Like a lot of other sports this year, chess has been having good times online,. Except that is for the very end of the Chess.com Pro Chess League Championships last week, when the winning team was disqualified for “unspecified fair play regulations.”
As this feature on Defector reports (go subscribe!), Armenian chess grandmaster Tigran L. Petrosian, whose team the Armenia Eagles won the competition, was later disqualified, along with his teammates, not long after an American rival they beat in the final...left spicy comments under Chess.com’s official recap of the event.
After pointing out that the much lower-ranked Armenians had potentially used players who had been banned from Chess.com earlier in the year for cheating, American grandmaster Wesley So added, “Anyway I think the Finals should have had proctoring. Lots of work were at stake, and weeks of playing through the qualifying phase.”
(“Proctoring”, a word usually used in exams, is the supervision of games in chess).
Also pointing out potential shenanigans was streamer Hikaru “GMHikaru” Nakamura (who we featured last month), whose examination of Petrosian’s moves in the final—”I’m bothered by this game”—found a lot of possibly questionable stuff, especially some moves that were as perfect as they could possibly be, suggesting the Armenian could be using programs to help him play.
Not helping his cause was the fact Petrosian was continually looking away from the screen during his moves.
Anyway, all of that’s just context for why we’re really here: Petrosian’s meltdown following So’s allegations, in which he calls his opponent, “a biggest looser i ever seen in my life,” before adding, “You was doing PIPI in your pampers when i was beating players much more stronger than you”.
Not long after, Chess.com made the decision to disqualify the Armenia Eagles, along with handing Petrosian a lifetime ban from the site.
After a thorough investigation, Chess.com’s Fair Play team determined that GM Tigran L. Petrosian, who played for the Armenia Eagles, violated fair play regulations during games in both the semifinal and final matches that took place on September 25 and 27, respectively.
Somehow, this isn’t the first time I’ve written about Petrosian on this website. Back in 2015, he was involved—this time as the innocent party—in an even wilder cheating scandal, when his opponent Gaioz Nigalidze was caught sneaking off to the bathroom to check an iPod Touch—hidden under a mountain of toilet paper—for the optimal moves.