A chess player was caught for playing a FIDE-rated below 1400 tournament in Kottayam, Kerala, with a false identity after the organisers grew suspicious as he scored 7.5 points in 8 rounds despite not having any ELO rating, Chessbase India reported.

According to the rules of such tournaments, the ELO rating of players playing in such tournaments has been below the stipulated mark (in this case 1400) for at least three years. However, Chhattisgarh’s Tohin Kumar Halder was not eligible to play one of the highest prize money tournaments in the country despite his 1363 rating as he slipped blow the 1400 mark only in May.

The report said the player circumvented the problem by creating a fake identity and entered the tournament in by the name Shripati Jana and was joint second in the standings after eight rounds when the organisers grew suspicious.

“Being an organiser I was busy with other work and so I couldn’t concentrate on all results. But when I found the results of the 8th round I asked the chief arbiter to go for a scrutiny. We were able to catch the cheater thanks to the arbiters and Gopakumar whom we contacted via phone,” Rajesh Nattakom, the organiser of the event, was quoted as saying.

The report said Halder even produced an election card when he was asked for an identity proof by chief arbiters Bhuvanaa Sai and Govindankutty. The officials then decided to use the help of arbiter Gopakumar Sudhakaran, who is renowned for his memory. A photo of Jana was sent to Sudhakaran on Whatsapp, who recognised Halder. When confronted by the officials, Halder confessed to cheating.