Game Blotter - A roundup of crimes, legal cases, and when "the law" gets involved with gamesApparently, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused Andrey Filatov, Russian billionaire and president of the Russian Chess Federation, of purchasing oil from the Islamic State. I admit that I didn’t know this until I received an email from the Russian Chess Federation calling the accusation “misleading” and warning that “any attempt to further disseminate this misleading information will have legal implications.” Now I know, and so do you.

In an unusual move for the modern world of competitive Chess, the Ukrainian Chess Federation has decided to withhold from publication games played at the Ukrainian Championship. Why might they be doing this? Possibly because member and Women’s World Chess Champion Mariya Muzychuk will be defending her title in March against Hou Yifan and at the highest levels of Chess, preparation for tournaments involves studying the past games of your opponents.

Though some contestants were unhappy about it, Chicken Hands were permitted at the World Series of Mahjong. A Chicken Hand is a winning hand of tiles that doesn’t score any points. Claiming a Chicken Hand is seen by many as an unsportsmanlike spoiler move—cutting short a round while other players work to complete more valuable hands—and thus it’s frowned upon, if not outright banned, in many traditional environments.

Police were called to a home in West Jordan, Utah when a 15 year-old boy threatened his mother with a machete during a board game. The machete was a Christmas gift.

Gaioz Nigalidze of Georgia has been stripped of his grandmaster title and banned from Chess for 3 years by the World Chess Federation. Mr. Nigalidze was found cheating in a bathroom stall with a smatphone running a Chess app at the Dubai Chess Open. These sanctions represent the first actions taken by FIDE’s Anti-Cheating Committee.

A court in Bulgaria has overturned the Bulgarian Chess Federation’s sanctions against GM Kiril Georgiev and ordered the organization to compensate Mr. Georgiev for his financial losses. The Federation had previously banned the grandmaster for 3 years after he made public statements calling it a “money laundering machine“.

The president of the Bulgarian Chess Federation, Silvio Danailov also lost his personal appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport regarding FIDE action on another matter. FIDE’s Ethics Commission had taken up a complaint against Danailov by the European Chess Union. He contested the Commission’s jurisdiction on the matter but CAS has found for FIDE.

While officials in Kobe, Japan recently banned Mahjong from senior centers, in Yokohama there’s a center named “Las Vegas” where seniors are encouraged to gamble in the hopes that the stimulation will ward off dementia.

The leader of a group in Southern China caught using hidden cameras to cheat at Mahjong and swindle opponents out of 120 million yuan ($18 million) was sentenced to life in prison.

Hasbro and Reuben Klamer are both countersuing Lorraine Markham, who claims her husband invented The Game of Life and that the pair have been sublicensing the property without authorization. Hasbro and Klamer assert that Bill Markham was only paid to help make a prototype board and that his widow has no continuing rights.

Winning Moves’ business practice of selling board spaces on localized editions of Monopoly continues to rub people in Melbourne, Australia the wrong way. I previously reported that some were calling it a “shakedown“. Now others are expressing concern over an apparent deal that’s put a tram token in the game, has Public Transport Victoria sponsoring the four railway spaces, and has Winning Moves wrapping a PTV train in Monopoly advertising.

Jen Eyster, a “full blooded German”, has a Kickstarter project to make a “Nazi history monopoly“. She acknowledges that the game is not licensed by Hasbro.

Andre Diament, a Chess grandmaster from Brazil who studies and plays for the Chess team of Webster University in St. Louis, has been charged with endangering the welfare of a child. Diament allegedly paid his 6 year old son $40 to drink two shots of sake. Though the charge is a misdemeanor, Diament has apparently fled back to Brazil, at least that is what his wife claims. In the meantime, she has filed for divorce and an order of protection.

reySomeone purchased a Star Wars action figure that their local Walmart had put out before its official release date. Excited about their find, they posted a picture of it online (this particular picture to the left, in fact), which picture was then copied and posted by other Star Wars fans, blogs, and news sites. Either Hasbro or a contractor acting on behalf of Lucasfilm responded to this outpouring of fan eagerness by issuing DMCA takedown notices and threatening lawsuits unless the “screen shot[s] of an unreleased figurine for Star Wars: Force Awakens” were removed.

According to the European Union Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market, the EU toy and games industry loses €1.4 billion in sales each year due to manufacturing infringement of intellectual property rights. Put another way, 12.3 percent of toy and game sales are counterfeit.

Pie Face games stocked by B&M Bargains stores in the U.K. were found by Hasbro to be counterfeits. After being notified by the company, the stores withdrew them from the shelves.

A group of parents is suing Mattel, claiming that Hello Barbie dolls record the conversations of children who have not yet signed up for an account and of children who are unaware and just happen to be standing nearby.

In Canberra, Australia, a man was convicted of indecent acts with his neighbor’s child after playing the board game, Trouble, where the loser was required to strip.

In Pontiac, Michigan, a man is facing felony murder charges for allegedly shooting one of the players in a home dice game he was attempting to rob.

In Oxford, Mississippi, a man was arrested for robbing at gunpoint another man, with whom he himself was shooting dice. A Jefferson City, Missouri man is also under arrest for armed robbery of a dice game. His weapon of choice was two kitchen knives.

Someone was shot during a dice game in Baltimore. No one’s been arrested yet.

Two Miami men playing Dominoes on the front porch were shot in a drive-by. Both survived and are in stable condition.

When one of a group of teenagers playing Dominoes in Natchez, Mississippi became board with the game, he started playing with his gun. Unfortunately, it went off, hitting one of his fellows and killing him.