Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Cheating scandal at Shropshire chess tournament

There's another chess story in the Shropshire Star. This one is not about the death of a stalwart of the game in the county but about a teenager being expelled from a tournament there for receiving electronic assistance:
The teenager was taking part in the inaugural Four Nations Chess League international congress in Telford and racked up an astonishing – and ultimately judged literally incredible – eight straight wins in the first eight rounds of the nine-round competition. 
The schoolboy from Surrey was in the lowest section, for players with an international Fide rating of 1825 or below. ... 
But despite a personal rating of a very modest 1286, the competitor was not only beating much stronger opposition but blowing them out of the water. 
His lead as the final round approached was already unassailable, but he was not given an opponent. 
Chief arbiter Alex Holowczak said: “During a routine anti-cheating check a player was found to have used electronic means to assist them with their games. That player was subsequently disqualified from the tournament.
Players who are receiving computer assistance are usually not hard to spot. Either, as in this case, they suddenly start playing way above their usual strength, or they play in a very unhuman fashion. They will go in for an apparently risky sacrifice in a position when they are already well on top. Any normal player nurses such an advantage home to score a calm win.

Let's end with the good news.

The Star says:
Featured on Liberal Democrat VoiceOn a more positive note, the Telford venue for the first-ever event, held at the Park Inn in the town centre, came through with flying colours, and the international competition attracted 10 Grandmasters – surely a record for any Shropshire chess competition – among a total of 109 entries across three sections.

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