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HomeChessBreaking the Silence | Weblog • lichess.org

Breaking the Silence | Weblog • lichess.org


This text accommodates doubtlessly distressing content material.

Introduction

In February, chess commentator and writer Jennifer Shahade publicly accused grandmaster Alejandro Ramirez of sexual misconduct. Her allegations sparked a swift and extreme backlash towards Ramirez, who was compelled to resign from the Saint Louis Chess Membership (STLCC), earlier than being completely banned by america Chess Federation (US Chess). 

The allegations additionally uncovered obvious failures at US Chess and STLCC. But, neither group has confronted any severe scrutiny or accountability for his or her dealing with of the case.

And Ramirez just isn’t the one one. In accordance with interviews and paperwork reviewed by Lichess, one different outstanding American grandmaster has additionally been accused of sexual misconduct by a number of girls, elevating additional troubling questions on how chess organizations take care of such issues.

Lichess has determined to cease cooperating with each organizations attributable to severe considerations about their accountability. We is not going to present them with help, and we is not going to promote their occasions.

Girls and women in chess already face an uphill battle. They deserve a protected and supportive surroundings. However too typically, they encounter abuse, harassment or worse. And too typically, they really feel powerless to report it or search justice. It’s time to assist break the silence. 

One other high-profile case

Uzbek-American grandmaster Timur Gareyev has achieved a number of spectacular feats in his chess profession, comparable to sharing third place on the 2013 US Championship and reaching a peak classical score of 2682. He’s maybe greatest recognized for giving massive blindfold simuls, incomes him the nickname of the “Blindfold King.”  A 2013 ChessBase article praised him as “one of the crucial energetic mavericks within the chess world,” and in 2016 The Guardian profiled him as he ready to interrupt the world document by taking part in 48 video games concurrently whereas blindfolded in Las Vegas.

Timur Gareyev in 2015. Credit score: Juan Jauregui.

Nevertheless, there’s one other aspect to Gareyev. Lichess has obtained paperwork that present he has confronted a number of sexual misconduct complaints since 2019.

Lichess has spoken to 2 girls who allege that Gareyev assaulted them throughout separate chess tournaments in 2019. Each tournaments have been sanctioned by US Chess. One alleged incident occurred as the lady was strolling from the match resort to her automotive. The opposite occurred contained in the match venue. 

One girl supplied the next account to Lichess:

“Timur spins round shortly, pins my arms to my sides, and tries to kiss me, aggressively. His fingers have been digging into my arms. I can’t get free. I used to be turning my head aspect to aspect, saying, “No Timur. Cease. I do not need this.” I can nonetheless really feel his beard on each of my cheeks as I’m struggling. He mentioned, “However, I simply need to …” He was holding my arms with each arms. When he modified his grip, I managed to drive him off-balance for a second and eventually pulled away. I assume that I ought to have raised my knee to kick him, or perhaps thrown my head ahead to get him to let go. I had no concept that he was that sturdy. I used to be not anticipating Timur to seize me like that. […] All the things occurred so shortly, however I used to be powerless to cease it.”  

The opposite girl’s account alleges that Gareyev approached and grabbed her so all of the sudden that it left her off-balance and afraid she was about to fall – earlier than kissing her on the lips. She says that Gareyev appeared to suppose that it was humorous, however she felt in shock and unable to maneuver whereas it was occurring, and afterwards remained in surprised silence.

One of many girls filed a proper criticism with US Chess shortly after the alleged assault, however the US Chess ethics committee refused to “settle for jurisdiction” of the matter. In essence, the committee mentioned that it may solely take care of complaints about incidents that occurred inside or on the grounds of the match resort, as these would have a “direct connection” to the match. However this incident had occurred simply outdoors the resort, so the committee did nothing to sanction Gareyev past noting its dismay on the girl’s account and promising to maintain the criticism on file. 

Lichess has discovered that this resolution didn’t sit nicely with everybody at US Chess. There was enough unease inside the group that when the identical girl attended a US Chess match in 2021 – two years after her alleged assault – a senior US Chess official was requested to escort her across the taking part in corridor to make sure her security in case Gareyev appeared.

Furthermore, in 2021 US Chess obtained one other report about Gareyev, this time alleging that he inappropriately touched a feminine participant at a match.

All three alleged incidents have been reported to US Chess. Two of them occurred in comparatively public locations. It’s subsequently probably that many if not all US Chess government board members have been conscious of them to a point.

US Chess did finally act towards Gareyev, however solely after receiving a number of Secure Play studies. These have been filed in accordance with the US Chess Secure Play Tips, a framework for dealing with misconduct complaints that was first revealed in September 2019 – solely three months after the ethics committee successfully rejected the primary criticism towards Gareyev.

In June 2022, Gareyev was banned from taking part in or attending US Chess nationwide occasions for 2 years, and his US Chess membership was suspended for a yr. However the sanctions have been unlikely to have a lot influence, for a number of causes.

First, his ban solely utilized to “US Chess Nationwide Occasions,” which means that he may attend native and regional occasions, in addition to give simuls and go to golf equipment (as he did not too long ago when he labored with a youth chess membership in Texas).

Second, for the reason that sanctions (understandably) may solely have an effect on occasions inside america, Gareyev was free to play in different international locations. Within the final 12 months, he has given a simultaneous exhibition on the 2023 FIDE World Championship, gained the Kenyan Open, and performed within the ongoing FIDE World Cup in Azerbaijan. The truth that high-profile offenders can keep away from the results of geographically restricted sanctions highlights the necessity for full transparency by authorities.

Third, till late June, US Chess saved these sanctions a secret. When complainants have been knowledgeable of the sanctions, they have been additionally requested to “deal with this data with the sensitivity it deserves.” The sanctions weren’t introduced or publicized. The one signal of something uncommon was a small change on Gareyev’s US Chess member web page, which confirmed the time period “Suspended Member” throughout his membership suspension. This was eliminated on 6 June 2023, as his web page returned to regular, however it may be seen in an older archived model. Even when it was noticed on Twitter final September, the dialogue went nowhere. The change by itself was ambiguous, because it didn’t reveal the opposite sanctions or why that they had been imposed.

An archived model of Gareyev’s US Chess member web page from March 2023 

On 23 June 2023 – after Gareyev’s membership suspension had ended – US Chess made a sudden transfer to reveal details about beforehand sanctioned members, saying it was “within the curiosity of transparency” in a temporary assertion.

Particulars concerning the sanctions towards Gareyev, revealed by US Chess on 23 June (hyperlink to PDF)

In a letter informing one of many girls concerning the sanctions, US Chess wrote that they hoped that the lady may “once more take part in chess actions with out worry.” Nevertheless, the lady in query, who was beforehand a extremely energetic chess volunteer, organizer, and official in varied roles, says that she has stopped going to chess occasions.

When approached for remark, Gareyev mentioned:

“I’d like to deal with contributing to the betterment of [the] chess group and all of the individuals benefiting from participating intellectually, partaking in contests to boost their spirits via the sport of chess.”

Unresolved questions

US Chess and STLCC additionally proceed to be silent about vital and unresolved facets of the Alejandro Ramirez case – six months after the primary public allegations appeared.

Final yr, US Chess commissioned a third-party overview of its response to studies about Ramirez. However we solely know three issues concerning the overview: (1) it was accomplished earlier than 24 Could, when US Chess launched their remaining assertion on Ramirez; (2) in keeping with US Chess, it concluded that “the US Chess response was well timed and applicable relating to the studies it obtained about Ramirez’s conduct;” and (3) it is not going to be revealed for witness confidentiality causes.

We settle for that there might be legitimate causes to not publish the overview. Nevertheless, in our opinion, the one-line conclusion in US Chess’ 24 Could assertion gives little assurance, not least as a result of it has been challenged by two of the ladies who submitted formal complaints to US Chess about Ramirez. One among them is Jennifer Shahade, who made her views clear final month on Fb and Twitter.

Tweet by WGM Jennifer Shahade, 12 July 2023

One other girl whose allegations about Ramirez have been reported to US Chess additionally challenges the discovering:

“I don’t agree that US Chess was “well timed and applicable” with reference to studies about Ramirez’s conduct. I submitted the Secure Play Criticism type with particulars of sexual abuse previous to an occasion I used to be attending the place I knew [Ramirez] could be current. The receipt of my report was instantly acknowledged. Nevertheless, I used to be not knowledgeable of an investigation till a month after my official report and after the occasion had handed. No effort was made by US Chess to make sure my security throughout the occasion, the place a number of US Chess officers and representatives have been current. After my interview, I used to be advised that the knowledge could be reviewed on the subsequent board assembly, and I’d be told of the outcomes. I by no means heard again. Throughout this time, Ramirez was allowed to take part in US Chess occasions and coach varied female-only groups. Solely when Jennifer Shahade raised the problem publicly a number of months later did something concrete occur.”

The 24 Could assertion has left many questions unanswered. US Chess has nonetheless not equipped a transparent account of when officers obtained details about Ramirez’s alleged misconduct and what was finished about it.

US Chess has not been totally clear about how Ramirez was appointed as coach of the US girls’s staff for the 2022 Olympiad, after which why he was allowed to go to the Olympiad in August 2022. 

Ramirez’s appointment as coach was introduced on-line in June 2022. US Chess has claimed that the gamers on the staff chosen Ramirez “independently.”

However Jennifer Shahade has advised Lichess that she had beforehand been assured that Ramirez wouldn’t be thought-about for any teaching roles, and so she was “shocked” when she first discovered the information. This challenges US Chess’ claims about how Ramirez was chosen.

Regardless, Shahade says that she emailed US Chess officers concerning the matter in June 2022 – two months earlier than the Olympiad – and knowledgeable them that she had not too long ago heard new data from a girl who alleged that Ramirez abused her when she was 15 years outdated, and that she herself had been attacked by Ramirez previously. Due to this fact, even when US Chess officers had nothing to do with the selection of Ramirez as coach, they have been however reminded of credible considerations about his appointment weeks earlier than the occasion.

Moreover, Ryan Velez, a former member of the US Chess government board, has advised Lichess that US Chess can take away a coach via a majority vote. Velez contends that if US Chess was contractually sure to pay Ramirez for his function, then the group should bear final accountability for choosing him. 

Velez went on to elucidate his particular considerations in an announcement to Lichess:

“I imagine US Chess has a blind spot in the case of coping with titled gamers. For a lot of the circumstances I noticed involving sexual allegations, US Chess moved swiftly to droop US Chess membership and/or take different measures towards alleged offenders. Nevertheless […] relating to titled gamers, issues typically take longer which may doubtlessly improve the variety of potential victims. I additionally really feel the 2023 assertion by US Chess is deceptive and continued proof of the blind spot they’ve in these issues. US Chess is usually a wonderful group with a vibrant chess tradition. The employees who work there are wonderful and implement coverage, however they don’t form the coverage (that’s the job of the Government Board). I hope my voice contributes towards constructive change inside US Chess.”

When approached for remark, US Chess supplied Lichess with the next assertion:

“US Chess is dedicated to defending the security of its members and their proper to be handled with respect. Our direct actions in current months embrace saying a brand new Secure Play coaching requirement through a partnership with the U.S. Middle for SafeSport for all of our Match Administrators (now we have 6,477 energetic TDs), publishing a listing of members who’ve been sanctioned by US Chess, appointing a Secure Play Working Group, and updating our choice course of for staff coaches/captains. We are going to stay vigilant in figuring out and adopting further greatest practices.”

Alejandro Ramirez on the World Chess Corridor of Fame, December 2022. Credit score: Austin Fuller

In our opinion, the Saint Louis Chess Membership has additionally failed to offer a clear account of its dealing with of studies about Ramirez. Lichess has seen inner membership communications confirming that a number of studies had been obtained about Ramirez with none motion being taken till an investigation was commissioned in September 2022. Lichess has additionally discovered that Jennifer Shahade notified membership officers a number of instances about Ramirez’s alleged misconduct – together with in summer season 2020, October 2020, January 2021, and September 2022 – and that she urged the membership to behave towards Ramirez. 

For its half, the membership has mentioned in public statements that it obtained no studies of alleged sexual misconduct by Ramirez that occurred whereas he was a membership worker, and that it initiated an investigation as quickly because it obtained studies from an recognized supply. 

On the similar time, the membership has not clarified its procedures for dealing with severe workplace-related complaints. Jennifer Shahade has advised Lichess that when she first discovered that Ramirez was scheduled to do commentary for the US Junior Women Championship in October 2020, she instantly knowledgeable STLCC that she wouldn’t be keen to work alongside him. Shahade says she advised the membership that she was conscious of a number of allegations of sexual misconduct by Ramirez, and that she herself had beforehand been assaulted by Ramirez. That is corroborated by the membership’s public statements. Afterwards, nonetheless, as was reported within the Wall Road Journal, “she was advised to name him and take care of the matter.” 

After talking to Shahade, Ramirez voluntarily withdrew from the printed of the US Junior Women Championship. However later he labored on many broadcasts for the membership, together with the 2022 US Junior Championships. Actually, his already excessive profile within the chess group ascended to new heights after a notable interview with Hans Niemann on the 2022 Sinquefield Cup. In the meantime, Jennifer Shahade has not appeared on an STLCC broadcast for the reason that 2020 US Junior Women Championship – the occasion that Ramirez withdrew from. [1]

Ramirez with Rex Sinquefield (founding father of the Saint Louis Chess Membership), September 2022

Given the respective outcomes for Ramirez and Shahade, it’s cheap to ask whether or not the membership has instituted applicable procedures for dealing with office complaints.  Some membership coverage paperwork are revealed on the STLCC web site, however they fail to explain what a membership worker ought to do in the event that they have been to expertise or observe potential sexual harassment involving different workers or on membership premises. 

The St. Louis Submit-Dispatch has reported that in 2021, Greg Shahade – Jennifer Shahade’s brother and a widely known chess skilled in his personal proper – emailed STLCC to ask them to analyze Ramirez. Shahade knowledgeable the membership of one other girl who mentioned she had been assaulted by Ramirez when she was 15 years outdated, who could be keen to be interviewed as a part of any investigation.

In accordance with the Submit-Dispatch, in a letter despatched to Shahade two months later, a lawyer for the membership mentioned that STLCC was not “conscious of any inappropriate conduct” by Ramirez that was linked to his employment on the membership, and that it was not the suitable physique to analyze allegations that have been “exterior or unrelated” to STLCC, earlier than occurring to conclude, as quoted within the article: “In our judgement,” they wrote, “this method balances the pursuits of the alleged sufferer to be in a protected surroundings and Mr. Ramirez’s proper to his good title and status.”

Thus, it seems that STLCC have been supplied with a chance to doubtlessly substantiate an allegation about Ramirez however declined to take action. When approached for remark, the membership suggested Lichess that “sure of [the article’s] statements and assertions usually are not solely incomplete in gentle of all the encompassing circumstances, and in some circumstances merely false.”

Conclusions

In June, all 4 girls on the US Chess Accessibility and Particular Circumstances Committee resigned in protest at what worldwide arbiter Judit Sztaray described because the hypocrisy of US Chess in addressing inclusion:

Tweet by IA Judit Sztaray, 20 July 2023

We share their considerations. Given what has been reported and what now we have discovered about their dealing with of allegations of sexual misconduct by titled gamers, we don’t belief that the present management of US Chess and STLCC may be relied on to guard girls and women in chess. 

Due to this fact, the Lichess staff has determined to formally finish all cooperation with each US Chess and STLCC, which means that we’ll not present them with any technical or direct help, and we is not going to promote their occasions on Lichess or social media.

We’re significantly involved concerning the function doubtlessly performed by senior officers and committee members in each establishments in presiding over cultures the place alleged misconduct was heard about and mentioned however not acted on. Inaction can have devastating penalties. 

We urge US Chess and STLCC to publicly acknowledge their previous errors, be extra open with the general public, and maintain those that interact in misconduct accountable.

Our criticisms usually are not geared toward most US Chess and STLCC workers, who’re innocent. We particularly admire the braveness of everybody who agreed to talk to us for this text, and we hope their instance conjures up others to return ahead.

We word that US Chess has not too long ago taken steps to enhance its processes: in Could it dedicated to reviewing its inner insurance policies, coaching and communications; and on 9 August, it introduced that it had partnered with the U.S. Middle for Safesport and launched new necessary coaching for match administrators.  

Nevertheless, in our opinion, each US Chess and STLCC have did not show an vital facet of accountability – a willingness to acknowledge and handle previous shortcomings. We don’t suppose that reconciliation might be potential with out this acknowledgement. 

As Melinda Matthews wrote in a strong and deeply researched essay on sexual harassment within the chess group, “Maintaining silent about harassment and abuse has repercussions for the sufferer […] it typically means strolling away from a recreation they love.” 

The lady who made a criticism about Timur Gareyev in 2019 says that she not attends chess occasions. After being allegedly assaulted by Ramirez in 2014, Claire Grothe quickly left her job. The 4 members of the US Chess accessibility committee who resigned in June additionally determined to stroll away. This continues to occur in varied varieties to girls in chess all over the world. 

In the meantime, Gareyev, who not too long ago performed within the FIDE World Cup in Azerbaijan, took to social media final month to criticize what he described as “badmouth and gossip promoted by sure people.” 

Fb publish by Timur Gareyev, 4 July 2023 (hyperlink)

We invite anybody who needs to return ahead with new or related data to contact us by e mail (contact@lichess.org). If in case you have been affected by any of the problems on this article, please see the next hyperlinks for data and help: BBC / RAINN / Serving to Survivors. For individuals who want to learn extra, a supplementary timeline of related occasions is supplied under. 

Notes

[1] Shahade’s extended absence from STLCC broadcasts has not gone unnoticed. For instance, in a 16 February article for Chess.com, Peter Doggers wrote “Why we haven’t seen Shahade within the St. Louis stay broadcasts was revealed at this time.”

Supplementary timeline

Dates on this timeline point out when occasions and alleged incidents occurred, not once they have been reported. Sources in parentheses are listed on the finish. 

2011

  • A lady alleges that she was sexually assaulted by Alejandro Ramirez at a chess camp in 2011, when she was 15 years outdated. (WSJ) 
  • Jennifer Shahade alleges that she was assaulted by Ramirez for the primary time in 2011. (Lichess)

2012

2014

  • Jennifer Shahade alleges that Ramirez assaulted her for a second time in 2014.
  • Claire Grothe alleges that in 2014 she was assaulted by Ramirez at a reception organized by STLCC, and that the incident (and Ramirez’s response to it) led to her leaving her job on the World Chess Corridor of Fame later that yr. (WSJ) 

2015

2016

  • A lady alleges that in 2016, when she was underage, she was warned by STLCC workers to not permit herself to be alone with Ramirez. (WSJ)

2017

  • A younger participant’s mom says that in 2017 she alerted high US Chess officers to Ramirez’s conduct, and overheard STLCC employees make jokes about his curiosity in younger girls. (WSJ)

2019

  • Ramirez was employed to teach the U.S. girls’s staff on the 2019 World Staff Championship; the staff included two gamers aged beneath 16. (CL)
  • Chess.com determined to cease all affiliation with Ramirez after studying of allegations towards him. (WSJ)
  • A lady alleges that in 2019 she was sexually assaulted by Timur Gareyev whereas strolling to her automotive from a resort the place a US Chess sanctioned match is going down (wherein Gareyev was taking part in). She submitted a criticism to US Chess shortly afterwards. The US Chess ethics committee declined to just accept jurisdiction of the matter, because the alleged incident had occurred outdoors the resort, and subsequently (within the committee’s view) it couldn’t be “instantly linked” to the chess match. No motion was taken towards Gareyev. (Lichess) 
  • One other girl alleges that at a special US Chess sponsored match in 2019, Gareyev grabbed her and kissed her towards her will. (Lichess) 

2020

  • Jennifer Shahade says she first discovered about allegations of sexual misconduct by Ramirez towards victims apart from herself in the summertime of 2020. She instantly knowledgeable US Chess and the STLCC. (Lichess)
  • US Chess have acknowledged that they obtained studies of Ramirez’s conduct for the primary time in 2020, and that because of this, they banned him from working with kids. (US2)
  • In summer season 2020, Ramirez labored as a kids’s coach on the on-line “Nationwide Chess Camp”, run by a US Chess affiliate (announcement).
  • In October, Ramirez was named as a commentator for the U.S. Junior Women Championship. Jennifer Shahade complained to STLCC – which, in keeping with the membership, was the primary time that they obtained a report about Ramirez. Shahade knowledgeable STLCC that she too was assaulted by Ramirez – along with the allegations she beforehand reported in the summertime. She was suggested to talk to Ramirez and resolve the problem herself; she spoke to Ramirez, who agreed to step down from his commentary function for the occasion. (WSJ, Lichess)
  • In accordance with STLCC, “in October 2020, Shahade introduced an allegation that Ramirez “had engaged in inappropriate conduct with feminine chess gamers” years earlier than being employed there. Nevertheless, the [club] mentioned it was unable to provoke an investigation into Ramirez as a result of people not being recognized.” (CNN)

2021

  • In January 2021, Jennifer Shahade knowledgeable STLCC and US Chess of a case involving an alleged sufferer (of Ramirez) who mentioned she was 15 years outdated on the time of the primary alleged incident. She urged US Chess and STLCC to behave towards Ramirez. (Lichess)
  • In 2021, US Chess obtained studies of Timur Gareyev inappropriately touching a feminine participant at a match the place they have been each taking part in. (Lichess)
  • At a special match, a senior US Chess official was requested to escort the lady who was allegedly assaulted by Gareyev in 2019 across the match corridor as safety in case Gareyev appeared. (Lichess)
  • In August, Ramirez was employed by STLCC as a commentator for 2 tournaments: the Sinquefield Cup and the Saint Louis Fast and Blitz
  • In September, Greg Shahade – Jennifer’s brother and a widely known chess skilled in his personal proper – contacted STLCC to tell the membership of allegations about Ramirez’s conduct with an underage woman, however obtained a reply from an STLCC lawyer advising him that the membership was not the suitable physique for investigating the matter and that the allegation itself was not linked to the membership. No assembly occurred. (PD, Lichess)
  • The identical month, Ramirez was employed to work as a commentator for the 2021 Champions Showdown. 

2022

  • A number of complaints about Gareyev have been submitted beneath the US Chess Secure Play Tips. One complainant had beforehand filed a report in 2019 – earlier than the US Chess Secure Play Tips have been revealed – however, as described above, the US Chess ethics committee decided it to be outdoors its jurisdiction. (Lichess) 
  • In June, the US Chess Government Board imposed sanctions on Gareyev – suspending his membership for one yr and banning him from attending or taking part in US Chess Nationwide Occasions for 2 years. In notifying a complainant concerning the sanctions, US Chess acknowledged that they thought-about the matter to be confidential and requested the complainant to “deal with this data with the sensitivity it deserves.” (Lichess)
  • In June, after studying of Ramirez’s appointment as coach for the US girls’s Olympiad staff, Jennifer Shahade emailed US Chess officers. She knowledgeable them that Ramirez had attacked her previously, and that she was involved with an alleged sufferer (who she had raised beforehand with US Chess) who was keen to share textual content messages despatched by Ramirez on the time of the alleged abuse. She additionally advised them concerning the existence of different credible allegations towards Ramirez. (Lichess) 
  • In response, US Chess knowledgeable Shahade that their ban on Ramirez utilized to youth occasions solely, the Olympiad coaches have been chosen by the gamers themselves, and that no official complaints had been obtained about Ramirez. (Lichess) 
  • On 2 June, Ramirez was introduced because the coach for the US girls’s staff on the 2022 Chess Olympiad in Chennai, India. He went on on take his US Chess funded place on the match, which ran from 28 July to 10 August. 
  • In September, Ramirez labored for STLCC as a commentator for the 2022 Sinquefield Cup. He performed a notable interview with Hans Niemann.
  • The identical month, Jennifer Shahade, and one other unnamed participant – who was underage at the beginning of a sequence of alleged abusive incidents – submitted written complaints about Ramirez to US Chess and STLCC. (WSJ, PD, Lichess)
  • On 7 September, the ChessRumors account tweeted: “GM Timur Garyev’s USCF web page says that he’s suspended. Does anybody know why?” (Nobody knew.)
  • In the meantime, Ramirez appeared on the US Chess podcast One Transfer at a Time.
  • In December, Ramirez appeared at a World Chess Corridor of Fame ceremony honoring Judit Polgar, receiving a spherical of applause and posing for a photograph with a US Chess board member. All members of the US Chess government board attended the ceremony. (Lichess)

2023

  • Ramirez traveled with the St. Louis College girls’s chess staff to Mexico and was seen with staff members in social media photographs. He then accompanied the staff to the Pan-American Championships, a US Chess Nationwide Occasion. (Lichess) 
  • In early February, Ramirez finalized plans to work as a commentator for the 2023 Grand Chess Tour, a sequence of high-profile worldwide chess occasions spanning the yr. (Lichess)
  • On 15 February, Jennifer Shahade tweeted her allegations towards Ramirez, which grew to become public data for the primary time. Inside every week, Shahade was contacted by 9 extra alleged victims. (JS, Lichess)
  • The identical day, US Chess revealed a quick assertion (US1) lauding “due course of” and “confidentiality”. Shahade says that she perceived the assertion to be implicitly criticizing her resolution to tweet. (Lichess)
  • Lichess has been advised that Ramirez was instantly faraway from a staff match attributable to begin later that week, with a roster together with two teenage women. (Lichess)
  • On 16 February, Ramirez was faraway from teaching the St. Louis College chess staff and likewise from FIDE’s Athletes’ Fee. (WSJ) 
  • On 6 March, Ramirez resigned from all affiliated positions with STLCC, together with his place as coach of the St. Louis College chess staff.  
  • On 7 March, the Wall Road Journal article about Ramirez was revealed. (WSJ)
  • On 9 March, US Chess revealed their second assertion (US2) about Ramirez.
  • On 10 March, CNN revealed an article concerning the Ramirez allegations, which included new statements supplied by US Chess and STLCC. (CNN)
  • On 11 March, the St. Louis Submit-Dispatch article about Ramirez was revealed. (PD)
  • On 22 April, Gareyev gave a 14-board blindfold simul alongside the FIDE World Championship match in Astana, Kazakhstan. 
  • On 24 Could, US Chess revealed their third (“remaining”) assertion (US3) about Ramirez, whose membership is completely revoked. Within the assertion, US Chess dedicated to reviewing and lengthening its Secure Play tips; reviewing inner insurance policies comparable to coach choice, employment  practices and background screening; adopting necessary Secure Play coaching; bettering Secure Play communications; appointing an advisory group; and growing members’ consciousness of reporting channels. 
  • On 29 Could, Gareyev gave a tandem simul at Rockville Chess Membership, in Maryland. 
  • On 23 June, US Chess revealed details about beforehand sanctioned members on their web site, within the course of disclosing fundamental particulars about Gareyev’s sanctions. 
  • On 4 July, Gareyev posted a message on Fb wherein he claimed to be dealing with “an incredible problem set by US Chess” in addition to an “assault on [his] id and status” that he characterised as “badmouth and gossip promoted by sure people.”
  • On 11 July, Jennifer Shahade publicly challenged the accuracy of US Chess’ remaining Ramirez assertion (issued 24 Could) in a Fb publish, writing that the third occasion’s (*) conclusion that US Chess’ response to the Ramirez allegations was well timed and applicable “doesn’t dovetail with my information, wherein I notified US Chess at the least 4 instances about Alejandro’s alleged misconduct towards women and girls […] together with his assaults towards me…and pleaded they not ship him there.” The following day, she posted a related message on Twitter. (* This entry initially referred to “US Chess’ conclusion….” Since publication this has been amended to “third occasion’s conclusion…” to make clear the supposed which means and keep away from potential misinterpretation.)
  • On 20 July, IA Judit Sztaray introduced on Twitter that each one 4 girls on the US Chess Accessibility and Particular Circumstances Committee (together with Sztaray) had resigned their positions in June in protest on the actions of US Chess, together with its failure to significantly contemplate “strategies to treatment sexual assault inside its ranks.”
  • On 9 August, US Chess introduced that it had partnered with the U.S. Middle for SafeSport and was introducing a requirement from 1 October 2023 onwards for all US Chess licensed match administrators to finish the middle’s licensed core coaching (with annual refresher coaching required thereafter). The announcement acknowledged that “Latest protected play violations have highlighted the continuing want for schooling and consciousness about offering a protected surroundings for all chess gamers.”

Sources for timeline

CL: Elshan Moradiabadi, “U.S. World Groups Exceed Expectations”, Chess Life, June 2019, pp. 38-43.

CNN: David Shut, “US Chess Federation investigates grandmaster following accusations of sexual misconduct”, CNN.com, 10 March 2023, https://version.cnn.com/2023/03/09/sport/alejandro-ramirez-chess-grandmaster-sexual-misconduct-allegations/index.html

Lichess: our personal reporting

PD: Nassim Benchaabane, “A minimum of 3 extra girls accuse St. Louis chess coach of sexual assault”, St. Louis Submit-Dispatch, 11 March 2023, https://www.stltoday.com/information/native/crime-and-courts/at-least-3-more-women-accuse-st-louis-chess-coach-of-sexual-assault/article_a5596f5a-75c8-5f54-b4cd-8973848e8e39.html.

US1: US Chess, “US Chess Assertion on Latest Allegations”, 15 February 2023, https://new.uschess.org/information/us-chess-statement-recent-allegations

US2: US Chess, “US Chess Assertion on Misconduct Allegations”, 9 March 2023, https://new.uschess.org/information/us-chess-statement-misconduct-allegations.

US3: US Chess, “US Chess Closing Assertion About Alejandro Ramirez Investigation”, 24 Could 2023, https://new.uschess.org/information/us-chess-final-statement-about-alejandro-ramirez-investigation.  

WSJ: Andrew Beaton and Joshua Robinson, “How Sexual Assault Allegations Towards a U.S. Chess Grandmaster Went Unaddressed for Years” Wall Road Journal, 7 March 2023, https://www.wsj.com/articles/alejandro-ramirez-jennifer-shahade-chess-allegations-622263b8.



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