Cheating at Chess

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  • #61
    Re: Cheating at Chess, the FIDE ACC Rules

    Cheating at Chess

    May 11, 2017

    A comment on two games by Sandu in the tournament in question:

    Looking at Game 2 (the 1st win against a 2400s player), Sandu was playing Black and Melia was playing White. After the end of move 17, Melia had a complete advantage (+1.47). Then, on move 25, Melia played Qe2??. Sandu played Qc4, a very natural move, which reduced a complete or clear advantage into only a slight advantage for Melia. On move 29, White played a4 which was a pawn sac which Sandu accepted. In critical position, instead of playing actively, Melia played the passive 30. Rd3. At that point, Sandu gained an advantage (either slight or clear, about -0.80) with, again, a natural move 30 ... b4. Sandu goes on to convert a simple 1 pawn up Rook position--shocking how a WGM can do that.

    16th European Individual Women’s Champ
    Chavki, Georgia
    Round 2, May 20, 2015
    Melia, Salome (2452) – Sandu, Mihaela (2300)
    B96 Sicilian, Najdorf

    1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 e6 7.f4 Qc7 8.Bxf6 gxf6 9.Qd2 b5 10.O-O-O Bb7 11.a3 Nd7 12.Kb1 h5 13.Be2 Rc8 14.Rhe1 Nb6 15.Bf1 Nc4 16.Bxc4 Qxc4 17.f5 Bh6 18.Qf2 e5 19.Nb3 Qc7 20.Nd5 Bxd5 21.Rxd5 Ke7 22.c3 Rb8 23.Na1 a5 24.Nc2 Rhc8 25.Qe2 Qc4 26.Qxc4 Rxc4 27.h3 Kd7 28.Re2 Kc6 29.a4 Rxa4 30.Rd3 b4 31.b3 bxc3 32.Rxc3+ Kd7 33.Kb2 d5 34.exd5 Rf4 35.Rc5 a4 36.b4 Bf8 37.Ra5 Bxb4 38.Ra7+ Ke8 39.Nxb4 Rfxb4+ 40.Ka2 R8b7 41.Ra6 Ke7 42.Rc2 Rd4 43.Rcc6 Rxd5 44.Rxf6 e4 45.Rfc6 Rxf5 46.Rxa4 Re5 47.Rc2 h4 48.Ka3 f5 49.Rb4 Rxb4 50.Kxb4 Rd5 51.Kc4 Rd3 52.Ra2 Ke6 53.Ra8 Rd2 54.Rh8 Ke5 55.Rxh4 Rc2+ 56.Kb3 Rxg2 57.Kc3 Rg3+ 58.Kd2 Kd4 59.Ke2 Rg2+ 60.Kf1 Ra2 61.Rf4 Ke5 62.Rh4 f4 63.Rh8 f3 64.Rf8 Kd4 65.Rb8 Ke3 66.Rb3+ Kf4 67.Rb4 Kg3 68.Rxe4 Ra1+ 69.Re1 Rxe1+ 70.Kxe1 Kg2 0-1

    Black wins in 11 moves after 71.Kd2

    Game 3: Game is about even (nothing more than a slight advantage for either side) throughout. Then 38 ... Bf2??? was a clear blunder which game White (Sandu) a +6.81 advantage. Shocking how a WGM can convert an advantage the equivalent of being up a Rook and almost 2 pawns.

    Round 3, May 21, 2015
    Sandu, Mihaela (2300) - Goryachkina, Aleksandra (2474)
    B32 Sicilian, Labourdonnais-Loewenthal variation

    1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 e5 5.Nb5 d6 6.N1c3 a6 7.Na3 b5 8.Nd5 Nce7 9.c4 Nxd5 10.exd5 bxc4 11.Nxc4 Nf6 12.Be3 Rb8 13.a4 Be7 14.Be2 O-O 15.O-O Bb7 16.Nb6 Nd7 17.a5 f5 18.f3 Nxb6 19.Bxb6 Qd7 20.b3 Bd8 21.Bf2 Kh8 22.Bc4 Bc8 23.Qd3 Qb7 24.b4 Ra8 25.Rab1 Bd7 26.Qe2 Bf6 27.Kh1 Rfb8 28.Bb6 Bd8 29.b5 axb5 30.Bxb5 Bxb6 31.Bxd7 Rxa5 32.Bxf5 Qa7 33.f4 g6 34.Be4 Bd4 35.f5 Rxb1 36.Bxb1 gxf5 37.Bxf5 Ra1 38.Bb1 Bf2 39.Qf3 Kg8 40.Qg4+ Kf8 41.Qf5+ Kg8 42.Qxh7+ Qxh7 43.Bxh7+ Kxh7 44.Rxa1 Kg6 45.Rf1 Be3 46.g3 Bd2 47.Kg2 e4 48.Rf8 Kg5 49.Re8 Kf5 50.Re6 Bb4 51.h4 1-0

    - What complete nonsense. Nobody could prove whatsoever that Sandu cheated. The players filing the complaint should be ashamed and apologetic, instead Zhukova is appealing the ban. I even thought that 3 months is a ridiculous ban, considering how shamelessly she accused Sandu of cheating. She's killing her reputation severely and in my opinion she should receive a hurtful ban, like 1 year no FIDE rated tournaments.

    People should not forget that Sandu is not a nobody, she is a WGM after all...
    Last edited by Wayne Komer; Tuesday, 28th November, 2017, 12:01 AM.


    • #62
      Re: Cheating at Chess, the FIDE ACC Rules

      And that's another problem when you start to crack down on potential cheaters with too much enthusiasm. You end up with people being wrongfully accused.


      • #63
        Re: Cheating at Chess, the FIDE ACC Rules

        Cheating in Chess

        June 2, 2017

        What did Mihaela Sandu think of the decision handed down by FIDE about the false accusations of her alleged cheating?

        You’ll recall that the primary accuser got a suspended 3-month suspension. It took two years for FIDE to even do that.

        A letter from Mihaela to FIDE:

        Attn: FIDE office

        Attn: The Ethics commission of FIDE

        I am writing following the letter I have received from the FIDE Ethics Commission regarding my case.

        I acknowledge that some part of justice was made. The Respondents, viz.

        (Ms Natalia Zhukova (Resp. no. 1) Ms Alisa Galliamova (Resp. no. 2) Ms Lanita Stetsko (Resp. no. 3) Ms Anastasia Bodnaruk (Resp. no. 4) Ms Dina Belenkaya (Resp. no. 5) Ms Jovana Rapport (néé Vojinova) (Resp. no. 6) Ms Svetlana Matveeva (Resp. no. 7) Ms Marina Guseva (Resp. no. 8) Ms Anna Tskhadadze (Resp. no. 9) Ms Tatiana Ivanova (Resp. no. 10) Ms Natassia Ziaziulkina (Resp. no. 11) Ms Anastasia Savina (Resp. no. 12) Ms Evgenija Ovod (Resp. no. 13) Ms Melia Salome (Resp. no. 14) Ms Ekaterina Kovalevskaya (Resp. no. 15)

        were found guilty of breach of code 2.2.11 of the FIDE Ethics Code, which reads:

        "Any conduct likely to injure or discredit the reputation of FIDE, its events, organizers, participants, sponsors or that will enhance the goodwill which attaches to the same."

        But I think that the measures taken are too mild and are encouraging unsporting behaviour.

        Basically, the sanction, in the case of Zhukova, applies for making false accusations and discrediting my image and the image of FIDE. I consider that a 3 month suspended ban is a very light sanction for making false accusations and discrediting my name.
        But you are not taking into consideration the attack she made on me and how this helped her to gain an indisputable advantage in our direct encounter, a conduct which is similar to cheating. I don't see anything like that mentioned in your letter.

        This decision doesn't take into consideration the effect this attack had on me back then, on my chess career afterwards, nor the direct gains Zhukova obtained from the attack. Zhukova attacked my reputation and during the tournament I had to defend myself, to write letters instead of preparing for our encounter. All of the sudden my mind was busy with something different instead of my chess games. She confiscated my good tournament and turned it into her own good tournament. She beat me in our direct encounter and even won the event. I lost to her and to the rest of my opponents (including Alisa Galliamova -she signed the letter and also benefited from beating me, in the last round of the European Championship) when only half a point was enough to qualify for the World Chess Championship. I was also very close to winning a prize.

        Another ethical thing I have noticed during the reading of the Anti-Cheating Report is that Zhukova denied to have drafted and collected the signatures, but many respondents(as written in the ACC report) said that they were approached by Zhukova to sign it. I was told the same by my friends who saw her at the Delphinarium during the free day, that Zhukova drafted the letter and collected signatures. Also, I don't think the letter came from nowhere, or wrote itself, and Mrs. Zhukova is the first to have signed it. So, on another ethical angle, isn't Zhukova's behavior a form of lying and of impeding of the investigation? In any country in the world there are severe punishments for that.

        Another question to FIDE: Isn't this mild punishment a way of telling other players that they can do this again? They would only risk a suspended ban which is only a joke(for people without character) if they would get a chance to win a good prize in a strong tournament. Unfortunately, people without character are everywhere, that's why you need firm rules and punishments to make sure attacks like that don't happen again.

        Coming back to my situation, yes, I lost a lot of things during that Championship. My good name and reputation was stolen from me and also my balance was affected for a long time. When you are innocent and fall victim to false accusations your whole life turns upside down. You start asking yourself all sorts of questions and your mind is diverted and cannot focus. During the year that followed I have lost a lot of rating also (about 100 elo points) and my spot in the Olympic Team. So there was also serious financial losses I endured because of that.

        Another thing I want to touch upon is that in your letter, you assert that there was an inappropriate handling of the situation by the officials.

        I totally agree with that. In a normal institution (like FIDE should be), when a decision like that is reached, measures of additional investigations are taken. Why did this happen? How did the officials handle the situation? What were the mistakes?
        Why did the organizer allow for the letter to be published, thus making it official? How did the main arbiter react and how he should have reacted instead? Why did they allow for such a bad thing to happen?

        And another point: You mention the punishment was mitigated because a lot of time passed since. Who's to blame for that? A situation like that, which affects the image of chess players and the reputation of FIDE itself, should have been on the list of extremely urgent matters of discussion, not postponed for 2 years. Who was affected by this postponement? I was affected first because I have waited for a long time to have an official statement about the case. But also FIDE's image was affected by this postponement.

        In conclusion, I was greatly prejudiced, both reputation wise and financial wise, and the FIDE measures so far did not take into consideration the situation as a whole. I am expecting from FIDE officials and from The Ethics commission of FIDE a reply, which deals with the addressed issues.

        Mihaela Sandu

        I have sympathy for Mihaela. One correspondent of the chessbase article has very little. He says that Viktor Korchnoi wouldn’t have been intimidated in that situation!

        “I feel for Sandu, knowing what it is like to be attacked by many people (extremely unpleasant). However regarding her results in that particular tournament... a bit of it has to do with weak character IMO. For instance I can hardly imagine Viktor Korchnoi being rattled in her place. I read an incident where he was accused (maybe correctly) of writing a false letter of apology, it being dubbed a mask of an embittered indivualist etc. etc. and he still became one of the greatest players ever.”


        • #64
          Re: Cheating at Chess

          It may be worth my trying to make clear current legal options in regard to suspected chess cheating, as far as I can make them out.

          Fwiw, there are two legal standards of proof (at least in Canada), one for Criminal cases ('beyond a reasonable doubt', i.e. 'close to absolute certainty' or 'no other logical explanation'), and one for Civil cases ('balance of probabilities', or 'greater than 50% chance' in favour of one side's case).

          Based on an internet search, I've seen one case in Japan where someone accused of cheating on a server was headed for criminal court. In such a case it's more than being politically correct to require proof beyond a reasonable doubt, at least in Canada. Note that a person might be charged with a felony for cheating at chess, in general, if substantial prize money is at stake.

          In the case of suspected cheating on the run-of-the-mill chess servers, it seems perfectly okay for an administrator to ban the user in question, as the user has recourse to civil action if he so choses, whereupon it's a question of balance of probabilities (at least in Canada). The downside is that the server administrator might not be able to afford going to court, or losing the case - no doubt some administrators have refrained from blacklisting players already due to such a threat.

          In the case of someone suspected of cheating with computer assistance in an over-the-board tournament with cash prizes, the organizer(s) would seem to have a choice, IMHO: charge the suspect with a felony, or kick them out of the event and/or ban them from future events. In the latter case, at least the organizer(s) have a better shot, in (just a civil) court, i.e. if the suspected player later brings a lawsuit. IMHO for organizer(s) to ask a player would he please submit to a search seems to be at best a bit on the hopeful side, and possibly invites an even bigger lawsuit later (unless the player offers to be searched without solicitation).
          Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.
          Murphy's law, by Edward A. Murphy Jr., USAF, Aerospace Engineer


          • #65
            Re: Cheating at Chess

            Cheating at Chess

            November 27, 2017

   has news by Peter Doggers on a cheating scandal in Italy:


            Players Suspended In Italian Cheating Scandal

            Four chess players have been convicted by an Italian federal court for their involvement in rigging games and attempts to manipulate results at the Montebelluna tournament in January of this year. The story has a deep impact on the Italian chess scene, and the verdict was widely published in mainstream media.

            Last Saturday the Federal Court of First Instance of the Italian Chess Federation ruled that four players have violated the Rules of Justice and Discipline of the Italian Chess Federation, mostly for behaviour at the Montebelluna chess festival in January 2017. Three of them were penalized with suspensions.

            The 19-year-old IM Pier Luigi Basso was suspended from competitive play for five months, the 52-year-old Russian grandmaster Igor Naumkin (who lives in Italy) was suspended for six months and the 32-year-old IM Angelo Damia was suspended for seven months for throwing games at a different tournament in 2013.

            The 24-year-old IM Andrea Stella, who scored a GM norm in Montebelluna, was only reprimanded for rude behavior, and was urged not to repeat this.

            The 63-year-old Croatian IM Milan Mrdja was also a subject of the investigation, as some of his losses were seen as suspicious by some, but he was found not guilty.

            The court ruled that there was enough evidence that attempts to throw games had taken place in Montebelluna, a festival with several events including closed IM and GM tournaments. "The principles of loyalty and fairness were violated," stated the court.

            (See the original article for documentation)


            • #66
              Re: Cheating at Chess

              Cheating in Chess

              November 30, 2017

              The 52-year old Russian grandmaster Igor Naumkin (who lives in Italy) was suspended for six months for rigging games and attempting to manipulate results (along with three others) at the Montebelluna tournament, January 2017.

              Evgeny Surov of had an extensive interview with him at


              It is quite a fascinating interview with a grandmaster, who plays all the time in Italy but does not live there, who does not own a computer and thinks he troubles are caused by the jealousy of some Italian players. I have edited the interview and urge you to look at a translation yourself before forming an opinion!

              Some extracts below:

              IN: I have never sold or bought a game and never sold or bought a draw in my entire chess career.

              ES: Then how did it happen that you have become a defendant in this scandalous case?

              IN: It is a false charge and a conspiracy directed against me and three other players. I don’t know by whom.

              ES: What about that tournament? It was in January, quite a long time ago.

              IN: It was a tournament in Montebelluna, January 3-8. I played in one of the five closed tournaments. I only learned later that they began a “witch hunt” three months ago. I just came to play in January, then off to Moscow and then to Germany and then again to Moscow. When I came back to Italy, I was sent a document confirming my disqualification.
              One of the players said something against me – that I was selling a game to another player. I didn’t get a chance to defend myself.

              I first came to Italy in 1992. The Italians played badly and they practiced playing with me and took lessons and became stronger and now they want to disqualify me.

              The witness against me changed his testimony ten times and he had no corroborating witness.

              Grandmasters Gaudin, Vocaturo and Brunello signed a letter not against me but against the tournament.

              ES: Can you tell us a bit about yourself. You are a chessplayer who is Russian, right?

              IN: Yes, I represent Russia. I have played chess all my life and the disqualification means that I can no longer make money. I almost give no lessons.

              ES: And you spend a lot of time in Italy? Do you live in Italy?

              IN: No, I do not live there. I do not have apartments there. I live only in Moscow.

              I do not have a computer and am not invited to tournaments in other countries. I play in Italy I a lot of two and three day open tournaments.

              I have accused some people of cheating and one of them was disqualified for two or three years.

              ES: Excuse me, who was that?

              IN:Arcangelo Ricciardi

              (There is a discussion of a player named Solozhenkin accusing a girl, Sarah Assaubayev, of cheating)

              IN: I was expelled from a tournament, which was held in October 26-29.

              ES: How much is your lawyer?

              IN: Of course, I cannot tell you. I have to listen to my lawyer, which affects tournaments I want to participate in. I need help from FIDE and the Russian Chess Federation.

              ES: You are not looking for Justice from the Italian Federation?

              IN: No, here it is all totally falsified and dishonest.


              The Telegraph of September 7, 2015 had this story:

              An Italian chess player has been expelled from one of Italy’s most important tournaments after he allegedly used Morse code and a spy pendant containing a hidden camera to communicate with an accomplice.

              Arcangelo Ricciardi entered the International Chess Festival of Imperia ranked 51,366 in the world, but astonished rivals as he breezed through the early stages of the competition to reach the eighth and penultimate round.
              Jean Coqueraut, who refereed the tournament in Liguria, northern Italy, said he began to suspect something was wrong early on in the competition.

              “In chess, performances like that are impossible,” he told La Stampa newspaper. “I didn’t think he was a genius, I knew he had to be a cheat.

              “I kept on looking at him. He was always sitting down, he never got up. It was very strange; we are talking about hours and hours of playing. But most suspicious of all, he always had his arms folded with his thumb under his armpit. He never took it out.”

              Mr Coqueraut said he was also “batting his eyelids in the most unnatural way”.

              “Then I understood it,” he said. “He was deciphering signals in Morse code.”

              The referee attempted to expose Mr Ricciardi by asking him to empty his pockets, but nothing was found. When the Italian was asked to open his shirt, he refused.

              Tournament organisers then asked the 37-year old to pass through a metal detector and a sophisticated pendant was found hanging around his neck underneath a shirt. The pendant contained a tiny video camera as well as a mass of wires attached to his body and a 4cm box under his armpit. Mr Ricciardi claimed they were good luck charms.

              It is thought the camera was used to transmit the chess game in real time to an accomplice or sophisticated computer, which then suggested moves for Mr Ricciardi through a series of signals received in the box under his arm.

              Mr Coqueraut said Mr Ricciardi constantly drank from a glass of water and wiped his face with a handkerchief to conceal the pendant around his neck. An investigation has been launched and the Italian Chess Federation is deciding whether to press charges for sports fraud.

              Last edited by Wayne Komer; Thursday, 30th November, 2017, 02:16 AM.


              • #67
                Re: Cheating at Chess

                OK, the following description caused me to blow some coffee out my nose while LMAO:

                Tournament organisers then asked the 37-year old to pass through a metal detector and a sophisticated pendant was found hanging around his neck underneath a shirt. The pendant contained a tiny video camera as well as a mass of wires attached to his body and a 4cm box under his armpit. Mr Ricciardi claimed they were good luck charms.
                Thanks for that! :)
                ...Mike Pence: the Lord of the fly.


                • #68
                  Cheating in Chess

                  July 12, 2019

                  GM Igors Rausis has been caught red-handed using his phone during a game in Strasbourg. He has been suspended from the tournament and all the materials will be sent to the Ethics Commission. FIDE is determined to fight cheating in chess!



                  From Leon Watson in The Telegraph ;

                  The world of elite chess has been engulfed in a cheating scandal after a picture emerged of a top grandmaster sat on a toilet allegedly using a mobile phone to cheat.

                  Police are investigating after Igors Rausis, who has represented Latvia, Bangladesh and the Czech Republic, was caught “red-handed”, the game's governing body Fide said today.

                  Mr Rausis, aged 58, stunned the chess world by reaching the game's top echelon at an age most players decline in strength.

                  The former Latvian champion was hailed as an inspiration to older players as he climbed from a Fide rating of around 2500 - the level of an average grandmaster - to the verge of 2700 in six years. Rausis also became the oldest player in the Top 100, reaching number 40 in the live rankings list.

                  However, his jump in middle age to the level of “Super” grandmaster was unprecedented in a game dominated by younger stars and this led to suspicion.

                  British Grandmaster Danny Gormally and International Master Lawrence Trent both expressed doubts in the last year about the performance of Mr Rausis on Twitter without directly accusing him of cheating.


                  See also:

                  Last edited by Wayne Komer; Friday, 12th July, 2019, 02:41 PM.


                  • #69
                    How was he detected? A camera in the stall? Someone looked under or over the door?


                    • #70
                      Cheating in Chess

                      July 12, 2019

                      There is a photo of him using the phone, taken over the top of the toilet partition.

                      There is a lot of criticism about detection in this way:

                      - What about the legality of pointing a hidden camera into a public bathroom? Seems iffy to me.

                      - Just a logistics question, if he was in the toilet with the door shut are we saying somebody peered over a cubicle to take this photo? Are there no privacy rules in Strasbourg :)?




                      • #71
                        Also what would happen if say instead of him being a 58 year old he was a 13 year old?
                        "Tom is a well known racist, and like most of them he won't admit it, possibly even to himself." - Ed Seedhouse, October 4, 2020.


                        • #72
                          Last edited by Serge Archambault; Wednesday, 4th September, 2019, 09:46 AM.


                          • #73
                            Serge - I believe Tom was referring to a 13 year old hypothetical to highlight taking pictures of minors in a washroom situation could be considered felony in some jurisdictions (not for any chess reasons related to juniors....) In any case, there are questions about the methods they used to prove the assertions that he was cheating. It is clear that he was cheating... even if the methodology of the investigation was dubious. Perhaps the organizers had 'fine print' to allow them to take whatever measures they felt necessary to investigate cheating. On police dramas, taking pictures illegally would taint the evidence but of course this is not TV.
                            ...Mike Pence: the Lord of the fly.


                            • #74
                              Last edited by Serge Archambault; Wednesday, 4th September, 2019, 09:47 AM.


                              • #75
                                Cheating in Chess

                                December 6, 2019

                                FIDE Ethics Commission announces the sanctions against Igor Rausis

                                Lausanne, December 5, 2019

                                The FIDE Ethics Commission (ETH), composed of Yolander Persaud, Ravindra Dongre, Rajesh Hari Joshi, and Francois Strydom as a Chairman, held a meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland, during November 23-24.

                                During this meeting, among other matters, the ETH Commission studied the allegations of cheating against GM Igor Rausis at the 2019 Strasbourg tournament, and various other tournaments in the period 2015-2019.

                                An oral hearing was held at which were present, apart from the ETH members, the respondent Igor Rausis, Mr. Yuri Garrett of the FIDE Fair Play Commission, and Prof. Kenneth Regan.

                                Mr Rausis confessed to cheating on four different occasions, in three instances by using his mobile phone and in the other instance by pre-arranging the result of a game, and was found guilty as such on the basis of his own version. Taking into account Mr Rausis’ acknowledgment of guilt, his co-operation at the hearing and remorse displayed, as well as his personal circumstances, but keeping in mind the precedent established by the ETH’s decision in case no. 7/2015, the ETH unanimously decided to sanction Mr. Igor Rausis with a worldwide ban of 6 (six) years to take effect from 31 July 2019 and to end on 30 July 2025. During this period Mr. Rausis is prohibited from participating as a player in any FIDE rated over-the-board chess competition (whether classical, rapid, blitz or Fischer-random chess), and from any chess-related activity as an arbiter, organizer or representative of a chess federation. In addition, Mr. Rausis’ grandmaster title is revoked effective from the date of publishing this decision.

                                For the sake of clarity, the sanction does not seek to prevent Mr. Rausis’ participation in FIDE correspondence or online chess games, or to restrain Mr. Rausis from earning income during the period of the ban as a private chess trainer, teacher or coach, provided that he shall not act as captain or assist any player or team during any official FIDE event or Continental championship at the physical site of the tournament. Remote coaching is permitted. The ETH decision does not affect Mr. Rausis’ rating or any other titles he holds, such as FIDE International Master, FIDE Trainer, and National Arbiter.

                                This decision was communicated this morning to Mr. Igor Rausis, the European Chess Union, the Czech and Latvian Chess Federations, the Fair Play Commission and the Investigatory Chamber (per IA Klaus Deventer).

                                Full decision (PDF):



                                Comment by Alexei Shirov

                                Igor Rausis is banned for 6 years from playing and also stripped from his GM title that he's been holding since more or less 1992. No rating change for some reason. I am not sure, I agree with such severe sanctions even though I perfectly understand that Igor has been guilty. But still, many players have been guilty in similar way, some of them haven't even been caught, some of them got very short ban. The biggest ban so far has been 3 years, that would be perfectly justified in Igor's case. But 6? Would be interested in your opinions.

                                Other Comments from the story:

                                - FIDE should take away his GM title and give it to his phone.

                                - Anyone advocating a lifetime ban for the first offence: every single person has done something wrong that they (hopefully) regret. Many of us have learned from that and no longer do it.

                                Do you really think a 15-year-old kid who cheats at a single tournament, perhaps under pressure from his coach or parents to get results, should get a lifetime ban? Certainly he should have consequences, but a single wrong action should not be permanently unforgivable.
                                Now, if he's caught, punished, and comes back and does it again, it's clear he didn't learn his lesson. Then we're getting to the point where a lifetime ban might be appropriate - or at least a 10-year ban that will ruin his chances of a meaningful professional career.
                                But a lifetime ban for a first offence is excessive.

                                - It seems that the FIDE commission was not considering his case as a first offense because he confessed other early cases. Hence the 6 years ban.
                                But I find the argument rather doubtful juridically; if 3 years is still the maximum for a first time offense.

                                - I think most chess cheaters get caught actually. Main reason is there's very little financial incentive to be playing chess for a living compared to doing any kind of tech job for 6 digits salary. So chess cheaters are mainly cheaters for the thrill of cheating they get off on that and when you do that you just keep cheating more and more blatantly until you get caught. They cheat the first few times see how easy it is and just can't stop. So eventually most of them get caught. It's hard to cheat just a little bit they start cheating and just can't stop. I think most honest players don't understand this. We hate cheating we hate seeing it we hate doing it and we imagine cheaters are the same way that they are somehow reluctant. Far from the case they are addicted to cheating chat constantly and lie about it every step of the way. Then they almost always get caught because they get to be so blatant about it. So while there are cheaters who manage not to get caught they are the exception to the rule.