8.1) in respect of their dignified appearance at all times during the World Cup. 

FIDE Regulations C.01 are "Recommendations for Organization of Top-level Tournaments", and the relevant rule there states:



The Commission on Chess Publication, Information and Statistics (CHIPS) stresses the need for all chess players to take more care in their personal appearance. The image of the chess player should be a dignified one, and dressing properly would not only show respect for the game, but also to sponsors, potential or otherwise, to make it worth their while to spend their money.

For example, some federations have barred slippers, sleeveless T-shirts and vests in their tournaments. Those with unkempt and greasy hair should be admonished, as well as those wearing old or torn jeans and battered attire generally.

Obviously, "dignified" and "dressing properly" in the first paragraph are vague, and the examples given in the second paragraph do not mention shorts. Further, Anton had worn those shorts in previous rounds at this World Cup and was not admonished or warned. A review of photographs from previous rounds will also show players with unkempt hair and in clothing that may-or-may-not count as "dignified", not to mention the generally increasingly unshaven faces as the event progresses.  

Colour Confusion!?

One of the official commentators, WGM K.Tsatsalashvili, said that Anton had believed the colours had been set up incorrectly -- that he expected to be White -- but that the board was actually correct.

If this is so, it may be because he was fooled by the pairing tree on the official site; it lists the game as:


which suggests Anton would be White. In both his previous matches Anton's name was below his opponent's name, and in both matches Anton started with Black. However, the pairing tree has nothing to do with colours, and the order of players' names on the tree is determined by which branch of the tree (above or below) their previous match was listed. The colours for pairings can be found on the official site... but I could do so only via a link on the World Cup facebook page, I don't see a link for the parinings on the official site's homepage. 


Regulations of 2017 FIDE World Cup

2017 World Cup Pairing Tree

Pairings for Round 3.1 (found via a link from facebook)

ChessBase Report

Zurab Azmaiparashvili explains (aka the continuing war on Shorts)

Zurab tells his version of the events... bad news for Arbiters of Anton's previous games, who will find their jobs under review by FIDE for allowing Kovalyov to wear shorts in previous rounds. Zurab talks tough -- there's a long history of complaints about his bullying and threats -- but if this threat has any substance then all the World Cup Arbiters will be reprimanded or worse, since it is clear that at least one rule is frequently broken and that breaking it doesn't seem to bother anyone there. This FIDE Rule:

11.3.1 During play the players are forbidden to use any notes, sources of information or advice, or analyse any game on another chessboard.

If FIDE Arbiters strictly enforced the FIDE rules this would result in the forfeit loss for several of the non-Canadian players...
(see photos below from ChessBase India)

Certainly food for thought for any Canadian chess club or organization considering charging players for the privilege of playing in a FIDE-rated event.

Can you Spot the Cheaters!?


Spoiler: Highlight to view

It's a trick question! The four players not wearing shorts are clearly breaking FIDE's Rule 11.3.1 since they are reading the gamescore and analyzing the game Duda - Karjakin while their own games were in play. Shockingly/reasonably, none of them was punished.

The player in shorts does not look "dignified" enough for today's Arbiter, and got forfeited after he left the hall and did not return within 15 minutes of the start time.

Your FIDE dollars at work.