SCF Disciplinary Action


For Singaporean chess official Tony Tan’s disrespectful behaviour in an incident in a regional tournament held in Singapore in 2015, he was sanctioned by the ASEAN Chess Confederation after he and the Executive Council of the Singapore Chess Federation “refused” to apologise and the latter did not take appropriate action within the given time frame.

FIDE “retaliated” with a suspension on the ACC for not lifting the sanction on Tony Tan and the SCF Executive Council. This resulted in FIDE not awarding titles, norms and ratings for ACC events!!!

The 2015 event was ACC-sanctioned – running for 16 consecutive years since 2000; the ACC is registered in Singapore and the incident took place on Singapore soil.

ACC: ASEAN Chess Confederation
EXCO: Executive Council (of SCF)
FIDE: World Chess Federation
NCFP: National Chess Federation of the Philippines
SCF: Singapore Chess Federation

Chronology of events

  1. NCFP sent Letter of Complaint to SCF via email to SCF Executive Director Thomas Hoe, cc to Leonard Lau, President of SCF.
  2. Complaint concerned the alleged misconduct of Tony Tan Teck Leng, a Council Member, towards the Philippines’ Head of Delegation GM Jayson Gonzales and 2 junior players during the 16th ASEAN+ Age Group Chess Championships 2015 held at Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore, on 12 June 2015.
  3. The Letter demanded full and public apology from Tony Tan to the NCFP official and junior players, and SCF to take action on Tony Tan.
18 Sep 2015
  1. EXCO learned of the Complaint from an email on 18 Sep 2015 by ACC President Ignatius Leong, who also requested SCF to reply to NCFP as soon as possible before NCFP seeks redress through other channels.
  2. On the same day, a VP of SCF asked the SCF President if an Emergency Meeting of the Council should be called to look into the Complaint. The President did not reply and no Emergency Meeting has been called to address this urgent matter.
25 Sep 2015
  1. Thomas Hoe sent a reply “Your email is noted” via email to NCFP to acknowledge receipt of the Letter. It did not state if the Council is or will be looking into the Complaint and revert timely. Note that this response was not first circulated to Council for vetting and approval.
  2. On the same day, upon being informed by NCFP of SCF’s reply, the ACC President responded via email that it took 8 days for such a reply from SCF. He stated that ACC viewed the Complaint very seriously and planned to meet to discuss action to be taken.
  3. SCF did not correspond to NCFP or ACC in any form from this date onwards till the sanctions by ACC. No Emergency Meeting was called to address the Complaint during this period.
27 Sep 2015 SCF President wrote to ACC Secretary-General Panupand Vijjurabha questioning the validity of the position of the ACC President since the latter was no longer a delegate of the SCF.
7 Oct 2015 ACC Secretary-General responded to the SCF President that an official once elected into an international organisation shall remain in office unless he resigns.
10 Oct 2015
  1. ACC convened Board Meeting in Manila.
  2. The ACC resolved to give Tony Tan two weeks’ grace to apologise and for the SCF Executive Council to take appropriate action against Tony Tan.
  3. Meanwhile, Ignatius Leong would take “Leave of Absence from the ACC” and Dy President GM Utut Adianto would be the Acting President.
11 Oct 2015 ACC Secretary-General replied to the SCF President that the ACC President is an elected official of the ACC.
11 Oct 2015
  1. ACC sent a Letter on the sanctions of Tony Tan and SCF EXCO to SCF via email to Thomas Hoe, cc Leonard Lau, following the ACC Management Board’s resolution on the Complaint made on 10 Oct 2015.
  2. EXCO was informed of the sanctions by the ACC President.
16 Oct 2015
  1. After almost 1 month upon receipt of the Letter of Complaint from NCFP, and after the ACC had imposed sanctions, the EXCO finally met to discuss this Complaint and the ACC sanctions, with 9 EXCO members in attendance.
  2. Two highlights from this meeting follows:
    – From the minutes of the EXCO Meeting held on 18 Sep 2015 which was attended by 6 EXCO Members (including Tony Tan but excluding 4 EXCO members; Ignatius Leong was on Leave of Absence from SCF EXCO), it was claimed that the President has referred the Complaint to a newly appointed Ethics sub-committee.
    – Upon checking with Chris Lim, Chair of the Ethics sub-com, Chris replied that no action was taken on this item during 18 Sep 2015 – 16 Oct 2015.
  3. After some lengthy discussions, during which Tony Tan and several members of the EXCO disputed the sanctions by ACC, a few options were tabled as possible response to ACC. As the members could not reach a proper decision on the response, it was agreed to continue on this matter in the next session to be held on 22 Oct 2015.
23 Oct 2015 4 EXCO members (Adelin Tan, Gan Yeow Beng, Chan Weng Kee, Philip Chan) resigned, in view of a decision made in the EXCO meeting on 22 Oct 2015 and the 2-week’s deadline from ACC. Ignatius Leong also resigned on the SCF EXCO. This meant that 5 of 11 elected EXCO members resigned after less than 3 months in office.
24 Oct 2015 The ACC issued a Statement concerning the FIDE Ethics Commission decision banning Ignatius Leong for 2 years from holding offices in FIDE, the national federation and any affiliated international organisation.
24 Oct 2015 SCF Vice-President John Wong wrote to ACC Secretary-General questioning the ACC sanctions.
25 Oct 2015 SCF Vice-President John Wong wrote again to the ACC Secretary-General challenging the ACC sanctions.
30 Oct 2015
  1. ACC sanction was announced: 5 members of the current EXCO were sanctioned for 3 years. The other EXCO Member, Tony Tan, had already been sanctioned for 3 years with effect from 11 Oct 2015.
  2. The 4 EXCO members who had resigned on 23 Oct 2015 were excluded from the sanction by ACC.
6 Nov 2015
  1. SCF Website announced that Tony Tan is suspended from EXCO from 5 – 18 Nov 2015, “in view of his disrespectful behaviour in the incident”.
  2. The local chess community was aware that during this period, Tony remained active in social media “promoting SCF activities and also a tournament official at the National Inter-School Team Championships!!
12 Nov 2015 SCF President wrote to NCFP that the SCF Ethics Committee “has found that Mr Tony Tan was disrespectful towards the children and Mr Jayson Gonzales during the ASEAN Age Group Championship held in June 2015, and has suspended Mr Tony Tan from the SCF EXCO for the period 5 to 18 Nov 2015”.
19 Nov 2015 SCF President wrote to ACC Secretary-General challenging the ACC decisions and that SCF had sought intervention from FIDE. He also said “we will be writing to the NCFP to inform them about the outcome of our investigation”. (Note the dates of the 2 letters!)
23 Nov 2015 FIDE Executive Director Nigel Freeman wrote to ACC Acting President Utut Adianto “that all titles and norms from ACC are suspended”.
17 Dec 2015 The FIDE Executive Director wrote again to ACC Acting President Utut Adianto that all titles and norms from the ACC are suspended until the action requested by FIDE has been taken.
31 Dec 2015 The FIDE Executive Director wrote to ACC Acting President Utut Adianto: “…I see that despite my advising you on 17th December that no titles or norms would be granted in the ASEAN Championships due to ASEAN Chess Confederation’s failure to take the actions requested, you apparently failed to advise the organisers or the participants. …”
8 Jan 2016 The FIDE Executive Director wrote to the SCF that it has declared the ACC sanctions are illegal…
19 Jan 2016 The FIDE Executive Director wrote again to ACC Acting President Utut Adianto that “As the ASEAN Chess Confederation has failed to take the action requested by FIDE, the FIDE Presidential Board is being asked to temporarily suspend the ASEAN Chess Confederation as an Affiliated Member of FIDE”.
29 Jan 2016 ACC wrote an Open Letter in response to SCF President’s Letter “FIDE Conclusive Response to the ACC Sanctions” posted on SCF Website. (FIDE never asked for details of the incident and explanations from the NCFP and ACC).
13 Feb 2016
  1. ACC Emergency Meeting in Singapore. ACC stood by its decisions on the sanctions on Tony Tan and the SCF EXCO. (ACC did not suspend the SCF and its members and players). ACC federations declared they would participate in the 2016 ASEAN+ Age Group Open Championships in Pattaya, Thailand.
  2. It should be stated here that for several months, many people were giving counter statements that the event would be organised in Taygaytay, home-city of the FIDE General Secretary despite Pattaya having been publicly declared at the 2015 event since June 2015.
  3. The meeting also confirmed that Mr Prospero Pichay would be the new ACC President.
19 Feb 2016 ACC announced that the 2016 ASEAN+ Age Group Open Championships will go ahead in Pattaya regardless of whether there would be FIDE titles and ratings.
19 Apr 2016 ACC Secretary General wrote to the FIDE Executive Director to clarify on the suspension of the ACC.
27 Apr 2016 The FIDE Executive Director responded: “The temporary suspension of the ASEAN Chess Confederation as an affiliated member of FIDE is justified by your refusal to lift the unlawful sanctions pronounced against Mr Tony Tan and by your refusal to comply with the decision of the FIDE Ethics Commission by failing to remove Mr Leong from office.”