Cheating in chess

Discuss anything you like about chess related matters in this forum.
Roger de Coverly
Posts: 19079
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:51 pm

Re: Cheating in chess

Post by Roger de Coverly » Tue Oct 20, 2020 5:28 pm

Paul Cooksey wrote:
Tue Oct 20, 2020 5:13 pm
I think it is a bit problematic that the chess sites are toothless against free anonymous users, who can simply create a new account.
If you know the handle, it's possible to find out whether the account has been banned. For sites charging a fee for use, they have a financial incentive to allow replacement accounts.

The "new" problem is that organisations such as 4NCL, ECF, UKCC and local leagues feel a need to cross reference real names to handles. This presumably precludes them from even publishing a list of handles that have been banned and from enforcing bans that span across organisations.

John Upham
Posts: 4811
Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2007 10:29 am
Location: Cove, Hampshire, England.
Contact:

Lichess criteria?

Post by John Upham » Sat Oct 24, 2020 1:33 pm

Having heard of another friend (of 200+ strength) being banned by Lichess is it possible to document the criteria Lichess use to ban people?

Are the following possible?

1. Having someone follow the same game using the same IP address?
2. Having another lichess window open and watching another game or games?
3. Having another lichess window open with lichess analysis for a totally different position?
4. Being a strong player with a low platform rating and playing good moves?
5. Chatting to your opponent (or anyone else) whilst the game is in progress?
6. Using an engine to analyse the game in progress (obviously this is sufficient for a ban if it can be demonstrated to be true).
7. An opponent reporting you out of spite.
8. Any other criteria?

There would appear to be total air of mystery surrounding the reason for being banned by lichess. 6. is the obvious one of course.

If anyone can add detail to my guess work then I'd be grateful.
Last edited by John Upham on Sat Oct 24, 2020 3:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
British Chess News : britishchessnews.com
Twitter: @BritishChess
Facebook: facebook.com/groups/britishchess :D

Chris Rice
Posts: 3091
Joined: Thu Nov 08, 2012 5:17 am

Re: Cheating in chess

Post by Chris Rice » Sat Oct 24, 2020 2:19 pm

It's not possible I think to document the criteria as essentially Lichess can take whatever action they like, when they like and to who they like and they don't even need any evidence of a breach. Their terms of service do give some examples though:

Fair Play and Community Guidelines

Users, both registered and unregistered agree to behave with good conduct whilst using Lichess’ Services. This will always be determined at Lichess’ discretion. Users who don’t behave with good conduct may have their account banned or closed without warning, and their content removed from the site. In all circumstances we reserve the right to ban or close an account for any reason without warning, and without having to provide evidence that Fair Play and Community Guidelines have been breached.

See the following for some examples of what you shouldn’t do.

1. Cheating. We define this as using any external assistance to strengthen your knowledge and, or, calculation ability to gain an unfair advantage over your opponent. Some examples would include computer engine assistance, opening books (except for correspondence games), endgame tablebases, and asking another player for help, although these aren’t the only things we would consider cheating.

2. Artificially inflating or deflating your rating. This is where a User purposefully loses, or has arranged with an opponent to win. As a result, the User’s rating will artificially increase or decrease.

3. Impersonation. Don’t pretend to be someone who you’re not. You’re welcome to use a pseudonym.

4. Trying to break into accounts of other users, even if it’s as simple as just guessing a password, DDoS and volumetric attacks. This activity is illegal, so the relevant authorities would also be notified. You are welcome to support Lichess by finding and reporting security issues to us.

5. Harassing conduct or offensive language. If you aren’t sure whether to say something, think about how an objective outsider might view it. Harassment is a criminal act and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

6. Sharing copyrighted material. On some parts of the site you can share your own content with the public. Posting anything other than what you’ve made yourself, or have a fiduciary right to share is illegal. Users are responsible for what they post and share.

7. Abuse our infrastructure. Don’t take any action that imposes an unreasonable load on our infrastructure or on our third-party providers. We reserve the right to determine what is reasonable.

8. Spamming. Posting unsolicited messages like junk mail, chain letters, or just general spam is just frustrating for our Users, so don’t do it.

These are just some suggestions of what we would consider against the spirit of playing fairly in our community. This list is non-exhaustive and doesn’t detail all activity we can or will take action against. The final word is always with the administrators, and penalties will be applied at the administrators’ discretion.

User avatar
JustinHorton
Posts: 7911
Joined: Mon Aug 04, 2008 10:06 am
Location: Somewhere you're not

Re: Cheating in chess

Post by JustinHorton » Sat Oct 24, 2020 3:28 pm

Are we just talking about banning, or also temporary suspensions?
Last edited by JustinHorton on Sat Oct 24, 2020 3:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Do you play chess?"
"Yes, but I prefer a game with a better chance of cheating."

lostontime.blogspot.com

NickFaulks
Posts: 5952
Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2010 1:28 pm

Re: Lichess criteria?

Post by NickFaulks » Sat Oct 24, 2020 3:28 pm

John Upham wrote:
Sat Oct 24, 2020 1:33 pm
If anyone can add detail to my guess work then I'd be grateful.
The baby-eating Bishop of Bath and Wells comes to mind.
If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever.

MartinCarpenter
Posts: 2668
Joined: Tue May 24, 2011 10:58 am

Re: Lichess criteria?

Post by MartinCarpenter » Sun Oct 25, 2020 8:18 am

John Upham wrote:
Sat Oct 24, 2020 1:33 pm
Having heard of another friend (of 200+ strength) being banned by Lichess is it possible to document the criteria Lichess use to ban people?

Are the following possible?
I'll try at least.
John Upham wrote:
Sat Oct 24, 2020 1:33 pm
1. Having someone follow the same game using the same IP address?
2. Having another lichess window open and watching another game or games?
3. Having another lichess window open with lichess analysis for a totally different position?
4. Being a strong player with a low platform rating and playing good moves?
5. Chatting to your opponent (or anyone else) whilst the game is in progress?
6. Using an engine to analyse the game in progress (obviously this is sufficient for a ban if it can be demonstrated to be true).
7. An opponent reporting you out of spite.
8. Any other criteria?

There would appear to be total air of mystery surrounding the reason for being banned by lichess. 6. is the obvious one of course.

If anyone can add detail to my guess work then I'd be grateful.
(1) is I believe, documented as a 'known' problem from adults following juniors games on different devices within the same house.

(2)/(3)/(5) I don't think we know. It would presumably depend on what detail they record about precisely which page is accessed.

(4) has to be logically possible, but they do also have super GM's setting up new accounts and not getting immediately pinged.
So you'd have to somehow 'establish' the low rating for a chunk of games - maybe playing in a very underrated close pool of players - then start playing better.

(6) They surely can't possibly detect that unless you use their web interface? Web browser processes aren't that priviliged. Ditto with (5) - it would have to be chat going through LiChess to be visible to them, I would imagine.

Joseph Conlon
Posts: 104
Joined: Thu Jun 06, 2019 4:18 pm

Re: Lichess criteria?

Post by Joseph Conlon » Sun Oct 25, 2020 8:27 am

John Upham wrote:
Sat Oct 24, 2020 1:33 pm
Having heard of another friend (of 200+ strength) being banned by Lichess is it possible to document the criteria Lichess use to ban people?

Are the following possible?

1. Having someone follow the same game using the same IP address?
2. Having another lichess window open and watching another game or games?
3. Having another lichess window open with lichess analysis for a totally different position?
4. Being a strong player with a low platform rating and playing good moves?
5. Chatting to your opponent (or anyone else) whilst the game is in progress?
6. Using an engine to analyse the game in progress (obviously this is sufficient for a ban if it can be demonstrated to be true).
7. An opponent reporting you out of spite.
8. Any other criteria?

There would appear to be total air of mystery surrounding the reason for being banned by lichess. 6. is the obvious one of course.

If anyone can add detail to my guess work then I'd be grateful.
In terms of (1), this household has plenty of experience of a child playing in a bedroom while an adult spectates virtually from the kitchen. Presumably these are the same IP address, but given no one has been banned (1) appears not to be a strong trigger.

Matthew Turner
Posts: 3019
Joined: Fri May 16, 2008 11:54 am

Re: Cheating in chess

Post by Matthew Turner » Sun Oct 25, 2020 9:50 am

John Upham wrote:
Sat Oct 24, 2020 1:33 pm
Having heard of another friend (of 200+ strength) being banned by Lichess is it possible to document the criteria Lichess use to ban people?

Are the following possible?

1. Having someone follow the same game using the same IP address?
2. Having another lichess window open and watching another game or games?
3. Having another lichess window open with lichess analysis for a totally different position?
4. Being a strong player with a low platform rating and playing good moves?
5. Chatting to your opponent (or anyone else) whilst the game is in progress?
6. Using an engine to analyse the game in progress (obviously this is sufficient for a ban if it can be demonstrated to be true).
7. An opponent reporting you out of spite.
8. Any other criteria?

There would appear to be total air of mystery surrounding the reason for being banned by lichess. 6. is the obvious one of course.

If anyone can add detail to my guess work then I'd be grateful.
Most of us will know someone who has been banned by a platform. The bottom line is that in the vast majority of these cases it is because they have been cheating. It is difficult to view things objectively unless you get over this. In response to your points, I would say this (you should view this as informed speculation rather than hard and fast facts).

1. No
2. No
3. Not sure
4. Why have they got a low rating? If they have been deliberately throwing games or allowing someone else to use their account then this is against the rules - so they should be banned. If they are just starting out, then this is completely normal and nothing is going to happen.
5. No (unless the chat is giving advice)
6. Yes, but this this would (usually) lead to a ban mid-game
7. No

Roger de Coverly
Posts: 19079
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:51 pm

Re: Lichess criteria?

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sun Oct 25, 2020 9:53 am

Joseph Conlon wrote:
Sun Oct 25, 2020 8:27 am
In terms of (1), this household has plenty of experience of a child playing in a bedroom while an adult spectates virtually from the kitchen. Presumably these are the same IP address, but given no one has been banned (1) appears not to be a strong trigger.
Is the adult able to watch the game in real time with no server delay? Does the spectator just see the game or assessments and analysis as well?

Wadih Khoury
Posts: 192
Joined: Sun Jul 12, 2020 8:14 pm

Re: Lichess criteria?

Post by Wadih Khoury » Sun Oct 25, 2020 10:06 am

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Sun Oct 25, 2020 9:53 am
Joseph Conlon wrote:
Sun Oct 25, 2020 8:27 am
In terms of (1), this household has plenty of experience of a child playing in a bedroom while an adult spectates virtually from the kitchen. Presumably these are the same IP address, but given no one has been banned (1) appears not to be a strong trigger.
Is the adult able to watch the game in real time with no server delay? Does the spectator just see the game or assessments and analysis as well?
You can try it yourself and spectate any game on lichess. There will be no analysis nor position assessment.

However, should you have the bad idea of launching an analysis of this position in lichess itself, and happen to share the same IP with the player, the player will be very likely flagged.

Most people focus a lot on computer assisted cheating, as it is the most obvious, but I am now of the belief that the most insidious and hard to catch cheating is when another player is helping.

Roger de Coverly
Posts: 19079
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:51 pm

Re: Lichess criteria?

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sun Oct 25, 2020 10:26 am

Wadih Khoury wrote:
Sun Oct 25, 2020 10:06 am
However, should you have the bad idea of launching an analysis of this position in lichess itself, and happen to share the same IP with the player, the player will be very likely flagged.
Are two points thus established?

First that you can analyse games in progress in real time on lichess.

Second that if it's a shared IP address, lichess will jump to the conclusion the player and spectator doing the analysis are either the same individual or are communicating in some manner. That's a modified version of John Upham's point #1.

Matthew Turner
Posts: 3019
Joined: Fri May 16, 2008 11:54 am

Re: Cheating in chess

Post by Matthew Turner » Sun Oct 25, 2020 10:42 am

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Sun Oct 25, 2020 10:26 am
Wadih Khoury wrote:
Sun Oct 25, 2020 10:06 am
However, should you have the bad idea of launching an analysis of this position in lichess itself, and happen to share the same IP with the player, the player will be very likely flagged.
Are two points thus established?

First that you can analyse games in progress in real time on lichess.

Second that if it's a shared IP address, lichess will jump to the conclusion the player and spectator doing the analysis are either the same individual or are communicating in some manner. That's a modified version of John Upham's point #1.
Roger,
Isn't this relatively simple? If this has an observable impact on a player's play then it is cheating, if it doesn't, it isn't.

Joseph Conlon
Posts: 104
Joined: Thu Jun 06, 2019 4:18 pm

Re: Lichess criteria?

Post by Joseph Conlon » Sun Oct 25, 2020 10:54 am

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Sun Oct 25, 2020 9:53 am
Joseph Conlon wrote:
Sun Oct 25, 2020 8:27 am
In terms of (1), this household has plenty of experience of a child playing in a bedroom while an adult spectates virtually from the kitchen. Presumably these are the same IP address, but given no one has been banned (1) appears not to be a strong trigger.
Is the adult able to watch the game in real time with no server delay? Does the spectator just see the game or assessments and analysis as well?
Yes, you can watch any game taking place on lichess live. While a game is in progress there is no Analysis button you can click (for finished games you can click through to an analysis tab).

You could use the lichess board editor to manually set up a position from an ongoing game, and then run analysis on it, but obviously I do not want to try experiments on this.

NickFaulks
Posts: 5952
Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2010 1:28 pm

Re: Cheating in chess

Post by NickFaulks » Sun Oct 25, 2020 10:56 am

Matthew Turner wrote:
Sun Oct 25, 2020 10:42 am
If this has an observable impact on a player's play then it is cheating, if it doesn't, it isn't.
So we've come round in a full circle and are back where we started.
If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever.

Joseph Conlon
Posts: 104
Joined: Thu Jun 06, 2019 4:18 pm

Re: Lichess criteria?

Post by Joseph Conlon » Sun Oct 25, 2020 10:57 am

Wadih Khoury wrote:
Sun Oct 25, 2020 10:06 am
Roger de Coverly wrote:
Sun Oct 25, 2020 9:53 am
Joseph Conlon wrote:
Sun Oct 25, 2020 8:27 am
In terms of (1), this household has plenty of experience of a child playing in a bedroom while an adult spectates virtually from the kitchen. Presumably these are the same IP address, but given no one has been banned (1) appears not to be a strong trigger.
Is the adult able to watch the game in real time with no server delay? Does the spectator just see the game or assessments and analysis as well?
You can try it yourself and spectate any game on lichess. There will be no analysis nor position assessment.

However, should you have the bad idea of launching an analysis of this position in lichess itself, and happen to share the same IP with the player, the player will be very likely flagged.

Most people focus a lot on computer assisted cheating, as it is the most obvious, but I am now of the belief that the most insidious and hard to catch cheating is when another player is helping.
I would imagine that it is essentially impossible to detect any case where one player 20 or so grading points higher is assisting another; the play would be better, but within the reasonable realm.

Post Reply