Smack my bishop! Gardai called to chess fight in Limerick 7 years ago

Smack my bishop! Gardai called to chess fight in Limerick

It’s not often that chess-related stories make for front page news, but nobody can deny that the story on the front of today’s Limerick Chronicle is worthy of as much exposure as possible.

The brilliant and matter-of-fact headline ‘Gardai called to row at chess tournament’ in the paper, the sister paper of the Limerick Leader, relates to a cheating scandal at a chess tournament in Cork, where one of Ireland’s leading players, Gabriel Murza, originally from Romania but now living in Limerick, accused his competitor of “using a computer tablet to get moves from a chess engine”.


Pic via Twitter/Alan English

According to the report in the Chronicle, Murza was going to be used as a pawn in his 16-year old rival’s plan to scoop the €400 prize until he spotted him checking chess moves on an android device in the jacks, having noticed that he “went to the toilet at least 20 times” during their meeting.

Checkmate indeed.

Having followed his opponent into the toilet, Murza then made his move by instructing a controller to follow him into the toilets, where he forced open the door of the cubicle where his opponent was up to no good, pulled him out and grabbed him, at which point Murza was restrained by others present at the scene. He was subsequently expelled from the tournament.

According to The Irish Independent, the instructor who followed Murza into the toilet, Gerry Graham, sent an e-mail to Murza explaining his expulsion, saying “I witnessed you assaulting another player, a junior player, only 16 years old".


He added: “I would state that you certainly took an action that will bring the game of chess into disrepute.

“Because of the seriousness of your infraction, I chose expulsion from the event."

Attempting to cheat in such a manner was obviously a rook-ie mistake by the young pretender in his quest to be the chess king and although Murza obviously over-reacted in a pretty serious manner, if he hadn’t, then there would have been no need for probably the best headline we have seen all year.

Well played, Limerick Chronicle, well played.