EL PASO, Texas (KFOX14) — A nationally recognized El Paso chess team is facing allegations of cheating.
The coach for the Henderson Middle School chess team, Saul Ramirez, has been accused manipulating ratings.
“The Henderson team had essentially created ratings manipulation by asking players to have prearranged games, prearranged losses,” said Daniel Lucas, the director of strategic communication at the U.S. Chess Federation.
Lucas says a complaint was made to the ethics committee after other coaches saw irregularities in the results.
“They saw numbers that were not consistent with a statistical analysis,” Lucas said.
We spoke with the principal and head coach the second place team, Salome Thomas-El, who says a lot of coaches noticed something was off.
“It was apparent to most people there that there were some irregularities going on; a lot of coaches noticed something was going on,” Thomas-El said.
The Henderson chess team had a large amount of community support, and parents and grandparents say the students are not to blame.
“The students will only follow what a teacher will tell them, but they shouldn’t blame the students,” said Carmen Batista, a grandmother of a Henderson student.
The USCF Ethics Committee has a nine-step investigation process.
They are in currently in phase five, which allows the committee to question and review all documentation.
Ramirez has 60 days to appeal.
Cowboy star Ezekiel Elliot wished good luck to the team as well as Chelsea Clinton.