Mamedyarov accuses opponent of cheating, withdraws from Aeroflot

0 | Chess Event Coverage

MamedyarovBreaking news from Moscow, Russia. At the Aeroflot Open, top seeded player Shakhryiar Mamedyarov from Azerbaijan Sunday accused his opponent Igor Kurnosov (Russia) of cheating, and after talking to the organizers, Mamedyarov has now withdrawn from the tournament.GM Shakhryiar Mamedyarov (Azerbaijan) was the top seed in Moscow this year and after five rounds he shared the lead with GM Alexander Moiseenko (Ukraine) and GM Igor Kurnosov (Russia). In the sixth round, Mamedyarov played Kurnosov with White and lost quickly.

During the opening phase, Kurnosov played fast but also left the board several times, taking his coat that was hanging over his chair with him. Mamedyarov started to feel uncomfortable about his opponent's behaviour and offered a draw at an early stage. To his surprise, Kurnosov refused and then left the board after every move, going to the toilet or for a smoke. He kept on playing the strongest moves and at move 21, Mamedyarov had to resign. After the game Mamedyarov checked the game with the computer and noticed that all of his opponent's moves had been the first choice of Rybka. He accused his opponent of cheating and told the tournament organizers that he would withdraw from the tournament. Answering our request to comment on the situation, Mamedyarov sent us his official protest letter, sent to the tournament organizer:

To: The organizer of the AEROFLOT-OPEN tournament Alexander Grigorievich Bakh 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 this kind of situation will not occur in the future. Sincerely, GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov

"It's not a very convincing claim," said chief arbiter Geurt Gijssen on the phone. "It's all theory until 16...Qd6 and after that Black doesn't make very strange moves. We checked the game with arbiters Fillipowicz and Vasiukov, but they didn't think it was impossible to find the moves." Geurt GijssenAccording to Gijssen, Mamedyarov already had his suspicions during the game. "Before the end he asked me if the game could be removed from the website, and if we could keep an eye on his opponent. We tried to do that, but in a playing hall with 160 players that's not easy. But I did notice that Kurnosov took his jacket with him, every time he left the board. After the game I asked him to show the contents of his pockets, but all that we found was a pack of sigarets, a lighter and a pen." Convinced that something was wrong and upset, Mamedyarov didn't sign his score sheet but instead told the arbiter that he resigned, and was going to leave the tournament. "He then talked to Alexander Bakh" for a long time, but he remained adamant," said Gijssen.

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