Traps, Tricks & Mistakes: Copying Mistakes

According to FIDE rules: “during play the players are forbidden to make use of any notes, sources of information or advice, or analyze on another chessboard”.

But what happened in round 8 of the tournament “Grand Swiss Isle of Man, 2019” defies those rules.

At board 7, GM Alexey Shirov played against GM Yangyi Yu.
On the adjacent board 8, GM Sergey Karjakin played against GM Aleksey Dreev.

What makes those games noteworthy is that in both of them the first 19 moves were identical!

That unusual situation made the chief arbiter, Alex Holowczak, suspect that something strange was happening and decided to move the game Shirov-Yu to another playing hall.
As the arbiter later explained: “I saw Yu Yangyi sort of look quite nervous when he [looked] over to Dreev, who made a move maybe a minute or so before,” said Holowczak. “So I thought in the interest of everybody feeling comfortable with the game it was better to just move it to the second playing hall so that nobody can accuse anyone of anything.”

In the following diagram, you see the first 19 identical moves with some of Karjakin’s comments.
The remarkable fact is that the four involved players repeated mistakes on both games.

At this point, the game Shirov-Yu moved to another hall.
After that, the games split. Karjakin managed to win his game in 31 moves, while Shirov and Yu drew after 44 moves.

Karjakin later wrote on Twitter:

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