Chess player expelled from a tournament for cheating
Within weeks of the Nigalidze incident, another case of cheating has been reported from a tournament in New Delhi. Dhruv Kakkar was caught cheating at the Dr. Hedgewar Open during his match against Pravin Thipsay.
Two mobile phones and a speaker were recovered from Kakkar after the authorities conducted a thorough search post the match. Thipsay had pointed to the organisers of suspected foul play well before the match came to an end.
“I noticed that he was taking around two minutes for every move, whether it was a complex move or a simple piece-capture with a pawn,” Thipsay said.
“I expressed my doubts to the chief arbiter, who asked me to continue. By the 29th move, I was clearly lost and chose to offer a draw. He promptly declined the offer. But, my doubts stood confirmed when he missed simple winning lines as though he waited for a confirmation from someone. “
“At times, I thought he misheard the move (that was transmitted through the strapped phone) and played incorrectly.”
Chief arbiter of the tournament Dharmendra Kumar explained the modus operandi of the culprit.
“He was using one phone to receive messages, and the other to transmit,” Kumar said.
“I was looking at his body language. He was taking almost common time intervals for his moves. Even for obvious moves he was taking the same time,” he added.
After his win, Kumar escorted Kakkar to a to a separate room to conduct the search. The official found a belt that contained a pouch with two 9V batteries in it. The batteries were connected to a loop around his neck and to the phones that were secured to his legs.
Kakkar did not make a single move without consulting his friend Shubham,who used chess software ‘Fritz’ to assist Kakkar sitting 220 km away at Yamuna Nagar in Haryana.
Kakkar,a 19-year-old second year engineering student was ousted from the tournament. The All India Chess Federation (AICF) is yet to act in this matter.