Chess Grandmaster Admits to Cheating With Phone in Bathroom

Igors Rausis has put his career as a grandmaster in check

Three pieces on a chessboard. (H. Armstrong Roberts/ClassicStock/Getty)
Three pieces on a chessboard. (H. Armstrong Roberts/ClassicStock/Getty)
By Evan Bleier / July 16, 2019 9:30 am

A chess grandmaster’s decision to use his phone in the bathroom to cheat during a match has put his career in check.

At a major tournament in France over the weekend, Igors Rausis — who has represented Latvia, Bangladesh and the Czech Republic — was “caught red-handed using his phone during a game,” according to the International Chess Federation.

Rausis was nabbed when someone snapped a photograph of him on a toilet, fully clothed, using his phone during the competition, a breach of tournament rules.

The 58-year-old won his grandmaster title in 1992 and had surprisingly seen his ranking rise in recent years, leading some to suspect that cheating may have been a part of his success.

“I simply lost my mind yesterday,” Rausis told Chess.com. “I confirmed the fact of using my phone during the game by written [statement]. What could I say more? Yes, I was tired after the morning game and all the Facebook activity of accusers also have a known impact. At least what I committed yesterday is a good lesson, not for me — I played my last game of chess already.”

The International Chess Federation has suspended Rausis and French police are also said to be looking into the matter.

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