Gossiping about recent disqualification

Are we allowed to gossip anymore?

As we all know RGF disqualified Vjacheslav Shpakovskij (who is European U12 champion) for four years for cheating in an online RGF tournament. He finished 5-1 losing to 4d and winning against 4d, 3d, 3d, 5d, 4k.

Four years is quite a lot for a player with great potential. If you remember last public case for pandanet tournament, a player was disqualified for only two years (that ban already ran out). If you remember Korean pro cheating case, the ban was only for one year.

And since the official communication from RGF was rather uninformative, some strong opinions were formed, which is what’s interesting in the first place.

Ilya Shikshin cited lack of procedures and written regulations for cases of cheating and called the decision not legitimate. It appears in his view since the boy is one of the top players in his age category, it’s important not to lose his talent and support his growth. And even one year ban hinders progress quite a bit at that age, and perhaps it’s better to ban his only from specific tournaments (online/Russian championships) for one-two years.

Alexander Dinershteyn suggested one year at most but with lifetime ban from online tournaments without referee supervision. And four years is equivalent to life ban in practice.

Many people considered punishment too harsh.

Guzel Surma broke from the herd and said that cheaters should be punished harshly.

I think it’s interesting how fighting for clean sport clashes with not wanting to lose a valuable player.

Some interesting bits of information came up too. First of all, it is said that parents were offered one year plea deal but refused (and got even more in the end, this is like real justice system). Also, apparently during pandemic there have been several small cases that were solved quietly, with just a suspension for a few tournaments, which makes this one seem unfair in comparison. But all of it rumors. Hopefully RGF will further develop procedures that work.

If you want full discussions: here and here.

By the way, I couldn’t help but dig out the games in question but I’m too dumb for them.

ekzo1 vs. SlavaGoD
SlavaGoD vs. antonkhv
AskarKzn vs. SlavaGoD
SlavaGoD vs. Rahmat
SlavaGoD vs. Jorga
SlavaGoD vs. Virginia

I also read some chess cheating cases, it all seems ended with 1-2 years of ban, like 3 tops.


I didn’t know.


I think cheaters should be punished harshly if they are old enough to be aware of the consequences. Someone under 12 is not old enough to be aware.


Human brain is supposed to keep developing until 25ish.

Cheating in a competition is something most kids understand is wrong in a pretty young age.

Still, as long as there are no clear rules and transparency, harshness can and probably will be little more than a show of power.


Yes, I’m not saying that children aren’t aware of doing something wrong, I’m saying that most children don’t fully realise what the consequences of doing something wrong are.

I don’t think a 12yo even has a concept of how long 4 years really is, for example. I can imagine what my life will be like in 4 years, but think about how different a 12yo is from a 16yo.


I feel that persons as young as this should not be discussed publicly. Isn’t the privacy of even juvenile delinquents better guarded than the privacy of adult delinquents?


At the same time, they are not crimes or other similar actions, but public competitions.

Transparency is paramount, otherwise why should any guardian let their child participate?

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It would be fine to discuss things anonymously. But putting their full name on the internet could haunt them for many, many years.


Still, sometimes corrective action can’t be avoided, even if the person can’t fully grasp it.

If a child cheats at a school test, they should receive a failing grade, even if they can’t fully realize the implication of a failing grade.

However, unfortunately I see this punishment like a very eager hammer, not an attempt to steer on the right path.

And I prefer “punishment” be given to

  1. Protect others and oneself from harm
  2. Pay back, if possible, for what the wronged side lost
  3. Help understand and correct what caused the wrongdoing.
  4. Be punitive to deter. But this last one is a big discussion and controversial. I’d stick with 1-3 in any case.

In that order.


I agree on that.
Even if the name is one googling away, it’s up to the person to actually search the exact name. I wouldn’t.

For this specific discussion, though.

I wouldn’t agree future children opponents to go blind into playing against a cheater. That is a consequence that comes with wrongdoing.

Generally I’m against sealing records for certain crimes, but cheating on a tournament is really not comparable to those.


I agree in principle, however discussion has already taken place on Russian websites, and the name of the player is mentioned on the RGF blog.

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One last bit:

I see the “but their future” used as a defense quite a bit for young people doing something wrong.
Well, if their actions ruined someone else’s future? If it’s something so severe that brings their integrity into question? If they show no sign of understanding that they did wrong?

Maybe that person should lose that specific path and have to find a new one. Life happens. :woman_shrugging:

I still think, compared to the status quo, that this was a harsh punishment.
(I think Olympians get a life ban for doping, though, but I might be wrong. Still, that punishment is theoretically established and known. Theoretically. And honestly I don’t know how steroids would compare to AI assistance, that could be another discussion.)

And if RGF or EGF or AGA or anyone don’t come out and say “here’s the rules, here’s the due diligence, here’s the reasoning, here’s the ruling”, I will always find them eager hammers.


I think discussing the matter privately and then imposing the ban without much publicity would be sufficient to stop that from happening. The RGF could just communicate this ban to organizers only to prevent any attempted ban evasion. I feel that would have been more proper, given their young age.

With everything already on Russian sites and now spreading wider through the English speaking go community, and the internet never forgetting anything, it may cause trouble when they try to find a partner or a job 10 years from now.

Isn’t that a bit disproportional for cheating at such a young age?

Hm, I’m not sure.
You can’t cheat and expect to go unscathed, imagine the other children not being able to say “I didn’t actually lose to Y, they cheated” in a public discussion. That’s putting the onus of shushing to everyone and the offender left with minimal consequences.

No name on a public thread that’s mostly theoretical about the punishment? Sure. No name of minors in news outlets in general? Ok. But still a Go journal can’t be expected to not report, said person is an official Go player. Absolutely hush-hush about it? I disagree.

Imagine that person using their tournament qualification (since the offense is hidden) to get a scholarship in place of another child. Or get a trainee opportunity because of their talent in Go.

In this day and age, everything is online, so that’s a much greater discussion that I wouldn’t want to shrink to fit a cheating scandal.

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PS. And that’s why I’m against minors in competitions and entertainment. Guardians just don’t cut it. :woman_shrugging:

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Still, OGS doesn’t allow public naming and shaming of players (even adults) for cheating or any other (suspected) offenses. And mods don’t publish lists of which users were banned and for what reason.

And those kind of things wouldn’t even be using the real names of (suspected) offenders.

I already stated I agree with not naming on OGS specifically.


Press D for doubt on that one.


I was very clear in that other case that I didn’t agree with the public shaming of the potential cheater (who was cleared of accusations, by the way, right or wrong that was the ruling) because they were branded offender by the whole community. Someone, I repeat, that had no official ruling against them.

About a thousand times more I’m against shaming a child, wrongdoing or not.

Still, online presence is unavoidable and a bigger discussion.

I pretty much said what I want to say about the matter.
It looks like the damage has already been done elsewhere in this case.
But personally, I won’t be contributing to public online “gossiping” about this child.