The Knuckleheads of the Day award
Today's winners are USCF Correspondence Chess Director(CCD) Alex Dunne and Corr. Chess(CC) player David Drevinsky. They get the award for the incident I detailed in this long post.
To summarize what initially happened. Drevinsky sent a postcard in the CC game we're playing on November 24th(It was Postmarked the 26th but David claims he mailed it the 24th)I'm in Florida, this player is in Massachusetts. Mail takes at least three days each way. A card if PMd on the 24th won't arrive in Florida till the 26th minimum.
Not hearing from me by December 5th, Mr. Drevinsky filed a time complaint. In violation of rules 10 and 13. The CCD then sends a threatening email to me without noting the violations of the rules. I fire back with a complaint that Mr. Drevinsky is being disruptive and abusive towards his fellow CC player and ask he be forfeited. Saying his complaint was so outrageous in order to gain a win by improper means, he should be punished appropriately with a forfeit.
I get this reply from Alex Dunne yesterday.
13 December 2007Read that carefully I prove a player to twice violate the rules in filing time complaints, one time in outrageous fashion, and my complaint is unwarranted and without substance. What a crock.
Hi, Gentlemen !
The complaint by William Jempty is that David Drevinsky acted in an improper and abusive manner in their game in 04ENf02. Bill cites the following rules:
2. You are expected to act courteously toward opponents. The CCD will forfeit players who use abusive or insulting language or who are disruptive. In case of conflict, you should try to come to an agreement with your opponent.
10. If you intend to use more than 10 days on a single move, you must tell your opponent within one week of receiving his/her move. If you don't receive your opponent's reply within normal transmission time plus 10 days, send a repeat. Repeat moves must be labeled as such and must be included all information from the original move.
13. You may submit a time complaint when your opponent has exceeded his or her reflection time limits or has failed to respond to a repeat move within 10 days, excluding transmission time. Time complaints should include a full explanation of the facts.
Before I begin citing my decision I should note that Bill has decided to pursue this complaint of abuse even though the Tournament Director suggested he should drop the complaint. He then suggested that I could not be impartial because my actions are part of what has taken place. He further suggests that in a court of law or arbitration, I would not be allowed to pass judgment because of my involvement. Odd, then, that he seeks my ruling on the case, but I will cite the facts as I see them. I must agree with William on one point: I am directly involved in the case. That is the only way I can render a judgment, as I am aware of all three members in the dispute. This is my job as Tournament Director, to be involved so that I can render a fair judgment.
By my records, which are usually dated about 24 hours after the actual report, this is what happened. On June 14, 2007, David emailed me that he had not heard from William in some time. I sent William an email form letter to that effect, The form stated that a forfeiture was a possibility. As the time for forfeiture approached, I reminded William of his obligation to move. I don’t usually do that, but I was aware that William was actively playing other games and had a large game load. The usual procedure is that if the person late does not contact me or his opponent by a given date, a forfeit occurs. On 29 June, after my reminder, contact had been made again, by my records. Then on 7 November, 2007, David again noted he had not heard from William in some time (Bill’s emergency time out had ended on 25 October, though David was unaware of this). I again emailed William who responded, by my records, on 13 November. Then on 6 December, by my records, David mentioned again he had not heard from Bill. I sent Bill a note stating that a third late offense had occurred and that a fourth offense would be excessive and could result in a forfeiture.
It was to this note that Bill objected, but rather than follow Rule 2 and try to come to an agreement with his opponent, he filed an abuse complaint. As David had only requested Bill send him a move to continue the game, Bill’s reaction was unwarranted. In my opinion, there was no abuse committed by David who, at all times, has acted within the guidelines of Rule 2.
I find Bill’s complaint of abuse without substance. I trust both players can continue the game without malice. I further hope that both Bill and David understand that I have no interest in who wins their game, only that it is played and finished in the spirit of USCF correspondence chess, and that if it is an interesting game, the parties send it to me for possible publication."
Lets detail Alex Dunne's actions or lack thereof-
1- Sending out the complaint in the first place when it was obviously bogus. The CCD if anyone should know the rules by memory and seen with a glance Drevinsky was wrong.
2- Never admitting he was mistaken. This is the closet Alex came to doing that. In an email last Saturday he wrote-
David may have been quick on the trigger, and I may have not done the calculation necessary, but I do not know (even in a postal event) if players are playing by post or email, especially when all the communication between us is by email.Even in a email game, which moves quicker, it should have been obvious to the CCD that Mr. Drevinsky jumped the gun.
Also note Drevinsky in an email and postcard since my filing a complaint hasn't apologized or admitted error. Instead he wrote this-
My repeat move was probably lost in the mail.What's my reply? What CC player sends out a repeat barely 10 days after last hearing from a player almost 1,500 miles away? I never got any repeat. Based on Mr. Drevinsky's actions, you can add liar to the titles for this player.
3- Never acknowledging any of Drevinsky's violations. See my reply to #2 and Alex's letter above. He never says Drevinsky made any mistakes.
5- Not stating Drevinsky's last two time complaints are now considered void. Drevinsky withdrew the December 5th one. What happens if Drevinsky complains again? What is to stop him from making further complaints like the December 5th one?
From the beginning I felt Alex couldn't make a just or proper decision because of his personal involvement. For if not for his email of December 6th, we wouldn't be at this point. He blundered then, and blundered even more yesterday by calling my complaint unwarranted and not taking any action. It is apparent he can't accept his mistake and refuses to take action to rectify making even further mistakes.
For threatening a CC player with punishment when not enforcing the rules properly, USCF CCD Alex Dunne is today's first Knucklehead of the Day. For abusing his fellow CC player with an outrageous time complaint in violation of the rules, David Drevinsky is our second Knucklehead of the Day.
Note- I'm appealing the decision to the USCF Executive Director as the rules allow. So far to this date, Alex has refused to mail his correspondence with David Drevinsky in this game. He hasn't responded to two requests of mine. One of which was made a week ago.
By putting this whole sorry affair out in the open, I hope to warn other CC players about Mr. Drevinsky and his antics. This to prevent the player from trying it again while getting a CCD or tournament director to do his dirty work. Namely railroad an innocent player.
Update- Alex emailed me this morning to say he needs to get Drevinsky's permission before sending me copies of the email between the two of them. If Drevinsky doesn't reply or takes time, Alex will grant me an extension to file the appeal.
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