Gaioz Nigalidze

Gaioz Nigalidze

Georgian chess player, grandmaster
Date of Birth: 24.04.1989
Country: Georgia

  1. Biography of Gaioz Nigalidze
  2. The Dubai Open Scandal
  3. Prestigious Chess Tournament
  4. Suspicious Behavior
  5. Discovery of Cheating
  6. Consequences and Investigation
  7. Previous Achievements Under Scrutiny
  8. Tournament Outcome

Biography of Gaioz Nigalidze

Gaioz Nigalidze is a Georgian chess player and grandmaster known for his skill and success in the game. Born in Georgia, Nigalidze has been involved in the ancient art of chess from a young age.

Gaioz Nigalidze

The Dubai Open Scandal

In April 2015, Nigalidze found himself at the center of a scandal during the 'Dubai Open', an international chess tournament held in Dubai, UAE. The incident involved cheating, as Nigalidze was caught using a smartphone and earphones hidden in a toilet cubicle during the tournament. This behavior was discovered after suspicions were raised by his opponent, Tigran Petrosian, who noticed Nigalidze's frequent visits to the restroom after each move.

Prestigious Chess Tournament

The 'Dubai Open' is considered to be one of the most prestigious chess tournaments, attracting participants from 39 different countries. With 155 participants, including 93 with FIDE titles and 22 with ratings above 2,600 points, competition was fierce. Prominent players such as David Howell from England, Vladimir Fedoseev and Igor Kovalenko from Russia, and Tigran Petrosian from Armenia were among the participants.

Suspicious Behavior

During the sixth round of the tournament, Nigalidze faced Petrosian on the chessboard. It was not the first time they had played against each other, as they had previously met at a tournament in Al Ain. Petrosian became suspicious of Nigalidze's behavior when he repeatedly left to use the restroom after each of his opponent's moves. This led Petrosian to report his suspicions to the tournament organizers and the chief arbiter.

Discovery of Cheating

After the organizers conducted a search, they discovered Nigalidze was using a smartphone hidden behind a toilet paper roll with earphones connected to it in a specific toilet cubicle. Initially, Nigalidze denied any involvement with the electronic device. However, further investigation revealed that the smartphone was logged into Nigalidze's social media account and contained a chess application analyzing the ongoing game between him and Petrosian.

Consequences and Investigation

As a result of the cheating incident, Nigalidze was immediately disqualified from the tournament by the chief arbiter, Mahdi Abdul Rahim. The incident was reported to FIDE, the international chess federation, which formed a commission to investigate the situation and determine appropriate punishment. According to Israel Gelfer, the chairman of FIDE's Anti-Cheating Committee, such cases typically result in a three-year ban from participating in tournaments, which can be extended up to fifteen years for repeat offenders.

Previous Achievements Under Scrutiny

Following the scandal, attention was drawn to Nigalidze's previous achievements, including his consecutive victories in the Georgian Chess Championship in 2013 and 2014. However, doubts were raised about his initial low ranking in those tournaments as well as his victory in the 'Al Ain Classic' tournament in December 2014.

Tournament Outcome

Despite the controversy, the 'Dubai Open' continued, and the top six players in the tournament were determined by their average ratings. The winner of the tournament was Dragan Solak, followed by Eltaj Safarli, Alexander Shabalov, Vladimir Fedoseev, David Howell, and Ivan Ivanisevic.

Overall, the scandal involving Gaioz Nigalidze brought attention to the issue of cheating in chess tournaments and the measures taken to combat such misconduct.