The world of elite chess has been engulfed in a cheating scandal after a picture emerged of a top grandmaster sat on a toilet allegedly using a mobile phone to cheat.
Police are investigating after Igors Rausis, who has represented Latvia, Bangladesh and the Czech Republic, was caught “red-handed”, the game’s governing body Fide said today.
Mr Rausis, aged 58, stunned the chess world by reaching the game’s top echelon at an age most players decline in strength.
The former Latvian champion was hailed as an inspiration to older players as he climbed from a Fide rating of around 2500 – the level of an average grandmaster – to the verge of 2700 in six years. Rausis also became the oldest player in the Top 100, reaching number 40 in the live rankings list.
However, his jump in middle age to the level of “Super” grandmaster was unprecedented in a game dominated by younger stars and this led to suspicion.