A chess grandmaster was caught using a cell phone in the bathroom to cheat at a worldwide chess tournament this weekend, and now faces a 15-year ban from the game.
Gaioz Nigalidze, chess champion of the country of Georgia, was expelled from the Dubai Open after his opponent complained to organizers about the number of times he was using the bathroom.
His opponent, Tigran Petrosian, told the Telegraph his opponent was acting very suspicious.
“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.”
After witnessing Nigalidze run to the bathroom several times, organizers searched the stall and found a cell phone logged in to Facebook running a chess program that was stashed in the trash. The phone was wrapped in toilet paper with headphones attached and logged into Nigalidze’s Facebook.
Nigalidze was ranked 400th in the chess world, but this weekend he became the first chess grandmaster to be referred to the Anti-Cheating Commission, set up last year by the World Chess Federation, according to the USA Today.
He was booted from the chess tournament, which has a top prize of $12,000 and now must face an ethics commission, which will determine his fate. Chess cheaters are given a three-year ban, while repeat offenders are banned for 15-years, according to the USA Today.
Cheating with electronic devices has become so rampant in the chess world that players must undergo searches and walk through metal detectors.
The chess cheating incident follows a warning from top chess grandmaster Daniel Gormally last month that several international chess champs were using their cell phones to cheat. He told the Telegraph chess champs cheat just like professional cyclers and other pro athletes.
“Of course, you can’t prove it. If somebody wants to go to the toilet once or twice in a match you wouldn’t be suspicious, but they could easily look at their phone and gain a significant improvement.”
Apps like Droidfish and Shredder are capable of running complex chess programs that analyze the game using so called “chess engines.”
Chess is a serious subject in England, where a 10-year-old boy committed suicide after losing a game earlier this month, according to the Inquisitr. The boy became angry his opponent didn’t say checkmate after beating him in a game of chess and then threw himself out a window.