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Nigalidze Stripped of GM Title

Earning the rank of Grandmaster is a monumental feat for any chess player and having it taken away can be equally devastating. As reported by various blogs and covered here earlier this year, GM Gaoiz Nigalidze of Georgia was caught cheating at the 2015 Dubai Open with an iPod Touch hidden in a restroom stall. GM Tigran Petrosian voiced his concerns to the tournament organizers after it became apparent that Nigalidze was strongly attracted to a particular bathroom stall. Investigation by the organizers revealed the hidden device and the back-to-back Georgian champion was immediately disqualified.

The World Chess Federation issued a ruling on December 4th which stripped the Georgian champion of his Grandmaster title and banned him from FIDE tournament play for 3 years. This scorched earth approach is a welcome tactic in the wake of the increasing amount of cheating scandals within the professional chess community. Nigalidze was allowed to keep his International Master (IM) title.

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