Various Cheating Controversies... but Without an Engine?
Never, EVER cheat in a game of chess!

Various Cheating Controversies... but Without an Engine?


When most people think of cheating in chess, they will likely connect it to engine use. Of course, it is the easiest method of cheating, because even an outdated engine could take out the most formidable human players these days. Nowadays cheating has gotten so bad that many people I know have had their accounts closed again and again due to violation of fair play rules. But what if I told you, some people think outside the box and cheat using different methods?

Of course, this blog is not to tell you how to get good at cheating in chess. Cheating is a despicable thing and you should never cheat in chess. In fact, you shouldn't cheat on anything! If you've read my previous blog, you'll know the explanations why cheating is so bad. If you haven't, go check it out here. Merely, this blog is to talk about some controversies where players cheated in a slightly different manner.

Carlsen-Inarkiev Rules Controversy

Even if you aren't a diehard fan of chess, most of you will probably have heard of the Carlsen-Inarkiev controversy, in which Inarkiev was involved in a rules controversy. In their game in the 2017 World Blitz, both players were low on time when Magnus gave a check to Inarkiev's king. However, instead of the standard response of moving his king, Inarkiev "counter-checked" his opponent's king. This, of course, was an illegal move, but possibly in a time rush Carlsen didn't claim it and moved his king. Inarkiev of course then stopped the clock and called an arbiter to claim the win. 

Carlsen-Inarkiev, round one World Blitz 2017

This quick 44-second video will show you everything that happened:

Carlsen was in disbelief in what happened and the arbiter proceeded to give the full point to Ernesto Inarkiev. Magnus was obviously thoroughly displeased with the result and a huge crowd gathered. Meanwhile, the chief arbiter Takis Nikolopoulos consults Inarkiev about the result of the game. The following post by Emil Sutovsky explains the conversation between Inarkiev and the Chief arbiter:

Emil Sutovsky
about 4 years ago

Tarjei Joten Svensen wrote it down. Madhouse. Sometimes I feel it would be better to allow players to snatch the kings.

The discussions between Chief Arbiter of the World Blitz & Rapid Championship Takis Nikolopoulos and Ernesto Inarkiev were caught on tape by NRK and so bizarre that I decided to make a transcript of it. Read and enjoy!

EI: I stopped the clock in the moment he made illegal move...

See more

Later, the arbiter asked for them to resume play after the original illegal move made by Inarkiev. Of course, he was not ready to do this due to the fact that his position was lost, and so the point went to Carlsen.

Sambuev-Noritsyn Piece Manipulation Controversy

In high level play, it is extremely rare for players to manipulate the pieces that are on the board without being caught. However, there is one case of off the board piece manipulation. GM Bator Sambuev, was playing IM Nikolay Noritsyn in a blitz match. Nikolay was in a healthy position with the Black pieces but was extremely low on time, with 10 seconds left and counting. He moved his pawn to the final rank and FIDE rules require the promoted piece to be replaced before the clock is pressed. Sambuev has concealed the Black queen in his hands, but the arbiters did not place spare queens next to the board, so Noritsyn used a rook and flipped it upside down as a queen. Instead, he could've paused the clock and complained to the arbiters that there was no queen. While the arbiters fussed over the matter, Sambuev quietly replaced the queen and let the arbiters come to the conclusion that Nikolay had simply erred in promotion. The rook promotion stood, and Sambuev went on to win easily. Check the video here, the desired part to look at is at 14:15.

I hoped you enjoyed this entertaining little blog! Please comment down below if you liked it or not. I understand that some of my blogs are getting a little to long and tedious for some people to read, so in future I will cut down the lengths of my writing! 

Once again, thank you for viewing. 

Stay safe y'all~!