After being discovered cheating during a chess tournament, Georgian grandmaster Gaioz Nigalidze was banned from the Dubai Open Chess Tournament.
According to the Dubai Chess and Culture Club, Nigalidze made several visits to the toilet where it was found that he had kept a smartphone logged into a chess analysis application.
It wasn’t until the sixth round with Armenian grandmaster Tigran Petrosian that people began feeling suspicious. Petrosian said he became skeptical because his opponent would go to the toilet during crucial phases of the game.
“The Armenian noticed the Georgian was oddly frequenting the toilet after each move during a crucial part of the game,” the Dubai Chess and Culture Club said.
Although Nigalidze wasn’t in possession of any electronic device, searching the washroom revealed a smartphone concealed in toilet paper.
According to the Daily Mail, Petrosian said: “Nigalidze would promptly reply to my moves and then literally run to the toilet.
“I noticed that he would always visit the same toilet partition, which was strange, since two other partitions weren’t occupied.
“I informed the chief arbiter about my growing suspicions and asked him to keep an eye on Gaioz.”
Nigalidze’s smartphone was logged into a social networking website under his account, and the game against Petrosian was being assessed in a chess application.
Nigalidze, in response to questions posed to him, said, “Not everything is true in what Petrosian said.”
The International Chess Foundation was immediately informed about the matter. Players found guilty of infringement faced a suspension of three years from all tournaments, and a repeated offense could lead to a 15-year ban, according to Mahdi Abdul Rahim, the Dubai tournament’s chief arbiter.
According to The Independent, Nigalidze won the Georgian Chess Championship for 2013 and 2014.
It’s not the first time a chess player has been accused of cheating.
Two years ago, Borislav Ivanov was accused of hiding devices in his shirt and shoes in a tournament in Spain. He was later ousted from the competition.
In 2011, three senior French chess players were allegedly exchanging text messages during a game. Although they denied the charges against them, they were held responsible for sending text messages carrying information taken from a computer program.
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