Chess players also have to be careful about how they walk

In recent years, chess has been having great success: more and more people are playing it and at the highest levels there have been several controversial episodes, which have perhaps somewhat dented the image of chess players as morally impeccable sportsmen, but have certainly contributed to making the most popular game. Last Sunday a bizarre thing happened in Toronto, Canada, during the Candidates Tournament, the important biennial tournament whose winner acquires the right to challenge the reigning world champion for the title: one of the players was accused of having walked too loudly and was therefore reprimanded by the referee.

Alireza Firouzja, a 20-year-old Iranian “Grandmaster” with French citizenship, was playing against Ian Nepomniachtchi in the ninth round of the event and, during the match, he decided to stand up and take a few steps. This is quite normal and healthy in tournaments of this kind, where chess players have to sit for a long time and be very concentrated. However, tournament referee Aris Marghetis approached Firouzja and asked him to walk more slowly, after another player (the Azerbaijani Nijat Abasov) had complained about the noise generated by Firouzja’s walk.

In an interview, Marghetis explained that the Great Hall in Toronto, where the tournament was taking place, is a fairly old building, and that it is therefore normal to hear the floor creaking when the players walk. The problem, however, according to the referee, is that Firouzja’s steps were really very loud, “as if he was wearing boots and was stepping on something”. Marghetis said that one of his tasks is to protect the players, and at that moment he feared that the sound of Firouzja’s footsteps was disturbing them.

The explanation of the episode made directly by the referee Aris Marghetis

The 20-year-old French-Iranian chess player said instead that he was taking a normal walk, wearing normal shoes, and that he wasn’t disturbing anyone. In a post on “He told me not to walk and to wear new shoes tomorrow,” wrote Firouzja, who ultimately asked one of the organizers to sanction the referee.

In the end, however, Firouzja decided not to appeal and there were no new complaints from the organisers. The issue seemed already resolved on Monday, but according to the Wall Street Journal it could push the organizers of the Candidates Tournament, among the most prestigious in chess, to make a small innovation for the next editions: putting a layer of carpet on the floor.

– Read also: Did the chess player who beat Magnus Carlsen cheat?

2024-04-17 09:00:36
#Chess #players #careful #walk


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *