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US chess grandmaster, 19, accused of using anal beads ‘probably cheated more than 100 TIMES’

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Aside from bribing opponents or officials, or falsifying tournament results, most cheating scandals in chess involve surreptitiously receiving suggestions about possible moves.

With the explosion of chess computer programs and devices such as cell phones and Bluetooth, tournament officials have had to navigate a minefield of challenges in spotting cheaters in recent years.

At the highest league levels, players are now routinely scanned with metal detectors before playing in tournaments. But as the defense against cheating develops, so do the cunning plans of unethical players. Here are some of the five biggest cheating scandals in recent memory:

2010 FIDE Olympiad Tournament

In the tournament in Russia’s Khanty-Mansiysk, French players Cyril Marzolo, Arnaud Hauchard and Sébastien Feller were caught conspiring in an elaborate deception.

Sébastien Feller (above) was one of three French players caught conspiring in an elaborate deception in 2010.

Sébastien Feller (above) was one of three French players caught conspiring in an elaborate deception in 2010.

Arnaud Hauchard

Arnaud Hauchard

Cyril Marzolo

Cyril Marzolo

Team coach Arnaud Hauchard (left) signaled moves after text messages from Cyril Marzolo (right), who followed the tournament from home

While Feller played at the board, Marzolo monitored the tournament from home and monitored the game using a chess program.

Marzolo selected the ideal moves from the chess engine and texted the moves to Hauchard, the team coach, who would then stand or sit in a certain position to signal the move to Feller.

All three players involved were either Grandmasters or International Masters, and all received lengthy suspensions from the FIDE Ethics Committee.

Iai Open 2014

During the tournament in Romania, Wesley Vermeulen with a rating of 2239 was caught cheating by consulting a mobile phone in the toilet.

According to the tournament minutes, Vermeulen was working with officials and admitted his guilt when confronted.

He was eventually suspended for a year by both the Dutch Chess Federation and FIDE .

Dubai Open Chess Tournament 2015

Georgian grandmaster Gaioz Nigalidze was caught cheating in 2015

Georgian grandmaster Gaioz Nigalidze was caught cheating in 2015

Georgian grandmaster Gaioz Nigalidze was caught cheating in 2015

Georgian grandmaster Gaioz Nigalidze was banned from the tournament after officials discovered him in the bathroom on a smartphone running chess software during a match.

Nigalidze’s opponent grew suspicious when the grandmaster fired repeatedly into the bathroom after each move during a crucial part of the game, tournament officials said.

At first, Nigalidze tried to deny that the phone was his. But it was logged into a social media account in his name and had a program that analyzed the moves in his match, officials said.

International Chess Festival 2015

In 2015, Italian player Archangel Ricciardi, a beekeeper, was caught cheating after reaching the penultimate round of the International Chess Festival in Italy.

He had risen from a world ranking of 51,336 to beat a French grandmaster along the way.

But referee Jean Coquerat grew suspicious after the then 37-year-old had a string of successes.

The referee, from Turin, noticed that he always sat down – even though the matches could last for hours.

And then there was the way he blinked, in a strange, unnatural way.

He also began to suspect that the constant drinking of water and wiping his forehead could be a signal to whoever helped Ricciardi get along.

But when Coquerat confronted the player, he refused to reveal what he had hidden under his shirt.

But Ricciardi was caught firing a metal detector. The organizers then found a small neck pendant – which Ricciardi swore was a good luck charm.

But it contained a camera that sent signals to a four-inch box under his armpit with a mass of wires.

Moscow Open 2016

In February 2016, Sergey Aslanov was banned from the Russian tournament for consulting a smartphone in the toilet.

The phone was found hidden under a loose tile behind a drainpipe in the bathroom.

Aslanov admitted he made a mistake by leaving his phone in the bathroom, but insisted he was not guilty of cheating.

He was suspended for a year.

Open Strasbourg 2019

In July 2019, Latvian-Czech grandmaster Igors Rausis was caught cheating, in another example of using a mobile phone in the bathroom.

Rausis has long been under suspicion after its rating skyrocketed to nearly 2700 in a steep rise.

He admitted to cheating and announced that he was quitting chess.

“I just went crazy yesterday,” he explained to… chess.com. “At least what I did yesterday is a good lesson, not for me – I’ve already played my last game of chess.”

The claims come after a string of cheating scandals.  In 2019, Latvian-Czech grandmaster Igors Rausis was caught consulting a smartphone in a toilet to try to gain an advantage

The claims come after a string of cheating scandals.  In 2019, Latvian-Czech grandmaster Igors Rausis was caught consulting a smartphone in a toilet to try to gain an advantage

The claims come after a string of cheating scandals. In 2019, Latvian-Czech grandmaster Igors Rausis was caught consulting a smartphone in a toilet to try to gain an advantage