Chess Cheating and Ethics (A personal view)

The GrandMaster Gaioz Nigalidze (2566) from Georgia was thrown out of the Dubai Open this weekend after being found guilty of cheating. Over the past few years, this cancer (cheating) has been growing more and more. First among amateurs and now, apparently, among Grandmasters.  This must come to an end.

As chessplayers, we urge organizers to find a solution to this problem. There are many things to be done on this subject. However,  they are not the only ones to make a  difference, chess needs to be again a game of respect, of gentlemen, and there are ethics and manners to follow in a tournament. The 21st century chess can’t allow a GM hidding phones in a toilet, where are the values of this game that we so proudly preach?

For example, nowadays in Open Tournaments it is very common to see kids (sometimes not just kids) walking around and commenting their own games and how they are doing. This behaviour is not much different, and should not be allowed, nevertheless it happens all the time. The arbiters don’t do anything about it and the players affected don’t want to make noise or sometimes they don’t even realize what’s happening.

Let me share a little story with you. About 10 years ago, before the computer cheating paranoia had started, I witnessed the GM  Oleg Korneev, a well known and respected player, stand up on his move, just to separate his opponent (GM) from another colleague (also GM) and tell him to talk after the game. He knew what he was doing, he had driven his opponent into a very tricky line and went on to win fairly quick. His opponent could not find any help outside the board.

What happened in Dubai is certainly disturbing, and it deserves a punsihment according to the crime. It is a specially worse case since it is a strong GM who did it. The chess world has reacted trough social media and the majority condemn this sad incident. Let’s see now what FIDE will do about it.
It is up to us to make a difference, chessplayers, organizers, arbiters. Common Sense and RESPECT. Honor the game or don’t play it.

Written by (IM) Renier Castellanos



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