No more coffee for grandmasters

9/26/2002 – If you are a tournament player and have a liking for a certain brown beverage, you are in big trouble, mate. Especially if you imbibe more than four cups. Ask GM Joe Gallagher, who was dragged off to a test by Swiss doctors after a tournament in Biel. Or Lindsay Earls, a 16-year-old sophomore who was forced to pee into a cup while teachers waited outside. More

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Here is Joe Gallagher's story

I was tested after a rapid tournament in Biel. Two doctors from the Swiss Olympic committee turned up at the tournament and demanded to test five players, including some of the winners.

It took me several pints of beer before I could produce a sample. I started with a couple of litres of water, but that had no effect.

I knew the test was coming at some point as the Swiss Federation had forced the leading players to sign a document agreeing to testing a few months prior to that. I wasn't happy, but they said that not signing was equivalent to a positive test! This made me even more angry but then I decided not too waste my energy on this matter and signed.

The main drug they seemed to be concerned about is that real villain caffeine. Four cups of coffee in a six hour period is borderline (depending on size, metabolism etc).

Of course it's a bit tough on chess players if they get tested positive for all the irrelevant stuff, such as cannabis or any number of the cold medicines.

Reactions seem to be mixed amongst chess players. No doubt you have seen the reaction of the US team to testing at the forthcoming Olympiad, while others seemed resigned to the fact that if chess wants to be seen as a sport and part of the Olympic movement then they have to conform.

However, this may change now that the IOC has said that chess has no chance of getting into the Olympics. Personally I feel it is a complete joke that chess is falling over itself to get into the Olympics. I think chess should stand on it's own rather than becoming some third rate event at the Olympics, which is probably how it would be portrayed by the mass media.

Big Brother Is Testing Your Urine

Lindsay Earls was a 16-year-old sophomore at Tecumseh High School in Oklahoma when the school decided to implement a random drug testing policy in 1998 for students involved in extracurricular activities.

Earls, already a high academic achiever with a long list of extracurricular activities, including choir practice, was herded along with other students into an auditorium at the small school just 30 miles southeast of Oklahoma City, and from there to a bathroom. She and three other girls were made to pee into a cup, while teachers stood outside of the stall. The teachers listened for the girls' urine stream, and then checked the cups for warmth and clarity.

This was part of random drug testing policies that have been implemented for students involved in chess club, debate team, after-school music programs and other activities.

Read the full article here.


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