Thursday, 25 April 2013

Boy, that escalated quickly

An incident from the Cork Congress in Ireland shows how quickly things can get out of control when players lose their sense of perspective. During a game in the Major section, Gabriel Mirza (a former Irish Chess Union Secretary) became concerned that his 16 year old opponent was disappearing into the toilets after every move.  Having followed his opponent into the toilets he spotted him using a computing device. He fetched the tournament director, but soon things got out of hand. Not being able to enter the locked cubicle, Mirza kicked the door in, and dragged the player outside (despite being asked to 'calm down' by the director). One of the coaches of the opponent then intervened, and at this point the police were called.
The upshot was that the opponent was forfeited for using a  computing device, Mirza was forfeited for his behaviour, and both players were expelled from the tournament.
It appears the ICU will conduct an inquiry into the incident, while it is not clear whether there will be further action from the police. If there is further police action, I suspect  the first observation will be that the alleged assault on the 16 year old will be ranked higher in the eyes of the law than using a computer to cheat at chess.


Anonymous said...

Passions run high. Look at Luis Suarez. And chess attracts all sorts.

Pete (Ireland) said...

I thought you might pick up on this story. I can't (possibly) comment, but I wonder whether you (or anyone else) know where we could find any chess case law on these sort of things?

Many thanks.

Shaun Press said...

I'm not sure there is any chess case law that exists on this issue, although I have heard about similar incidents.
A young Australian player was banned for 2 years for using a hand held computer chess program during a tournament. Interestingly part of the debate was how far an arbiter can go in investigating the claim ie is the arbiter entitled to look over a toilet wall?
On a related matter FIDE and the ACP are in the process of setting up a commission to look at the issue of 'computer cheating' and so hopefully some concrete guidelines and processes will come out of this.