Plato is Dear to Me, but...

Время публикации: 10.04.2015 23:53 | Последнее обновление: 11.04.2015 00:12

Wesley So's opponent Varuzhan Akobian discussed the scandalous events in a live transmission almost immediately after they happened. You will recall that So was forfeited for taking notes during his game against Akobian.  

Akobian wasn't looking happy after such a victory. Screenshot:

"I am also shocked at what happened. Even before the game, I noticed that So had another sheet below his scoresheet. I remembered that he made some sort of notes during his earlier games and that the chief arbiter Tony Rich had warned him that this was against the rules. 
Then during the game I noticed that after every move, he was writing something on the bottom piece of paper. This struck me as a bit strange: I have been playing chess for many years and have played hundreds of games against very strong opponents, but never saw anything like this...

I used to be in the habit of writing down my move before playing it, as I was taught by my trainer at the Petrosian School. But in 2007, when I played in Gibraltar, FIDE brought in a new rule that one is not allowed to write anything except the move made, and only after making it. At first I found it difficult to break this habit and remember one opponent pointing out to me that I was not allowed to write the move down first, but eventually, I stopped doing it. But it was not easy. As for So, the chief arbiter had already warned him twice during the tournament, so Tony had no choice. 

When did I tell the arbiter? After the first few moves. I did not think it was any form of cheating on So's part, I didn't know what he was writing. I just told the arbiter that it was a bit unusual. 

I think the rules are the same for everyone, including the top players. There should not be exceptions for anyone, especially if they have been warned twice already. 

Of course, this is not the way I wanted to win. It is just a very unfortunate set of circumstances. Naturally, I wanted to play a normal game, especially as I don't get many chances to play someone of Wesley's class. I played my favourite Tarrasch Defence, which I have played since childhood, and I was ready for a fight. 

It is definitely a shock. I am very sad things worked out this way. So and I are friends, we play in the same team, we even trained together... I hate to say this, but it could be a good lesson for Wesley: the rules must be observed. Even if it is difficult, even if you have to break your old habits, which many players have. I don't know what he was writing down: maybe something psychological, or which helps him concentrate. But I repeat, I never saw such a thing before."


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