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Chess player banned for identity switching

AP file photo

MANILA, Philippines – The National Chess Federation of the Philippines banned a local woodpusher for identity switching while suspending several others including an International Master, a FIDE Master and a National Master for connivance.

In an advisory obtained by The STAR Friday, NCFP president Cong. Prospero Pichay banned Jomel Sinagula for life for allegedly using different names like Jojo Sinagula, Jojo Casiaman, Michael Sinagula and Melecio Sinagula in tournaments to gain undue advantage over lower-rated foes.

“Player Jomel Sinagula is banned for life from participating in any and all tournaments organized and or sanctioned by the NCFP for recidivist cheating and identity theft he perpetrated in various team competitions,” said Pichay in the latter.

Red Dumuk, NCFP acting executive director, also said they also suspended IM Joel Pimentel, FM Narquinden Reyes, NM David Elorta, Kevin Arquero, Ricardo Batcho, Jerick Cajeras, Narciso Gumila, Jr., Jaymarc Gutierrez and Luffe Magdalaga for six months for conspiring with Sinagula.

“They were suspended for complicity with Sinagula in accomplishing the various acts of cheating,” said Dumuk.

Dumuk, however, said the nine players suspended for connivance can still appeal their case while Sinagula’s is non-appealable.

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“We will hear them if they appeal. But as far as Sinagula is concerned, it can’t be appealed because we have proof that he did it many times,” said Dumuk.

The identity cheating had gone viral on social media after concerned netizens exposed Sinagula’s alleged modus operandi almost a month back.

After several deliberations, NCFP finally acted on it and cracked the whip on the players involved.

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