Cheating in chess

Discuss anything you like about chess related matters in this forum.
Stewart Reuben
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Re: Cheating in chess

Post by Stewart Reuben » Tue Aug 25, 2020 6:29 pm

I have just remembered.
Many years ago St Paul's played against a Belfast School by telephone in the National Schools Championship. They lost.
People said they must have cheated. Remember this was before the days of computers.
I said, 'but . how can the have cheated? There is nobody as good as any of the players from St Paul's in the whole of Belfast.'

The whole matter rested there.

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JustinHorton
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Re: Cheating in chess

Post by JustinHorton » Mon Sep 21, 2020 9:13 pm

Wired story on a recent scandal involving alleged cheating in poker.

I don't play poker so others here will obviously grasp some details of the story much better than I do: but one takeaway from the story might be the difficulty of demonstrating cheating to the satisfaction of a court.
"Do you play chess?"
"Yes, but I prefer a game with a better chance of cheating."

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NickFaulks
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Re: Cheating in chess

Post by NickFaulks » Mon Sep 21, 2020 9:44 pm

JustinHorton wrote:
Mon Sep 21, 2020 9:13 pm
but one takeaway from the story might be the difficulty of demonstrating cheating to the satisfaction of a court.
Didn't the California court just say that they were not in the business of ruling on poker losses? I wonder whether that would also apply to chess.
If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever.

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Cheating in chess

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Mon Sep 21, 2020 9:54 pm

I'm a bit puzzled that people thought it strange that the alleged cheater couldn't prove his innocence. He didn't have to...

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IM Jack Rudd
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Re: Cheating in chess

Post by IM Jack Rudd » Mon Sep 21, 2020 10:24 pm

I know enough about poker to know what this is: repeated success with statistically very dodgy decisions. And the situation is similar to the ones you sometimes get in chess, where a player is playing suspiciously well but there's no physical evidence to corroborate.

Nick Grey
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Re: Cheating in chess

Post by Nick Grey » Mon Sep 21, 2020 11:27 pm

Appears in online poker there are 2 20,000 dollar scams on Identity swaps. highstakesdb.com.

I got unlucky once getting all in with Aces v Kings 5 players out from a 25,000 dollar buy-in plus 2 weeks holiday at the Poker Stars Caribbean Adventure.

Some honour in poker - he said I can have 1 percent of his winnings and shipped me 2,000.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Cheating in chess

Post by Roger de Coverly » Tue Sep 22, 2020 2:09 am

JustinHorton wrote:
Mon Sep 21, 2020 9:13 pm
ut one takeaway from the story might be the difficulty of demonstrating cheating to the satisfaction of a court.
Another takeaway is that over the board chess banned the use of mobile phones during play many years ago. Originally that wasn't directly for their potential use in cheating but because of the disturbance if someone or something rang during play.

NickFaulks
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Re: Cheating in chess

Post by NickFaulks » Tue Sep 22, 2020 7:53 am

IM Jack Rudd wrote:
Mon Sep 21, 2020 10:24 pm
I know enough about poker to know what this is: repeated success with statistically very dodgy decisions. And the situation is similar to the ones you sometimes get in chess, where a player is playing suspiciously well but there's no physical evidence to corroborate.
Yes, except in poker it is clearer, hardly needing statistics at all. It isn't like chess, where anyone is capable of finding the best move sometimes.

If I may change the game to backgammon, suppose you are doubled and only two successive double sixes will save you. You accept the double and get them. What realistic explanation is there other than something funny about the rolling of the dice?

In poker there are occasions when going against the evident odds would be almost that blatant.
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Matt Bridgeman
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Re: Cheating in chess

Post by Matt Bridgeman » Tue Sep 22, 2020 9:04 am

Do you think it’s easier to hide as a poker cheat than a chess cheat? In that if you have a competent level of poker skill is it easier to pass yourself off as a highly skilled player to fool the players you may play and socialise with? I’d think a bit like blackjack, the motivation to find a cheat in poker must be much higher than in chess, as the cash rewards are so much greater.

NickFaulks
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Re: Cheating in chess

Post by NickFaulks » Tue Sep 22, 2020 9:12 am

Matt Bridgeman wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 9:04 am
Do you think it’s easier to hide as a poker cheat than a chess cheat?
It must depend upon how you are doing it. The player in the case under discussion doesn't seem to have made any attempt at all to camouflage what he was doing.
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Matt Bridgeman
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Re: Cheating in chess

Post by Matt Bridgeman » Tue Sep 22, 2020 9:20 am

A bit of aside, but the famous American poker player, Phil Ivy has ended up having a huge impact on how British criminal law defines dishonesty. It used to be a subjective/objective test from an appeal case of Ghosh back in 1982. Now courts look seriously at the objective test of Ivy v Genting Casinos 2017.

David Sedgwick
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Re: Cheating in chess

Post by David Sedgwick » Tue Sep 22, 2020 9:43 am

NickFaulks wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 7:53 am
If I may change the game to backgammon, suppose you are doubled and only two successive double sixes will save you. You accept the double and get them. What realistic explanation is there other than something funny about the rolling of the dice?
Unless I am missing something, that it a 1 in 1296 chance.

You have frequently said that we shouldn't assume cheating in chess on the basis of similar probabilities (or improbabilities).

NickFaulks
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Re: Cheating in chess

Post by NickFaulks » Tue Sep 22, 2020 9:50 am

David Sedgwick wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 9:43 am
Unless I am missing something, that it a 1 in 1296 chance.

You have frequently said that we shouldn't assume cheating in chess on the basis of similar probabilities (or improbabilities).
Sorry David, you are missing the point.

The question is, why would anyone voluntarily place a 3-1 bet on a runner which the whole world knows has a 1295-1 chance of coming in?
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Paul Cooksey
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Re: Cheating in chess

Post by Paul Cooksey » Tue Sep 22, 2020 12:05 pm

NickFaulks wrote:
Mon Sep 21, 2020 9:44 pm
JustinHorton wrote:
Mon Sep 21, 2020 9:13 pm
but one takeaway from the story might be the difficulty of demonstrating cheating to the satisfaction of a court.
Didn't the California court just say that they were not in the business of ruling on poker losses? I wonder whether that would also apply to chess.
I think the slightly puritanical attitude of US courts to gambling probably would not extend to chess. But I don't think this is quite over, as I understand the report the judge was willing to hear a case relating to whether the casino was doing everything reasonably necessary to run a fair game.

In a a civil case, on balance of probabilities, statistical evidence might be enough to create a presumption that would have to be rebutted. An entirely different question than whether an individual could be proven beyond reasonable doubt to have committed a criminal offence of course.

If a casino had to prove it was taking active steps to prevent cheating, or was subject to a large penalty because it could not, that might have some relevance to chess organisers.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Cheating in chess

Post by Roger de Coverly » Tue Sep 22, 2020 12:24 pm

Paul Cooksey wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 12:05 pm
If a casino had to prove it was taking active steps to prevent cheating, or was subject to a large penalty because it could not, that might have some relevance to chess organisers.
Over the board organisers take active steps to prevent chess cheating. The long standing provision stating that external consultation was not allowed coupled with the prohibition of active electronic devices does so. You can try the statistical analysis that asserts the player wasn't good enough to play the moves made, without external assistance, but that's not accepted in the absence of physical evidence.

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