Tuticorin tournament – faked or flawed?

5/11/2006 – Last September there was a 153-player Swiss Open in Tuticorin, Tamilnadu state, India. The results were submitted and duly rated by FIDE. Only problem: a number of participants listed in the results had never set a foot in Tuticorin or played in the event. Most had names beginning with an "A", some of them are even retired. Fake event or a screw-up with submission?

ChessBase 14 Download ChessBase 14 Download

Everyone uses ChessBase, from the World Champion to the amateur next door. Start your personal success story with ChessBase 14 and enjoy your chess even more!


Along with the ChessBase 14 program you can access the Live Database of 8 million games, and receive three months of free ChesssBase Account Premium membership and all of our online apps! Have a look today!

More...

The tournament is supposed to have taken place from September 25 and October 2nd 2005, with 153 players participating. The results were filed on November 17th and FIDE duly included them in the Elo calculations of the next rating list. Apparently nobody noticed that anything was amiss, until they turned up at tournamts to find that their ratings had mysteriously changed. Some had lost up to 45 points, others had gained similar amounts. Over 40 players have been listed with a zero rating change, which is also quite surprising.

One thing one notices when one looks at the list of 110 results submitted is that no less than 68 players have names starting with the letter "A". This becomes more clear when you sort the submission list according to players, as we have done at the bottom of this page.


The contested tournament in Tuticorin

One of the affected players, Junaid Ahmad, who s also the editor of the Indian chess magazine Black & White, discovered that he had lost 45 points in the Tuticorin tournament, while unknown players had gained over 140 points from the tournament. Junaid sent us an article in which he mentions many discrepencies in the tournament results as submitted. For instance most of the players who are losing points from this event have not figured on the FIDE rating list since October 2001. For instance the titled players IM Manuel Aaron (lost 21 points), FM Chandragupta K Acharya (lost 33) and WFM Kiran Agarwal (lost 18) have all been inactive for years. On the other hand Zameer Ahmad Khan has gained 45 points – against which the veteran player vigorously protests in Junaid Ahmad's article.

Consulted on this matter the All India Chess Federation (AICF) said that there had been some confusion, as the organisers of the FIDE event sent wrong ID numbers of players. "We are correcting the same by taking up the matter with FIDE,” wrote the AICF.

But, Junaid thinks, some questions remain, which are quite troubling. For instance even if the ratings are corrected now, what happens to results that were subsequently submitted with the false ratings? He is also mystified why the AICF has taken so long to address the discrepancies, and are only doing it now when he complained to the body. "Did no other person point out this fiasco to AICF in the last six months?" he asks.


A relevant question for us to ask was: did the event in Tuticorin take place at all, or was it a faked tournament. We contacted Manuel Aaron, 70, many-times Indian National Champion and twice Captain of the Indian Olympic squad. Aaron has also been has the Secretary of the Tamil Nadu Chess Association as well as the All India Chess federation. Tuticorin is in the state of Tamil Nadu, where Manuel Aaron today resides.

Aaron confirmed to us that the SPIC 2005 tournament indeed took place, and that he had attended the closing ceremony. Newspapers covered it. "Tuticorin is my home district," wrote Aaron, "and in Tamil Nadu Team Championships I play for Tuticorin. Faked tournaments are generally closed round robins, not large Swiss events. As you put it, the tournament results originally sent to FIDE were flawed. But they have been since corrected by the AICF, which has done everything possible. It is FIDE's move now. A week ago, I told D.V.Sundar the AICF Secretary, my friend, to complain to the FIDE President about this matter. But I guess he will not precipitate matters. He is not a hot-head like me."

One boy from Manuel Aaron's my city, R. Ramnath Bhuvanesh, was affected badly. He played in the SPIC tournament, but was not on the list. He expected to get about 25 rating points from that event (his current rating is 1979). He got an invitation to the 8th Dubai Open Invitational Tournament. After he sent his entry, the organisers said they could not accept it as his rating is below 2000. This boy had a sponsor to pay for his trip to Dubai. But this matter of the SPIC Tournament is stopping him from being accepted by the Dubai organisers.


Casto Abundo, the Ratings Administrator of FIDE, told us that he was contacted by K. Muralimohan, the Rating Officer in India, who said he had discovered that the FIDE IDs of almost all the participants had been submitted incorrectly. 

"This could have happened due to some bugs in the software," wrote Muralimohan. "The mistake has caused immense inconvenience to players who did / did not take part in the event. We request you to kindly scrap the earlier report and take this as the correct one." Abundo says that the tournament and the ratings will be corrected.
 


Full documents

The Tuticorin Circus

By Junaid Ahmad

Has India’s first International Master Manuel Aaron come out of retirement to play after several decades? Well yes, if you go by the SPIC Championship listed in FIDE ratings as having been held from September 25, 2005 to October 2, 2005, in the port city of Tuticorin, in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu! And, Mr Aaron, top seed for the tournament, loses 21 points too, in a field of apparent novices as compared to him!

Did he really play this tournament? Probably not. At least four other keen players on the Indian chess circuit figure in the players’ list without having set foot in Tuticorin ever in their lives.

These four include Abid Ali of the Taj Mahal city of Agra, who loses 19 points from the fake tournament, while Arif Ali and myself, Junaid Ahmad of Lucknow, are shown as losing 13 points and 45 points respectively. Ironically, veteran player Zameer Ahmad Khan of Saharanpur, the City of wood furniture in North India, gains 45 points from this tournament, which he never played either!


Veteran player Zameer Ahmad Khan of Saharanpur

“But if I can gain points like this, I may lose too, tomorrow,” says a mystified ZA Khan. Born in 1941, he’s one of the most famous veteran players of North India. He has been a National Championship qualifier in his heyday. “This is shocking," he adds. "Senior players like me are not really net savvy and we wouldn’t even know if our ratings have been tampered with untill we play in a tournament.”


Arif Ali, who lost 13 points in a tournament he wasn't present at

Arif Ali says, “I haven’t played for almost a year, and if my friends who went to play in Mumbai this April had not noticed this fake tournament, I would not have known for quite a long time that I had lost points. Maybe, when it would have been too late to regain my precious points. This is serious. The guilty must be punished.”

Incidentally, on being contacted, the All India Chess Federation took a whole week to email back that: “Yes sir, we have taken up with the FIDE. There was some confusion, as the organisers of the FIDE event sent wrong ID numbers of players. We are correcting the same by taking up the matter with FIDE.”

Some questions, however, remain and are quite troubling:

  1. Even if the ratings are corrected now, what happens to Mr Khan and my opponents’ ratings whom we beat in the Thakur International Open Rating tournament that was held in Mumbai from April 21 - April 29. For example, my rating was actually 2070. Because of this fiasco, my rating at Mumbai was listed as 2025. I beat two players of rating above 2250, beat two of rating above 2170 and drew with 2240. Even if my rating is corrected now, what about my opponents? Similar is the case with Mr Khan as he also played in Mumbai.

  2. I have not played a tournament since last year, instead focusing on my magazine Black & White, of which I am the managing editor, and my first profession with the Lucknow Municipal Corporation. This discrepancy has existed since at least the last six months. It is quite surprising that a body like the AICF did not do anything about this discrepancy in such a long time and only now when someone like me, for whom chess is not the first profession, complained to the body? Did no other person point out this fiasco to AICF in the last six months?

  3. The Indian chess community has been in the limbo for the last two years. There is a tussle on in Indian courts of law with former AICF general secretary PT Ummer Koya facing allegations of financial irregularities to the tune of tens of millions of Rupees. As players we have no clue which faction, the one led by Koya or the current one led by Mr DV Sundar as general secretary, is responsible for this mysterious tournament, as both claim that they are the "true" AICF. FIDE, of course, lists Sundar as general secretary for India currently, but once in a while we hear of Koya having petitioned the court and obtained freeze on Sundar functioning as AICF general secretary. In the forthcoming FIDE elections, though Koya is fighting for the Asia Continental president’s post, he technically no longer is AICF general secretary. At least not, till the court cases are settled.

  4. Finally, all said and done, what does FIDE intend to do about individual corrupt federations? It may be thus, in several cases, that a corrupt federation continues to enjoy status in FIDE despite facing gross charges of discrepancies in the home country. Ultimately, it’s the players who suffer.

Black & White is a hobbyist’s chess magazine from India launched in March, 2004. Currently, it goes to 20 countries. Not for the hardcore professional, B&W carries features even on fitness and stress using chess as a motif for everything in life from movies to hypnosis. It’s staff includes people from a wide range of professions, from business to journalism. All who are passionate about chess but never had the opportunity to play it as a profession. It’s patrons include Greek chess painter Nicholas Sphicas, Greek grandmaster Grivas Efstratios, and US chess historian/organizer Bill Wall.

Black & White may be subscribed to for free by all senior citizens (65 years and above) from anywhere in the world, or for $60 by sending email to editor@blackandwhiteindia.com

The web site blackandwhiteindia.com is under construction.

Junaid Ahmad
Managing Editor,
Black & White – India’s chess features magazine
 


We received the following letter from Manuel Aaron

I can understand the frustration of players who have lost rating points at the traditional SPIC tournament of 2005 without even playing a single game! I am also an affected player as my rating has been reduced from 2315 to 2294.

The results of the SPIC tournament were sent by the Chief Arbiter to our Federation which forwarded it to FIDE. But there had been a hitherto unexplained aberration in sending the results. The FIDE IDs of players from the full Indian Rating List beginning with "A" as of October 2005 appear to have been applied to the real list of participants. This alphabetical list was in the computer which was used for pairing. You will notice that all the affected players' names begin with the alphabet "A". Very strangely Vishy Anand escaped this botch-up.

When the winner of that tournament, 13-year-old S. Nitin complained to me in late December 2005 that he did not get any points from that Tuticorin tournament, I thought that it was a simple matter which could be corrected. But when one Abishek Singh emailed me that he had never played in the SPIC tournament but had still lost points, and that furthermore I should know that he had not played there as I had myself 'played' in Tuticorin, I started examining things.

The Chief Arbiter said he had personally checked the FIDE IDs of all the players after three rounds of that tournament was over. Everything was in order. After the event he checked with the CD from which he had sent the Tuticorin results to our federation. To his horror, it indeed contained IDs of players who did not participate. He could not explain how it could have happened. He could not check with the computer as it belonged to the SPIC company and he had no further access to it. Immediately he re-did the whole result with the correct IDs of players and sent it to our federation (AICF). The AICF's Rating Officer Mr Murali Mohan checked it and sent it to FIDE. AICF requested FIDE to remove the old results of SPIC with the wrong ID numbers and apply the new corrected version. There was no reply from FIDE.

Then came the April 2006 list. The corrected SPIC results had indeed been incorporated. But the old results with the wrong ID numbers had not been removed and my rating remains at 2294. So, for the same tournament FIDE had applied two results – one with wrong ID numbers and the other with correct ones.

Again AICF contacted FIDE. After some delay FIDE did act. They removed the corrected result and left the incorrect results to stand! So the net result is that the 2005 SPIC result with the wrong FIDE IDs still remains on the FIDE Rating List.

The entry fees payable in FIDE-rated Open tournaments here in India depend on the ratings of the players. So, many players who have not got the points due to them from SPIC 2005, or who have lost points without playing in SPIC 2005, have to pay higher entry fees at tournaments for no fault of theirs. On the other hand it is also possible that some players have gained undeserved rating points through this mess and are paying less entry fees at tournaments!

Manuel Aaron


Results for the Tuticorin tournament, as submitted to FIDE (sorted according to players)

 FIDE ID  Player  NAT  Elo  Pts    

 5000092

 Aaron, Manuel

 IND

 2082

 6.5

 10

 -21

 5033110

 Aarthi, Lakhsmi E.K.A.

 IND

 2112

 0

 2

 -14.5

 5008751

 Abdul Majeed, N.

 IND

 2014

 4

 7

 -8.25

 5023793

 Abdul, Azeez S.K.

 IND

 2011

 0.5

 3

 -10.75

 5022010

 Abdul, Rasheed

 IND

 1863

 0.5

 2

 -13.5

 5008034

 Abhay, G.N.

 IND

 2127

 3

 7

 1.5

 5026741

 Abhay, Kadekar

 IND

 2117

 4.5

 8

 74.5

 5019796

 Abhay, Keshav Patankar

 IND

 2055

 0

 3

 -41.25

 5016150

 Abhay, T.

 IND

 2079

 2.5

 7

 -41.25

 5020433

 Abhijit Chutia

 IND

 1898

 3.5

 7

 -35

 5019451

 Abhijit, Kar

 IND

 2075

 1.5

 5

 -5

 5024668

 Abhilash, Reddy M.L.

 IND

 2106

 9.5

 17

 7.8

 5025680

 Abhimanyu, Poddar

 IND

 2073

 0

 1

 -11.75

 5006902

 Abhimod, K.

 IND

 2054

 5

 8

 21

 5016517

 Abhirama, M.

 IND

 2059

 0

 2

 -30.5

 5013348

 Abhishek, Das

 IND

 2004

 1

 5

 -46.5

 5019257

 Abhishek, Kelkar

 IND

 2082

 1

 4

 -10.2

 5033802

 Abhishek, Paul Y.

 IND

 2028

 2

 6

 -34

 5024676

 Abhishek, Singh

 IND

 2059

 2.5

 5

 -10

 5019460

 Abhratanu, Dutta

 IND

 2118

 6.5

 10

 100

 5005582

 Abhyankar, M.N.

 IND

 2246

 0

 1

 -9.75

 5021022

 Abid, Ali

 IND

 1945

 5

 9

 -19.5

 5001412

 Acharya, Chandragupta K.

 IND

 2057

 1

 4

 -33

 5018471

 Adhiban, B.

 IND

 1992

 3.5

 8

 -38.7

 5020506

 Adithya, B.

 IND

 2039

 6.5

 10

 22.5

 5027101

 Aditya, Ch.

 IND

 2144

 8

 10

 142.5

 5033128

 Aditya, Gupta

 IND

 1963

 6

 10

 50

 5016533

 Aditya, Kumar K

 IND

 1936

 4

 9

 -75.5

 5013763

 Aditya, Soni

 IND

 2082

 6.5

 10

 30

 5016525

 Aditya, Vikas R.

 IND

 2013

 5.5

 9

 2.85

 5007259

 Aditya, Vikram

 IND

 2113

 7

 10

 50

 5005108

 Agarwal, Ashok

 IND

 2127

 5.5

 8

 33.5

 5000483

 Agarwal, Brajesh

 IND

 2065

 3

 7

 -18

 5010802

 Agarwal, Rahul

 IND

 2079

 5

 8

 27

 5001048

 Agrawal, Kiran

 IND

 2073

 0.5

 4

 -18.3

 5012821

 Ahmad, Junaid

 IND

 1945

 1

 6

 -45.3

 5010055

 Ahmed Khan Zameer

 IND

 2112

 8

 10

 45

 5007151

 Aidasani, Yashraj

 IND

 2045

 4.5

 8

 -8.1

 5034736

 Ajay, Kumar Mishra

 IND

 2054

 4

 7

 35.25

 5012678

 Ajay, Pandey

 IND

 2157

 0

 1

 -8.7

 5033136

 Ajeesh, Antony

 IND

 1881

 1.5

 3

 -10.35

 5027314

 Ajinkya, Karan

 IND

 1985

 3.5

 8

 -22.5

 5027535

 Ajinkya, Pingale

 IND

 2078

 2

 4

 30

 5013780

 Ajit Kumar Verma

 IND

 1890

 0.5

 3

 -24

 5029473

 Ajith, M.P.

 IND

 2055

 6.5

 10

 16.5

 5018110

 Akash, Das Sarma

 IND

 2147

 5

 8

 35

 5008107

 Akash, Deep

 IND

 2011

 6

 10

 -40

 5009146

 Akolkar, Pranav

 IND

 2073

 1

 4

 -30

 5028922

 Akshat, Aggarwal

 IND

 2128

 0.5

 4

 -10.5

 5016541

 Akshat, Khamparia

 IND

 2080

 1

 5

 -43.5

 5028930

 Akshathaa, P

 IND

 1860

 0

 1

 -14.75

 5021766

 Akshay, Deshmukh

 IND

 2046

 3

 8

 -9

 5022452

 Akshay, H. Bhor

 IND

 2006

 0.5

 3

 -12.75

 5028744

 Akshay, Jain

 IND

 2091

 7

 10

 100

 5007828

 Akshay, Kumar Jain

 IND

 1882

 0

 2

 -38.5

 5012414

 Akshayraj, Kore

 IND

 2206

 0

 2

 -15

 5009782

 Alaguraja, M.A.

 IND

 2051

 2

 7

 -30.9

 5016789

 Alankar, Bhivgade

 IND

 1881

 3.5

 7

 -57.75

 5002885

 Alex, Thomas K.

 IND

 2218

 0

 1

 -7.5

 5000661

 Alexander, Ashok

 IND

 2139

 7

 9

 37.75

 5013305

 Alfred, K.V.

 IND

 2045

 2.5

 6

 -20

 5006740

 Ali, Arif

 IND

 1978

 3.5

 7

 -13.65

 5019478

 Alka, Das

 IND

 2284

 0

 1

 -2.7

 5042437

 Arulkumar.S,

 TUT

 2060

 1.5

 4

 0

 5035961

 Arun.J,

 IND

 2036

 2.5

 7

 -25

 5041341

 Aruthi. M.,

 IND

 1990

 1

 3

 0

 5040302

 Ashok Kumar.R.,

 IND

 2019

 6

 14

 0

 5042380

 Aswin.G,

 KAN

 2054

 3.5

 8

 0

 5039380

 Gopi.D,

 IND

 2020

 5

 9

 0

 5042399

 Harikrishnan,

 KER

 2025

 2

 7

 0

 5039398

 Jacob Ragland.A,

 IND

 2055

 0

 3

 0

 5039410

 Jaya Ananthram.Ad.,

 IND

 2038

 4

 8

 0

 14658

 Jeeva.J,

 IND

 2014

 0

 4

 0

 20878

 Jithendra.G.G.R,

 AP

 2022

 0.5

 5

 0

 5042402

 Karthik Babu.K.K,

 MDU

 2020

 1.5

 5

 0

 5037964

 Karthik Subramanya,

 IND

 2051

 0.5

 3

 -7.75

 5036046

 Magesh Babu,

 IND

 2008

 0

 4

 0

 20983

 Mohammed Iqbal.J,

 PUD

 1999

 0.5

 6

 0

 3773

 Muthuraman.S.,

 IND

 1951

 0

 5

 0

 5040213

 Nagaraju.J,

 AP

 1988

 5.5

 10

 0

 11028

 Natarajan K,

 IND

 1914

 0

 3

 0

 5042356

 Naveen Kumar.A,

 AP

 2018

 1

 4

 0

 5042364

 Nooka Raju.M,

 AP

 1968

 3.5

 8

 0

 5042429

 Om Prakash.R.R,

 TRY

 1971

 2

 6

 0

 5040221

 Pandiyan.R,

 CUD

 1993

 4.5

 9

 0

 14864

 Prakash Shivshankar.,

 IND

 1951

 0.5

 6

 0

 5042461

 Praveen Kumar.C(vlr),

 VEL

 1970

 3

 8

 0

 14866

 Premraj. N.,

 IND

 1958

 0.5

 3

 0

 5042372

 Premraj.K,

 AP

 1941

 3.5

 8

 0

 5040973

 Radhakrishnan.V.,

 IND

 1922

 1

 5

 0

 4619

 Raghavan, P.

 IND

 1964

 0.5

 4

 0

 5039550

 Raghuraman. V.,

 IND

 1913

 1

 6

 0

 5042453

 Rajendran.M.G,

 TVL

 1913

 2

 6

 0

 5042410

 Rajendran.P,

 TNE

 1956

 1

 4

 0

 21048

 Raju.M,

 MDU

 1954

 0.5

 3

 0

 5042445

 Raman.S,

 TUT

 1888

 1

 7

 0

 5029333

 Ravi, Shankar A.

 IND

 2003

 5

 9

 -1.95

 5038502

 Sangeetha.G.,

 IND

 1913

 2

 5

 0

 4672

 Shanmugaraja, S.

 IND

 1850

 0.5

 4

 0

 5033772

 Sirajudeen, K.

 IND

 1937

 4.5

 9

 0

 21098

 Somasundaram.S.K,

 SLM

 1853

 0

 3

 0

 14961

 Srinidhi Nagarajan,

 IND

 1918

 0

 3

 0

 5039657

 Sriramana. S.,

 IND

 1917

 1.5

 6

 0

 21110

 Suresh Lal.J,

 CHE

 1916

 0.5

 4

 0

 5039665

 Surjeet. D.v.,

 IND

 1951

 4

 8

 0

 5036771

 Venkatraman, R.

 IND

 1967

 1

 4

 0

 21135

 Venkatraman.S,

 TVL

 2002

 0

 3

 0

 5037611

 Visalatchi.R,

 IND

 1920

 1

 4

 0

 15031

 Vishnu Eswar.,

 IND

 1949

 0

 3

 0

 5039746

 Viswanathan. M.s.,

 IND

 1889

 1.5

 4

 0


Discussion and Feedback Join the public discussion or submit your feedback to the editors


Discuss

Rules for reader comments

 
 

Not registered yet? Register