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Organizers Expel Suspected Cheater In Dubai

Organizers Expel Suspected Cheater In Dubai

An amateur player was suspected of cheating and was removed from the Dubai Open.

The Indian player Jeel Shah, 21 years old and rated 1764, was removed from the tournament after he was suspected of cheating. The organizers didn't provide a comment to Chess.com, but referred to their press release instead. There it's stated that the player...

...caught the arbiters’ attention because of suspicious behaviour during his game against 14-year-old Dushyant Sharma of India. After closely monitoring his actions, International Arbiter (IA) Mahdi Abdul Rahim, the tournament’s chief arbiter, summoned Shah to the arbiter’s office for an inspection, where he was found to be hiding a mobile phone under the sleeves of his shirt. Shah refused to comply with the arbiters’ request to turn the phone on to check if it was being used to run a chess program, prompting tournament officials to expel the Indian player from the tournament. 

Thus, there was no clear proof that the player actually cheated, but carrying a phone with you during a game is against the rules, let alone hiding one.

Incidentally, the same tournament had a similar incident two years ago. Gaioz Nigalidze, then the reigning champion of Georgia, was caught using an electronic device in the toilet. FIDE banned him for three years from competitive chess, and stripped him from his GM title.

Back to the chess. The tournament is four rounds old, and today is a rest day (with the traditional blitz tournament).

At the moment Spanish IM Jaime Santos Latasa leads the tournament alone, as the only player who scored four wins. His strongest opponent came in round four.

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IM Jaime Santos Latasa started with 4/4. | Photo: Maria Emelianova.

In a game with lots of piece maneuvering, GM Sandro Mareco of Argentina started to point lots of his soldiers towards the enemy kingside, but after the time control it was suddenly White who got a winning attack.

The top seed, GM Anton Korobov of Ukraine, either had jetlag or an opponent in great shape—or both! He was completely crushed in the first round against 2211 rated Vusal Abbasov.

This 30-year-old player of Azerbaijan played some kind of mixture of the Sozin and the Keres Attack. That shouldn't work, right? Well, if it does, you get a razor-sharp game where Black is in huge danger.

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The ceremonial first move on board one, between Abbasov and Korobov. | Photo: Dubai Open.

The local hero GM Salem Saleh started with a loss in Sharjah, but ended up tied for first place. He's probably happy to do the same in Dubai, where he also started with a loss! It was 11-year-old Pranav V of India, rated 2149, who grabbed a pawn in the opening, and held on to it.

GM Mykhaylo Oleksiyenko (Ukraine) played a pretty combination against the wife of English GM Gawain Jones. WIM Sue Maroroa has recently started playing more chess again, and also joined her husband in Sharjah. After Dubai, the two will play the Reykjavik Open later this month.


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GM Mykhaylo Oleksiyenko of Ukraine.

Speaking of Jones, the English grandmaster found a nice way to decide his game in the second round.

Round three saw a very convincing win of GM Alexandr Fier (Brazil) vs GM Vladimir Akopian (Armenia). Not often do you see a strong grandmaster getting into such a helpless situation as Akopian on move 38. Zugzwang in the middlegame!

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A powerful game by Fier vs Akopian. | Photo: Dubai Open.

2017 Dubai Open | Round 4 Standings

Rk. SNo Fed Title Name Rtg Pts. TB1 TB2 TB3
1 31 IM Santos Latasa Jaime 2565 4 0 8 5
2 32 GM Fier Alexandr 2562 3,5 0 9 5,5
3 2 GM Areshchenko Alexander 2686 3,5 0 8,5 5
4 6 GM Iturrizaga Bonelli Eduardo 2671 3,5 0 8,5 5
5 8 GM Vidit Santosh Gujrathi 2670 3,5 0 8,5 5
6 11 GM Amin Bassem 2663 3,5 0 8,5 5
7 28 GM Can Emre 2578 3,5 0 8,5 5
8 34 GM Pichot Alan 2556 3,5 0 8,5 5
9 35 GM Sunilduth Lyna Narayanan 2551 3,5 0 8,5 5
10 44 IM Salomon Johan 2487 3,5 0 8,5 5
11 3 GM Safarli Eltaj 2680 3,5 0 8 5
12 22 GM Adly Ahmed 2597 3,5 0 8 4,5
13 25 GM Pantsulaia Levan 2589 3,5 0 8 4,5
14 27 GM Antipov Mikhail Al. 2586 3,5 0 8 4,5
15 18 GM Yilmaz Mustafa 2614 3,5 0 7,5 4
16 9 GM Sargissian Gabriel 2666 3,5 0 7 4,5
17 14 GM Oleksiyenko Mykhaylo 2643 3,5 0 7 4,5
18 21 GM Mchedlishvili Mikheil 2602 3,5 0 7 4,5
19 56 IM Vignesh N R 2411 3,5 0 7 3,5
20 17 GM Zhigalko Sergei 2639 3,5 0 6,5 4

(Full standings here.)

The Dubai Open is being held for the 19th time. The venue is the Dubai Chess and Culture Club; the dates are April 3-11. The winner receives The Sheikh Rashid Bin Hamdan Al Maktoum Cup and U.S.$13,000.

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