Sunday, 12 April 2015

2015 Dubai Open - Nigalidze gets forfeited, internet expresses mild interest

Must be the season for defaulting players, although the default of GM Gaioz Nigalidze in the 2015 Dubai Open is a far more serious case than yesterdays example.
According to this news report from, Nigalidze was expelled from the Dubai Open for using an electronic device (a mobile phone), which he had hidden in the toilet. This was found during his round 5 game against GM Tigran Petrosian, and he was immediately defaulted, and soon after expelled from the tournament.
For whatever reason, this case seems to have generated far less comment than the Wesley So case, with the report seemingly the only major coverage of the case. At first glance this seems to be a pretty clear case of the violations of both the Laws of Chess, and the new FIDE Anti-Cheating regulations. Under the new regulations, a guilty finding by FIDE may result in a ban of up to 3 years for Nigalidze, a former two time champion of Georgia. The regulations (of which I helped write) cover cases like this pretty clearly, and I would be surprised if there is any way that Nigalidze can avoid sanctions (assuming the reporting is correct).


ChevronT said...

The current ability of FIDE to impose sanctions under the new Anti-Cheating Regulations and/or recent emendations to the Code of Ethics is presently in dispute. These legislative measures have only been passed by the Presidential Board (in Sochi), but if they are to be considered proper bylaws then the General Assembly should need to act (see the Tromso minutes, particularly comments of Rivello, and Gelfer about the necessity of the GA and not the PB to handle the ACC, etc). Basically, you can't sanction without a clear statutory basis, and it is at the very least arguable that the PB action is not sufficient. Legal limbo. :(

On the other hand, the old Code already allowed 3-year bans. You didn't mention another new aspect, the possibility of revocation of titles by the EC.

Anonymous said...

Now that Sandu has happened, perhaps it good to see the difference in the 2 cases?

Here is what Petrosian said: I informed the chief arbiter about my growing suspicions and asked him to keep an eye on Gaioz. After some time, the arbiter approached me and said that he had checked my opponent and found nothing. I asked him to check Nigalidze again, because I was already sure that something was wrong.

Now according to what happened with Sandu, and indeed as stated in the Anti Cheating rules, this was NOT proper of the arbiters to do this (either the first personal search, or the later toilet search), without a formal complaint being served by Petrosian. Conversely, in Chakvi the arbiter requested a "written petition", the second of which seems to have been taken as a formal complaint against Sandu.

So where is the line? Was what Petrosian and the Dubai arbiter Rahim did correct, or did it violate Nigalidze's rights somehow, but retrospectively is seen as "OK" just because it turned out he was guilty in the end? And if the Dubai arbiter was correct to act on "informal" suspicion, directly forbidden in the Anti Cheating rules I might add, why could not Chakvi have done the same, particularly as the principal request was just for an Internet delay, and did not even accuse anyone specifically?

I just don't think it is fair to be harsh on Chakvi for not asking for a written complaint, when no one (seemingly) has emphasized this failure in a case where things ended up the other way in Dubai.