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Tuesday 15 October 2019

Student barred from top chess tournament in Dublin amid cheating claims

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Claire Murphy

Claire Murphy

A young student was thrown out of a €10,000 international chess tournament in Dublin amid allegations of cheating.

It is believed an associate was helping the player by using a computer to plan the most effective moves.

The event - with a top prize of €2,250 - took place recently in a south Dublin school over six days, with players of all ages from more than 20 countries and a prize fund of €10,000.

The player reportedly won a number of games against strong opposition, including an international master - the game's second-highest level of attainment.

Four of the player's five games were broadcast live, enabling viewers to follow them from home and abroad.

The top four contests were also broadcast in the main playing arena at the tournament. However, in round four where the player lost a game, it was broadcast in the theatre.

In this round, the live board for this game was shut off after a few hours' play.

Following this, it is understood the player moved his queen back and forth on alternative moves and then resigned the game a few moves later.

A source told the Irish Independent that it was suspected there were a number of associates working with the player, at least one watching the game online and researching the best moves - and another acting as a go-between.

The player was then removed from the event before round six.

A spokesperson for the Irish Chess Union said it was committed to keeping chess "cheating-free" and was currently conducting an investigation. There would be no further comment further until it concluded.

If it is proved the individual is guilty of cheating, the matter would be raised with FIDE, the world governing body of chess.

"The event was won by grandmaster Robert Ruck from Hungary with a score of 7.5/9," the spokesperson added.

"This year, Ireland will host our equivalent of the junior Six Nations in July in Dundalk with Ireland welcoming English, Scottish, Welsh, Dutch and French teams.

"The event is helped by support from Fáilte Ireland, the European Chess Union and FIDE.

"At the Irish Open, we signed our first agreement with FIDE, after a meeting with executive director Victor Bologan, who was present to open the event."

Irish Independent

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