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Published on: 22 August 2020
On Saturday the 8th of August, at the conclusion of the Othello tournament, the Mind Sports Olympiad fielded allegations of outside assistance levelled at Vasyl “vasraz” Razinkov.
It has always been important to us to maintain the highest standards of honest competition, and so we began an investigation. The initial allegations were raised primarily due to two considerations: the first, that Mr. Razinkov had managed an extraordinarily high level of accuracy across all of his played games against a world-caliber field, and second that he had done this without any significant over the board history, or in-person interaction with top players.
As our investigation continued, we sought the analysis of a number of internationally ranked Othello experts, who were uninvolved with the gameplay or organisation of this tournament. We asked these experts to examine the games played by Mr Razinkov. Here are the conclusions that they provided:
In order to provide Mr Razinkov the opportunity to demonstrate his capacity and refute these allegations, we invited him to provide us with game histories, as well as to meet with an independently appointed Othello expert to talk and play through a small number of games. Mr Razinkov declined this offer multiple times. Initially he cited time constraints (despite having registered for a number of other tournaments within the MSO schedule, and despite our having offered many variable timing options) but eventually he declined to engage in any further discussions concerning the allegations at any time.
The confluence of facts derived from our investigation leads us to conclude that Mr Razinkov derived an unfair advantage in the MSO Othello tournament through outside assistance, most likely through the use of a computer engine.
This is in direct contravention of our terms and conditions, which Mr Razinkov agreed to upon registration.
The Mind Sports Olympiad has a hard earned reputation for fairness and integrity at the highest level. Outside assistance will not be tolerated and we feel that the evidence before us indicates that this is a particularly egregious instance justifying both sanction and the publication of those sanctions. In order to maintain its reputation in the games community the Mind Sports Olympiad has therefore decided to enact the following sanctions:
In addition to these sanctions, we will be referring this matter and our findings to the following Othello associations, who may choose to enact their own sanctions independently:
BRITISH OTHELLO FEDERATION
FRENCH OTHELLO FEDERATION
ITALIAN OTHELLO FEDERATION
WORLD OTHELLO FEDERATION
CEO of the Mind Sports Olympiad