Game Blotter - A roundup of crimes, legal cases, and when "the law" gets involved with gamesA Cambridge University student member of the Churchill Backgammon and Scrabble Society (CBSS) was arrested for streaking. He told a student newspaper, “I do not claim responsibility for my actions but instead pass on all liability to the institution of CBSS who were seriously out of control.” That’s some game club!

A year after prevailing in a patent infringement suit against MGA Entertainment, Innovention Toys has won another $2 million to cover its legal fees. A judge in the case found the additional award appropriate because of MGA’s “particularly aggressive tactics.”

For young Chess players in India who wish to participate in age-restricted tournaments but can not produce birth certificates, medical evaluations are being provided for a limited time in Chennai.

Bureaucracy destroyed a valuable antique Backgammon set. The set, which was purchased for $7,000 by an American visiting Europe, was inlaid with ivory. When the purchaser attempted to bring the set home, U.S. Customs confiscated it under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. However, more than 100 years old, the set should have been exempt. The problem was, when contacted, European Union officials wouldn’t issue an exemption certificate until seeing the box in person. U.S. officials, though, refused to return it without a certificate. So of course, their solution to the impasse was to destroy it.

The Oklahoma state House is considering a bill that would declare Dominoes the official state game.

Thieves stole £40,000 of Lego Legends of Chima off a truck in West Yorkshire, UK.

One of the twins accused of killing a man for his Magic: The Gathering cards (the collection was valued at $100,000) has been convicted.

Garry Kasparov, former World Chess Champion and political opponent of Vladimir Putin in Russia and current candidate for the presidency of FIDE, applied for and was granted citizenship in Croatia where he owns a home and often spends time between his frequent international travels.

Kasparov’s run for the FIDE presidency is having fallout in the English Chess Federation. Nigel Short, a supporter of Kasparov, called for a vote to have Andrew Paulson removed as the organization’s president. Because Paulson is the owner of AGON, which has the current contract to promote the World Chess Championship cycle, some assume that he supports Ilyumzhinov. Paulson however, has stated publicly that he does not. On the other hand, he doesn’t support Kasparov either. In fact, he’s also stated that he’s considering running for the position himself.

Under the leadership of Ilyumzhinov, FIDE is now posting attacks against the reporting of events by journalists.

A Pacific Union College student was arrested for allegedly punching his roommate in the face and breaking his nose during a board game.

In Holly Hill, Florida, a man attacked his father with a sledgehammer—while the father was in bed—over board games played the night before.

In Brooklyn, a man was charged with the murder of his cousin’s wife and four children, which he says he did because the place they took him to live was too noisy from nearby Mahjong games.

A store tried to sell the championship of an X-Wing Miniatures Games tournament.

The World Draughts Federation adopted new rules against match fixing.

In Ukraine, Chess tournaments were held in support of political demonstrations.

The New York Police Department Demographics Unit labeled a Brooklyn park a “location of concern” because Albanian men gathered there to play “chess, backgammon, or just to have a conversation.”

Blizzard Entertainment filed suit in Shanghai, China against Unico Interactive Limited for copying its Hearthstone online card game.

A Kensington councillor spent a council meeting playing Backgammon on his iPad instead of discussing budget cuts.

The former head of the Backgammon Federation of America is suspected by some of strangling his wife. The death was ruled a homicide but the husband was never arrested. His parents have taken custody of the couple’s children and are now seeking access to their wealthy daughter-in-law’s retirement account.

A Wilmington, Deleware man admitted to killing his friend over a dice game as did a man in Dayton, Ohio. In the Bronx, a teenager was arrested for fatally shooting a man over a dice game. And in Tennessee, a man was indicted on first-degree murder charges for a dice-game murder last August. The victims of dice-game shootings in Annapolis, Maryland and Helena, Arkansas survived. A person accused of a dice-game murder in New Jersey lost his bid for reduced bail.

Four men were arrested for gambling on dice behind the York Recreational Center in South Carolina.

Two men in China were jailed for gambling and running cricket fights in a facility meant for Mahjong and Chess.

The owner of a Tokyo Mahjong parlor was arrested for arranging a fake marriage between one of his employees and an erotic masseuse who works in the same building.

FIDEThe race for the presidency of FIDE (the World Chess Federation) is heating up with controversy and negative campaigning. In his effort to unseat incumbent Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, former World Chess Champion and Russian political activist, Garry Kasparov, has been accused of buying votes.

According to a contract discovered by The New York Times and confirmed by an attorney for Kasparov’s campaign, the challenger has entered in to an agreement with Ignatius Leong of Singapore for a payment of $1 million in return for the votes of 11 Asian Chess federations. Half that money is clearly conditioned on delivery of votes but the attorney, Morten Sand, claims that all funds are for the “explicit purpose of chess development and programs” and that “no money can or will be allocated to individuals for personal use.”

Ignatius Leong is actually the current general secretary of FIDE under Ilyumzhinov. His agreement with Kasparov represents Leong switching sides in the election.

Payments under the contract, $250,000 annually for four years, are to be made by the Kasparov Chess Foundation to the ASEAN Chess Academy, an organization aimed at teaching Chess to children but owned by Mr. Leong. Further, the agreement calls for the opening of a FIDE office in Singapore headed by Leong and additional payments (to be negotiated separately) should Leong deliver more than 15 votes.

But the intrigue doesn’t end there! Regarding how a draft of the Kasparov-Leong contract made its way to The New York Times, Mr. Sand suggested that it was the work of FIDE officials:

On the opening day of the 2013 FIDE World Cup in Tromsø, Ignatius and I understood that high FIDE officials possibly had access to the draft Agreement now circulated. I sent it to Ignatius in July, using his FIDE email account. The only way to get possession of this draft is through the administrator of the mail account in FIDE. There can only be political reasons for why this is now made public in such a way.

FIDE Executive Director Nigel Freeman then responded to this accusation by releasing the following official statement:

The statement of Morton Sand is entirely false. It is obvious that there is an attempt to drive the discussion away from the substance of this issue, i.e. whether such contracts are ethical or not. For the leaking of confidential documents, Garry Kasparov’s team should perhaps look amongst themselves.

Following that, another spokesman for Kasparov said via Twitter:

How do you know it’s false? If you have reviewed the logs for his account, why not make them public?… Unless of course you’re just saying it’s false as an excuse to put inappropriate campaign news on the official FIDE site. Again.

Ilyumzhinov has also taken to the FIDE website with an open letter calling on Leong to resign.

Not that Ilyumzhinov is any stranger to controversy either. He was largely unknown in the Chess world before being helped in to the position of FIDE president by the previous holder of that position, who himself resigned after being convicted in the Philippines of financial irregularities involving the 1992 Chess Olympiad in Manila. Kirsan Ilyumzhinov is the former president of the Russian republic, Kalmykia; claims to have been abducted by aliens; alleges that Chess was invented by aliens; and was a supporter of Libyan dictator Qaddafi.

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