Cheating in chess

Discuss anything you like about chess related matters in this forum.
Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Cheating in chess

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Thu Jan 14, 2021 11:01 am

Dealing with online cheating seems a bit of an art, not a science. I'm reminded of the Football League last season banning the Leeds goalkeeper for about 6 games for making a racist comment. He denied it and the league said, "we can't prove you did it, but we'll ban you anyway". Unfortunately, some of the providers act like that.

There can be clearer examples of probable cheating. In a sudoku competition, qualifying rounds were held in a room, where everyone sat at a desk and the fastest correct solvers qualified for the final. For the final, they stood at giant flipcharts on a stage, and one qualifier got about two numbers by the time everyone else had finished...

But, reverting to the text, I largely agree with what Chris and Justin have said recently.

I won't play real games online, if I play blitz it's for fun and I probably wouldn't notice or care much if people used software. I would if I had spent some time on the game.

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JustinHorton
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Re: Cheating in chess

Post by JustinHorton » Thu Jan 14, 2021 11:05 am

Kevin Thurlow wrote:
Thu Jan 14, 2021 11:01 am
Dealing with online cheating seems a bit of an art, not a science. I'm reminded of the Football League last season banning the Leeds goalkeeper for about 6 games for making a racist comment. He denied it and the league said, "we can't prove you did it, but we'll ban you anyway".
an independent regulatory commission found a breach of Rule E3(2) proven
The FA wishes to provide clarity regarding the standard of proof used in its disciplinary proceedings, which is the civil standard. This means that cases will only be proven if the tribunal in question is satisfied on the balance of probabilities that the event in question occurred
"Do you play chess?"
"Yes, but I prefer a game with a better chance of cheating."

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Matthew Turner
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Re: Cheating in chess

Post by Matthew Turner » Thu Jan 14, 2021 11:19 am

JustinHorton wrote:
Thu Jan 14, 2021 10:43 am
Chris Rice wrote:
Thu Jan 14, 2021 10:10 am
Getting done for online cheating seems very akin to getting done for a criminal offence based on circumstantial evidence produced by computer software, though no-one can explain how the evidence was gathered and then verified by a human who was primarily responsible for producing that software. For someone like Maghsoodloo to be told he was a cheat on the basis of this process seems unsound.
Quite so.
Nobody has responded to the evidence on the Maghsoodloo case, so I'll repost in case you missed it
https://www.twitch.tv/videos/868118939?t=01h52m00s

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Cheating in chess

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Jan 14, 2021 11:26 am

Andy Howie (quote by Chris Rice) wrote:
Thu Jan 14, 2021 10:10 am
We would then send the games off to Dr Regan for a Full Scan to be performed which will determine if the person has been cheating"
I don't see that the software does any mare than give a high likelihood that an engine was consulted at some time. That is not of itself an indicator of cheating since the engine assistance could be private analysis before the game or published analysis in a book or article.

I don't buy the theory sometimes advanced that "no human player would think of such a move", since if you play by recognising patterns and you've seen the engine's pattern, that enables a move to be reproduced without being able to demonstrate all the lines of analysis.

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JustinHorton
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Re: Cheating in chess

Post by JustinHorton » Thu Jan 14, 2021 11:43 am

Matthew Turner wrote:
Thu Jan 14, 2021 11:19 am
JustinHorton wrote:
Thu Jan 14, 2021 10:43 am
Chris Rice wrote:
Thu Jan 14, 2021 10:10 am
Getting done for online cheating seems very akin to getting done for a criminal offence based on circumstantial evidence produced by computer software, though no-one can explain how the evidence was gathered and then verified by a human who was primarily responsible for producing that software. For someone like Maghsoodloo to be told he was a cheat on the basis of this process seems unsound.
Quite so.
Nobody has responded to the evidence on the Maghsoodloo case, so I'll repost in case you missed it
https://www.twitch.tv/videos/868118939?t=01h52m00s
Is that video really going to be four hours long?
"Do you play chess?"
"Yes, but I prefer a game with a better chance of cheating."

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Matthew Turner
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Re: Cheating in chess

Post by Matthew Turner » Thu Jan 14, 2021 11:44 am

Perhaps better just to say the player is cheating without providing evidence if you can't be bothered to look at it

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JustinHorton
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Re: Cheating in chess

Post by JustinHorton » Thu Jan 14, 2021 11:49 am

I think "whatever" is as good as answer to that as any
"Do you play chess?"
"Yes, but I prefer a game with a better chance of cheating."

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John McKenna
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Re: Cheating in chess

Post by John McKenna » Thu Jan 14, 2021 11:52 am

I take all the above criticism of Regan's method with a pinch of salt. What qualifies anyone here to do anything other than quibble and nibble away at the edges of the computer science and statistics that Regan is a practising expert in - even though applying his expertise and methods to cheating in chess is a sideline.

If you insist on being simplistic try the following approach.

"With a single game and with no other evidence, how do you tell the difference between cheating and happenstance?" (Jacob Ward)

A simple heuristic rule of thumb -

"Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, the third time it’s enemy action." (Goldfinger by Ian Fleming)

So, if your low-rated opponent soon strings together 3 high-class moves in difficult positions in a game get ready to lose - because either they're rising stars or low-down cheats and both possibilities exist online in spades, neither can be excluded.

At the very least Regan's approach makes the probability that the opponent's play is too good to be true a fairly reliable probability based on algorithms, data and statistics.

What do you think you have got that is better? (Apart from your doubts, that is.)
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

NickFaulks
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Re: Cheating in chess

Post by NickFaulks » Thu Jan 14, 2021 12:02 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Thu Jan 14, 2021 11:26 am
I don't buy the theory sometimes advanced that "no human player would think of such a move"
I completely agree. Why is it remarkable that someone who has played with computer engines from the day they learned the moves should play a bit like a computer engine?
If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever.

Matthew Turner
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Re: Cheating in chess

Post by Matthew Turner » Thu Jan 14, 2021 12:06 pm

An 1800 is an 1800 for various reasons, one is that they cannot recall lines and lines of computer analysis and deploy them in their games on a regular basis. If they do that, then either A) their rating is wrong or B) they are cheating.

I'll look forward to your views on the evidence provided here

https://www.twitch.tv/videos/868118939?t=01h52m00s

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Cheating in chess

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Thu Jan 14, 2021 12:17 pm

"Is that video really going to be four hours long?"

Well, at least it suggests it's thorough!

NickFaulks
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Re: Cheating in chess

Post by NickFaulks » Thu Jan 14, 2021 12:20 pm

John McKenna wrote:
Thu Jan 14, 2021 11:52 am
I take all the above criticism of Regan's method with a pinch of salt. What qualifies anyone here to do anything other than quibble and nibble away at the edges of the computer science and statistics that Regan is a practising expert in
That is essentially the argument put forward by Yuri Garrett, the Secretary of FIDE's Fair Play Commission, at their recent open Zoom meeting. I wish I could direct you to the anticipated Youtube recording of this meeting, but there isn't one.

My experience of CAS judges leads me to suspect that they will not react well to being told that they must just believe the methods because they are obviously not clever enough to understand them.
If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever.

Matthew Turner
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Re: Cheating in chess

Post by Matthew Turner » Thu Jan 14, 2021 12:22 pm

Kevin Thurlow wrote:
Thu Jan 14, 2021 12:17 pm
"Is that video really going to be four hours long?"

Well, at least it suggests it's thorough!
If you click on the link it will take you to 1 hour 52 minutes in. If you watch for 30 minutes or so you will have a good understanding of the case against Maghsoodloo.

Chris Rice
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Re: Cheating in chess

Post by Chris Rice » Thu Jan 14, 2021 12:33 pm

Matthew Turner wrote:
Thu Jan 14, 2021 11:19 am
JustinHorton wrote:
Thu Jan 14, 2021 10:43 am
Chris Rice wrote:
Thu Jan 14, 2021 10:10 am
Getting done for online cheating seems very akin to getting done for a criminal offence based on circumstantial evidence produced by computer software, though no-one can explain how the evidence was gathered and then verified by a human who was primarily responsible for producing that software. For someone like Maghsoodloo to be told he was a cheat on the basis of this process seems unsound.
Quite so.
Nobody has responded to the evidence on the Maghsoodloo case, so I'll repost in case you missed it
https://www.twitch.tv/videos/868118939?t=01h52m00s
Thanks Matthew I didn't go through it before so it was interesting to see what led to the decision.

I've now had a quick look and I'm not going through all of it because I can see that its basically the same argument but I have to say the evidence is not convincing to me.

The evidence starts with a claim that smart cheaters are using Houdini now instead of Stockfish, though no evidence.

There are claims that Maghsoodloo played like a God and made no mistakes during this tournament. I guess that's based on Ken Regan's software which we don't understand and can't explain. We just have to take it on faith that the anti-cheating software is infallible.

Another claim is that Maghsoodloo was using the newest version of Houdini yet he makes a simple mistake in the featured game where he plays ...Rxb2+ missing a simple win of ...Nxe3 when White can't play Rxe3 because of ...Rd1 mate. This is explained by saying that Maghsoodloo was in time pressure when it was more important to play moves fast than accurately. We're told that at this point Maghsoodloo had 51 seconds plus increments and his opponent 42 seconds plus increments. I'm not really convinced by that as that's plenty of time to glance at Houdini if that's what he was doing. It of course may be true but all I see is further assumptions without evidence.

Further moves such as ...Kf8 and ...Ng5 were thought suspicious but the Russian translator actually said he could have played ...Kf8 himself ie getting the king off an open file. ...Ng5 was thought suspicious because it opened up the diagonal for the bishop at g7. Really? So what? Maybe he just attacked the h2 pawn quickly realised f7 was under threat and protected it with ...Ng5 even though White can now play h4. I'm not saying he wasn't cheating but its not evidence that he was.

Who is qualified to query Maghsoodloo's moves anyway? For that I'd want some hard evidence from a camera during play for example.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Cheating in chess

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Jan 14, 2021 12:36 pm

Matthew Turner wrote:
Thu Jan 14, 2021 12:22 pm
If you click on the link it will take you to 1 hour 52 minutes in. If you watch for 30 minutes or so you will have a good understanding of the case against Maghsoodloo.
Is it possible to paraphrase it in a paragraph or two?

Was this a 3 0 tournament? If so, shouldn't an accusation be accompanied by speculation about how it was done?

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