A Shock at the US Championship: Wesley So Forfeited for Taking Notes During the Game

Время публикации: 10.04.2015 22:27 | Последнее обновление: 11.04.2015 01:16

An extremely unusual thing happened at the start of the 9th round of the US Championship. According to chief arbiter Tony Rich, he was approached by Varuzhan Akobian, and told that the latter's opponent, Wesley So, was writing something down on a piece of paper underneath his scoresheet. Earlier in the tournament, the arbiter had twice warned So, who has a habit of writing little notes to himself, unrelated to the game itself. On the second occasion, So had been warned that any repetition of this would entail a forfeit. 

The arbiter approached the board and saw that So was indeed writing something down. Rich said it was not chess moves or analysis, but some sort of psychological self-encouragement. According to the laws of chess, he had no choice but to forfeit So. The Grandmaster was shocked, because he apparently believed that it was permissible to take notes, providing they were not written on the scoresheet itself. 

The decision is made and the players leave the board

This is thus So's fourth defeat of the tournament. He is not disqualified and is free to play the two final rounds. He also has the right to appeal the forfeit decision. 

One of the online commentators, Alexandro Ramirez, says that he was aware of So's note-taking habit, and that So had been making such psychological self-encouragement notes to himself, when playing Ramirez at the Millionaire Open.

See also the comment from Varuzhan Akobian


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