FIDE, or the world chess federation, on Tuesday stripped King Whisley Puso of the open Under-12 title in the Asian qualifier of the World Online Cadets and Youth Rapid Championships for alleged fair-play violation.

Tournament chief arbiter Marco Biagioli handed out the disqualification notice on the recommendation of their Fair Play Panel which based its findings from “results of elements, they deemed sufficient evidence to establish a cheating incident.”

Biagioli said the decision is final and can’t be appealed.

But National Chess Federation of the Philippines executive director Cliburn Orbe said Puso, just like the rest of the Filipino participants, followed the rules set by the FIDE.

“We stand by his (Puso) innocence,” said Orbe. “There were two cameras monitoring him as required by the organizers, the arbiters never said anything.

“The decision was erroneous but unfortunately there is no appeal. We can only prove his innocence with his results once over the board play resumes,” he added.

With the 11-year-old Puso disqualified, it meant Mark Concio, Jr. and April Joy Claros will carry the fight for the country on the world stage.

Read: Puso tops U12 division; Concio, Claros secure spots in FIDE World Cadets

Concio and Claros both placed second in the open 16-under and girls’ 14-under, respectively.

Puso, who is unrated, would have been the third Philippine bet in the elite world bracket after he topped the open 12-under had FIDE not dropped the axe.

Source: Manila Bulletin (