Grandmaster Baskaran Adhiban was eliminated for wearing a metal watch, at the Indian team chess tournament.
In game three, Adhiban (Elo 2.654) held a black army to meet Krishna (2,443). After nine moves, the game is balanced. That was when Krishna discovered that Adhiban was wearing a watch while playing, then reported to the referee. The referee treats the world’s top 100 losing player. Adhiban lost 7.7 Elo points.
Adhiban was surprised when the opponent was won. He told ESPN: “I just returned to India, after the Gibraltar Masters. At Gibraltar, I still wear watches throughout the tournament. Many other players use all kinds of watches, but no one was penalized. I suffers from an airplane sickness and doesn’t notice a watch is still wearing a wristband in a tournament in India “.
Under the rules of the World Chess Federation (FIDE), section 126.96.36.199, players are prohibited from using electronic devices in the competition area, without the permission of the referee. In some important tournaments such as the World Cup and the Chess Olympiad, chess players may be banned from using watches and pens. At most international tournaments, players are still allowed to use analog hands. But, the Indian Chess Federation (AICF) forbids players from using any type of watch from March 2018, so that the referee can control it.
AICF was blamed after losing to Adhiban. Former chess queen Susan Polgar said on Facebook: “It is unbelievable for world-class players like Adhiban to lose because of wearing a metal watch.” Grandmaster Vishal Sareen also wrote on Twitter: “Since Krishna discovered the watch, perhaps the referee should only warn Adhiban”.
AICF Secretary General – Bharat Singh Chauhan – replied: “If there are many players who disagree with this provision, we will consider adjusting”.
Former Indian chess king – Viswanathan Anand – also used to wear electronic watches to compete at Tata Steel Masters in January 2020. He revealed: “The referee saw me wearing a watch and reminded me to leave. I think a player is worth the loss if he relapses.