STRASBOURG, France — The International Chess Federation says it has suspended a player at a tournament in France after the man was “caught red-handed using his phone during a game.”
The organization said Friday on Twitter that all the evidence in the case of Igors Rausis had been sent to its ethics committee and that it was “determined to fight cheating in chess.”
According to Chess.com, a phone was found in a toilet that Rausis had recently used.
“I simply lost my mind yesterday,” Rausis told Chess.com. “I confirmed the fact of using my phone during the game by written [statement]. What could I say more? … At least what I committed yesterday is a good lesson, not for me — I played my last game of chess already.”
Rausis is a 58-year-old Latvian-Czech player who won the grandmaster title in 1992 and has over the years represented Latvia, Bangladesh and the Czech Republic.
Federation director-general Emil Sutovsky wrote on Facebook that Rausis had long been under suspicion for cheating and that catching him was “merely the first shot” in a years-long battle against cheating.
“Rausis is suspended from the tournament, and all materials will be sent to the ethical commission,” Sutovsky said in a translated version of his Facebook post.
“It is impossible to completely eliminate the cheating, but the risk of being caught has increased significantly, and the penalties will become much more significant,” Sutovsky added.
Sutovsky said the wrongdoing was also reported to French police.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.