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An Open Letter to Cock de Gorter and the CSVN Board
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Harvey Williamson
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2010 2:04 pm    Post subject: An Open Letter to Cock de Gorter and the CSVN Board Reply with quote

For those of you wondering what the CSVN is, it is the Dutch Computer Chess Association. It has been organising Computer Chess events for around 30 years. See www.csvn.nl

An Open Letter to Cock de Gorter and the CSVN Board

Dear Cock & CSVN Board members,

When I got home from the 30th Dutch Open on the Monday the 1st thing I did was email your tournament director:

Quote:
Hi Jan,

Thanks for a great tournament this year and for the website updates. I have put a thanks here http://hiarcs.net/forums/viewtopic.php?p=49468#49468

Best Wishes,
Harvey


I received a very nice reply. The last thing I was expecting to receive a few hours later was an email banning me from future tournaments. Jan as a board member must have known it was about to be sent. I thought the incident that is described below would be forgotten by both sides.

It is very sad that I have to write this letter. Someone I consider a friend has used a cracked version of a product sold by Hiarcs.com in an official tournament. Rather than apologising when confronted about the issue you constructed a way to ban me from the events you organise.

Let's start with a rewritten version of my post from 2nd December http://hiarcs.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=3838 here is the unedited version. It starts with a quote from the email I received, from you, the day after the 30th Dutch Open:

Quote:
In the present situation the CSVN-board has no other option than to ask you not to attend CSVN-events in the future.


Cock de Gorter the Chairman of the CSVN board told me last week in Leiden that he had entered an, official, online tournament with a cracked copy of the latest Junior that was sent to him by a friend in Brazil. I was astounded by this. Surely members of the board of a Computer Chess Association should lead by example and not use cracked software? I told Cock that I was appalled by his actions. 1) As someone who is totally against the use of cracked commercial software. 2) As Junior is sold by www.Hiarcs.com 3) As a www.Playchess.com Sys op because the online tournament is being played there. Normally this would lead to sanctions being taken on Playchess. I decided just to say that the cracked version must not be used again.

The conversation took place over Dinner on Thursday evening before the Dutch Open tournament, in Leiden, began. In my opinion this has nothing to do with the board. It was a shame Cock's wife was there and that she felt insulted by the conversation I had with her husband, for that I apologise.

After making my feelings known Cock then contacted Mark to ask for a free Junior 12 licence. Mark replied that on this occasion he was not prepared to supply one. If he had asked before using the cracked version we would of course have supplied a licence.

Some emails were then exchanged between Mark, Amir and Cock. I was also cc'd. After a couple of days he was sent a free Junior licence, although we had not received an apology. I really thought that would be the end of the matter. I have had no conversation with the person concerned since this email exchange began.

Then to my surprise I receive an email banning me from CSVN events. An email that raises a couple of questions.

1) What has this got to do with the CSVN board at all? It certainly has nothing to do with the Leiden tournament. An individual who happens to be a board member used cracked software emailed to him by a friend in Brazil.

2) Were the board made fully aware of the facts before allowing this decision to be taken in their name? It now appears as if the entire board supports the use of cracked commercial Chess software. I am sure this is not true


After my original post the ban was lifted with no apology or admission that it had been an error. Mark, Amir and I have not received a sincere apology. I received an email with the words that I refer to as 'CockSpeak' that are just unbelievable waffle with no admission that he has made any error. The CSVN made it sound like they were doing me a favour by lifting the ban. Amir Ban asked you to state that the ban had been wrong and if you did this it would close the issue. The Board have not even bothered to reply to Amir.

Quote:
Let me reiterate my stand: If Harvey's ban was not a mistake, then the amicable settlement reached with Cock is null and void, due to Cock's insincerity. If this situation stands, then my complaint of the CSVN chairman pirating my software also stands.

best regards,
Amir


As it currently stands it appears that the CSVN board condone the use of cracked commercial software in official tournaments and that any one who dares challenge you on this issue risks being banned from the events you organise. My thanks to David Levy and others who have tried to make the CSVN see sense.

At the previous Leiden tournament Cock told Amir and me that he had received the then current version of Junior from a friend by email. He was pleased to report that he had been unable to crack that one. Six months later he got a working version of the latest, I presume both were from from the same friend in Brazil.

I could write a lot more but will end with some quotes from the emails that have been exchanged. Everyone of them is totally damming of Cock and the board. I think it is fair to say that Cock has brought his office into disrepute. Every email he has written about this matter suggests he has done no wrong. I guess he is above the rules that apply to everybody else. As things, currently, stand Hiarcs will not enter any CSVN tournaments again. I suspect the same is true for Junior.

Here are some examples of CockSpeak:

Quote:
In following years there were complaints from other people in Leiden. I succeeded to keep you playing with Hiarcs nevertheless. That was not without discussion in our board.


I asked for clarification of any complaints made against me at leiden. I am still to receive a reply.

Quote:
Any personal relation stops after one party doubts the other's integrity, which was very much the case here.


Not sure what I am supposed to do when someone steals a product I am involved with selling.

Quote:
We were waiting for an apology, which did not come.


An apology for what? Sorry I was wrong to rightly accuse you of using an illegal cracked version of Junior?

Quote:
In this case Online Masters started and I had a working copy of Junior. Among the participants were all commercial programs, like Rybka, Hiarcs, Fritz, Shredder, Sjeng, Naum.
No Junior.....

During the tournament I could replace Junior easy. After that destroy the old version.


As you are someone above the law this is fine......

Quote:
My special position makes it impossible to ask for anything and once offered something, I cannot accept


Unless my friend in Brazil emails it to me....

This next one is not CockSpeak but written by a senior member of the Rybka team:

Quote:
With increasing amazement I have been reading the mails coming into my mailbox, regarding the use of illegal software by the CSVN chairman and the banning of mr. Harvey Williamson of team Hiarcs from the Leiden tournament. I have read all the arguments presented here and I can only come to the conclusion that I fully support the views of David Levy, Mark Uniacke and Amir Ban.

Furthermore, I want to explain to you why I quitted my membership of the CSVN in 2009: it was because of an article in a 2009 Computerschaak issue, in which the CSVN chairman accused Rybka of being a 'possible Fruit clone', while in the same article providing links of programs like Strelka. Apparently the new moral is: to accuse without giving proof, and write about programs of very dubious origin, without giving any explanation to the CSVN members how controversial these programs were (and still are). In 2010 nothing has changed in this respect, BTW.

According to me, the CSVN is skating on very thin ice here. There are programmers trying to make a living out of computer chess, whose existence are threatened by the very same Strelka's and Belka's the CSVN chairman is writing about. Furthermore, team Hiarcs is always present in the CSVN tournaments (sacrificing precious time and money to be in Leiden), not only scoring good results, but also making this tournament to a success. Without these programs you don't have a tournament, I hope you realise that.


Back to the CockSpeak:

Quote:
The Board never wrote the ban was not justified.

We are glad You gave us the necessary reasons to lift the ban.


So it is still all my fault?

This was sent by Amir Ban:

Quote:
While Harvey, Mark and I were thinking we had a complaint with Cock and were generously settling the matter, we were unaware that it was supposedly we who insulted Cock by doubting his integrity, and he was, allegedly, waiting for an apology. I don't understand how it is possible to admit to doing things and expressing regret while at the same time being insulted by the (true) allegation, nor is my intelligence sufficient to understand how one can accept an amicable settlement with gratitude while at the same time waiting for the other side to apologize (for what?) and even taking steps with you gentlemen to take punitive action.

The amicable settlement is, of course, null and void if Cock was secretly harboring complaints and plotting against us when reaching it.

Furthermore I personally feel used and a victim of fraud by extending free copies and forgiveness under such circumstances.


And this one from Mark Uniacke:

Quote:
At all times I have acted in good faith with you and I am disappointed you did not apologise and I am totally shocked by this ban on Harvey. This whole situation would never have arisen if you had not used a pirated copy of Deep Junior, if you had simply asked Amir or I for a complimentary version before you chose to use a pirated copy you would of received it. Therefore, I think that you only have yourself to blame for this as hard as that might be for you to accept.

Given the facts as I see them I believe the banning of Harvey is without foundation, unfair and totally unacceptable and an abuse of your position as Chairman of the CSVN.

In the present circumstances Hiarcs will not be competing again in CSVN events until and unless the situation is resolved.


On the 26th December Mark emailed the CSVN board one final time:
Quote:

I would like to make some points to the CSVN Board as follows:

1) At no time whatsoever has Cock ever apologised to either Amir or myself for using a cracked version of Deep Junior 12.

2) We have not seen a statement from Cock or the CSVN Board that the ban was unjust and incorrect. Indeed Cock wrote on the 7th Dec "The Board never wrote the ban was not justified." Clearly adding fuel to the fire, this strongly implies that Cock and CSVN board believe the ban was justified. Since the ban was based on the wrongful actions of its chairman the CSVN Board need to state that the ban was wrong and not justified.

3) The wronged party (Harvey) should be unconditionally apologised to, a partial apology prepended by an "if" is hardly fitting.

The fact the CSVN Board has ignored these points and the emails from Amir is in my opinion disgraceful.

I hope this email will not be ignored and I would like the CSVN Board to respond to the points made above and I sincerely hope the CSVN Board has the courage to act honourably and finally resolve this issue as a matter of urgency.


A reply was received from Cock:

Quote:
The Board closed the matter as you know. Point 1) however is directed directly to me as a person, so I will answer this.

I thought the matter of using a copied version of Junior was ended by my explanation and your and Amir's olive branche which was accepted gratefully. Nevertheless: I apologise to you and Amir for playing once with an copied original version of Junior.


Amir then replied to Cock and the board:

Quote:
The problem is that the "olive branch" was not "accepted gracefully" but at that you were plotting against Harvey at the same time. This has been explained to you. I understand you would like to see that matter closed but it takes two to tango. Your apology cannot be accepted until you retract Harvey's ban. As things stand, I cannot participate in your future events, whether personally or by representative.

I find it odd and somewhat ridiculous that you would personally answer messages to the CSVN board that concern you intimately. Nor does it add to your credibility to claim "the matter is closed" when it clearly isn't. Does your board actually support you on any of this?

You have now escalated an embarrassment into a full-scale outrage, and dragged your entire organization into it, to the extent that it seriously reflects on its reputation. With respect, aren't there any responsible adults on your board?


I will end with the voice of reason President of the ICGA IM David Levy:

Quote:
Hi Harvey,

I have tried for one last time to persuade Cock that he should apologize properly and answer your and Amir's questions but to no avail.

I give up!

Best,

David


With this open letter I now call upon Cock and the CSVN to publish the apologies that are due. My ban should be fully retracted.

Harvey Williamson
28th Dec 2010
www.Hiarcs.com

Comments and replies to this post are welcome. However we will moderate to keep the thread on-topic.
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sockmonkey
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2010 3:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We may often not see eye to eye, Harvey, but you (and the Junior authors and the HIARCS sales team) have clearly been wronged here, and are absolutely right to insist on a swift and sincere rectification of the matter. My support is naturally worthless, but I offer you my very best wishes for a satisfactory resolution.

Jeremy
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MikeB
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2010 3:59 pm    Post subject: Re: An Open Letter to Cock de Gorter and the CSVN Board Reply with quote

Harvey,

I think your objective is backwards. Rather than request a retraction of your ban, you and others should boycott Dutch Computer Chess Association until Cock de Gorter resigns. This is a clear case of abuse of power. I wish you the best.

Mike
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Harvey Williamson
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2010 4:01 pm    Post subject: Re: An Open Letter to Cock de Gorter and the CSVN Board Reply with quote

MikeB wrote:
Harvey,

I think your objective is backwards. Rather than request a retraction of your ban, you and others should boycott Dutch Computer Chess Association until Cock de Gorter resigns. This is a clear case of abuse of power. I wish you the best.

Mike


Thanks Mike,

We will certainly do all in our power to persuade others not to attend, if this is not resolved in a speedy manner.
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Richard Pijl
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2010 5:32 pm    Post subject: Re: An Open Letter to Cock de Gorter and the CSVN Board Reply with quote

Harvey Williamson wrote:
MikeB wrote:
Harvey,

I think your objective is backwards. Rather than request a retraction of your ban, you and others should boycott Dutch Computer Chess Association until Cock de Gorter resigns. This is a clear case of abuse of power. I wish you the best.

Mike


Thanks Mike,

We will certainly do all in our power to persuade others not to attend, if this is not resolved in a speedy manner.


When the board and their chairman is not doing what the members (which still includes me) want they should be forced to do otherwise. The next opportunity is at the annual meeting during the next tournament.
I do not agree with the way the current board is dealing with this issue!
Richard.
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Gerd Isenberg
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2010 11:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A man of his caliber, who has initiated and organized the Aegon tournaments and did that much for computer chess!
I can't believe that. Very sad and disappointed about Cock. Harvey, I agree with you, and you have my solidarity on that matter.

Gerd
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2010 11:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gerd Isenberg wrote:
A man of his caliber, who has initiated and organized the Aegon tournaments and did that much for computer chess!
I can't believe that. Very sad and disappointed about Cock. Harvey, I agree with you, and you have my solidarity on that matter.

Gerd


Hi Gerd,

Thanks, I completely agree with evertyihing you say.

Best Wishes,
Harvey
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ed
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 29, 2010 11:21 pm    Post subject: Re: An Open Letter to Cock de Gorter and the CSVN Board Reply with quote

Harvey Williamson wrote:
It is very sad that I have to write this letter. Someone I consider a friend has used a cracked version of a product sold by Hiarcs.com in an official tournament. Rather than apologising when confronted about the issue you constructed a way to ban me from the events you organise.

I heard a different story from Cock de Gorter. He said he told you on beforehand, one day before the tournament started while waiting for his free-copy from ChessBase. This during a dinner you had with Cock and his wife. And you went mad and misbehaved. Cock's wife upset.

Cock wanted to do Amir a favour, so he told you, honestly. Not expecting you to misbehave and then start a public war quoting private email and all of that.

While I disagree with the ban in his role as chairman of the CSVN he is a husband also and I can fully understand the sentiment.

Does this man (already on a respectable age also) who has given us so much deserve this public spanking?

Is it worth it?
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 29, 2010 11:32 pm    Post subject: Re: An Open Letter to Cock de Gorter and the CSVN Board Reply with quote

ed wrote:
Harvey Williamson wrote:
It is very sad that I have to write this letter. Someone I consider a friend has used a cracked version of a product sold by Hiarcs.com in an official tournament. Rather than apologising when confronted about the issue you constructed a way to ban me from the events you organise.

I heard a different story from Cock de Gorter. He said he told you on beforehand, one day before the tournament started while waiting for his free-copy from ChessBase. This during a dinner you had with Cock and his wife. And you went mad and misbehaved. Cock's wife upset.

Cock wanted to do Amir a favour, so he told you, honestly. Not expecting you to misbehave and then start a public war quoting private email and all of that.

While I disagree with the ban in his role as chairman of the CSVN he is a husband also and I can fully understand the sentiment.

Does this man (already on a respectable age also) who has given us so much deserve this public spanking?

Is it worth it?


Ed,

Not sure why you bold the day before the tournament. I thought I had made that clear.

You can believe Cock if you want. However if that is true why did he write and thank Mark for his nice free licence. Why was I not told there was a problem? Why was I not given a right to put my side of the case before any ban was put in place? Why did Cock speak to me quite nicely on the Friday morning after the meal? He only stopped talking to me after he received the initial email from Mark saying he would not send a free copy. Although after talking with Amir he agreed to send one.
Why did Cock admit to me and Amir he had received a copy of Junior before from a friend although he had been unable to crack it?

If there had not been this contrived ban there would have been no public spanking. The incident was forgotten by me. Cock had the Junior he wanted. Nothing was said by him or any board member during the tournament. When I get home after exchanging a nice email with 1 board member I get Cock's crazy email. I broke the law but you are banned.

Why is using a crack for 1 day ok but not for longer? What would CSVN do if someone used a crack in one of their tournaments? In fact the CB release did not come out for another few weeks.

Why until 26th December did he refuse to apologise to mark and amir in any way?

Am i supposed to say thank you for the ban I will not try to put this right? If I speed in my car on the way home from work can CSVN ban me for that? What has a meal to do with the CSVN board? I was not their guest and they were not paying the bill.

Best Wishes,
Harvey

ps We were in a Michelin starred Restaurant if I had misbehaved we would have been kicked out. It did not happen. Yes I told him he was wrong. I changed the subject several times. Every time Cock would bring it back and try and defend his actions.
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CatPower
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 12:03 am    Post subject: Re: An Open Letter to Cock de Gorter and the CSVN Board Reply with quote

ed wrote:


Is it worth it?


Harvey, you forgot to to answer Ed's question, which I think is a crucial one.

Most people see your point, but what are you trying to accomplish here?

You have made your point, let it rest.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 12:12 am    Post subject: Re: An Open Letter to Cock de Gorter and the CSVN Board Reply with quote

CatPower wrote:
ed wrote:


Is it worth it?


Harvey, you forgot to to answer Ed's question, which I think is a crucial one.

Most people see your point, but what are you trying to accomplish here?

You have made your point, let it rest.

I would be happy for for the CSVN board to say that the ban was wrong. They have refused to do this. This thread was only started because they said they would not answer any more emails from Amir, Mark or me.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 1:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ed wrote:
I heard a different story from Cock de Gorter. He said he told you on beforehand, one day before the tournament started while waiting for his free-copy from ChessBase. This during a dinner you had with Cock and his wife. And you went mad and misbehaved. Cock's wife upset.


Of course you did Ed. What is your point? And this is typical for Harvey? Typical for him to misbehave in expensive restaurants and cause a scene? All of what Cock said... this makes sense to you?

What makes perfect sense... the topic of the cracked version Cock is using "comes up". Cock tries to convince Harvey it is "ok". Harvey is adamant in his position that it is not "ok". Mrs. de Gorter is "offended" because her husband is being accused of being a thief (which he is in essence... he is using something that does not have a legal right to use). That is what is reasonable and what makes sense, in light of all the testimony.

ed wrote:
Cock wanted to do Amir a favour, so he told you, honestly. Not expecting you to misbehave and then start a public war quoting private email and all of that.

Do Amir a favour??? What kind of cocked-up tripe is that? How is Cock de Gorter using a cracked version of Junior doing Amir a favour???

Who is he doing a favour??? I will tell you who!

Himself for one!!! because he cannot use a smidge of discipline and respect for the author (Amir) because of self-serving greed... "I will use what I want when I want it!" Just like a little child!

The "other" he is doing it for are all those hormonal raging, zit-filled Teenage hackers (like his friend in Brazil) who he now represents! "Well... Cock de Gorter uses cracked versions of software! Why should I pay for any version?!"

And Harvey to misbehave? This reminds me of the situation here in American where the thief breaks in a home, is shot and wounded by the homeowner, then later attempts to sue the homeowner for wounding him (misbehaving).

CatPower wrote:
ed wrote:


Is it worth it?


Harvey, you forgot to to answer Ed's question, which I think is a crucial one.

Most people see your point, but what are you trying to accomplish here?

You have made your point, let it rest.

Oh I see...

After a certain period of service one gains some sort of "executive privilege". You do good there... hold a position here... gain a certain age... now you are in a league of your own and you should not be questioned about a certain action here or an indiscretion there...

What Nonsense! What total Nonsense!!

Richard Nixon (our 37th President) thought the same way too! He thought he had "arrived" having been elected President... thinking of himself as a type of Louis XIV "The King shall not be questioned." Pish posh!!!

Now President Nixon's legacy, despite being a brilliant man and politician, will forever be stained as he was nothing more than a common criminal.

"The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness." And there is absolutely no "righteousness" found in the thievery of another's work.

Cock had a month to clean up the mess he made, but it seems he is of the arrogance of the Sun-king "who can do no wrong" and "I shall not be questioned" being president of CSVN. He did not admit to his abuse of power, despite a multitude of chances to do this "behind closed doors".
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 2:34 pm    Post subject: Re: An Open Letter to Cock de Gorter and the CSVN Board Reply with quote

Hello Harvey,

I dont know what happened as I only have one of the "participants" as a source, but in general an official organisation should of course beeing exemplary in condeming illeagal copies of comerscial products. And to make that clear, I dont know if someone realy used a version and what exactly was the way he recieved it.

But while reading the whole thigng I found this wich caught my attention:

Harvey Williamson wrote:


This next one is not CockSpeak but written by a senior member of the Rybka team:

Quote:

...
Furthermore, I want to explain to you why I quitted my membership of the CSVN in 2009: it was because of an article in a 2009 Computerschaak issue, in which the CSVN chairman accused Rybka of being a 'possible Fruit clone', while in the same article providing links of programs like Strelka. Apparently the new moral is: to accuse without giving proof, and write about programs of very dubious origin, without giving any explanation to the CSVN members how controversial these programs were (and still are). In 2010 nothing has changed in this respect, BTW.


Starting from "Apperently ..." I have to ask if you did not mix any quotings here. This cant be seriously coming from a "senior member of the Rybka team"! Somewhere there has to be a mistake.

If it is not a mistake it is for sure an interesting insight!

Bye
Ingo
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Harvey Williamson
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 2:39 pm    Post subject: Re: An Open Letter to Cock de Gorter and the CSVN Board Reply with quote

IngoB wrote:
Hello Harvey,
I dont know if someone realy used a version and what exactly was the way he recieved it.



The person admits he used the cracked version this is not denied by him. So this is not an issue open to debate. he also admits to using in the CSS Masters tournament.

As for the rest of your post I do not intend to let this thread drift off topic.
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IngoB
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 2:49 pm    Post subject: Re: An Open Letter to Cock de Gorter and the CSVN Board Reply with quote

Hi

Harvey Williamson wrote:
IngoB wrote:
Hello Harvey,
I dont know if someone realy used a version and what exactly was the way he recieved it.



The person admits he used the cracked version this is not denied by him. So this is not an issue open to debate. he also admits to using in the CSS Masters tournament.


Yes, I read what you have quoted about it and with this information it looks like you are right.

Harvey Williamson wrote:

As for the rest of your post I do not intend to let this thread drift off topic.


Ok and I aree to that. Sorry, it really jumped into my eyes.

Bye
INgo
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