A chess grandmasters success was unreal. Until he was caught in the bathroom with a phone.

A chess grandmasters success was unreal. Until he was caught in the bathroom with a phone.


A chess grandmasters success was unreal. Until he was caught in the bathroom with a phone. For the past six years, Igors Rausis seemed unbeatable. As the 58 year old grandmaster notched win after win, his rose accordingly until it had increased nearly 200 points. He became the oldest person to be ranked among the top 100 players worldwide, coming in at this month. Lawrence Trent, an English international master, the feat unreal stuff last year. Absolutely impressive, Russian grandmaster Andrey Deviatkin in March. According to , Rausis meteoric rise was largely the result of him scoring perfectly, or almost perfectly, in games against lower rated opponents. But now, the sports international governing body says there may be another explanation: cheating. On Friday, Emil Sutovsky, director general of the World Chess Federation FIDE , wrote in a Facebook that Rausis was caught red handed during a recent tournament in Strasbourg, France, confirming long held suspicions about the Latvian Czech player. Rausis was a former Latvian champion and has since represented Latvia, Bangladesh and the Czech Republic. It is a cheater, who reached that high in a very suspicious and questionable way, and now was caught, Sutovsky in another post. And how did officials bust Rausis? With a picture. The , which looked as though it was taken over the wall of a bathroom stall, reportedly showed Rausis sitting fully clothed on a toilet using his phone during a match. A phone was found in a bathroom Rausis had just used, Chess.com reported. It remains unclear how the picture of Rausis was taken. Officials have that a camera was installed in the bathroom or that the photo was taken on behalf of Fide or any other local, national or supranational chess authority. In an email to The Washington Post early Monday, David Llada, a spokesperson for FIDE, wrote that Rausis had signed a letter admitting his wrongdoing, but declined to comment further on the case until an official report is submitted. I simply lost my mind yesterday, Rausis said in a statement to Chess.com on Friday. Yes, I was tired after the morning game and all the Facebook activity of accusers also have a known impact. At least what I committed yesterday is a good lesson, not for me — I played my last game of chess already. Rausis the British Times that he used chess software on his phone, adding that he knew he had been committing my chess death. Players have been banned from bringing cellphones and other electronic communication devices into events since 2014, according to . Breaking the rule could result in a player losing their game. Beyond Rausis premature exit from the Strasbourg Open, he was also reported to the French police, Sutovsky said, and the federations ethics commission is now involved. On Facebook, Sutovsky said Rausis was suspended from the tournament, but the events organizers he forfeited and left. FIDE has fundamentally toughened its attitude, Sutovsky wrote in Russian on Facebook, according to the Times. Completely rooting out cheating is impossible, but the risk of being caught has significantly increased and the punishments will become much more significant. The war against cheating will last years, and were in it for the long haul. Though long considered a gentlemans sport in which a premium is placed on respecting rules, chess has not been without its share of cheating scandals — largely made possible by technology. More creative attempts have included the use of a sewn into a players cap, as well as a . But the most common, and perhaps most pervasive, tool is a smartphone. The basic problem is that its incredibly easy to cheat with a phone, Nigel Short, an English chess grandmaster, The Post in 2015. You can have some application running on your phone, and its quite easy to conceal. … My dog could win a major tournament using one of these devices. Or my grandmother. Anybody could do this. Several years before Rausis was photographed perched cross legged on a porcelain throne with a phone in hand, Georgian chess grandmaster Gaioz Nigalidze was accused of doing the same. At a tournament in Dubai in April 2015, Nigalidzes competitor observed that he would promptly reply to my moves and then literally run to the toilet, The Posts Michael E. Miller . A search of the stall Nigalidze had been frequenting turned up an iPhone wrapped in toilet paper that had been concealed behind the toilet. The ethics commission later Nigalidze guilty, sentencing him to a three year worldwide ban and revoking his grandmaster title. On Thursday, Yuri Garrett, secretary of FIDEs Fair Play Commission, on Facebook that officials had been closely following Rausis for months, crediting excellent statistical insights from a model created to detect cheating in chess. Trust me, the guy didnt stand a chance from the moment I knew about the incident: FPC knows how to protect chess if given the chance, Garrett wrote. Today was a great day for chess. At least one person, however, wondered why it took so long to nab Rausis. Amazing Rausis wasnt stopped earlier, English chess grandmaster Daniel Gormally . Seems completely naive to me that people think that someone can improve that much in their fifties. Worrying for the future if there is no way to stop a cheat other than taking a furtive photograph of them on the toilet with their phone. For at least 10 years, Rausis chess rating appeared to plateau. Then, in 2013, much to the surprise of chess experts, he started improving — a lot. His success was especially noteworthy given his age because chess is widely considered to be a sport dominated by younger players. There is no evidence of Rausis cheating before the incident in France, the Guardian . Has anyone else been mightily impressed by [Rausis] ELO gains lately? Trent, the English international master, referencing the popular rating system in July 2018. Deviatkin, the Russian grandmaster, wondered in March if modern training methods plus persistence and passion for the game had made Rausis success possible. I always considered huge progress in chess to be highly unlikely after 30, he . Earlier this month, even the FIDE director general addressed Rausis recent 40 game winning streak, and pointed to his strategy of playing very weak opponents. Everything seems to be honest, Sutovksy said in a written in Russian on July 4. But on Thursday, Deviatkin suggested that Rausis inspiring story likely could have continued, if only his rating hadnt gone so high, , he would have been still fooling many, even at his age. I wonder how many dozens of regular players cheating selectively for norms or some lucrative prizes havent been caught yet, he wrote.

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