Former Chess grandmaster Igor Rausis has found himself involved in a fresh controversy after allegedly entering a tournament with a new name despite being banned. The Latvian-Czech player is already banned from competing in any international chess tournament after having been found guilty of using a smartphone to cheat in the game during a toilet break in a tournament in 2019.
Phones and other smart devices are banned from competitions as they can be used to cheat by using chess software thus giving the user an unfair advantage.
“Igor Rausis caught red-handed at a tournament in Strasbourg,” World Chess Federation director Emil Sutovsky wrote on Facebook when Rausis was caught. Rausis admitted to Chess.com later that he had used software to cheat, saying he had “lost his mind”. He also said that his playing days were over.
However, Rausis has been busted trying to enter a tournament in Latvia under a fake name.
Rausis was wearing a mask and playing under a new name
In a tournament in Latvia, Rausis entered under the name Isa Kassimi and wore a face mask because of the COVID-19 pandemic which concealed his identity.
However, rival grandmaster Arturs Neiksans recognised and confronted Rausis before alerting the tournament officials.
“Just in round 3 I noticed that in the tournament incognito is playing the notorious Igors Rausis, who has been banned by FIDE to play in tournaments for 6 years,” Neiksans wrote on Facebook.
“He was wearing a mask and playing on the lower boards with a name of Isa Kassimi thus I did not even notice him. When I confronted Rausis, what is he doing here, violating the ban, he showed me a new ID with the new name. That made several participants immediately furious, and his round 3 opponent declined to play against him. But what happened next, really shocked me,” he added
“The tournament organiser, unclear how to solve the incident, decided to call one of the main arbiters in Latvia, for advice. And the advice from the nationwide recognised arbiter was — it is legal for Rausis to play! I immediately protested that allowing Rausis to continue to play taints the memory of my coach. The tournament director kindly asked Rausis to leave the tournament, and he luckily complied without further incident.” said Neiksans.
Rausis on the other hand, insisted after the incident that since the tournament wasn’t a FIDE-rated one, he was eligible to play. FIDE then confirmed that it had no jurisdiction to ban him from a non-FIDE rated event but said that organizers should not have let him enter the tournament.
Further. Rausis stated to chess.com that he had legally changed his name and that most of the contestants knew it that it was him. He has claimed that he had changed his name as soon as he was banned and that he was legal to play in the tournament.
Also Read: LeBron James wins fourth MVP award