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 Post subject: Pairings against (Belo)russian players
Post #1 Posted: Fri Mar 04, 2022 4:51 am 
Judan

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The EGF meeting has decided that (Belo)russian players may participate in European tournaments under neutral flag.

This gives rise to follow-up questions:

1) In tournaments without flags, does "neutral flag" mean "neutral country in pairing programs, pairings and results?

2) Is it correct that (Belo)russian players, if asked, need to prove the less important non-doping but never need to prove / declare the more important non-participation in / non-proliferation of offensive war?

3) What about opponents of (Belo)russian players? May an opponent refuse to play due to his conscience? Before the start of a game, may an opponent demand a declaration of a (Belo)russian player about non-participation in / non-proliferation of offensive war? Would such an opponent receive a penalty for either action and what penalty?

4) Should players who do not want to play against any or some particular (Belo)russian players (such as those not declaring non-participation in / non-proliferation of offensive war) not attend tournaments at all?

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 Post subject: Re: Pairings against (Belo)russian players
Post #2 Posted: Fri Mar 04, 2022 9:33 am 
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Good questions for a difficult time in the world. For several of these issues it may be helpful to look at how Taiwan has been treated at the WAGC. They play under an artificial flag of some sort--with go stones on it, I think. Surely a suitable design could be found as a substitute in EGF events for stateless players now and in the future.

With regards to the idea that player may decline to play a paired opponent: what would we hope or expect to happen if a player from mainland China was paired against a player from Taiwan at the WAGC? Should we expect either player be able to demand their opponent denounce activities by their government? Would we expect such players to be able to decline to an opponent? Probably not.

Personally, I think the idea of suspending Russian membership in the EGF as a symbolic move has merit and value. That would imply players should not be invited into closed tournaments by virtue of belonging to the Russian Go Federation. But the idea that go should bring us together in friendship is a powerful aspirational goal. I would hope that open tournaments would remain open to all.

I vaguely remember a more positive incident of politics in go that I read about a long time ago. I believe it was at the WAGC and the South Korean delegation invited all or a number of attendees to a friendship go/sightseeing tour in Korea after the WAGC concluded. This invitation was taken up by a number of players but there was a problem with the player from Yugoslavia (?). Yugoslavia and South Korea didn't have diplomatic relations at the time and a visa couldn't be issued. Fortunately, go proved to be a passport that could open doors and a visa waiver was secured at a high level. Sometimes things do work out.


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 Post subject: Re: Pairings against (Belo)russian players
Post #3 Posted: Fri Mar 04, 2022 9:54 am 
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RobertJasiek wrote:
1) In tournaments without flags, does "neutral flag" mean "neutral country in pairing programs, pairings and results?


I think so. Also no display of the Russian and Belarussian flags, colors, nationalist symbols and so on.

RobertJasiek wrote:
2) Is it correct that (Belo)russian players, if asked, need to prove the less important non-doping but never need to prove / declare the more important non-participation in / non-proliferation of offensive war?

3) What about opponents of (Belo)russian players? May an opponent refuse to play due to his conscience? Before the start of a game, may an opponent demand a declaration of a (Belo)russian player about non-participation in / non-proliferation of offensive war? Would such an opponent receive a penalty for either action and what penalty?


I don't think Russian and Belarussian players are required to provide a statement. I hope there will not be punishments for the forms of protests that you describe, I don't think it is likely there would be punishments but it is possible that some tournaments can't be held or continued if players do as you say.

RobertJasiek wrote:
4) Should players who do not want to play against any or some particular (Belo)russian players (such as those not declaring non-participation in / non-proliferation of offensive war) not attend tournaments at all?


I don't think it is wrong to show up and then refuse to play Russian or Belarussian players. I think those who may do this are not expecting everyone to agree or support their actions, they do this as a matter of their own conscience. It is a dilemma for the individual and the tournament organizers, the obvious solution was to forbid the participation of Russian and Belarussian players.

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 Post subject: Re: Pairings against (Belo)russian players
Post #4 Posted: Fri Mar 04, 2022 10:02 am 
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pwaldron wrote:
Good questions for a difficult time in the world. For several of these issues it may be helpful to look at how Taiwan has been treated at the WAGC. They play under an artificial flag of some sort--with go stones on it, I think. Surely a suitable design could be found as a substitute in EGF events for stateless players now and in the future.


This is not helpful. There are many brewing and past conflicts on our planet and you are falsely claiming that someone else would take some actions and that you would disagree strongly. This really doesn't have anything to do with our current situation. If anything we should hope that the current war can serve as an example that will prevent other wars.

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 Post subject: Re: Pairings against (Belo)russian players
Post #5 Posted: Fri Mar 04, 2022 10:29 am 
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RobertJasiek wrote:
The EGF meeting has decided that (Belo)russian players may participate in European tournaments under neutral flag.

This gives rise to follow-up questions:

1) In tournaments without flags, does "neutral flag" mean "neutral country in pairing programs, pairings and results?

I guess so.
Quote:
2) Is it correct that (Belo)russian players, if asked, need to prove the less important non-doping but never need to prove / declare the more important non-participation in / non-proliferation of offensive war?

Tournament organizers may set criteria for participation, it is their prerogative to choose the relative importance of those criteria. If a participant is not comfortable with those criteria, they should not participate (I know there are players who will refuse to participate in events with doping control) or they should petition the organizers well before the start of the event to request them to change it.
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3) What about opponents of (Belo)russian players? May an opponent refuse to play due to his conscience?

Players may, of course, choose not to play a game for whatever reason, but they should expect to be given a loss by default if their opponent has not broken the tournament rules.
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Before the start of a game, may an opponent demand a declaration of a (Belo)russian player about non-participation in / non-proliferation of offensive war?

No, the tournament organizers set the conditions for participation, anyone not comfortable playing under those conditions should not participate, or should, as mentioned, petition them to change the conditions well in advance. Players do not get to set conditions on individual games.
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Would such an opponent receive a penalty for either action and what penalty?

This is up to the organizers of any individual event. At worst it may be considered a verbal assault and get the player expelled from the tournament.
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4) Should players who do not want to play against any or some particular (Belo)russian players (such as those not declaring non-participation in / non-proliferation of offensive war) not attend tournaments at all?

If it is legal for them to participate, and someone is not comfortable with that, cancelling their registration is one of the clearest signals they can send to the organizers.


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 Post subject: Re: Pairings against (Belo)russian players
Post #6 Posted: Fri Mar 04, 2022 12:11 pm 
Judan

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HermanHiddema wrote:
Quote:
Before the start of a game, may an opponent demand a declaration of a (Belo)russian player about non-participation in / non-proliferation of offensive war?

No, the tournament organizers set the conditions for participation, anyone not comfortable playing under those conditions should not participate, or should, as mentioned, petition them to change the conditions well in advance. Players do not get to set conditions on individual games.


(For the sake of simplicity, suppose that (Belo)russian players in a tournament have not had to make any such declaration on entering the tournament. Suppose a particular other opponent has decided to participate in the tournament but does not want to play against some or all of them - those supporting the war.)

I understand your reasoning, which in itself is reasonable.

At the same time, the opponent is left with only two options: a) accept the organisers' view of all (Belo)russian players being valid in pairings or b) refuse to play all (Belo)russian players. If the opponent had the possibility of asking each (Belo)russian player paired against him to declare non-participation in the war, he might get some or all positive declarations so the opponent might avoid (b) and play against some or all of the (Belo)russian players paired against him.

With your reasoning, however, the opponent chooses (b) to exclude the possibility of playing against any (Belo)russian player supporting the war. Your reasoning becomes counter-productive in the sense of reducing the number of played games against (Belo)russian players.

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 Post subject: Re: Pairings against (Belo)russian players
Post #7 Posted: Fri Mar 04, 2022 2:08 pm 
Gosei
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A player participating in a tournament can know, in advance, what the conditions for participation are. If the tournament requires a statement against the war, they can choose to make that statement or choose not to participate. A player cannot, however, know in advance what conditions other participants might set. They might ask questions not just about this war, but about any behavior they find morally reprehensible.

In my opinion, the rules must be clear in advance to everyone as much as possible, and if we allow players to set arbitrary additional conditions for games above and beyond what the organizers have set, that principle goes out the window. I would not want to deviate from that principle even if it might allow more games to be played.

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