Cheating in chess

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Matt Bridgeman
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Re: Cheating in chess

Post by Matt Bridgeman » Thu Jul 18, 2019 12:40 pm

I was police for over 11 years. You are talking nonsense! The practical idea of retaining a phone found in a toilet (as found property) to later hand over to police would never be a theft as there is no element of dishonesty. As long as it’s looked after, not damaged, no huge delay in handing to police, there should be no issues at all.

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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: Cheating in chess

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Thu Jul 18, 2019 12:59 pm

A phone found concealed in a toilet maybe. But what if you find someone using a phone to analyse a game? You can't walk up to someone and demand they give you their phone, or take it from them by force. I think that is what some people reading this thread thought you were advocating (though it is now clear you were not).

Matt Bridgeman
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Re: Cheating in chess

Post by Matt Bridgeman » Thu Jul 18, 2019 1:00 pm

No of course there are limits, I was only talking about the phone found in a toilet. I think in a number of cheating scenarios such as signalling or where the player has physical control of the phone, it’s unlikely a criminal case would work. In those cases you’d have to rely more on some justice/sanctions being served by the chess federations.
Last edited by Matt Bridgeman on Thu Jul 18, 2019 1:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: Cheating in chess

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Thu Jul 18, 2019 1:01 pm

Looking back at what you said ("discovered in toilets") I see that now. I thought you meant "discovered someone using a phone in a toilet".

Keith Arkell
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Re: Cheating in chess

Post by Keith Arkell » Thu Jul 18, 2019 4:55 pm

I know I'm going off topic a bit, but at the end of the day surely all these types of threads are here to reduce ( and ideally identify the source of) cheating. So in that context I think it's worth paying attention to levels of activity and choice of events of suspects. So, for example, if a player quickly rose from relative obscurity to playing at an extremely high level then it makes a lot of sense to observe what they do next. I won't get drawn to saying any more than this.

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Cheating in chess

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Fri Jul 19, 2019 1:22 am

"If there was a breach of the peace then the police would definitely immediately attend."

In some areas maybe.

Matt Bridgeman
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Re: Cheating in chess

Post by Matt Bridgeman » Fri Jul 19, 2019 8:54 am

I know what you mean, with police cut backs etc. But I was also trying to think of a congress in a really bad area. Regular London tournaments are in places like Hampstead. Manchester has theirs at the university. I’d be surprised if response times would be too bad, certainly during the day. In our scenario we wouldn’t just be telling the comm’s operator there’s a breach of the peace, there would also be a serious dishonesty offence suspected of occurring too. Plus little add-ons such this is the first time this type of offence has ever been reported to the police in England would definitely get their attention. It only takes one test case and you have some caselaw created which will help guide everyone as to what can be proved as a criminal offence.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Cheating in chess

Post by Roger de Coverly » Fri Jul 19, 2019 10:00 am

Matt Bridgeman wrote:
Fri Jul 19, 2019 8:54 am
Plus little add-ons such this is the first time this type of offence has ever been reported to the police in England would definitely get their attention. It only takes one test case and you have some caselaw created which will help guide everyone as to what can be proved as a criminal offence.
So a police force or prosecutor might do it for the publicity? The latest FIDE Board meeting suggests that FIDE would be drawing up some guidelines for arbiters as to what to report to local law enforcement. Would cheating in a game with no money at stake be criminal behaviour though?

Matt Bridgeman
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Re: Cheating in chess

Post by Matt Bridgeman » Fri Jul 19, 2019 10:44 am

Im ever so slightly out of touch with the latest Fraud legislation, but from memory the definition of ‘benefit’ defined in the lot of the new dishonesty offences is very broad and could include things other than money.

Mick Norris
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Re: Cheating in chess

Post by Mick Norris » Fri Jul 19, 2019 10:58 am

Matt Bridgeman wrote:
Fri Jul 19, 2019 8:54 am
I know what you mean, with police cut backs etc. But I was also trying to think of a congress in a really bad area. Regular London tournaments are in places like Hampstead. Manchester has theirs at the university. I’d be surprised if response times would be too bad, certainly during the day. In our scenario we wouldn’t just be telling the comm’s operator there’s a breach of the peace, there would also be a serious dishonesty offence suspected of occurring too. Plus little add-ons such this is the first time this type of offence has ever been reported to the police in England would definitely get their attention. It only takes one test case and you have some caselaw created which will help guide everyone as to what can be proved as a criminal offence.
I wouldn't describe the Manchester congress at the University campus in Fallowfield (not the University itself) as being in a bad area at all (but it does give me the opportunity to say come and see for yourselves next month, details on the Congress Diary section of this forum :D )

I can say that I've no enthusiasm at all personally for dealing with Greater Manchester Police, although we haven't (to the best of my knowledge) had any cheating to potentially talk to them about
Any postings on here represent my personal views and should not be taken as representative of the Manchester Chess Federation www.manchesterchess.co.uk

Ian Thompson
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Re: Cheating in chess

Post by Ian Thompson » Fri Jul 19, 2019 11:18 am

Matt Bridgeman wrote:
Fri Jul 19, 2019 8:54 am
Plus little add-ons such this is the first time this type of offence has ever been reported to the police in England would definitely get their attention. It only takes one test case and you have some caselaw created which will help guide everyone as to what can be proved as a criminal offence.
Was there a missed opportunity for this sort of thing, with the cheating poker player, a few years ago? That involved several million pounds (£7 million, if I remember correctly) and the civil case that ensued resulting in the judge upholding the casino's claim that the player had cheated and rejecting the player's contention that it was legitimate for him to take advantage of playing cards that he'd spotted were faulty, but the casino hadn't.

Matt Bridgeman
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Re: Cheating in chess

Post by Matt Bridgeman » Fri Jul 19, 2019 11:33 am

The Phil Ivey case. I think the answer is possibly. That case was a little bit different to the regular cheating offences that are often prosecuted in say Nevada. Ivey’s defence was based really on the fact he wasn’t being dishonest but was using a skill to win. With our chess examples I don’t think there can be any suggestion that they aren’t being dishonest.

Ian Thompson
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Re: Cheating in chess

Post by Ian Thompson » Fri Jul 19, 2019 11:46 am

Matt Bridgeman wrote:
Fri Jul 19, 2019 11:33 am
The Phil Ivey case. I think the answer is possibly. That case was a little bit different to the regular cheating offences that are often prosecuted in say Nevada. Ivey’s defence was based really on the fact he wasn’t being dishonest but was using a skill to win. With our chess examples I don’t think there can be any suggestion that they aren’t being dishonest.
I think there was also the suggestion that he lied to the dealer, saying he wanted cards turned round for good luck when he really wanted them turning round so he knew whether a card was high or low value when it was face down.

Matt Bridgeman
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Re: Cheating in chess

Post by Matt Bridgeman » Fri Jul 19, 2019 11:58 am

I would add, and this is again a hypothetical, that if now Phil Ivey decided to come back with his team and target another soft casino they’d discovered, employing the same techniques, I would think next time he would be looking at a criminal investigation because the caselaw has established now that his behaviour was dishonest. The points to prove for the criminal dishonesty offences fall into place. Similarly with cheating in chess, it really just needs that first criminal prosecution to go through, and a decent foothold of caselaw is established.

Jacques Parry
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Re: Cheating in chess

Post by Jacques Parry » Fri Jul 19, 2019 1:02 pm

There is no need for a test case: the law is quite clear. You commit a crime if you dishonestly make a false representation with the intention of thereby making a financial gain. If there were clear evidence of cheating, the culprit could be prosecuted on the basis that, by behaving like an honest player (e.g. appearing to think about his moves), he was falsely representing to the tournament controllers that he was playing without assistance. That's the way it was put in the 'Millionaire' case.

His only hope of acquittal would be to argue that he was not making any representation about whether he was cheating: he was simply cheating. But it's unlikely that a jury, or bench of magistrates, would accept this argument. There are lots of cases in which people have been convicted on the basis that, by behaving as if they were acting honestly, they were by implication representing themselves to be acting honestly; and those convictions were upheld on appeal.

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