Accusations of cheating and violence add dash of football glamour to Irish chess
ACCUSATIONS of cheating and violence at the Cork Congress Chess Open. It must be stamped on lest all chess players follow this example.
Romanian-born Gabriel Mirza, 47, claims his 16-year-old opponent was cheating.
“It is a very serious incident. I was stopped to win the tournament. But the main problem is about cheating. I showed to the chess world the truth, and all appreciated this. I am waiting to see the reaction from the Irish Chess Union and from all… After each move he went to the toilet, at least 20 times … I found him in the toilet with an android checking the moves with a chess engine. I tried to get over the cubical wall to grab the tablet from his hands, and firstly I was thinking to jump over inside that cubical. But I wanted a witness, so I ran straight to the controller, Mr Gerry Graham and called him to follow me immediately. The organisers (Mr Michael Bradley) and other adult approached there at the Gents [and] followed me inside where I forced the cubical door and I pulled this guy out from the toilet. I just grabbed him and then I was stopped by the people behind me.”
Mr Mirza was duly expelled from the tournament.
Graham emailed Mirza:
“I would state that you certainly took an action that will bring the game of chess into disrepute. Because of the seriousness of your infraction, I chose expulsion from the event.”
The Irish Chess Union release a statement.
“It has been insinuated that one chess player was caught cheating and the reaction of the opposing player discovering this was inappropriate. In the 100 years of our existence we have never had such allegation; a record we can be very proud of. We have a code of conduct that all our players adhere to; it is there to allow our members to play chess in a sporting environment.”
Adding in a second statement:
“In an era when stories of misdemeanours in sporting events have almost become commonplace there is sadness at the thought that the gentle game of chess can indeed be tainted. It is an issue that must be dealt with through the executive of the Irish Chess Union and the rules of the organisation. Nonetheless the ancient and beautiful game of chess will transcend these difficulties.”
Mr Mirza yesterday denied he had overreacted, explaining: “I had to prove he was cheating. I was afraid he would throw the tablet into the toilet.”
Such are the facts.
Photo: When chess was dangerous: Bobby Fischer of the U.S., right, and Tigran Petrosian of the U.S.S.R., continue the sixth game of their semi-final series for the world chess title, Oct. 17, 1971, in Buenos Aires. Fischer won that game.