Omar: I went to the New Yorker festival last weekend.
Me: Cool, how was it?
Omar: I heard Garry Kasparov speak. He doesn't play chess any more. Now he's in Russian politics. He told a story about a game between a Russian champion and a Bulgarian champion. The Russian champion went to the bathroom a ridiculous number of times. Then he won, and people think he was getting signals in the bathroom.
Me: But he's the Russian champion. Who would know better than him what move to make next? If he's getting tips from a better chess player, why isn't THAT person playing in the game instead?
Omar: Someone could be using a computer to narrow down the top choices, and then analyze each one. A human paired with a computer is unbeatable.
Omar: The champion sometimes has two directions that he could analyze, and he just needs a signal to tell him which direction to focus on. The judges take the game very seriously. While the champions are playing, they sit behind huge concrete blocks so that they can't see the audience. Even someone in the audience raising their hand could be a signal.
Me: Didn't his time run out while he was going to the bathroom?
Omar: He went during the other person's turn. Afterwards the Bulgarian team protested, so the judges made a change. Up until then, each team had its own separate bathroom, but for the next match, they only allowed one bathroom for both teams.
Me: But maybe he had an upset stomach, and that's why he went to the bathroom.
Omar: He went a ridiculous number of times, like forty times within a single match.
Omar: They called it the "toilet chess match".