| 7.8°C Dublin

Player hauls 'cheating' chess teen out of toilet cubicle


Gabriel Mirza became suspicious of his young opponent

Gabriel Mirza became suspicious of his young opponent

Gabriel Mirza became suspicious of his young opponent

A CHESS player who hauled his schoolboy opponent from a toilet cubicle after he allegedly caught him cheating has no regrets over his actions.

Gardai were called to the Cork Congress Chess Open after the 16-year-old – who attends a private Dublin school – was accused of cheating by his rival.

Gabriel Mirza – former secretary of the Irish Chess Union (ICU) – said he caught the teen using an Android computer to establish his next move in a toilet cubicle during their match over the weekend.

Mr Mirza (47) said he kicked in the cubicle door at the Metropole Hotel and hauled his opponent out before organisers of the tournament intervened. He said he was proud of what he did.

It is believed gardai have not yet received any complaint.

ICU chairman Jonathan O'Connor said they were waiting for a report from the controller of the event. It is expected the issue will be discussed at an ICU committee meeting tonight.

Mr Mirza, a father of two, told the Irish Independent he wanted to win the tournament, where €400 was on offer.


"My opponent, after each move, he went out (to the toilet). He went in and out 20 times. We had made 24 moves.

"After the second or third move I knew he was checking (on the computer)."

Mr Mirza said he followed and looked inside a toilet cubicle.

"He was on an Android tablet and was putting the moves into it. I wanted to jump inside and get his Android, but I couldn't reach. I couldn't go over the (top). I went straight to the controller, Gerry Graham, and told him to follow me. I shouted and disturbed other players from their games because I was mad.

"Of course I was mad, so I smashed in the door. The guy was sitting, but not using the toilet. I pulled him out."

Mr Mirza, who runs St Michael's Chess Club in Limerick, admitted to being held back by one of the organisers. "He said 'relax and calm down'. His coaches called the guards. One of his coaches wanted to fight with me," Mr Mirza said. "One of the guards interviewed me and one interviewed that person.

"I was playing against the machine (the Android tablet). He was expelled – disqualified. I wasn't allowed to play the last game either.

"I am proud for what I did. I don't regret anything," he said.

Mr Graham – the Cork tournament arbiter – informed Mr Mirza via email that he had been expelled.

"As I witnessed you assaulting another player, a junior player, only 16, I would cite that you certainly took an action that will bring the game of chess into disrepute," the email said.

As a result of Sunday's incident, Mr Mirza is no longer allowed to teach chess as part of after-hours classes at two primary schools in Limerick.

Mr Mirza led the Irish delegation to November's world youth chess championships in Slovenia. He previously played professional soccer in his native Romania for Dinamo Bucharest and Otelul Galati.

The principal of the boy's secondary school was said to be not talking on the issue.

Irish Independent