Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

A player with a FIDE rating of 1698 has been expelled from Romanian Chess Championship after a mobile phone was found in toilet. The player has been identified as Paul-Stelian Mihalache from Romania.

The incident was brought to the notice of the FIDE’s disciplinary commission immediately. The player now faces a ban for a certain period of time.

The incident happened during the fifth round of the nine-round Swiss tournament. Mihalache show suspicious behavior when he frequently went to the toilet.

Subsequently, an arbiter checked the toilet cubicles and a smart phone was found. The unlocked phone had three chess apps on it. One app in it was showing his game after 15 moves with the engine Stockfish 15 running. A Google account with the player’s name and email address was also active on the phone.

Notably, these kinds of cheatings are not new in the game. Georgian grandmaster Gaioz Nigalidze was found using iPod at the Dubai Open and was expelled from the tournament in 2015. He then lost his Grand Master tag after the shameful incident.

Earlier last year, American chess grandmaster Hans Niemann sued Norwegian World Champion Magnus Carlsen, online platform Chess.com and others for slander and libel, and sought at least $100 million in damages.

The lawsuit named Carlsen’s online chess platform Play Magnus, Chess.com executive Danny Rensch and American grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura as defendants.