Manish Kumar found cheating; AICF takes away his National U-18 chess title

Bengal’s Aronyak Ghosh has been named the new champion.

Odisha’s Manish Kumar.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Five days after the completion of the National under-18 online rapid chess championship, the All India Chess Federation (AICF) took away the title from Odisha’s Manish Kumar and named Bengal’s Aronyak Ghosh as the new champion.

This development followed the ruling of the Fairplay panel that found conclusive evidence against Manish of using unfair means on his way to the third place in the National under-16 event on Tuesday.

Based on the “Fairplay report” the by host broadcaster Tornelo and the video evidence considered by the panel comprising Grandmasters Tejas Bakre, M. R. Lalith Babu, N. Srinath, International Masters Rakesh Kulkarnni and Akshat Khamparia, the ruling went against Manish.

READ: National U-18 Online Rapid Championship: Manish, Keerthi win titles

“The members of the Fairplay panel had doubts over Manish’s play even in the under-18 but there was no conclusive evidence. But during the under-16 championship, Manish was found cheating. The committee unanimously decided to nullify all his results," confirmed AICF
secretary Bharat Singh Chauhan.

As a result, Aronyak and Ayush Sharma, who tied with Manish for the title, were elevated as the winner and the runner-up, respectively. Sankalp Gupta took the third spot.

It may be recalled that in the girls under-18 section, too, several players, including winner G. Kheerti and runner-up Riya Mishra were found guilty of cheating. The duo was replaced by eventual champion V. Rindhiya and runner-up Bristy Mukherjee.

Meanwhile, the AICF scheduled a meeting on Thursday evening to decide stricter measures in dealing with the menace of suspected cheating in the on-going age-group championships.

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