Vietnam women’s chess team reports opponent for potential cheating

By Xuan Binh   October 13, 2020 | 04:30 am PT
Vietnam women’s chess team reports opponent for potential cheating
Jordanian chess player Raya al-Naimat talks to reporters at the athletes' village for the 16th Asian Games in Guangzhou on November 9, 2010. Photo by AFP/Laurent Fievet.
Jordanian player Alnaimat Raya has been reported by Vietnam women’s chess team at Asian Team Chess Championship 2020 for possible cheating.

Raya, with an Elo rating of 1,671, beat Vietnam’s Vo Thi Kim Phung (Elo 2,208) after 46 moves despite starting second. The computer evaluated the accuracy over her moves at 99.4 percent, of which 36 moves were perfect, six basic, and four very good.

"Raya controlled her knights too well mid-game, which is unusual if we look at her Elo rating. She has also never won a title during her career. After the match, the team filed a report to, which hosted the online tournament. If we don’t get a response soon, Vietnam will report the case to Asian Chess Federation," Phung told VnExpress.

Although Phung lost to Raya, Vietnam still beat Jordan with an overall score of 3-1 on Sunday, as Pham Le Thao Nguyen (Elo 2,377), Nguyen Thi Mai Hung (2,271), and Nguyen Thanh Thuy Tien (1,853) beat Alnasser Tala (1,077), Ghayda Alattar (1,950), and Alshaeby Boshra (1,978).

Vietnam women’s chess team finished the first three rounds with victories. Besides Jordan, they beat both Kyrgyzstan and Thailand 4-0. Indonesia, Iran and Kazakhstan also went undefeated.

Jordan won two rounds and lost one. Amid these, Raya won all three rounds with an accuracy of 96.6, 99.4 and 99.6 percent. She did not make a single weak move, which is rare even among highly rated players.

The 31-year-old lost to Nguyen at Chess Olympiad 2018 in Batumi, Georgia, face to face.

Asian Team Chess Championship is held online this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, from October 10 to 25, including both women’s and men’s categories.

Vietnam men’s team did not take part in this competition since the schedule conflicted with the national chess tournament. The women’s category is joined by 31 teams engaged in rapid chess games of nine rounds. The eight highest scoring teams will reach the quarterfinals.

The prize pot is $20,000. Players have to turn on their webcams while competing and make a video call on Zoom, under referee supervision.

Vietnam will play the next three rounds on October 17.

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