Cheating in chess

Discuss anything you like about chess related matters in this forum.
Matt Bridgeman
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Re: Cheating in chess

Post by Matt Bridgeman » Sat Jul 18, 2020 12:54 pm

A small turn out in the Scottish Online Championship, but there seems to be a few players without much over the board experience pushing for the lead; http://chess-results.com/tnr529013.aspx?lan=1

NickFaulks
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Re: Cheating in chess

Post by NickFaulks » Sat Jul 18, 2020 12:58 pm

Matt Bridgeman wrote:
Sat Jul 18, 2020 12:54 pm
A small turn out in the Scottish Online Championship, but there seems to be a few players without much over the board experience pushing for the lead; http://chess-results.com/tnr529013.aspx?lan=1
Is there a reason why you have chosen to post on this thread?
If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever.

Matt Bridgeman
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Re: Cheating in chess

Post by Matt Bridgeman » Sat Jul 18, 2020 1:02 pm

It might make for an interesting PGN analysis comparison to the 4NCL Online Open top ten.

David Sedgwick
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Re: Cheating in chess

Post by David Sedgwick » Sun Jul 19, 2020 11:39 am

Mick Norris wrote:
Fri Jul 17, 2020 2:58 pm
Wadih Khoury wrote:
Fri Jul 17, 2020 1:39 pm
The French winner risks barring from the federation in line with OtB cheating rules
Interesting; not sure that's the approach in English chess
I understand that the ECF has explicitly rejected any such policy.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Cheating in chess

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sun Jul 19, 2020 12:03 pm

David Sedgwick wrote:
Sun Jul 19, 2020 11:39 am
I understand that the ECF has explicitly rejected any such policy.
You could imagine that anyone rumoured to have been suspended by chess.com, lichess or even the 4NCL process would be under extra scrutiny by arbiters, organisers and opponents. Potential team members might be reluctant to play on the same team.

Matthew Turner
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Re: Cheating in chess

Post by Matthew Turner » Sun Jul 19, 2020 12:07 pm

David,
To a large extent the ECF policy reflects the views of the 'stakeholders' namely players, captains and organisers. There was almost a universal feeling that online and OTB chess should be kept separate. That view might change over time which might impact on the ECF policy, but I'd be surprised if this happened any time soon.

Ian Thompson
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Re: Cheating in chess

Post by Ian Thompson » Sun Jul 19, 2020 2:00 pm

David Sedgwick wrote:
Sun Jul 19, 2020 11:39 am
Mick Norris wrote:
Fri Jul 17, 2020 2:58 pm
Wadih Khoury wrote:
Fri Jul 17, 2020 1:39 pm
The French winner risks barring from the federation in line with OtB cheating rules
Interesting; not sure that's the approach in English chess
I understand that the ECF has explicitly rejected any such policy.
FIDE are somewhere between these two:
[url=https://www.fide.com/docs/regulations/Online%20Olympiad%202020.pdf][/url] wrote:Neither FIDE, nor HIP claims that the determination of a suspected fair-play violation is proof of actual cheating or an admission of guilt of by the disqualified player. Such a determination shall not affect the ordinary status of the player for over-the-board competitions within the jurisdiction of FIDE or its members, unless the FPP decides in the case of a clear or gross violation, or repeated violations, to refer the matter to the FIDE Ethics and Disciplinary Commission which may exclude the player from all official chess participation for a period up to 15 years.

J T Melsom
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Re: Cheating in chess

Post by J T Melsom » Sun Jul 19, 2020 2:01 pm

How many people actually know the identity of those players who have been banned for cheating on-line? Most people including local organisers are not necessarily following the debate and even some of those who have read every page of this thread won't have necessarily checked out the pgn scores from 4NCL etc. Add to that the belief that cheating on-line and over the board are in some way different, and I don't expect much debate at all. It might conceivably be different for those clubs playing against Surbiton, where - unless I'm mistaken - the entire squad who participated in 4NCL are effectively under suspicion either of cheating themselves or protecting a player accused of cheating whose guilt or innocence remains unknown.

NickFaulks
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Re: Cheating in chess

Post by NickFaulks » Sun Jul 19, 2020 2:11 pm

J T Melsom wrote:
Sun Jul 19, 2020 2:01 pm
or protecting a player accused of cheating whose guilt or innocence remains unknown.
Isn't that just defending the principle of "innocent until proved guilty"?
If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever.

J T Melsom
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Re: Cheating in chess

Post by J T Melsom » Sun Jul 19, 2020 2:20 pm

It can be interpreted in that way, but other inferences can also be drawn. Those of us who don't know the identity of the accused, unfortunately cannot be truly confident of the innocence of any squad member. And the same obviously applies in the case of the other sides that withdrew, although my understanding is that these didn't represent a specific club.

David Sedgwick
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Re: Cheating in chess

Post by David Sedgwick » Sun Jul 19, 2020 2:28 pm

J T Melsom wrote:
Sun Jul 19, 2020 2:01 pm
It might conceivably be different for those clubs playing against Surbiton, where - unless I'm mistaken - the entire squad who participated in 4NCL are effectively under suspicion either of cheating themselves or protecting a player accused of cheating whose guilt or innocence remains unknown.
Why have you singled out Surbiton? Surely the same might be true of the other three squads who withdrew in protest at the exclusion of one of their players.

(Edit: I see that you have answered this point in your more recent post.)

NickFaulks wrote:
Sun Jul 19, 2020 2:11 pm
Isn't that just defending the principle of "innocent until proved guilty"?
I feel that, if a squad withdraws all its teams in protest at the original guilty verdict, it is making a rather stronger statement than that.

Alistair Campbell
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Re: Cheating in chess

Post by Alistair Campbell » Sun Jul 19, 2020 4:03 pm

It seems we have several questions here (the answers to which may be unclear despite the attempt of some of the finest minds on the planet to resolve) including:

1. What constitutes cheating?
2. How can cheating be detected?
3. How can such cheating be “proved”?
4. To what extent should the guilty be “named and shamed”?
5. What constitutes an accusation and what recourse does the falsely accused have?

I think 1) is probably easiest to answer - using an engine, a book or advice from another during a game (except where explicitly permitted)

2) seems to be problematic. Relative out-performance can be suspicious. There can be “Black-box” identification of high correlation of moves played with engine choice. OTB there can be suspicious behaviours – baseball caps, associates, frequent absences from the board, odd behaviour at the board, wires protruding from out-sized shoes. But were I to sit and consult an opening book during an online game as opposed to two minutes before a game, I’m not sure how this would be noticed. (Or were I to consult an engine “on occasion”).

3) is also problematic. Different regimes have different standards of proof. Whether a court would convict on the output of Ken Regan’s gizmo is debatable, but organisers seem happy enough to do so.

4) I’ll leave this to others

5) There are problems here too. Frequently, some information is in the public domain (such as pairings and results). Conclusions may be drawn from the non-appearance of a high scorer in the prize list, or the sudden closure of an account. However I don’t think it is necessary to make an explicit statement to give rise to possible defamation; hints may be enough. (There may be parallels here with “jigsaw identification”). This would have to be tested in the courts, unless there are any libel lawyers around willing to give free advice.

I guess such potential problems have always existed for organisers (essentially by publishing results they are forming an opinion that they are satisfactory to some degree and hence they have accepted the responsibility of determining wrong-doing). I’m not sure (and perhaps this could be confirmed) that saying nothing gives a guaranteed get-out-of-jail card (as opposed to merely reducing the probability of getting into trouble).

To elaborate a little, if I say “Joe Bloggs is a cheat” – this is explicit. If I describe Joe Bloggs’ team as “5 honest individuals and Joe Bloggs” this is a more implicit accusation, describing Mr Bloggs’ teammates as honest and naming them (yet saying nothing about Mr Bloggs) would also appear to be an implicit accusation. Again, perhaps one for the courts to resolve.

It is not hard to conceive of a situation where a player suffers loss or damage by being accused of being a cheat and (successfully) seeking redress through the court.

To draw a comparison with golf, it is possible to be DQd in the monthly medal for a variety of relatively innocent reasons (and this information will be published, possibly with restricted access). Should the player be accused of deliberate cheating, then this can be a big deal.

Having reread this, I think I may have omitted an obvious question

6, Why do people cheat?

The answer to this may help determine the answers to the other questions (if that’s not too Poirot).

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Cheating in chess

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sun Jul 19, 2020 4:17 pm

Alistair Campbell wrote:
Sun Jul 19, 2020 4:03 pm
Having reread this, I think I may have omitted an obvious question

6, Why do people cheat?
Given that it's alleged to have taken place in team events and others with no monetary prizes, it's to get better results. In Blitz it's pointless if you are playing essentially for pleasure or training, like travelling a marathon course in a car instead of a practice run.

NickFaulks
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Re: Cheating in chess

Post by NickFaulks » Sun Jul 19, 2020 5:16 pm

Alistair Campbell wrote:
Sun Jul 19, 2020 4:03 pm
6, Why do people cheat?
OTB, there seems to be a small community who have no interest in being good at chess but who devote their efforts to being good at cheating.

When I faced such a player I had no suspicions, despite realising with hindsight that his behaviour had been otherwise inexplicable, because cheating in a club game seem pointless. However, soon afterwards he was caught red handed in a weekend event with money prizes. Against me he had been practicing.
If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever.

Wadih Khoury
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Re: Cheating in chess

Post by Wadih Khoury » Sun Jul 19, 2020 5:28 pm

In online gaming it's called the e-peen phenomenon. Some just want to feel better than others, or at least get others to feel inferior to them.

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