Ukrainian chess tournament ends… in a knock-out

© Vladimir Pesnya
A chess duel at a major competition in Ukraine evolved into a fist-fight after a coach became incensed by the way his pupil was being treated.

The match, that ended in physical bruises rather than a calm checkmate, was part of a tournament held in the southern Ukranian Black Sea city of Nikolaev in honor of famous local chess player and activist Nikolay Shelest.

The rivals were the previous year’s champion, 21-year-old Anastasia Rakhmangulova, and one of the best local chess players, Vladimir Sakun.

At the end of the game, Rakhmangulova – who played white – made a mistake and risked losing.

Her opponent noticed it, and, according to a witness cited by Ukrainian Vesti news outlet, started to “while away his time at the table by making meaningless moves.

Rakhmangulova became very upset at what she perceived as disrespect, and that’s when things turned violent.

The young woman’s trainer, Mikhail Gerasimenyuk, hurried to help his pupil, but in a way that nobody had expected: he slammed Sakun twice.

Anastasia Rakhmangulova, Ukraine's 2015 chess champion © Nastya Rakhmangulova

Many onlookers tried to interfere. However, the fight miraculously didn’t become a free-for-all.

The chess player complained on Facebook that her opponent “drove her to a state of nervous breakdown.”

I have to add that it’s not the only match of the kind between me and Sakun, and these incidents over a chess board have been taking place at more than one or two chess games,” she said.

Sakun had his eyebrow and nose cut, and vessels in his eye ruptured.

It is expected that Rakhmangulova’s coach will be disqualified over the fight.