A Georgian chess champion was kicked out of a tournament in Dubai recently after it was discovered that he had been sneaking away to the bathroom to use his smartphone.
The big match between Gaioz Nigalidz, national champion of Georgia, and Armenian champion Tigran Petrosian in the sixth round of the Dubai Open was marred by controversy recently, when Nigalidz was found to be using his smartphone to cheat.
Petrosian became suspicious of his opponent as he was taking a number of bathroom breaks and was gone for a long time. As it turns out, he was going into a cubicle to get behind a closed door, and when the authorities went to search the bathroom he was using they found a phone in the bin.
While Nigalidz tried to deny that it was his, the phone was logged into his Facebook (ah here, you've no time for social networking when you're trying to cheat at chess) and a chess program running that roughly reflected his positions on the board.
Nigalidz will miss out on the $12,000 (€11,358) prize money on offer at the tournament, but his punishment could be much worse, as an official complaint has been registered and will be investigated by the International Chess Federation's Anti-Cheating Commission which was set up last year. If found guilty, he faces a three year ban from the sport.
Surely, someone should look at instigating a similar ban for those found using their smartphones during table quizzes. It's just as serious a breach of the Official Pre-Olympic International Table Quiz Association's Code of Conduct.