The Latest GM/IM Norm Scam

Discuss anything you like about chess related matters in this forum.
Post Reply
Geoff Chandler
Posts: 1997
Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2009 1:36 pm
Location: Under Cover
Contact:

The Latest GM/IM Norm Scam

Post by Geoff Chandler » Wed Jul 31, 2013 3:10 pm

This was mentioned in the other thread on players being stripped searched.
I thought it needed a thread of it's own because heads will roll over this one.

Tournament rigging to get GM & IM norms has been going for decades. It's a universal joke.

Now it seems they cannot even be bothered to play out a thrown game.
They just nick the games from other tournaments. Not just any old tournament, Computer tournaments!

(I think the theory being nobody looks at computer games...when was the last time you prep'd up for a game v Mobile Chess?)

The Don Cup, Azuv, Russia, 2010 handed out 3 GM norms and 3 IM norms. (Congratulations)
Apparently The tournament is to be the subject of an investigation due to one or two (or six) things that have come to light.

Six games from each event match up 100% move for move. Here are just two.

D. Yamnov - V.Eryomenko, Don Cup, Azov, Russia 2010

and…

Mobile Chess - Sjeng, 16th World Computer Chess Championship Beijing, 2008

The final position with White hanging on letting Black get two Queens to mate him is clear computer play.
A human at that level would resign. They should have used a different game or tampered with the ending.


It's that blatant you must think some honest whistle blower has slipped these games in just waiting for them to be discovered.




V. Eryomenko - V. Malimonenko, Don Cup, Azov, Russia, 2010

and….

Junior - Cluster Toga, World Computer Chess Championship Beijing, 2008



You can get the 2010 Azov games here:

http://ratings.fide.com/tournament_deta ... vent=49234

...and the 16th World Computer Chess Championship 2008 games from here.

http://www.grappa.univ-lille3.fr/icga/t ... php?id=178

PeterFarr
Posts: 586
Joined: Sat Apr 06, 2013 11:20 pm
Location: Horsham, Sussex

Re: The Latest GM/IM Norm Scam

Post by PeterFarr » Fri Aug 02, 2013 11:21 am

The Dombai Cup in December 2010 was another interesting tournament. A quick scan shows:

1) 1 GM norm and 1 IM norm achieved (both leading to titles in 2011)

2) The bottom 2 players lost all of their games, apart from drawing with each other

3) 3 of the players at the Don Cup Azov also "played" at the Dombai Cup later in the year

4) Same chief arbiter and deputy arbiter for both tournaments.

I got this through idly clicking on the tournament results on the FIDE site, following Geoff's post. If such a quick casual search can get that far, then goodness know what a systematic investigation would show.

Neither tournament seemed to show much (any) of a physical footprint in terms of websites, photos, round reports etc., judging by google searches, though I don't speak Russian, so maybe there's something somewhere.

Roger de Coverly
Posts: 18046
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:51 pm

Re: The Latest GM/IM Norm Scam

Post by Roger de Coverly » Fri Aug 02, 2013 12:00 pm

PeterFarr wrote:I got this through idly clicking on the tournament results on the FIDE site, following Geoff's post. If such a quick casual search can get that far, then goodness know what a systematic investigation would show.
Going back a few years, another fake.

http://en.chessbase.com/Home/TabId/211/ ... nobyl.aspx
http://en.chessbase.com/Home/TabId/211/ ... sited.aspx

It didn't help the concocted reports that pictures of a supposed Blitz event taking place during the tournament were quite clearly taken in the back room of the Pig in Paradise during a Hastings evening blitz.

Geoff Chandler
Posts: 1997
Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2009 1:36 pm
Location: Under Cover
Contact:

Re: The Latest GM/IM Norm Scam

Post by Geoff Chandler » Fri Aug 02, 2013 2:54 pm

There is a letter of mine in some late 1970's BCM claiming
the Karpov-Korchnoi match was a fake and the games were being up.

I slipped in this gag every now and then over the the years claiming opening book publishers were faking games to show their opening
in a good light or paying GM's to play lots of games with a particuliar opening becuase they had all these unsold books.

The Berlin Defence to the Lopez was one.
Kramnik would play it, Kasparov would lose to it and each get 20% of the royalties when the mugs started buying the books.
All good fun and nonsense.

Little did I know I was closer to the truth than I thought.

I sometimes think I am only the chess player on the planet and the rest of you are in on one big massive joke aimed at me.
The history, the tournaments, all these chess forums, chess computers.....All faked to lead me up the garden path.

The whole universe is laughing at me. :|

User avatar
Greg Breed
Posts: 714
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 8:30 am
Location: Harrow, Middx, UK
Contact:

Re: The Latest GM/IM Norm Scam

Post by Greg Breed » Fri Aug 02, 2013 2:57 pm

Geoff Chandler wrote:The whole universe is laughing at me. :|
We're laughing with you Geoff. You crack me up :lol:
Hatch End A Captain (Hillingdon League)
Harrow Captain (Middlesex League)

Geoff Chandler
Posts: 1997
Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2009 1:36 pm
Location: Under Cover
Contact:

Re: The Latest GM/IM Norm Scam

Post by Geoff Chandler » Fri Aug 02, 2013 3:28 pm

I just remembered I invented a whole league match once on Chandler Cornered.

http://www.chessedinburgh.co.uk/chandle ... ChandID=86

I even invited a touch move incident, a debate which is currently going on in another thread.

Edinburgh 1 v Lasswade 1 Edinburgh Chess League 2003

Farrell v Kafka



Board 3: McGowan (Edinburgh) v Cornes (Lasswade)

McGowan arrived late and noticed that board 2 had finished.

"What happened on board two?" he asked his opponent?

"White played 1.e4" replied Cornes.

So McGowan played 1.e4. Cornes played 1…d5.

McGowan took the pawn 2 exd5. Cornes paid 2…Qxd5

McGowan then played 3 Nc3.

"No," stated Cornes. "White played 3 Ke2."

So McGowan took back 3. Nc3 and played 3 Ke2.

"Thank you." Said Cornes and promptly played 3 Qe4 mate.
He then recorded his win on the score card and walked out.

User avatar
Paolo Casaschi
Posts: 1089
Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2009 6:46 am

Re: The Latest GM/IM Norm Scam

Post by Paolo Casaschi » Fri Aug 02, 2013 4:19 pm

Geoff Chandler wrote:Six games from each event match up 100% move for move. Here are just two.

D. Yamnov - V.Eryomenko, Don Cup, Azov, Russia 2010

and…

Mobile Chess - Sjeng, 16th World Computer Chess Championship Beijing, 2008
Possible interpretation: the game was actually played, with both players in fact trying to win; it also happened that both players were cheating with the help of different engines, so no surprise that out of the opening the two engines replayed exactly a game from a computer tournament :D :D :D

PeterFarr
Posts: 586
Joined: Sat Apr 06, 2013 11:20 pm
Location: Horsham, Sussex

Re: The Latest GM/IM Norm Scam

Post by PeterFarr » Fri Aug 02, 2013 5:06 pm

Another pair of fascinating tournaments were the "Marsel 2011" GM and IM events held in Dombai, July 2011:

1) Same chief arbiter as Don Azov Cup 2010 and Dombai 2010

2) In the IM event, the Ukrainian Oleksandr Zabava managed a rather disappointing 0.5/9, to match his 0.5/11 in the Dombai 2010 event. Such a shame to score 1/20 in two tournaments against opponents of roughly similar standard. Maybe as he's in his mid-60's he's not so fussed about his rating anymore.

3) In the GM event, another player was also unlucky enough to score 0.5/9, against apparently fairly similar standard of opposition (though its hard to tell, as his rating is somewhat ..ahh inconsistent).

Haven't bothered to check out norms achieved, though no doubt there were a few..

User avatar
IM Jack Rudd
Posts: 3909
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2007 1:13 am
Location: Bideford

Re: The Latest GM/IM Norm Scam

Post by IM Jack Rudd » Fri Aug 02, 2013 5:09 pm

I suggest we find out who won these tournaments, and get Sean to invite them to an e2e4 norm event or two. :twisted:

PeterFarr
Posts: 586
Joined: Sat Apr 06, 2013 11:20 pm
Location: Horsham, Sussex

Re: The Latest GM/IM Norm Scam

Post by PeterFarr » Fri Aug 02, 2013 5:26 pm

Shouldn't be to hard to get them - some of these guys may well be capable of being in two places at once!

User avatar
Matt Mackenzie
Posts: 2838
Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2009 11:51 pm
Location: Millom, Cumbria

Re: The Latest GM/IM Norm Scam

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Fri Aug 02, 2013 6:17 pm

Doesn't sound so different to what Samisch did in a few tournaments in the late 1960s :)
"Set up your attacks so that when the fire is out, it isn't out!" (H N Pillsbury)

PeterFarr
Posts: 586
Joined: Sat Apr 06, 2013 11:20 pm
Location: Horsham, Sussex

Re: The Latest GM/IM Norm Scam

Post by PeterFarr » Fri Aug 02, 2013 6:25 pm

Didn't he keep losing on time or something?

I guess a big difference is that this has the appearance of a cottage industry, and they are not bothering to throw games; they just make them up.

PeterFarr
Posts: 586
Joined: Sat Apr 06, 2013 11:20 pm
Location: Horsham, Sussex

Re: The Latest GM/IM Norm Scam

Post by PeterFarr » Sat Aug 03, 2013 8:45 am

Found a few more interesting tournaments, all from the same region, e.g. Lugansk Summer 2007 and Lugansk Autumn 2007 were great tournaments for achieving GM norms. "GI Ivanov memorial" tournaments held in Azov are also highly recommended.

All you have to do is follow the trail of recurring names and places to understand that this is a long-standing enterprise.

The inflation in GM numbers in recent years is hardly surprising when one sees them being churned out like a factory production line.

Stewart Reuben
Posts: 3968
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2007 11:04 pm
Location: writer

Re: The Latest GM/IM Norm Scam

Post by Stewart Reuben » Sun Aug 11, 2013 7:45 pm

I have suggested several times that spot checks be done by leading FIDE Officers on events which seemed suspicious. But nothing has happened. I did go to a First Saturday event in Budapest. There seemed nothing untoward, but they knew I was coming.

Before the days of ratings, norms depended solely on the number of titled players. Samish was invited as a GM and deliberately lost all his games on time as a protest. Later I played him a Lightning game in Bognor and he beat me in the semi-final.

I did think of inviting the Rumanian to Hastings who rigged his rating. Indeed he asked me to do so. Then he would have spread joy and happiness in the event. Possibly unfortunately, I was too principalled.

Chris Rice
Posts: 2742
Joined: Thu Nov 08, 2012 5:17 am

Re: The Latest GM/IM Norm Scam

Post by Chris Rice » Mon Aug 12, 2013 11:19 am

There seem to be plenty of anomolies and people of interest on the FIDE grading database surround the "Cup Of Don" that you would like explanations from. It may even help the people concerned to clear up the allegations as to how a lot of these anomolies occurred. The tournaments where the suspicious results in the main come from feature three Russian arbiters, Nikolai Pushkov (GM & IA rated 2385), Alexander Sapfirov (IA) and I. Shinkarenko (I'm not sure if that name is misspelt or whether he doesn't actually exist).

There are a number of players who have been beneficiaries of tournaments run by these three:

GM Georgy Pilavov (Ukraine) 2609 - seems to have maintained this rating by playing opponents graded more than 400 points below him, sort of Elo rating arbitrage if you like. http://ratings.fide.com/id.phtml?event=14109158

GM Shojaat Ghane (Iran) 2321 - managed to touch 2500 using these tournaments then nosedived. Judging by his last tournament performance his true strength is below 2300. Alleged to have purchased GM title. http://ratings.fide.com/id.phtml?event=12500313

FM Sergey Tikhiy (Russia) 2407 there are various allegations that he picks up Elo points in tournaments arbited by Pushkov and vice versa. http://ratings.fide.com/card.phtml?event=4188845

FM Pavel Zaichenko (Russia) 2356 - virtually no published games available for him which is odd. He also arbited the Vostochny Donbass Cup 2007 Open. http://ratings.fide.com/card.phtml?event=4163036

Roman Borovlev (Russia) 2314 - likewise no published games I could find. With Borovlev and Zaichenko the allegations are that they don't play but just use their ratings to pump up other players ratings. http://ratings.fide.com/hist.phtml?event=4163885

FM (IA) Vladimir Afromeev (Russia) 2646 - yes really. He even has his own Wikipedia page. Alexander Baburin got particularly incensed about him a few years ago. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vladimir_Afromeev

Very much like the Ivanov case there is no proof that any of these allegations are true but as Stewart says they should at least have been treated as suspicious by FIDE. Let's hope the new FIDE anti-cheating committee can resolve these quickly as like Peter above I believe this is just scratching the surface and Prof Regan will uncover a lot more anomolies in due course.

Post Reply