Two Smartphones, an Earpiece and an Accomplice. In India, Another Cheat is Caught in the Act

Время публикации: 04.05.2015 10:23 | Последнее обновление: 04.05.2015 22:24

Another case of fraud in chess: Indian player Dhruv Kakkar (FIDE rating 1517) is caught red-handed. He confesses and tells in detail how to cheat in games, which are not broadcast on the Internet.   

In New Delhi from April 27 to May 1, the Dr. Hedgewar Open was held, with prize money of 1 million rupees (about $16,000), and first prize - 150,000 rupees ($2,400). Kakkar won his first four games, three of them against opponents with much higher ratings.

And in the fifth round, he met one of the favorites, grandmaster Praveen Thipsay (2409). The difference in the ratings of players was nearly 900 points, but the expected easy victory for the GM did not happen. Moreover, on the 87th move, Thipsay had to resign. But long before the end of the game, he complained to the chief arbiter of the tournament, Dharmendra Kumar.

"I noticed that my opponent was spending exactly the same amount of time for each move - about two minutes", Thipsay told the Indian newspaper The Hindu, "both in difficult situations and in positions clearly not requiring any thought at all, such as routine recaptures, etc. I expressed my suspicions to the arbiter, who asked me to continue the game. ...  Already on the 29th move, I had a lost position, and I offered a draw, which my opponent promptly rejected. At the end of the game he had missed a simple win several times, as though he was waiting for some sort of confirmation, which strengthened my suspicions. At times it seemed to me that the errors were caused by the fact that he could not hear the promptings he was receiving".

After Thipsay resigned, Kakkar was taken to the office and searched.

A search found a pouch with two 9-volt batteries, strapped to his belt and additionally attached to the band wrapped around his neck.


Photos by chief arbiter Dharmendra Kumar, taken from chess.com and chessbase.com

On his legs, just above the ankle, Kakkar had two Android smartphones, connected to the batteries. One was used to send moves, the other to receive. This was all hidden under his clothing.

In addition, he had two spare batteries in his bag, probably for the next round.


The cheat's equipment

To receive moves, Kakkar used a tiny earpiece in his left ear.

Kakkar: "I myself designed the set-up and before the tournament, I spent three days practicing, together with my accomplice."

The accomplice, named Shamba, was in another city, about 220 kilometers from the tournament hall. During the game, he sat at the computer and sent Kakkar a list of possible moves for the opponent. As soon as he sent the one actually played, Kakkar confirmed this by just tapping his foot. After receiving the confirmation, Shamba dictated the reply suggested by the program Fritz.

19-year-old Dhruv Kakkar is a sophomore at the engineering institute in the Indian city of Yamuna Nagar. He pleaded guilty in writing and disclosed how he had committed his crimes. He also told The Hindu, that he had been using his invention from the start of the tournament.

The chief arbiter immediately excluded the player from the competition and has now send a report to FIDE. Kakkar faces up to three years' disqualification, the penalty for the first offence, under FIDE's new anti-cheating rules. In the case of a repeat violation, disqualification may be for up to fifteen years.

In the Open in New Delhi, not specific anti-cheating measures were employed. According to the chief arbiter, "in fact, such sophisticated devices are not needed – all the cheat needs is a small transmitter and receiver, combined with an earpiece. Therefore, at the top tournaments, frequency jammers are essential".


  


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