More about the world title match 2022

In a previous post it was explained how the world championship 2021 in Tallinn ended with a lot of commotion. During the tournament the GA decided to cancel the postponed match for the world championship 2020 between Alexander Georgiev and Roel Boomstra. On top of that the executive board of the FMJD decided to give Roel Boomstra the right to challenge world champion Alexander Shvartsman. This article discusses what has happened since then.

Of central importance is the following rule of the FMJD: article 11, annex 17:
... When a World Title Match cannot be played, the World Champion keeps his title but does not have the right for a title match two years later. Then this right for a title match goes to the numbers 1 and 2 of the World Championship tournament ..."

According to this rule, not Roel Boomstra but Alexander Getmanski should have obtained the right to challenge the world champion.

The justification of the executive board

We start by examining the justification given by the president of the FMJD Jacek Pawlicki for the decision of the executive board to give Boomsta the right to challenge the world champion.
  1. We knew that Roel Boomstra was ready to play the match in January 2021.

    This argument is irrelevant. It merely suggests that Georgiev was not ready to play, but this is disputed by Georgiev in a statement that was posted on Toernooibase: "Everybody knows that I was ready to play in 2020 and also in 2021."

  2. We knew (his statement from December 20th 2020) that Alexander Georgiev waive his rights to match for the world title.

    Again, this statement is disputed by Georgiev. In an article on he writes: "December 28 - my answer to the tournament director (with copies to the participants of the correspondence) to the ultimatum, which is now presented by some people as a refusal to [play the] match." In another statement on Toernooibase he clarifies this further: "It was not possible to play in the Netherlands in January-February 2021 because of the situation in the Netherlands with all those restrictions." So Georgiev only refused to play in The Netherlands during a strict lockdown.

  3. We knew decision of GA that match Georgiev - Boomstra after world championship in Tallin.

    Indeed the GA decided to cancel the match Georgiev - Boomstra, but according to the rules this does not make Boomstra the rightful challenger.

  4. We knew that council (and especially the GA) has not spoken out who will be considered as the World Champion in the period December 2020 - July 2021. It is a big error of the General Assembly that they took a decision without discussing / deciding about the consequences. Neither chairman leading the GA meeting nor FMJD GS did inform discussing / deciding about the consequences.

    What the president fails to mention here is that article 11 of annex 17 was discussed during the GA. There is an audio recording available on which proves this. So the voting members who were present at the GA were made aware of the fact that this rule would get into effect if the match Georgiev - Boomstra was canceled. The president may be right that neither the "chairman" nor "FMJD GS" have discussed the consequences. But that makes this statement downright misleading, since the consequences have clearly been discussed by others during the meeting.

  5. We knew that it was just few days to the end of World Championship (still not clear final standing).

    This suggests that the executive board felt that it was urgent to make a decision, but it does not explain why.

  6. We knew how urgent situation is, so the new president asked the previous council for information about the liabilities. Among the few information received, there was nothing about the match.

    This argument is quite vague and also difficult to understand, perhaps due to a bad translation.
Note that many important questions remain unanswered in this justification: Summarizing, it remains unclear why the executive board decided to disregard the rules and to bypass the GA, the players committee and the technical committee on such an important matter.

The appeal made by the Draughts Federation of Russia

On August 23, 2021 the Draughts Federation of Russia (RDF) made an appeal against the decision of the executive board. In this appeal they make the claim that article 11 of annex 17 (see above) was violated. Furthermore they argue that
"in accordance with the FMJD Rules, the match in 2022 is to be played between the Russian players: A. Shvartsman and A. Getmanski. This position is officially supported by the FMJD Technical Commission and the FMJD Players Committee".

Handling of the appeal by the ethics committee

The ethics committee is responsible for handling appeals: "The ethics committee that deals with ethical issues such as fraud and with appeals against decisions taken by FMJD officials and FMJD bodies." They should respond to an appeal within 3 months. However, in this particular case it took more than 4 months(!) before the following response of the committee was received. Note that this response has not been published by the FMJD itself, but it was posted by someone else on Toernooibase.
Dear all,

In the matter below, the committee was unable to take a (majority) decision. Because the regulations do not provide for such a situation, the committee will not judge. I'm sorry I can't tell you otherwise.

Best regards,

Met vriendelijke groet,

E.(Bert) Bakhuis, chair of the Ethical Committee of the FMJD,

First of all it is unheard of that it took the chairman more than 4 months to respond to this very important matter. Second, the committee has even failed to give a verdict. What makes this response particularly useless is the complete lack of any motivation.

The only member of the committee who has openly shared his opinion about this matter is Airat Nurgaziev. In a Facebook post he wrote:

It is unambiguous - the match for the title of World Champion in 2022 should be played by Alexander Shvartsman and Alexander Getmanski.
The opinion of the other two members (chairman Bert Bakhuis and Darya Tkachenko) is unknown.

The match Shvartsman - Boomstra

The match between world champion Shvartsman and Boomstra has been organized in The Netherlands in January 2022, i.e. within half a year after the world championship in Tallinn. This time frame is very unusual. There are two years to organize the match, and usually it takes well over a year before it is organized. There are two more reasons that make this time frame awkward. In the beginning of January the Netherlands was in a strict lockdown. This is of course a very unattractive moment to play, for example because no spectators are allowed to watch the games live. Moreover the possibilities of the RDF and Getmanski to appeal against the decision of the executive board were not fully exhausted yet: after the handling of the appeal by the ethics committee, still the CAS (Court of Arbitration for Sport) could be asked to resolve the matter. It would have been logical if the FMJD had given Getmanski this opportunity before the start of the match.

The second appeal made by the Draughts Federation of Russia

On November 29, 2021 the Draughts Federation of Russia has made a second appeal, after the ethics committee had exceeded the time limit for responding to the first appeal. In this appeal they state the following:
Our protest is related to the fact that the FMJD Executive Committee privately scheduled the match Alexander Shvartsman - Roel Boomstra and the date - January 5, 2022, without informing the Draughts Federation of Russia, whose member A. Shvartsman is supposed to participate in the match.


We hereby notify you that the Draughts Federation of Russia does not recognize the legitimacy of conducting the upcoming match A. Shvartsman - R.Boomstra, as it violates the requirements of Article 11, Annex 17.
Furthermore the Ministry of Sports of Russia has decided to take this matter to the CAS, to defend the rights of Getmanski for playing in the world title match 2022. Clearly the actions of the FMJD have caused a major conflict in the draughts world.


Instead of dealing with the problems in a professional manner, the FMJD has decided to stick to their course. It is now in the hands of the CAS to decide if the match Shvartsman - Boomstra was legal. This is an unfortunate situation, that could easily have been avoided. This conflict about the world title is also potentially very damaging for the draughts world.

© Wieger Wesselink