- A star chess player was allegedly “caught red-handed” cheating by using a phone in the bathroom during a tournament.
- A phone was reportedly found in a toilet that had just been used by grandmaster player Igors Rausis, who later admitted it belonged to him.
- A chess official posted a statement online that didn’t mention Rausis by name, but said a player who had shot to success was raising red flags.
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A star chess player admitted that he was cheating by using a phone in the bathroom during a tournament after he was allegedly “caught red-handed.”
The Telegraph first reported that Igors Rausis, 58, was suspended after the International Chess Federation said it caught a player at France’s Strousberg Open Chess tournament “red-handed using his phone during a game.”
Chess.com reported the case unfolded after a phone was found in a toilet that had just been used by Rausis, and the champion later signed a statement admitting it belonged to him.
Rausis won the grandmaster title in 1992 and has previously represented Latvia, Bangladesh, and the Czech Republic.
“I simply lost my mind yesterday,” Rausis told Chess.com “I confirmed the fact of using my phone during the game by written [statement]. What could I say more? 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.”
Players can use certain apps to analyze their previous moves, and are banned from most tournaments.
Yuri Garrett, the secretary for the Chess Federation’s Fair Play Commission, posted a lengthy statement on Facebook that didn’t mention Rausis by name, but said a player had been closely followed for months after unusual “excellent statistical insights” had given them away.
“Trust me, the guy didn’t stand a chance from the moment I knew about the incident,” Garrett wrote. “This is how anti-cheating works in chess. It’s the team of the good guys against those who attempt at our game.”
Garrett seemed to be referring to Rausis’ sharp ascent up the rankings in recent years, which was captured in a tweet posted by fellow player Andrey Deviatkin months before the incident that shows a chart of official ratings.
— Andrey Deviatkin (@AndreyDeviatkin) March 18, 2019