Today I witnessed the most incredible festival of chess cheating ever. Before I get to the Australian victims let me present an international victim.
Sultan is a very friendly young man from the UAE. He is only 14 with a FIDE rating of 1981 who I played in the first round. He lost three games to cheating by much weaker opponents, one who claimed he had pressed the clock with the other hand. another, the sister of the previous claimant, accused him of adjusting a piece and by the third incident the arbiter had already identified him as a repeat offender.
Anton Smirnov lost a game because a piece fell over. Untold games were decided in this manner. It didn't help that the tables were covered in soft cloth, upon which roll up boards and partly unweighted pieces were placed. Every round I observed games were decided by a piece toppling often just because the clock was bashed. One trick, which worked on at least one occasion, was to knee the underside of the table just as the opponent is moving and then claim the game.
Illegal move, like moving King next to King was tried on at least three occasions that I am aware of. In the first case the person losing moved his king into check and when the opponent failed to notice, the first player claimed the game.
The second time, a King moved to c3, a square covered by a knight, deliberately, and again the opponent didn't notice but this time the claimant lost, despite the fact that his opponent didn't notice.
Can you guess how the third incident ended? Draw of course.
Another attempt was holding the clock down but the cheater lost on time anyway.
I should mention that the most egregious incident happened a few days ago where Jordan Chan's opponent just reported that he had won. I saw the game shortly before and Jordan had just liquidated nicely and I left as he had Queen and Knight against nothing (some pawns each).
I am so glad I didn't play as I could well be in jail now, and not for throwing pieces but throwing a cheater or an arbiter. Amusing for spectators though :D
The main tournament is over now and I'll do a final report tomorrow. Spoiler alert: It went quite well for the Australian contingent.