Game Blotter - A roundup of crimes, legal cases, and when "the law" gets involved with gamesGrandmaster Gaioz Nigalidze of Georgia was expelled from the Dubai Open tournament after his smartphone was found running a Chess app and hidden in a bathroom stall wrapped in a wad of toilet paper. His opponent had lodged a complaint with tournament organizers after Nigalidze had visited the bathroom several times and always used the same stall.

Dhruv Kakkar was caught employing a slightly different approach to cheating at the Dr. Hedgewar Open Chess Tournament in New Delhi, India. He had two mobile phones strapped to his legs and a micro-speaker in his ear, a setup he was using to receive instructions from a friend running a computer Chess program in another city. In this case, Mr. Kakkar’s opponent became suspicious when no matter how simple or complex the current situation, Mr. Kakkar took a consistent 2 minutes to make each and every move.

In a 4½ year old cheating case, the World Chess Federation is threatening to take “proceedings” against Sebastien Feller of France if he doesn’t return by May 7th the medal and prize money he won at the 2010 Chess Olympiad.

While attempting to offer its condolences to the Nepal Chess Association, FIDE instead stated, “We… deeply deplore those whom we have lost in this disaster.”

Officials in Handsworth, UK yanked the license of Club Paradise (“weddings, parties, funerals, much more”) after management failed to notice or report a shooting that took place at the club because they were busy playing Dominoes.

The Polish government just noticed that since 2013 the game Apples to Apples has had a card that refers to “Nazi Poland”. After complaining to Mattel that the card misrepresented history, the company apologized and offered to exchange the game free of charge.

British Chess grandmaster Nigel Short is feeling public ire after telling New in Chess magazine that women are not as good at Chess as men. He claims that his position is not a value judgement but rather an honest assessment of the different skills between men and women.

After receiving several warnings for writing notes to himself during the ninth round of the U.S. Chess Championships in St. Louis, Wesley So had his game forfeited by the arbiter. The rising star of the Chess world was distracted and put off his game by a surprise visit to the tournament of his estranged mother.

The folks at Cards Against Humanity are in a bit of trouble with local officials in Liberty, Maine. As part of one of their holiday promotions, the company purchased an island, Birch Island in Lake St. George, and doled out 250,000 “licenses” for exclusive use of 1 foot square parcels. The company also installed on the island a vault containing unique expansion cards. Town officials, however, consider this illegal commercial activity and subdivision of property. A letter from Liberty’s code enforcement officer threatens Cards Against Humanity with significant fines unless the company submits a satisfactory remediation plan.

In Sri Lanka, a man murdered his wife’s lover by luring him to the house to play board games.

An allegedly intoxicated driver fleeing police crashed his car through the front window of Red Castle Games in Portland. The owner of the store is asking for donations to cover losses not covered by insurance. Oh, and the incident was caught on the store’s security video:

After entering in to a marketing arrangement with Hasbro, BuzzFeed deleted an article critical of Monopoly. The article has since been restored and an editor has apologized.

Shuffle Tech International filed a lawsuit in U.S. federal court against Scientific Games Corp., alleging that the latter has monopolized the casino market for card shuffling machines through fraudulently obtained patents.

More than 1,600 government workers in Qianxinan prefecture, China were “recalled” and forced to undergo extensive retraining, including military drills. What did they do wrong? Gossip, watch movies at work, and play Mahjong.

A group of grandmothers from Zhejiang province, China who were arrested for participating in ketamine drug parties told investigators that Mahjong just wasn’t enough anymore to alleviate their dull existence. I wish they would have asked. I could have recommended some other games to try.

The latest round between Mattel and Zynga saw the toy company score the upper hand. The Court of Appeal found Mattel’s trademark for “Scramble” valid and infringed by Zynga’s use of “Scramble” and “Scramble With Friends”. The court, however, decided that Zynga’s “Scramble” did not infringe on Mattel’s “Scrabble”.

Upper Deck won a $1.8 million verdict against J&T Hobby in a dispute over a distribution deal dating back to 1994.

Ruling that MGA’s infringement wasn’t willful, a federal circuit court judge has cut in third the $4.7 million dollars in damages awarded by a lower court to Innovention Toys in the patent case for laser board games.

Topps has applied to trademark “Masterwork“, which it began using in February, even though Leaf has been using that term in the trading card business since 2013.

A former Philippine basketball star was arrested in a police drug raid. The charges leveled against him, however, were for illegal gambling. He was found at the scene playing Mahjong.

A former UK and European Scrabble champion who felt persecuted for being a transgender woman, decided to step in front of a moving train.

A man out on bail was shot dead while playing Dominoes on the street in Coconut Grove, Bahamas.

Six men playing dice on the street in Waterbury, Connecticut were arrested for gambling.

Gambit, a website that allows users to wager Bitcoins when they challenge each other on classic board games (e.g., Backgammon, Penta, Dominoes, and remakes of Monopoly, Risk, and Battleship), has decided to eliminate rake (the fee charged as a percentage of each pot).

A Chess coach, who’s also the founder of a Columbus-area Chess club, is facing charges for raping a 4 year old girl at a preschool where he taught.

Albany County, New York has passed a law prohibiting any amount of benzene, lead, mercury, antimony, arsenic, cadmium, or cobalt in children’s products or apparel. The Safe to Play Coalition, an alliance of manufacturers and retailers, is challenging the law in court, claiming that it’s preempted by federal regulation.

A shootout erupted among a dozen men playing dice in Wetumpka, Alabama when half the players tried to rob the other half.

In Beaumont, Texas, a man apprehended by police with a gun and cocaine claimed that he was actually the victim. He said that when the police saw him running through a park, he was trying to escape from another man who shot him in the ear during an argument over a dice game.

A man who ran when he was spotted by police playing dice on the street in Memphis was also caught and arrested for possession of cocaine.

Other men from Memphis decided to take their dice game to a hotel in Nashville. The move, though, didn’t help. One ended up shot in the leg. Police are looking for the other.

The man Indianapolis police found shot following a dice game later died at the hospital.

Not all dice rolling is frowned upon by government. In fact, in Platte, South Dakota, the winner of the mayoral election was decided by a roll-off between the two candidates.

Wild Horse Concepts has filed suit against Hasbro, claiming that the idea for interchangeable action figure body parts, which Hasbro made in to Marvel Superhero Mashers, was presented by Wild Horse in a meeting 2 years earlier.

Corporate Responsibility Magazine ranked Hasbro second overall in the list of 100 Best Corporate Citizens of 2015.

Police raided a dice game, which a laundry owner in Thailand had organized in his business.

When the host of a Dominoes game in Delray Beach, Florida asked one of his guests to leave, a fight erupted and the host ended up stabbed in the chest and abdomen.

A Utah-based financial planning firm claims that a Florida-based financial planning firm intentionally copied its trademarked logo, a knight Chess piece centered above the company name.