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Dear Boye:

I applaud your courage.

In a world where organizations are buried in bureaucracy, more concerned about making money rather than keeping the game clean, where players are cowered to make the tiniest noise, you stood up and, in my view, cried for justice. Quoting the great mathematician Godfrey Harold Hardy, you did not simply sacrifice a pawn to win the game, you offered the game—your career on this path.

I do not know you in person—except having read your excellent book, and the hands I kibitzed on vugraph, and things I have heard about you from other people. My impression is that you are a solid citizen, a respectable player, and a teammate that everybody would like to have.

As you have already witnessed, this path is full of obstacles.

You did and will encounter trollers, patriots, and the die-hard advocates of the devil. They did and will do their best to discredit you; even threaten you.

They did and will try to ridicule your case with minor arguments. (“Why did you come ahead after you lost against Cayne; why not while you were their teammates?” Tell them that if you did what they suggested, they would then come up with “Why now, why did you not do anything when you first heard the rumors?” Know that you can never make them happy whatever you do.)

They did and will try to caricature your case with totally irrelevant arguments. And, perhaps, try to, in a way, prove that you are the cheater.

They did and will try to belittle your case by talking about how things “should” have been done—as if there is a rule for rule making. They will not understand that at certain times, one just cannot take it anymore, does not give a shit about traditions and rules, and simply puts his case forward, along with his head. Tell them that we way passed “shoulds”, and if they want to complain, the proper address is the organizations and the federations whom prefer to play ostrich and think that whispers will in time vanish and be forgotten.

Some clueless people did and will bring up statistics. They will say that one in a trillion times one in a trillion is not zero, it is still a number. Ask them what they will think when the same person wins the big lottery for dozens of times consecutively, whether they will shrug and say “it is possible, after all the chance is not zero.” Ask them why they leave the umbrella at home on a sunny summer day even though the chance of rain is never ever zero.

Exemplary people like Larry Cohen explained how these things start with whispers—not any whispers, but whispers among top players—that there will be no smoke without fire. He suggested a doable solution; but some did and will completely ignore the essence and parrot the same things.

They did and will distract your case with phrases like “lynch mob.”

Countless people supported Mike Passell along the lines of “I know this guy and I bet my life that he is not a cheater.” That means a lot. More than his masterpoints and his trophies. I am yet to see anybody step out and support these guys in the same way.

Of course the accused deserve their day in a court outside of the internet. If you are wrong then you have ruined your career. But even then, you will be remembered for your courage.

PS: I also heard the rumors for some years, but never took them seriously. After all, I myself did not play against them, thus did not let myself act with respect to “rumors.” For the time being, I still consider myself neutral. I guess Boye's situation was similar when the accused were his teammates.

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