Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Grandmaster Accuses Fellow GM of Cheating at Tournament

At the Aeroflot Open in Moscow, Russua, Grandmaster Shakhryiar Mamedyarov (Azerbaijan) accused his opponent Igor Kurnosov (Russia) of cheating. Mamedyarov then withdrew from the tournament.

According to GM Mamedyarov, he felt the following circumstances pointed towards his opponent somehow getting computer assistance during the game in a letter he wrote:

To: The organizer of the AEROFLOT-OPEN tournamentAlexander Grigorievich

From: GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov
Explanation of my protest

Dear Alexander Grigorievich,

On 22.09.2009 the game between myself and Igor
Kurnosov was played. During the game my opponent went out of the playing hall
after each move, took his coat and withdrew himself on the toilet. After
suspicion of unfair play on move 14 I offered a draw, he refused. We quickly
played 11 moves, on the 12th move I played a move which confused my opponent.
The next moves from him were given as first choice by Rybka, which quickly
allowed him to win the game.

Due to this series of suspicions, having to do with the unusual behaviour of my opponent, Igor Kurnosov, I hereby lodge a protest and refuse to continue participation in the tournament. I hope that his kind of situation will not occur in the future.

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov

When the chief arbiter asked to see the contents of Kurnosov's jacket, all that was found was some ciggaretes, a lighter, and a pencil.

Here is the game data:

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (2724) - Igor Kurnosov (2602)

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. f3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. e4 Nb6 6. Nc3 Bg7 7. Be3 O-O 8. Qd2Nc6 9. O-O-O f5 10. h4 fxe4 11. h5 gxh5 12. d5 Ne5 13. Bh6 Nec4 14. Qg5 Rf7 15.Bxc4 Nxc4 16. Rd4 Qd6 17. Bxg7 Rxg7 18. Qxh5 Qf4+ 19. Kb1 Bf5 20. fxe4 Bg4 21.Nge2 Qd2 0-1*

Any thoughts on this interesting development in the chess world?


Michael Quigley said...

As always the accuser must present evidence. So far no evidence has been presented.

However, we should all be aware of the impact of these accusations and measures put in place to assure all participants of a fair and equal contest.

jrobi said...

Completely agree Michael - there is no evidence whatsoever. If there is no justification, then maybe there should be some consequence to the person making the accusation.

I can't help but wonder if this GM is going to get his reputation tarnished somewhat even if he's innocent.

Royal said...

I'm no GM, but from his position I would certainly be a little sceptical if my opponent kept on leaving the room. I'm not sure I would have accused him so seriously however, at least not until the game was over.

Either way it's a sad and quite confusing situation. You could blame his opponent for doing such suspicous things, or you could blame the accuser for jumping the gun.

Anonymous said...

I am probably not as good as you guys, let alone 2600, but leaving after EVERY move!? Come on, that is screeming fishy all over it. As soon as I read that I couldn't beleive it. And I don't know any GM that could precisly copy Rybka's exact moves, unless you leave to go consult with it after every move.

jrobi said...

When I was watching the Corus tournament, it wasn't uncommon for the GM's to play the computers best recommended moves on a regular basis.

In this game, it was pretty much straight theory until move 16, so there were not many moves played after that as the game was over shortly thereafter.

That being said I think I am going to take a really close look at this game and see where I land in terms of overall opinion of the controversy it created.

Anonymous said...

I wasn't trying to undermine your guys' opinions, the way it was played screems controversy in my brain. But if the guy is legit, by all means I'll accept that too.

jrobi said...

No worries, your not undermining anything. In fact there are legitimate points on both sides, which what makes it both interesting and controversial.

Michael Quigley said...

Leaving after every move can be a psychological strategic (see Fischer versus Spassky, 1972 - Fischer did it!)

Not that uncommon.

Royal said...

I never even knew you could do that. It would seem like it would be against the rules to leave the room all together. I guess that just goes to show I need to play more over the board games!

Anonymous said...

a reply by the accused player was written on february 28th, and is now available in English: http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=5257

jrobi said...

Thanks for the update - blogged.