Truth or Consequences
Miracles, Magic and FIDE’s Fair Play Committee
Several weeks after the photo of Grandmaster Igor Rausis sitting in a washroom stall using a cellphone during a chess tournament went viral, the question of the origin of the photo still remains unanswered. Why is FIDE not investigating this?
A story in a local Strasbourg newspaper, quoting the tournament organizer Daniel Roos, attributes the photo to local un-named vigilante chess players. My problem with this is that there is no such thing as an un-named chess player. All have names, and a FIDE id, not to mention their cellphone usage and gps-history. Probably Daniel Roos does not want to betray confidences!?
But we live in the 21st century.
Not to overlook that the chess player who entered the adjacent washroom stall to Rausis with his unauthorized phone was himself already breaking several anti-cheating regulations. And then let us not forget to mention that he was committing a deliberately illegal act the moment his phone snapped a photo of the individual (Rausis) in the adjacent stall.
FIDE official Emil Sutovsky wrote on his FaceBook page that the organizers were advised to contact the police. We now know that they did not contact the police. Some have advanced the thesis that the police would have laughed at them for bringing up the question of cheating in a chess game.
But the police should have been contacted because taking the photo was illegal. Let me assure you that the police would not have laughed.
No doubt FIDE’s Fair Play Committee wants all of this to disappear quickly. After all, Rausis has already confessed to cheating. Case closed.
But things are not so simple…I don’t believe in weird coincidences. Nor do I believe in photos magically going viral by themselves or in virgin-like miracles where the original sin does not take place.
Someone was responsible for this photo. Someone, not necessarily the same person, was responsible for making it go viral. Until FIDE gets to the bottom of it the questions will persist.
Trying to sweep this under the rug will only further tarnish the FIDE Fair Play Committee’s real role in this affair.