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Chess Grandmaster Busted Cheating in the Bathroom

Igors Rausis says he 'lost my mind'
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 14, 2019 6:41 AM CDT
Russian President Vladimir Putin applauds Russian chess Grandmaster Vladimir Kramnik, right, at the opening of a chess school in the Sirius college in Sochi, Russia, in this 2016 file photo.   (Mikhail Klimentyev/Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

(Newser) – One could be forgiven for never having heard of Igors Rausis—probably until the 58-year-old chess grandmaster got himself busted cheating in a tournament with his smartphone in a toilet stall. As the Guardian reports, the International Chess Federation says it caught the Latvian-Czech player "red-handed using his phone during a game" on Friday, and has since suspended him. The ICF says that Rausis was long suspected to be a cheat—his ranking has miraculously shot up in recent years—and that the bust is "merely the first shot" in its fight against cheating.

For his part, Rausis admits the fraud, telling Chess.com that "I simply lost my mind yesterday. I confirmed the fact of using my phone during the game by written [statement]. What could I say more?" And he appears to be done: "At least what I committed yesterday is a good lesson, not for me—I played my last game of chess already." The AP notes that that might not be the end of the story: The ICF has reported Rausis to French police. (Read more chess stories.)

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