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Belgian IM Expelled From Chess Tournament After Refusing Body Scan


IM Stefan Docx was expelled from the Benidorm Open in Spain, after refusing a steel detector physique scan. The chief arbiter of the match is making ready a report for the FIDE Fair Play Commission.

Docx, a 48-year-old worldwide grasp from Belgium and a three-time member of the Belgian Olympic squad, was taking part in within the Benidorm Chess Open “A” Supra 2000 match. It was a nine-round Swiss, held December 3-12, 2022 in Benidorm, a vacationer coastal city about 100 km south of Valencia, Spain. 

During the eighth spherical, Docx refused to be scanned with a steel detector. The chief arbiter, Ramon Garcia, warned him twice that he can be expelled from the match if he continued to refuse, a measure that follows FIDE laws. When Docx nonetheless didn’t enable the verify, he was disqualified and never paired for the ninth and ultimate spherical.

Stefan Docx chess
Stefan Docx throughout play in Benidorm. Photo: Ismael Nieto/Benidorm Chess Open.

Besides random physique scans, the anti-cheating measures on the Benidorm Open included a assessment of video games, the obligatory use of a coat verify when coming into the taking part in corridor, and particular consideration from the arbiters for gamers who have been spending a comparatively very long time away from the board. Docx didn’t have a coat checked, as he was by no means carrying one.

Arbiter Garcia is making ready a report for the FIDE Fair Play Commission, which suggests the participant is suspected of dishonest.

Garcia contacted Kenneth Regan, an affiliate professor on the State University of New York at Buffalo who has suggested FIDE for a number of years. Regan makes use of a mannequin to make statistical assessments for utilizing computer systems to cheat at chess. He additionally had a have a look at Docx’ video games years in the past and located nothing.

Regan shared his conclusions about Docx’ match in Benidorm with Chess.com, saying that he “wouldn’t have been caught from the statistics within the regular run of use over many tournaments.”

Regan notes that Docx’ intrinsic ranking efficiency in Benidorm was 85 Elo under his ranking, “each which means that his play on the entire was under expectation for a 2450-rated participant, and for rounds 1-4 he performed over 300 Elo under expectation.”

Regan could not discover a lot about Docx’ play in different tournaments both: “He has had no different particular person tournaments coated by TWIC [This Week in Chess] or Chessbase since late 2019, and the document of opens since 2017 is unclear at most.”

Nonetheless, rumors about Docx have been floating across the Dutch and Belgian chess scene for a couple of decade. As early as 2012, a Belgian membership reported him for alleged dishonest. One Dutch IM commented to Chess.com relating to the Benidorm incident: “Obviously everybody knew this for 10 years already.”

The query is: are we’re coping with widespread paranoia or are there legitimate causes to doubt Docx?

Benidorm Chess Open 2022 Metal Detector check
A participant being checked for gadgets on the Benidorm Open. Photo: Ismael Nieto/Benidorm Chess Open.

GM Arthur Kogan, who runs a personal Facebook group devoted to the battle in opposition to dishonest in chess, triumphantly posted about Docx’s disqualification. The Ukrainian-born Israeli grandmaster, who lives in Spain, advised Chess.com that he has suspected Docx for a very long time however with out ever discovering proof of dishonest.

“He was like a traditional 2200-2300 participant, 10 years in the past. And then, 9 years in the past, there have been some suspicious circumstances. He all of a sudden defeated some sturdy grandmasters,” Kogan stated.

Docx, who had seen this text earlier than publication as Chess.com requested for remark, solely objected to Kogan’s assertion right here. “I grew to become an FM after I was 17, when my ranking bought over 2300, and I by no means went underneath,” Docx identified in an e mail. “Also, I scored a number of extra IM norm performances lately, together with at this yr’s Olympiad in Chennai, which had strict anti-cheating measures.”

It can also be inaccurate to state that Docx began to beat sturdy grandmasters a decade in the past. He has accomplished that all through his profession, for example GM Friso Nijboer in 1993, GM Evgenij Miroshnichenko in 2007, and GM Ivan Sokolov in 2011.

After a number of video games of Docx, together with on-line video games, Kogan nonetheless reported the Belgian participant to each FIDE and the Association of Chess Professionals (ACP) some years in the past. No motion was taken.

“I discovered some system; there is no such thing as a coincidence,” claims Kogan. “But he was tricking Regan for a few years; he was ‘smart dishonest.’ I feel he used an engine solely generally.”

Adding to the suspicion is the truth that Docx appears to have had his cellphone with him throughout video games, not being shut off, a number of occasions throughout his profession. The 59-year-old Belgian GM Luc Winants listed three video games the place Docx misplaced by default as a result of his cellphone made sounds: Feygin-Docx, Belgian Team Championship 2007, Docx-Rezasade, German Oberliga 2015, and Docx-Carmeille, Belgian Team Championship, 2016.

Some members of the non-public Facebook group have drawn their conclusions, however not one of the above is proof that Docx had laptop help throughout video games. His refusal to adjust to the physique scan in Benidorm was sufficient to expel him, however neither the match arbiter nor the organizer have offered an official assertion as to why they’ve suspicions of dishonest. Their report for the FIDE Fair Play Commission would possibly shed a lightweight, though it is unclear whether or not will probably be publicly out there.

Arbiter Garcia isn’t positive whether or not FIDE might be wanting into the case, as a result of a disagreement between the Spanish Chess Federation and the Valencian regional federation prevents the Benidorm match from being legitimate for FIDE Elo calculations. The organizers are nonetheless making an attempt to resolve issues and make their match FIDE-rated in spite of everything.

Yuri Garrett, chairperson of the FIDE Fair Play Commission, advised Chess.com that they often have a look at unrated tournaments as nicely. “There are different the reason why the fee could or could not take a case, based mostly on the person circumstances of the case at hand.”

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