Tim Harding Disappointed In ICU – Is He Right?
In another public critique by distinguished chess author, and one of the best-known giants within Irish chess, Tim Harding, has expressed his deep disappointment at the ICU for inviting a French Grand Master to play in their forthcoming Tralee Classic which is being held over the Easter bank holiday weekend, starting Thursday 13th, ending Monday 17th.
Details of which are available on the ICU Website
His objection and public comments are as follows:
Very disappointed that ICU saw fit to invite recently reinstated chess cheat Sebastien Feller to be top seed in their GM tournament.
OK maybe he has “served his time” (3-year ban) but couldn’t you have found another GM of similar rating instead?
One thing is certain: Feller will never be invited to a tournament in England after his cheating cost them a vital point at the 2010 olympiad.
This very harsh and uncharitable, or even one might say, an unchristian view is one in which forgiveness and due process seem to be discarded in a rather vindictive and mean-spirited manner. Nevertheless, it does ask questions about how to deal with those players found to have cheated and or having been subject to a playing ban for cheating.
The case involving this player goes back to the 2010 Olympiad involving the French national team and is 7 years old, with the player having already served a three-year ban.
Tim seems to be claiming that he is writing on behalf of all of English chess, as he asserts that, as a certainty, this player would never be invited to a tournament in England because he says England, as a team, lost a vital point at the 2010 Olympiad.
However aside from the fact that England may not always be an example that Irish chess wants to follow, surely this is now a matter of history, and at some point people have to accept that if someone has “done the time” for “doing the crime” they must be embraced back into our chess community and thus the ICU should be commended for inviting such a strong player to play in their inaugural Tralee Classic event, who is now also back on the right path again?
So the question about Tim’s reaction remains; Is he right?