Chessbase, Have You No Sense of Decency?

For the past decade or so Chessbase ( has been on a crusade against cheating in chess in much the same way Senator Joe McCarthy was on a crusade against alleged communists in the US government during the 1950’s. Senator McCarthy was a bully. His crusade ended when Joseph N. Welch stood up to him. “On June 9, 1954, the 30th day of the Army–McCarthy hearings, McCarthy accused Fred Fisher, one of the junior attorneys at Welch’s law firm, of associating while in law school with the National Lawyers Guild (NLG), a group which J. Edgar Hoover sought to have the U.S. Attorney General designate as a Communist front organization. Welch had privately discussed the matter with Fisher and the two agreed Fisher should withdraw from the hearings. Welch dismissed Fisher’s association with the NLG as a youthful indiscretion and attacked McCarthy for naming the young man before a nationwide television audience without prior warning or previous agreement to do so.
Until this moment, Senator, I think I have never really gauged your cruelty or your recklessness. Fred Fisher is a young man who went to the Harvard Law School and came into my firm and is starting what looks to be a brilliant career with us. Little did I dream you could be so reckless and so cruel as to do an injury to that lad. It is true he is still with Hale and Dorr. It is true that he will continue to be with Hale and Dorr. It is, I regret to say, equally true that I fear he shall always bear a scar needlessly inflicted by you. If it were in my power to forgive you for your reckless cruelty I would do so. I like to think I am a gentle man but your forgiveness will have to come from someone other than me.
When McCarthy tried to renew his attack, Welch interrupted him:
Senator, may we not drop this? We know he belonged to the Lawyers Guild. Let us not assassinate this lad further, Senator. You’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?” The above is from: (
This week in an article dated 8/7/2013, “Anti-Cheating Measures-the discussion continues,” IM David Levy, and others, weigh in with their thoughts. (–the-discussion-continues-090713.aspx)
IM Levy writes, “Korneev also correctly points out that a personal examination of a player is quite an unpleasant procedure, both for the player and for the examiner. But unfortunately life in the 21st century is such that not everyone behaves correctly, with the result that strong preventative measures are sometimes necessary. If someone does not like to go through the personal body checks at an airport then the simple solution is not to fly. Similarly, if a chess player does not wish to be subject to comparable searches at a chess tournament then the solution is equally simple – do not take part in the tournament.”
I have talked with people who have lived under a system whereby they could be stopped for any reason, even without probable cause, and the scar lingers…For the past decade or so, We the People of the United States have been bombarded by constant reports of the abuses perpetrated by the Transportation Security Administration upon innocent people wanting only to get to their destination. Many have chosen to do just what IM Levy suggests and no longer fly. Once the Draconian measures IM Levy proposes become reality it will end tournament chess because of lack of participation.
IM Levy continues, “A player who appears prima facie to fail such a security check is entitled to make an immediate appeal by demanding to be strip-searched by one or more medical practitioners of the same sex as themselves, such practitioners to be arranged by the tournament organizers at the tournament’s cost as soon as is possible after the demand has been made. During any period between such a demand being made and the search being carried out, the player concerned shall be constantly supervised by same sex personnel arranged by the tournament organizers, the purpose being to ensure that the player does not dispose of any incriminating evidence.”
Obviously IM Levy has never been strip-searched. No one who has been subjected to such humiliation would EVER suggest such a thing. The idea that anyone in their right mind would ever “…demand to be strip-searched” is ludicrous!
In the article dated 11/7/2013 Alex Karaivanov, “Ivanov misses BCF anti-cheating test,” we learn that Ivanov has been previously STRIP-SEARCHED! “Borislav Ivanov’s steep improvement in chess made him famous overnight, especially after he placed fourth in the A Group of the Zadar Open, which was held in December last year in Croatia. After taking a close look at his games, many chess engine experts noticed the striking similarity of Ivanov’s moves with those of Houdini, the strongest chess engine currently in use. Suspicions were quick to follow, though Borislav had already been strip-searched before the eighth round in Zadar. Only his pen was taken away, while no material evidence of unfair play had been found.”
“Chess engine experts” sounds like Orwell’s Newspeak. ( The fact that Borislav Ivanov was strip-searched would seem to obviate IM Levy’s ridiculous suggestion. Since “…no material evidence of unfair play had been found,” one would expect Chessbase, and those allowed to write on the website, would at least use the word “allegedly” to preface anything having to do with the possibility of cheating by anyone, unless and until cheating has been proven BEYOND A SHADOW OF DOUBT!
We also learn from the article that, “Alex tells us that he was present at another Bulgarian tournament, Golden Sands, where he was a witness when a player was caught trying to beat a much stronger opponent using a smartphone. There is a large article on the case in the Russian portal Chess-News, which features comments by the well-known trainer GM Sergey Dolmatov.”
This is ironic in the extreme considering the preceding article is, “CB for Android: Analyzing your games.” ( There is a picture of the new gizmo sold by Chessbase. Underneath the caption reads, “Years back, this was just a wild dream, but now, you have professional caliber tools right in your pocket.”
I have lived through the nightmare years of President Richard Milhous Nixon and his list of enemies ( The sad fact is that the rights of We the People of the United States of America have been eroded during the Bushwhacking years, and continue to be eroded by the Obummer administration. The only thing that has kept tyranny at bay is our Constitution, especially the Bill of Rights. The sixth amendment states, “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” It is the rock upon which the rights of We The People stand. I realize not all people on the planet are fortunate enough to live under such a constitution affording rights such as this to citizens. Germany, the country in which Chessbase is based, history informs us, has a long and sordid history of adjudging people guilty by way of rumor and innuendo. English jurist William Blackstone in his seminal work, Commentaries on the Laws of England, published in the 1760s wrote, “It is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer.” (

The aforementioned article, “Anti-Cheating Measures-the discussion continues,” contains a letter by Eric C. Johnson which concludes with, “Incidentally, has anyone considered the possibility that Ivanov has an implant – a glass eye as in old-fashioned spy thrillers? The article says he maintains the same pose at all times: “For the entire game with me, Borislav assumed one and the same posture, supporting his chin with his hands and staring straight down at the board without looking at anyone.” This is what you would expect if he has to keep level for an implant to have constant sight of the board. Interesting.”
What is interesting is that Chessbase would print something like this. The fact is that anyone can go to a chess tournament anywhere in the world and see myriad players in the same pose. What Chessbase has done is to cause EVERY PLAYER IN THE WORLD to be considered suspect! Chessbase, have you no sense of decency?

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