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12/27/2006
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Chess Player Banned 10 Years For Cheating With Bluetooth, Computer

The All India Chess Federation slapped the 10-year sanction on a player who had been using a Bluetooth device stitched into a cap he typically pulled down over his ears.

An Indian chess player was banned Tuesday from competition for 10 years after he was caught using a Bluetooth headset sewn into a cap earlier this month to get help from a computer.

The All India Chess Federation slapped the 10-year sanction on Umakant Sharma, who had been using a Bluetooth device stitched into a cap he typically pulled down over his ears. According to the federation, Sharma's accomplices relayed moves made by a computer chess program to him via the Bluetooth headset. Bharat Singh Chauhan, the AICF treasurer, showed the cap and Bluetooth device at a meeting convened Tuesday that decided Sharma's punishment.

Sharma was found out during a random check at a New Delhi tournament Dec. 4; he had been seeded second in the tournament.

The World Chess Federation (Federation Internationale des Echecs, or FIDE) bars the use of mobile devices during play. "It is strictly forbidden to bring mobile phones or other electronic means of communication, not authorized by the arbiter, into the playing venue," the group's rules read. "If a player's mobile phone rings in the playing venue during play, that player shall lose the game."

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