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Re: Cheating in chess

Posted: Fri Dec 06, 2019 2:16 pm
by Matt Bridgeman
Police would likely charge Fraud if the evidence isn’t too slight. Signalling seems the hardest to prove. A junior would get youth court and probably a referral order. An adult in average congress could be magistrates, with a fine, conviction and compensation. An adult trying to win something bigger, like a British Championship, I’d think would get bumped up to Crown Court, and a custodial sentence could well be in play. Convictions for dishonesty offences can impact on a lot of people’s careers, which is the biggest deterrent.

Re: Cheating in chess

Posted: Fri Dec 06, 2019 4:53 pm
by Ian Thompson
John McMorrow wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 11:26 am
Cheating incident in the Irish International Open was sent to FIDE but we never heard back like with the 4NCL case. Was dealt with at a national level though.
The results suggest that the culprit was not Irish, so how effective is that going to be outside Ireland?

Re: Cheating in chess

Posted: Fri Dec 06, 2019 6:08 pm
by Matt Mackenzie
JustinHorton wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 5:25 am
I don't think I knew you could revoke a grandmaster title.
It has happened a few times previously (notably Nigaladze as already mentioned, and of course the complete fraud Crisan)

Re: Cheating in chess

Posted: Fri Dec 06, 2019 6:31 pm
by Paul McKeown
JustinHorton wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 2:04 pm
Still, you'd have thought a prison sentence a less than likely outcome, no?
Surely it would depend on the size of the fraud involved, as indicated by Matt Bridgeman, above?

Consider a prize of £10K fraudulently obtained, and consult Table 1 of the Sentencing Council Guidelines for Fraud . My naive reading is that a 26 week custodial sentence would be the tariff starting point, based on Culpability class B and Category 4 Harm, with a category range from "Medium level community order – 1 year’s custody". I freely admit, though, that I have no legal background whatsoever, and my naive reading might be entirely, completely and utterly wrong. Nevertheless, I don't believe that fraud is lightly dealt with by the courts.

Re: Cheating in chess

Posted: Fri Dec 06, 2019 7:06 pm
by JustinHorton
Paul McKeown wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 6:31 pm
JustinHorton wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 2:04 pm
Still, you'd have thought a prison sentence a less than likely outcome, no?
Surely it would depend on the size of the fraud involved, as indicated by Matt Bridgeman, above?
This has to be right, but the prizes being competed for in these cases don't generally seem to me to be of the proportions that would attract a custodial sentence.

Re: Cheating in chess

Posted: Fri Dec 06, 2019 7:46 pm
by Paul McKeown
JustinHorton wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 7:06 pm
Paul McKeown wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 6:31 pm
Surely it would depend on the size of the fraud involved, as indicated by Matt Bridgeman, above?
This has to be right, but the prizes being competed for in these cases don't generally seem to me to be of the proportions that would attract a custodial sentence.
Absolutely.

Which is why my original post, began:
If the prizes involved are large
I suspect that neither the police nor the public prosecutor would be easy to rouse for cheating involving less than a thousand pounds. However, the top prizes in the top tournaments that occasionally get held in the UK are generally sufficiently large that if they were to be won fraudulently, and the evidence was clear and easy to understand, then I think that there would be seen to be a public interest in prosecution.

Re: Cheating in chess

Posted: Sat Dec 07, 2019 7:48 am
by JustinHorton
For sure, but what I'm trying to bear in mind that we don't have a wealth of examples that actually fit our template. For instance I don't think even Rausis at Strasbourg was competing for a sufficient prize (700€, I believe) and he would also have been out of the relevant jurisdiction long before the public prosecutor was willing to act, even had the organiser been minded to consider it a police matter etc etc etc,

So while I can see why people are looking in the direction of fraud prosecutions, my feeling is that even if it's appropriate, it's chimerical as a solution, becase there's a serious likelihood that it will never come up in that actual form. And my reason for making this point is that if I'm right, we need to look elsewhere for effective remedies.

Re: Cheating in chess

Posted: Sat Dec 07, 2019 9:46 am
by Roger de Coverly
JustinHorton wrote:
Sat Dec 07, 2019 7:48 am
And my reason for making this point is that if I'm right, we need to look elsewhere for effective remedies.
It can be observed that in some cases, that players, once named, shamed and disqualified from the event where detected, voluntarily exclude themselves. In effect then, they ban themselves for life.

A problem comes when a player contests the action. In the UK anyway, they could resort to the Small Claims Court if they felt unfairly excluded from prize money. It wasn't computer cheating, but a player excluded from prizes in a grade restricted section was able to make a successful claim this way. He had a valid case, as the Congress had accepted his entry and the Congress entry form didn't say anything about exclusions of players without current grades from part of the prize fund. (He didn't have a current grade).

Re: Cheating in chess

Posted: Sat Dec 07, 2019 10:47 am
by Ian Thompson
Roger de Coverly wrote:
Sat Dec 07, 2019 9:46 am
JustinHorton wrote:
Sat Dec 07, 2019 7:48 am
And my reason for making this point is that if I'm right, we need to look elsewhere for effective remedies.
A problem comes when a player contests the action. In the UK anyway, they could resort to the Small Claims Court if they felt unfairly excluded from prize money.
I don't think that's a problem at all. It merely means that the arbiter/organiser has to have reasonable grounds for disqualifying someone before they do. They should be doing that anyway.

I think it very unlikely that someone who had cheated would contest it in court when there was some evidence to substantiate it and all the organiser has to show is that it was more likely than not that the player cheated (unlike a criminal prosecution where it's innocent unless proven guilty).

Re: Cheating in chess

Posted: Sat Dec 07, 2019 10:52 am
by Roger de Coverly
Ian Thompson wrote:
Sat Dec 07, 2019 10:47 am

I don't think that's a problem at all. It merely means that the arbiter/organiser has to have reasonable grounds for disqualifying someone before they do. They should be doing that anyway.
It would be a problem if arbiters and organisers acted like chess.com and disqualified players based on a misinterpretation of their play with no other evidence. FIDE perhaps have backtracked on using move matching as a reliable technique.

Re: Cheating in chess

Posted: Sat Dec 07, 2019 11:03 am
by Ian Thompson
Roger de Coverly wrote:
Sat Dec 07, 2019 10:52 am
Ian Thompson wrote:
Sat Dec 07, 2019 10:47 am

I don't think that's a problem at all. It merely means that the arbiter/organiser has to have reasonable grounds for disqualifying someone before they do. They should be doing that anyway.
It would be a problem if arbiters and organisers acted like chess.com and disqualified players based on a misinterpretation of their play with no other evidence. FIDE perhaps have backtracked on using move matching as a reliable technique.
A problem for the arbiters and organisers and one they would deserve to have.

Re: Cheating in chess

Posted: Sat Dec 07, 2019 11:38 am
by JustinHorton
Ian Thompson wrote:
Sat Dec 07, 2019 10:47 am
all the organiser has to show is that it was more likely than not that the player cheated (unlike a criminal prosecution where it's innocent unless proven guilty).
Maybe, but given that they'd be seeking to convince non-players, this might be a fairly high bar anyway.

Re: Cheating in chess

Posted: Sat Dec 07, 2019 8:14 pm
by Jacques Parry
JustinHorton wrote:
Sat Dec 07, 2019 7:48 am
So while I can see why people are looking in the direction of fraud prosecutions, my feeling is that even if it's appropriate, it's chimerical as a solution, becase there's a serious likelihood that it will never come up in that actual form. And my reason for making this point is that if I'm right, we need to look elsewhere for effective remedies.
You may be right. But, rather than speculate about what might happen if a case were reported to the police, we could try actually reporting one. Even if the offender were not prosecuted, he or she would probably get a police caution; and that's not an appealing prospect for someone who hopes to get a job one day. In the case of a non-professional, it's certainly a stronger disincentive than the risk of being reported to FIDE.

Re: Cheating in chess

Posted: Mon Dec 09, 2019 4:28 pm
by John McMorrow
Ian Thompson wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 4:53 pm
John McMorrow wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 11:26 am
Cheating incident in the Irish International Open was sent to FIDE but we never heard back like with the 4NCL case. Was dealt with at a national level though.
The results suggest that the culprit was not Irish, so how effective is that going to be outside Ireland?
Well, he lives in Ireland for a start but his own federation reached out to us to find out what happened and to deal with it themselves - so there may be more than one federation ban. FIDE, his federation and our federation are aware, we've taken action; kind of the best we can do.

Re: Cheating in chess

Posted: Tue Dec 10, 2019 9:13 am
by Richard Bates
Alex Holowczak wrote:
Thu Dec 05, 2019 12:58 pm
Chris Rice wrote:
Thu Dec 05, 2019 9:00 am
Roger de Coverly wrote:
Thu Dec 05, 2019 8:46 am


Isn't that the one the CAA are referring to? It's not beyond the possibility that "Fair Play" passed it on to "Ethics" who have just returned it to the ECF.
It is possible though I failed to find any report on the case via the EC website or the FPC homepage on FB which look like both could do with some updates. As Alex wrote the 4NCL report but then responded to your post asking what 4NCL case this was I assumed he had no knowledge as to whether it had been passed on to the EC.
Unfortunately you have to be a member I guess to find out CAA's information source in issue 39 of Arbiting Matters Too.
To clear all this up.

As that statement says, I wrote to the FIDE Fair Play Commission in early November 2018 reporting it, as the regulations said I should. There was no Commission until 1st January, 2019; there was a lengthy delay between Dvorkovich being elected and the new Commissions being composed. There was then a further lengthy delay because somehow the Fair Play Commission was improperly constituted. I don't know the full details, but I think I was told it had too many people. Finally I heard back from Fair Play in July 2019 once all their ducks were in a row.

The summary of the response was indeed that that it should be handled on a national level, but that if the Fair Play Commission were dissatisfied with what the ECF did, it reserved the right to investigate the matter for itself. The implication would be that this overruled any decision we took.

Given that:
- By then 8 months had passed
- The initial ban according to the FIDE regualtions would have been for 1 year
- In my estimation, the year would more or less have been up by the time we'd made a decision
- The player was not playing chess regardless
- Even if we'd done something, FIDE could decide that they didn't like what we'd done

We decided that we'd do nothing, and that if the Fair Play Commission didn't like that we were doing nothing then they had the right to investigate the matter themselves anyway. If they made that decision, then that'd be fine by us, because that's what we were expecting them to do in the first place.
I think this is just worth commenting on. Whilst I understand where Alex is coming from, I’m not sure I agree with the approach. Whilst, for the reasons stated, it might all seem like a waste of time in terms of delivering a punishment, I’m not sure that there aren’t very good other reasons to proceed regardless.

On a general point a situation like this is sometimes a perfect time to proceed because it allows the ECF to explore the issues and set a precedent, in a non-time pressured environment. Even better if it can be done with solid legal guidance. It’s makes future judgements easier if there is case “law” to fall back on.

On a specific point, just because the individual seems to have stopped playing, it doesn’t mean he won’t re- emerge in the future. And ( who knows?) might be tempted to cheat again. In such circumstances I think it would be important that there is documented evidence of what happened in this case that could be referred to, as opposed to second or third hand accounts or people’s memory of the events at the time.

Just my view.