Chess grandmaster caught cheating with phone on toilet
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Down the drain

Chess grandmaster caught cheating with phone on toilet

Igor Rausis, 58, had raised suspicions by making an unlikely rise in rankings at an advanced age

Illustrative photo of a chess set. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)
Illustrative photo of a chess set. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

STRASBOURG, France — The International Chess Federation said Friday it had suspended a player at a tournament in France after the man was “caught red-handed using his phone during a game.”

The organization said on Twitter that all the evidence in the case of Igors Rausis had been sent to its ethics committee and that it was “determined to fight cheating in chess.”

Rausis is a 58-year-old Latvian-Czech player who won the grandmaster title in 1992 and has over the years represented Latvia, Bangladesh and the Czech Republic.

But over the past few years he made an unlikely rise in the rankings at an age most players decline in strength, and entered the club of “super-grandmasters” to become No. 40 in the world in live rankings.

Federation Director-General Emil Sutovsky, who is Israeli, wrote on Facebook that Rausis had long been under suspicion for cheating and that catching him was “merely the first shot” in a years-long battle against cheating.

Sutovsky said the wrongdoing was also reported to French police.

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