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 Post subject: Re: 2023 AGM Agenda
Post #21 Posted: Sun Aug 06, 2023 5:39 am 
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kvasir wrote:
If we accept (as we should) that comfortable satisfaction is the most appropriate standard of proof, then proving cheating is a matter of presenting evidence and arguments that are sufficient to sway the decision body. That could be witness statements, expert statements, investigation findings or reports, decisions by tournament directors and even confessions which don’t appear to be that unusual.

I understand your point but it still doesn't sit quite right with me. If there's no incontrovertible evidence such as an admission of guilt or perhaps eyewitnesses or video evidence the decision will undoubtedly be at least partially subjective. While that risk may be acceptable in more popular sports, there's several national go associations that are struggling enough as is.

I'm also not sure if the AGM would be a good decision body. This year there was a vote for the lapsed member status which, after a brief discussion, went something like this: "Is anyone against all of these countries being excluded from EGF? No? Good, let's move on."
I know for a fact that not everyone was paying enough attention to know what's going on until the vote was already done. So if we do decide to go this route then I'd like that such decisions are handled by a disciplinary committee which would dedicate enough time and resources to each individual case.

kvasir wrote:
Somehow, we end up with this discussion topic under "Miscellaneous" in response to our demand that the General Meeting (either a special general meeting or an annual general meeting) should decide on sanctions: a lengthy ban from all activities related to EGF, Go and any role in any Go organization.

Your proposed punishment is really harsh, especially since there was no money or rating points involved. Also, I'm not sure if the AGM should have the power to determine how other countries run their national go associations, baring really extreme cases (I don't consider this to be one of them). I'm also against a general go ban, though I don't think you'd even be able to implement or monitor it.

I'm saying this even though Slovenia was in the same group as Bulgaria and therefore on the receiving end of the cheating. I haven't talked to all players yet, but I think we're mostly just glad that the cheater was caught and that his games were forfeited. At the moment, we're not clamouring for any harsher punishments though a (temporary) ban from the PGETC might be appropriate.

jlt wrote:
Since mid-2022, the FFG adopted two parallel ratings: a main rating which only uses real-life tournaments, and a hybrid rating which uses all tournaments (including online). I think this solves the issue.

I've heard about this and think it's a good idea provided there's enough online tournaments to merit the extra effort needed from the organizers and officials.

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 Post subject: Re: 2023 AGM Agenda
Post #22 Posted: Sun Aug 06, 2023 2:10 pm 
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schrody wrote:
I understand your point but it still doesn't sit quite right with me. [...]

For us the first thing is to start a formal Disciplinary Procedure and if we can do that then maybe discussions about hypotheticals are for some other occasion?

I did provide a proposal to EGF president and EGF members on how to organize the Disciplinary Procedure. The possibility of delegating to a commission was mentioned but I’m of the view that a Special General Meeting could decide faster, and it is more straightforward (it takes less time, no nominations needed, no instructions needed for the commission, etc.). I think it misses the mark to argue that the Annual General Meeting can be confusing when we are not talking about that, but I accept that there can be arguments for delegating to a commission.

One possible outcome of a Disciplinary Procedure is to decide on suspension. I think it misses the mark to question from the outset whether EGF has authority and responsibility, or even the willingness to deliberate carefully. I have addressed authority and responsibility frequently but maybe not in this thread? It is apples and oranges to claim decisions on lapsed EGF members were not deliberated carefully enough, if that is what you meant.

I must also add that I am truly shocked by your own account of the reaction of the Slovenian Go community to cheating and your words that you don’t consider this to be a “really extreme case”. I do appreciate your candor but if I may I’ll warn against giving a completely wrong impression to the Go community about how we view cheating and what the consequences for cheating are in Europe.

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 Post subject: Re: 2023 AGM Agenda
Post #23 Posted: Mon Aug 07, 2023 1:35 am 
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The law should always be constructed so that it is according to the governing morals. So, regardless of how disciplinary actions work in the EGF, what matters is what we think should morally happen. First however, we need to establish guilt. If there is no conclusive proof of cheating, then I find any punishment problematic. So "let's forfeit his games but not go any further, because we're not certain" doesn't sound right to me. The debate of whether probabilistic evaluation is good enough a proof has been held already and I don't want to repeat it. I leave that to specialists.

If there's proof of guilt however (e.g. probabilistic, if accepted as a valid proof), then we should ask ourselves what we think should happen to someone who has cheated in a tournament. I think a ban of 1 or 2 years is appropriate. In professional competition, the stakes are higher, therefore a longer ban might be appropriate. The stakes matter, because a higher reward should result in a higher risk, since a cheater's reward is proportional to the damage suffered by the victims.

Now to the matter of the alleged cheater being an official. I think officials of national or international bodies should hold themselves to higher standards than plain members, because they represent all members of their body. If I were a Bulgarian go player, I'd not want to be represented by someone who fell for the temptation to cheat, especially in a tournament where he represents me as a Bulgarian member. So I'd want him to resign from his position. I wouldn't want to be a member of an organization where the president has been known to cheat. Similarly, on behalf of its Bulgarian members, the EGF should not accept a cheater as their representative, because they can't leave it to individual members to stand up for themselves or leave the body altogether.

That's how I think. If someone else is more lenient towards the event and the person, I won't be "shocked". My morals are not absolute. That's why we have a democracy, to vote the laws that represent the common morals.

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Post #24 Posted: Mon Aug 07, 2023 6:43 am 
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Knotwilg wrote:
If there's proof of guilt however (e.g. probabilistic, if accepted as a valid proof), then we should ask ourselves what we think should happen to someone who has cheated in a tournament. [...]


In this case there is a confession and there was a decision by the tournament organization/project to forfeit many games.

The cheating activity that was alleged is pretty much every game of that player in the European Team Championship for three years.

You are right that the particulars of each situation need to be considered when deciding sanctions. However, it is not only punishment, it is also how to protect the integrity of our game against an individual when we think that individual has shown himself to be capable of such destructive actions.

I think EGF in particular has responsibility to ensure that cheating results in suspension from competitions and that cheaters can't continue to be the leaders of their EGF member associations. When someone cheats for multiple years in a European Championship for national teams, while being the team captain and the president of the national association it has to be viewed as exceptionally serious. I also alluded to the risks of giving a wrong impression to how we view cheating and what the consequences of cheating really are.

What I have asked is that EGF start a Disciplinary Procedure for this particular case. That is an opportunity for EGF to communicate to the player/official that their actions were unacceptable, to seek corrective measures and decide on sanctions. There is nothing unreasonable or improper about it.


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Post #25 Posted: Mon Aug 07, 2023 10:22 am 
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kvasir wrote:
I think it misses the mark to question from the outset whether EGF has authority and responsibility, or even the willingness to deliberate carefully. [...] It is apples and oranges to claim decisions on lapsed EGF members were not deliberated carefully enough, if that is what you meant.

I would think that whether the decision body has the willingness and ability to deliberate carefully would be at the crux of the matter. After all, we want the decision to set a strong precedent for any future cases of cheating. On that note, you've also mentioned you were worried that no one would hear you when you presented your proposal and your worry was warranted since 90% of us couldn't hear anything that was said online. In fact, at times we couldn't even hear everything that those who were physically present said since the room was so large and the tables so far apart. With this being the last item on the agenda and everyone in a rush to leave, I am glad that there was no vote at the time since it would probably be more of a lottery than anything else. That said, if this issue can be properly presented, discussed and voted on at a special general meeting then I suppose that might be acceptable.

I don't regret the lack of a vote but I do regret that no discussion took place since cases of cheating continue to be very hush hush and quickly swept under the rug (as would this one be if Iceland didn't take such a strong stance). Of course I don't condone cheating and I agree that the EGF should take a firm and public stance against it, we just disagree regarding the sanctions.

There's something I'm really curious about: Which factors should contribute towards the severity of the punishment:

- the player's official functions and roles (there's clearly several votes in favour)
- the player's age: Should we be more lenient towards children and teenagers?
- whether the player is a European professional and therefore partially funded by the EGF (I'd say this would make it worse)
- whether the player is a first time or a repeat offender (At what point would a lifetime ban be appropriate?)
- Was there a monetary gain? Was the tournament rated? Did the player unfairly gain anything else (title, qualified for a prestigious tournament, etc.) - I consider such cases of cheating worse
- Did they cheat once or were they continuously cheating over a period of time?
- Is the player showing sincere remorse?
- Was it an online or a face-to-face tournament?

I'm also curious whether any individual player has ever been (temporarily or permanently) banned by the EGF (due to cheating or any other infraction). I haven't heard of any such cases.

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Post #26 Posted: Mon Aug 07, 2023 1:44 pm 
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There were a few minor cases of a player failing to show up in particular rounds of important tournaments (with consequences for SOS of other players or so). Such a player sometimes got a penalty issued by the EGF Rules Commission (as it was its name then), such as prohibited participation in the same tournament during the following year. In practice, it affected players that would skip then anyway. However, we wanted to establish the precendent of unacceptable, untolerated behaviour.

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Post #27 Posted: Tue Aug 08, 2023 2:18 am 
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- the player's official functions and roles (there's clearly several votes in favour) --> yes, stronger action, since they represent a group
- the player's age: Should we be more lenient towards children and teenagers? --> yes, weaker action, since they are in an evolutionary process
- whether the player is a European professional and therefore partially funded by the EGF (I'd say this would make it worse) --> eligible for abolishing the professional status, at least the funding
- whether the player is a first time or a repeat offender (At what point would a lifetime ban be appropriate?) --> a long period is worse than once, recidivism is good enough for a life ban
- Was there a monetary gain? Was the tournament rated? Did the player unfairly gain anything else (title, qualified for a prestigious tournament, etc.) - I consider such cases of cheating worse --> agree
- Did they cheat once or were they continuously cheating over a period of time? --> see earlier
- Is the player showing sincere remorse? --> difficult to judge
- Was it an online or a face-to-face tournament? --> no difference (online cheating is easier but face to face doesn't have the excuse of deceiving an anonymous)

I'm also curious whether any individual player has ever been (temporarily or permanently) banned by the EGF (due to cheating or any other infraction). I haven't heard of any such cases.


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Post #28 Posted: Thu Aug 10, 2023 6:39 am 
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Cheating is an unpleasant issue to have to deal with.

Apart from AI scandals, we can mention such choice examples as
* copying the moves from another tournament game
* turning down the volume on the clock
* agreeing a draw
I think I'm right in saying that all three of those weren't explicitly covered by the rules.

It's probably the sort of thing you want to have an EGF committee to deal with. Give them an initial steer with regards to punishments, and let them get on with it. Maybe such a committee exists today?

They should also be able to handle disciplinary matters for bad behavior. Typing dirty words into KGS chat in order to get the congress IP banned, or trashing a hotel room, the sort of typical high jinks dan players usually get up to.

Regarding Bg, I think an online competition ban certainly appropriate as a start. If the federation want to keep them on as their representative, not much can be done about it - see Italy in 80s/90s for an example there

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Post #29 Posted: Thu Aug 10, 2023 8:29 am 
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Javaness2 wrote:
Cheating is an unpleasant issue to have to deal with.
Apart from AI scandals, we can mention such choice examples as
* copying the moves from another tournament game
* turning down the volume on the clock
* agreeing a draw


For these 3 suggestions:
1) I fail to see how that can even be done without the cooperation of the opponent, or else it boils down to knowing fuseki
2) is that an issue?
3) what do you mean by that? does that happen and what's the effect?

No criticism intended, I probably fail to understand what you meant with these shorthands.

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Post #30 Posted: Thu Aug 10, 2023 11:44 am 
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Silencing clocks:

Unless mandated by tournament organisers or rules, it is the players' right to turn on / off / adjust volume. If the players have agreed and then one of them deceives the opponent by secretly turning off, this can be unsportsmanlike (prohibited by the EGF General Tournament Rules) but not exactly what one expects to be called cheating.

Preagreed jigo:

Was used at London GP by Ivan Detkov and another Russian to maximise both players' projected combined prize money for places 1 and 2. They were penalised. Related cases of Russians in France: intentional losing to let other Russians get better top places by SOS.

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Post #31 Posted: Thu Aug 10, 2023 1:23 pm 
Gosei

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Let me give some more depth to each brief teaser ...

* copying the moves from another tournament game : 4 players were supposedly involved. Kyu_A copied Dan_B's moves, whilst Kyu_B copied Dan_A's moves. It's a bit like the magician's trick in a chess simultaneous.
* turning down the volume on the clock : just before entering byoyomi whilst the other player had nipped out to the bathroom
* agreeing a draw : so as to maximise their share of the prize money in the EGF grand prix

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Post #32 Posted: Thu Aug 10, 2023 4:35 pm 
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schrody wrote:
I would think that whether the decision body has the willingness and ability to deliberate carefully would be at the crux of the matter.[...]


The crux of the matter is that cheating is incompatible with Go.

You don't appear to understand what happens during the Annual General Meeting. There wasn't going to be any vote on anything non-trivial. Talking about a possibility of voting, when that was not going to happen, and then raise something about a vote on lapsed members is something of a red herring.

There is some truth to it that decisions on lapsed members have sometimes been problematic. You could raise those concerns without referring to the discussion on cheating but as I said it is apples and oranges.

I think that you are still implying that we have asked for something very improper. That there was going to be a sneaky vote, even though EGF constitution is fairly clear on introducing proposals in 'other discussions' and EGF practice is also fairly consistent.

schrody wrote:
I don't regret the lack of a vote but I do regret that no discussion took place since cases of cheating continue to be very hush hush and quickly swept under the rug (as would this one be if Iceland didn't take such a strong stance). Of course I don't condone cheating and I agree that the EGF should take a firm and public stance against it, we just disagree regarding the sanctions.


The request is that EGF consider sanctions. We should not have everyone decide first what sanctions they prefer and then have a big argument. In our request we propose to have the meeting at the end of the disciplinary procedure, and in the meeting we would plan to confirm the finding that there was cheating and then decide appropriate sanctions. It is not unreasonable to discuss to have other hearings, nominate committees and discuss important matters along the way. I still think that it is necessary to get the Special General Meeting involved and the Executive too, these bodies are meant to define the responsibilities of the EGF and make meaningful decisions to get things done when there is risk that EGF is unable to live up to its role in the world of Go.

There were two proposals for what those sanctions could be. I think it was important to signal the seriousness of the matter, and not including proposed sanctions would make it unclear what the decision on sanctions was. Importantly, it should be possible to propose new and amended sanctions in the course of the disciplinary procedure.


schrody wrote:
There's something I'm really curious about: Which factors should contribute towards the severity of the punishment:


Maybe I will reply more carefully later but for now.

I think there are three elements that need to be considered:

  • Corrective
  • Protective
  • Punitive

The corrective element is if we can correct the behavior, for example by instructing players about how to use the clock or teaching a child that cheating is wrong. There are many aspects to how to correct behavior and many less severe problems only have a corrective solution. More severe problems will often also benefit from considering corrective measures.

The protective element is that we should take steps to prevent the behavior. Many sanctions would be due to this element, especially sanctions against children that unfortunately can be instructed and directed by adults to cheat. We should protect against cheating and other integrity violations as long as we expect it to be necessary, and be fully aware that we do not do this as punishment or because we expect this will lead to correction (thought time may lead to change in behavior).

The punitive element is everything in the sanctions that goes beyond what is needed for correction or protection. In many cases there is no punitive element beyond what is considered necessary to protect against the behavior. We should consider how the behavior affected others for the punitive element. Preventing others from winning prize money, earning rating points or titles, taking qualification spots and invitations, taking away the competition or other experience, and so on are all factors that need not be considered to be all equal but should be considered together. It is also important to consider how many people were affected, if some of the damage could be repaired, and if we should set higher standards for some people (officials, what is called elite athletes, anyone receiving invitations,...)

It is also important to realize that disciplinary matters are never hypothetical, we shouldn't be reductionist and always say 'if A then B', which is tempting with hypotheticals, and something that is important to realize is that the protective element can be the most severe.

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 Post subject: Re: 2023 AGM Agenda
Post #33 Posted: Sat Aug 12, 2023 10:01 am 
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kvasir wrote:
I think that you are still implying that we have asked for something very improper. That there was going to be a sneaky vote, even though EGF constitution is fairly clear on introducing proposals in 'other discussions' and EGF practice is also fairly consistent.

I did not mean to imply that. Your proposal is legitimate. You clearly have more experience with AGM's than me but I've been a part of a fair few meetings of other types in my life and I've seen the decision-making process go awry a few times too many. Sometimes it's no one's fault or intention, it just happens because people are tired or short on time. I had assumed that there would be no vote this time (though I wasn't 100% sure at the time because I'm not that well-versed in AGM procedures), however, my whole point was to stress that when the vote does happen, it should be done properly.

Javaness2 wrote:
Cheating is an unpleasant issue to have to deal with.
Regarding Bg, I think an online competition ban certainly appropriate as a start. If the federation want to keep them on as their representative, not much can be done about it - see Italy in 80s/90s for an example there

If it's not confidential, what happened in Italy?

There's also a related issue here. In order for the EGF to be able to punish cheaters, it needs to be made aware that (alleged) cheating had taken place. I somehow doubt that all national organizations and/or tournament organizers will report such infractions. Most of such cases have been dealt with privately so far and I have a feeling that this will continue to be the case, especially in smaller local tournaments where all players belong to the same association. Even if reporting is made mandatory, there's a bit of a disconnect between some national associations and EGF where their officials and, even more so, tournament organizers aren't keeping up to date with the goings-on at the EGF.

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 Post subject: Re: 2023 AGM Agenda
Post #34 Posted: Sat Aug 19, 2023 3:01 am 
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RobertJasiek wrote:
Silencing clocks:

Preagreed jigo:

Was used at London GP by Ivan Detkov and another Russian to maximise both players' projected combined prize money for places 1 and 2. They were penalised.


The tournament organisers had set rules that enabled jigos to be played. The two russian players were not penalised for playing jigo, but making the game recorder to fail in producing the game record.

Edit: typos


Last edited by Matti on Mon Oct 16, 2023 8:03 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Post #35 Posted: Tue Sep 26, 2023 10:20 am 
Gosei

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I see that Bulgaria have been quietly banned for 2 years for cheating. A little bit unexpected to see such a late intervention.

https://pandanet-igs.com/communities/euroteamchamps/524

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