Page 3 Profile: Gaoiz Nigalidze, chess player | The independent

Has nature called?

This is what the 25-year-old Georgian grandmaster tried to make everyone believe. But Gaioz Nigalidze was actually using his toilet breaks at the Dubai Open chess tournament on Saturday to check out playing tactics on a cell phone hidden in the cabin.

What a blunder!

It was certainly – for Nigalidze – who was kicked out on Sunday morning by the Dubai Chess and Culture Club.

What betrayed his strategy?

Nigalidze’s opponent in Saturday’s six-round game, 30-year-old Armenian grandmaster Tigran Petrosian, has become suspicious of Nigalidze for taking so many bathroom breaks. Petrosian told the chess-news.ru website: “Nigalidze would respond quickly to my movements, then literally run to the toilet. I noticed that he always visited the same toilet partition, which was odd, since two other partitions were not occupied. After Petrosian informed the Chief Referee, they found the cell phone and headphones that Nigalidze was using to cheat covered in toilet paper and hidden behind the pan.

Caught in the act, then?

Well, initially Nigalidze tried to deny the cheating. The Dubai Chess and Culture Club said on its Facebook page: “When confronted, [he] denied that he owned the device. But officials opened the smartphone and found it logged into a social media site under Nigalidze’s account. The club added that their game was analyzed by a chess app.

And is it checkmate for him?

Nigalidze could face a ban of up to 15 years. Nigel Short, an English chess grandmaster, said the two-time national champion should be stripped of his title. He tweeted: “Here is someone who should be stripped of their CEO title and banned immediately.” Short also tweeted that the World Chess Federation, FIDE, should introduce mandatory two-year bans on “computer cheaters.”

Are there many such cases?

In 2011, the French Chess Federation suspended three players after they were accused of using text messages to help them cheat at the Chess Olympics in Russia. And in 2013, a former Italian mayor, Loris Cereda, was banned by the Italian Chess Federation for allegedly using dark glasses concealing a secret camera to cheat.


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