Cheating in chess

Discuss anything you like about chess related matters in this forum.
User avatar
JustinHorton
Posts: 5698
Joined: Mon Aug 04, 2008 10:06 am
Location: Somewhere you're not

Re: Cheating in chess

Post by JustinHorton » Thu Aug 09, 2018 8:27 am

Makro is an IM
"Do you play chess?"
"Yes, but I prefer a game with a better chance of cheating."

lostontime.blogspot.com

Roger Lancaster
Posts: 486
Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2015 2:44 pm

Re: Cheating in chess

Post by Roger Lancaster » Mon Sep 24, 2018 10:02 am

I'm not in a position to comment on its accuracy or otherwise but, for the record, the following is from the blog of GM Kevin Spraggett:

"I don’t play so much these days, but in the relatively few international tournaments that I have played in during the past 5 years here in Europe, I have witnessed a significant number of examples of cheating. Even amongst 2700-plus players, not just the lowly amateur.

"Some of these methods used are quite sophisticated, and implicate outside help. All require the tournament arbiters to close their eyes and look the other way. As I wrote several times here on this blog, a good rule of thumb is that at any given time in any tournament as many as 20% of the participants are cheating in one way or the other. Not just with apps.

"Now that it is well established that parents, spectators, arbiters and even organizers are participating in this ‘epidemic’, that rule of thumb must be updated and increased. Organized chess can not continue this way. Perhaps it is time for FIDE to stop listening to arbiters and organizers, or to start expelling some arbiters and organizers that players have already noticed can not be trusted."

Chris Rice
Posts: 2565
Joined: Thu Nov 08, 2012 5:17 am

Re: Cheating in chess

Post by Chris Rice » Mon Sep 24, 2018 11:57 am

Are arbiters trained in how to deal with all the various types of cheating? I genuinely don't know but I imagine the temptation of not wanting to get involved in a cheating dispute because you are not sure of your ground must be a powerful one. Perhaps instead of slagging off arbiters there should be increased focus on how to help them deal with these incidents which certainly are on the increase.
The rules about cheating and the punishments for them also appear to need development. The rules on cheating should be uniform and easy to enforce and we're clearly not there yet. Hopefully when the FIDE Presidential election is over we can get a more robust anti-cheating committee to sort this out. Punishments for offences have got to be tougher though. For example, when a player gets caught with a mobile and its on that should mean an automatic fine, the bigger the tournament, the bigger the fine and these fines should be published for all to see. That might make a few think twice.
I see there have been moves to curb online cheating as well though I guess that's even harder to prove, even when it looks nailed on like it did in this game

NickFaulks
Posts: 4527
Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2010 1:28 pm

Re: Cheating in chess

Post by NickFaulks » Mon Sep 24, 2018 12:23 pm

Chris Rice wrote:
Mon Sep 24, 2018 11:57 am
even when it looks nailed on like it did in this game
Sorry, but I don't find that game on its own the least bit convincing. Anyone can know a bit of theory, and even a CM can have the odd game where everything thereafter goes right. The reason they ( I could say we ) are only CMs is that far more often something goes wrong.

Tim Harding
Posts: 1645
Joined: Sat Oct 23, 2010 8:46 pm
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Contact:

Re: Cheating in chess

Post by Tim Harding » Mon Sep 24, 2018 12:55 pm

From an arbiter's point of view, the issue of cheating in online chess is largely irrelevant. Of course it's unwelcome but the way it is detected and handled will be different.

Over-the-board chess is, I think, what is being referred to in the Spraggett blog from which Roger has quoted.

Catching somebody with a mobile phone is routine and in local amateur tournaments often just arises from carelessness. Fining a player would be excessive but in Ireland they would always lose the game on the spot. A repeat offender would of course be a different matter,

We also get cases where somebody whose game has finished then switches on his phone and a player returning from the loo may talk to him. Such people have to be warned but they may not actually be cheating.

What we need is information about the kind of sophisticated cheating Spraggett may be talking about. What to watch out for and how to handle situations where cheating is suspected.
Tim Harding
Historian and Kibitzer

Author of 'British Chess Literature to 1914', Joseph Henry Blackburne: A Chess Biography', and 'Eminent Victorian Chess Players'
http://www.chessmail.com

Brian Towers
Posts: 1154
Joined: Tue Nov 18, 2014 7:23 pm

Re: Cheating in chess

Post by Brian Towers » Tue Sep 25, 2018 10:41 am

Tim Harding wrote:
Mon Sep 24, 2018 12:55 pm
We also get cases where somebody whose game has finished then switches on his phone
If he is still in the playing venue (which includes toilets, smoking area etc.) and hasn't received permission from the arbiter to do so then he is breaking the rules.
Article 12.8 of FIDE Laws of Chess wrote:Unless authorised by the arbiter, it is forbidden for anybody to use a mobile phone or any kind of communication device in the playing venue or any contiguous area designated by the arbiter.
Ah, but I was so much older then. I'm younger than that now.

Roger de Coverly
Posts: 17389
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:51 pm

Re: Cheating in chess

Post by Roger de Coverly » Tue Sep 25, 2018 11:09 am

Brian Towers wrote:
Tue Sep 25, 2018 10:41 am
If he is still in the playing venue (which includes toilets, smoking area etc.) and hasn't received permission from the arbiter to do so then he is breaking the rules.

At a tournament over the summer I became aware after the game that a member of my opponent's family had been following the game on a device, a phone or tablet. That was because they were able to point out a winning move missed by both players. Should one complain either formally or informally when this happens as I don't believe any underhand practice was intended?

Depending on the layout of the venue, it's not uncommon to pass people with laptops etc. on the way to or from refreshments or toilets. Should they be rounded up and moved to the analysis or bookstall area which is established as out of bounds to players?

With 12.8 referring to communication devices, shouldn't it really refer to computing devices? Anything with the power to use a chess engine or look up chess data such as openings and tablebases?

Brian Towers
Posts: 1154
Joined: Tue Nov 18, 2014 7:23 pm

Re: Cheating in chess

Post by Brian Towers » Tue Sep 25, 2018 11:22 am

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Tue Sep 25, 2018 11:09 am
Depending on the layout of the venue, it's not uncommon to pass people with laptops etc. on the way to or from refreshments or toilets. Should they be rounded up and moved to the analysis or bookstall area which is established as out of bounds to players?
My personal view is that for "minor" FIDE rated events (i.e. below norm events) this is asking a bit much. The arbiters have a difficult enough job policing the playing area. However requiring spectators (which is also what a player becomes once his game has finished) to switch off devices (or not switch them on in the first place) when in the playing area should be standard practice.
Ah, but I was so much older then. I'm younger than that now.

Tim Harding
Posts: 1645
Joined: Sat Oct 23, 2010 8:46 pm
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Contact:

Re: Cheating in chess

Post by Tim Harding » Tue Sep 25, 2018 4:18 pm

Brian Towers wrote:
Tue Sep 25, 2018 11:22 am
Roger de Coverly wrote:
Tue Sep 25, 2018 11:09 am
Depending on the layout of the venue, it's not uncommon to pass people with laptops etc. on the way to or from refreshments or toilets. Should they be rounded up and moved to the analysis or bookstall area which is established as out of bounds to players?
My personal view is that for "minor" FIDE rated events (i.e. below norm events) this is asking a bit much. The arbiters have a difficult enough job policing the playing area. However requiring spectators (which is also what a player becomes once his game has finished) to switch off devices (or not switch them on in the first place) when in the playing area should be standard practice.
Playing area (room where games are actually played) and playing venue are of course not the same thing.

A lot depends on the geography of the venue whether it is in practice possible, at minor events as you say, to exclude people with phones etc,
Also you can get young players who are perhaps in their first FIDE-rated event at events like the Irish Major played on a weekend concurrently (but in a different room from) the national championship.
There's a certain amount of training involved for the arbiters in these cases (training of inexperienced players I mean).
Tim Harding
Historian and Kibitzer

Author of 'British Chess Literature to 1914', Joseph Henry Blackburne: A Chess Biography', and 'Eminent Victorian Chess Players'
http://www.chessmail.com

Roger Lancaster
Posts: 486
Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2015 2:44 pm

Re: Cheating in chess

Post by Roger Lancaster » Tue Sep 25, 2018 8:16 pm

I think, and I suspect that no-one would disagree, that there's a fundamental difference between an inadvertent breach of anti-cheating rules, such as having forgotten (and discovering only in the most embarrassing manner) that the mobile phone in one's pocket is not turned off, and an intentional breach of those rules in an effort to obtain unfair advantage.

I seem to recall one incident involving a FIDE presidential candidate who had turned his phone off, only to find in mid-game that it bleeped repeatedly to notify him that its battery was low. As I recall, he was awarded a loss but, even in the present febrile climate, no-one has seriously suggested this was cheating. (Well, not yet).

Where young/inexperienced players are concerned, I find it a bit tricky - in all seriousness, the Laws of Chess now run to many pages and even hardened players sometimes fall foul of them. I wouldn't want my chess coaching sessions for younger juniors, in particular, to focus heavily on anti-cheating provisions. But, in that case, how are they expected to learn about them?

Chris Rice
Posts: 2565
Joined: Thu Nov 08, 2012 5:17 am

Re: Cheating in chess

Post by Chris Rice » Thu Oct 25, 2018 9:46 pm

Its good to know that the Isle of Man tournament has been receiving praise for the way its been conducting its anti-cheating measures. Unfortunately there was another incident in round 6 of the recent youth tournament in Riga at the end of August where Austria's young hope Marc Morgunov was caught having hidden his mobile phone in the tournament area. The Austrian Chess Federation (ÖSB) immediately withdrew Morgunov from the tournament and instituted proceedings before the Austrian Legal and Appeals Committee, sending all of Morgunov's games from 2018 to Ken Reagan for review. I'm not entirely clear about the results but it appears that the review resulted in a conclusion that all Morgunov's game, apart from one round, used computer assistance. Anyway there was a hearing before the Legal and Appeals Committee in mid-September and this resulted in a ban until April 30, 2019, for all elo tournaments in Austria and this decision was copied to the ECU and FIDE. Talks during the Chess Olympiad have revealed that FIDE is expected to extend the ban to international tournaments. Because of the FIDE elections, the commissions are not yet filled so there is no written statement as yet.

Stewart Reuben
Posts: 3756
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2007 11:04 pm
Location: writer

Re: Cheating in chess

Post by Stewart Reuben » Fri Oct 26, 2018 12:29 am

Roger Lancaster > As I recall, he was awarded a loss<

Incorrect. Nigel Short resigned the game immediately his new mobile phone went off in the EU Championship in Liverpool.

Stewart Reuben
Posts: 3756
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2007 11:04 pm
Location: writer

Re: Cheating in chess

Post by Stewart Reuben » Fri Oct 26, 2018 1:05 am

Roger >Where young/inexperienced players are concerned, I find it a bit tricky - in all seriousness, the Laws of Chess now run to many pages<

In all seriousness, all a beginner needs to concern themselves with is the basics. This runs to 6 pages, including many diagrams.
Then, of course, in oder to play competitively, they need to know about the clock, scoring the game, how to move the pieces correctly, etc.
I agree they are too prolix. This has partly been caused by the need to try to ensure that arbiters make correct decisions. But beginners have no need for arbiters, just as they have no need for the totality of The Laws of Chess.
Take 3.6 which Daid Welch penned: The knight may move to oe of the squares nearest to that on which it stands but not on the same rank, file or diagonal.
That needs to be accompanied by a diagram to be comprehensible, but it is correct and concise.

Chris Rice
Posts: 2565
Joined: Thu Nov 08, 2012 5:17 am

Re: Cheating in chess

Post by Chris Rice » Tue Oct 30, 2018 8:32 am

Two more cheating cases, this time in Vilnius during the Max Zavanelli Memorial 2018 (both in group B). A teen and a pre-teen apparently. There were no scanners involved just vigilant arbiters. I'd like to think they were getting better at detecting cheaters but unfortunately we don't know the extent of the cheating that goes on.
Here is a picture taken by the main organizer Virginijus Grabliauskas which shows the phone seized from one of the culprits, with the position from the live game.
Image

Roger de Coverly
Posts: 17389
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:51 pm

Re: Cheating in chess

Post by Roger de Coverly » Tue Oct 30, 2018 8:39 am

Chris Rice wrote:
Tue Oct 30, 2018 8:32 am
Here is a picture taken by the main organizer Virginijus Grabliauskas which shows the phone seized from one of the culprits, with the position from the live game.
Detecting players with live phones or tablets, particularly running chess software is surely just a question of observation.

Post Reply