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    Wesley So quick to bounce back after losing match by forfeiture at US championships

    Apr 12, 2015

    GRANDMASTER Wesley So bounced back with a victory over GM Gata Kamsky in the 10th round of the 2015 US Chess Championship as he atoned for a forfeiture in Round 9 for a rule infraction that caused distraction to an opponent.

    So, who has acquired US citizenship, raised his points total to 5.5 points - good for fourth place and 1.5 behind leader Hikaru Nakamura - days after the costly forfeiture of a match against fellow GM Varuzhan Akobian.

    In a report by, chief arbiter Tony Rich said the was disqualified for “taking notes on a separate piece of paper underneath his score sheet” in the match against Akobian, who brought the matter to the arbiter's attention.

    Rich cited Fide Laws of Chess rules 8.1b that stated “The scoresheet shall be used only for recording the moves, the times of the clocks, offers of a draw, matters relating to a claim and other relevant data,” and 11.3 that states, “During play the players are forbidden to use any notes, sources of information or advice, or analyse any game on another chessboard.”

    The chief arbiter said So has been warned twice in his previous matches in the tournament.

    “I've never seen this in my life. I feel really bad too, but that's the rules,” Akobian told

    Rich also bared what So wrote.

    “His notes were chess-related but not moves. It was notes a player might write if you were nervous. Things like using your time and game management,” said the arbiter.

    Continue reading below ↓

    So, according to, wrote on his Facebook account his side of the story, admitting his mistake.

    “I have been having trouble concentrating so I wrote a note to myself on a piece of paper (not my score sheet) said: 'Double check triple check use your time.' Akobian saw it and complained to the arbiter and a forfeit was declared. I'm sorry I did not know it was against the rules.”

    So later lost his appeal not to lose Fide points due to the violation.

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