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Gardai called in over chess row after boy (16) accused of cheating


Inset: Gabriel Mirza (47)

GARDAI were called to a chess match after a 16-year-old Dublin schoolboy was accused of cheating.

A row started after the boy – who was said to have gone to the toilet “at least 20 times” – was allegedly caught using an android device to check his next move.

The Dublin teenager’s opponent, Gabriel Mirza (47), claimed he pulled the schoolboy from a toilet cubicle at the Metropole Hotel in Cork.

Following the incident – which occurred on Sunday morning – Mr Mirza said gardai were then alerted.

“It is a very serious incident. I was stopped from winning the tournament,” Mr Mirza claimed.

“I am waiting to see the reaction from the Irish Chess Union.”

Mr Mirza – a PE teacher in Limerick – said he has no regrets over his actions.

“I found him in the toilet with an Android checking the moves with a chess engine.

“I tried to get over the cubicle wall to grab the tablet from his hands and firstly I was thinking to jump over inside that cubicle,” said Mr Mirza.


“But I wanted a witness, so I ran straight to the controller, Gerry Graham, and called him to follow me immediately.

“I forced the cubicle door and I pulled this guy out from the toilet. I just grabbed him and then I was stopped by the people behind me.

“One of the organisers took me out and told me to relax and calm down. Then the guards were called.

“I spoke to a female guard and we will see what happens there,” Mr Mirza added.

Mr Mirza said that he later apologised to the organisers for over-reacting at the Cork Congress Chess Open tournament.

The prize money on offer was €400 – the second biggest prize in Irish chess tournaments.

“I did nothing. I just pulled him out from the toilet. Another coach there wanted to fight me. Because these guys are from this school, it is not good for them now.”

Mr Mirza is a father of two children who set up St Michael’s chess club in Limerick city.

Mr Graham, in an email to Mr Mirza, explained why he would not be allowed continue in the final round in Cork on Sunday, “as I witnessed you assaulting another player, a junior player, only 16 years old.

“I would state that you certainly took an action that will bring the game of chess into disrepute,” Mr Graham added.

“Because of the seriousness of your infraction, I chose expulsion from the event,” he told Mr Mirza.

It is not yet known if charges will be brought against Mr Mirza.

Online Editors