Thursday 18 December 2014

Teen who used computer to cheat gets chess ban

Barry Duggan and Ralph Riegel

Published 26/03/2014 | 02:30

Gabriel Mirza became suspicious of his young opponent
Gabriel Mirza became suspicious of his young opponent

A TEENAGER caught cheating during the 2013 chess congress by using a computer in a toilet was banned for four months.

The 16-year-old – who cannot be named as he is a minor – was caught by Romanian chess player, Gabriel Mirza, who had become suspicious about his repeated absences to go to the bathroom.

An Irish Chess Union (ICU) probe into the allegations was conducted and the Dublin teen admitted the matter.

In a statement, the ICU said an independent disciplinary board had imposed a four-month tournament ban.

However, ICU executives described the length of the ban as overly lenient but were powerless to increase it.

"The disciplinary sub-committee found that the player had indeed cheated at the tournament by consulting a programme on an electronic device outside the playing area whilst the game was in progress," an ICU report found.

"The player admitted the offence. Because the player is a minor, the player is not being named by the ICU."

However, Mr Mirza also received a ban from involvement at any level within the ICU after his actions were deemed to have brought the organisation into "disrepute". An ICU source indicated he had also received a 10-month suspension from tournament play.

The father of two forced in the cubicle door at the Metropole Hotel and removed the teen. The Cork organisers then intervened and gardai were called to the hotel.

Both players were subsequently dismissed from the tournament. The final ICU report on the matter was prepared last week and it imposed a suspension on Mr Mirza.

The Cork organisers are confident this year's championships will make headlines for all the right reasons. The event in the Metropole Hotel from March 28-30 is expected to feature 150-200 competitors.

Chess is now a rapidly expanding sport given its strategic thinking and crossovers to computer games.

Irish Independent

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