Belgian IM Expelled From Chess Match After Refusing Physique Scan

IM Stefan Docx was expelled from the Benidorm Open in Spain, after refusing a metallic detector physique scan. The chief arbiter of the match is getting ready a report for the FIDE Truthful Play Fee.

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. 

Throughout the eighth spherical, Docx refused to be scanned with a metallic 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 test, he was disqualified and never paired for the ninth and closing spherical.

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

In addition to random physique scans, the anti-cheating measures on the Benidorm Open included a evaluate of video games, the obligatory use of a coat test when getting 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 sporting one.

Arbiter Garcia is getting ready a report for the FIDE Truthful Play Fee, which suggests the participant is suspected of dishonest.

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

Regan shared his conclusions about Docx’ match in Benidorm with, 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 score efficiency in Benidorm was 85 Elo under his score, “each that 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 report 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 relating to the Benidorm incident: “Clearly 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 units on the Benidorm Open. Picture: Ismael Nieto/Benidorm Chess Open.

GM Artur Kogan, who runs a personal Fb group devoted to the struggle in opposition to dishonest in chess, triumphantly posted about Docx’s disqualification. The Ukrainian-born Israeli grandmaster, who lives in Spain, instructed 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. After which, 9 years in the past, there have been some suspicious circumstances. He abruptly defeated some robust grandmasters,” Kogan stated.

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

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

After taking a look at a number of video games of Docx, together with on-line video games, Kogan nonetheless reported the Belgian participant to each FIDE and the Affiliation 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. “However he was tricking Regan for a few years; he was ‘sensible dishonest.’ I believe he used an engine solely generally.”

Including 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 instances 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 Crew Championship 2007, Docx-Rezasade, German Oberliga 2015, and Docx-Carmeille, Belgian Crew Championship, 2016.

Some members of the non-public Fb group have drawn their conclusions, however not one of the above is proof that Docx had pc 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 Truthful Play Fee may shed a light-weight, though it is unclear whether or not will probably be publicly out there.

Arbiter Garcia is just not certain whether or not FIDE will probably be trying 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 any case.

Yuri Garrett, chairperson of the FIDE Truthful Play Fee, instructed that they generally take a look at unrated tournaments as properly. “There are different explanation why the fee could or could not take a case, based mostly on the person circumstances of the case at hand.”