Grading Cheat or Patzer?

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NickFaulks
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Re: Grading Cheat or Patzer?

Post by NickFaulks » Tue Feb 02, 2016 2:20 pm

Gavin Strachan wrote:I'm not wholly convinced by this argument of people lowering their grade to be able to enter graded sections.
I completely agree that the practice is demeaning and absurd. However, about forty years ago I shared a pizza with a group of regular Major players before the start of the final weekender of the grading season. Two of them had their full results on the table and were calculating how badly they needed to score in order to keep their grades just below 160. That was what they went on to do.

I have no reason to assume that they were the only culprits then, nor that such behaviour has died out since.
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MSoszynski
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Re: Grading Cheat or Patzer?

Post by MSoszynski » Tue Feb 02, 2016 7:34 pm

One incident I saw happen...

It is the last round of a tournament. In a certain pairing neither player is in contention for a prize. The villain beats his opponent who is now dejected and in any case in a hurry to get home. The villain offers to hand in the results slips for him. He does so, but reports the result as a loss for himself in order to keep his own grade down. His opponent either never discovers this or is unconcerned or even feels flattered by the inversion.

I'm pleased to say that our villain no longer plays serious over-the-board chess.

Jonathan Bryant
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Re: Grading Cheat or Patzer?

Post by Jonathan Bryant » Wed Feb 03, 2016 8:37 am

Gavin Strachan wrote:I'm not wholly convinced by this argument of people lowering their grade to be able to enter graded sections. The whole concept is fundamentally flawed.
You may or may not be convinced, but it definitely happens. Not much, no doubt - and as long as there’s no financial incentive (as you say) - it will remain that way - but it does happen. There’s a player in my area who’s name has not been mentioned on these boards or elsewhere with respect to the recent discussions as far as I’m aware, but who’s well-known for this behaviour.

I suspect the reason that you’re struggling to believe it probably lies in your assumption that the motive can only be financial. Actually, there are many other potential reasons for doing it. Just liking winning more than losing, for instance.

Another reason might be that you assume that for this activity to work you have to play deliberately badly and that would be a miserable experience that people wouldn’t want to do. Another effective method would be, say, to play normally but avoid winning by offering a draw when you’re a piece up without compensation.

That said, I wouldn’t want to overstate the problem. in 30 years or so of chess playing I’ve only had three occasions where I’ve suspected at the time or afterwards that the game might have been chucked. Even with these it’s perfectly possible that they weren’t, it’s just something didn’t feel right. Something over and above the playing of terrible moves for no apparent reason of which we’re all capable - at least, I am.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Grading Cheat or Patzer?

Post by Roger de Coverly » Wed Feb 03, 2016 10:58 am

Nigel_Davies wrote:I think this is of great relevance to this thread and most of the others too.

As well as being a way of having a disguised personal snipe at Horton?

Do you think there are chess players who will deliberately seriously under-perform in order to gain the prestige of winning tournaments for which they would not otherwise be eligible ?

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Carl Hibbard
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Re: Grading Cheat or Patzer?

Post by Carl Hibbard » Wed Feb 03, 2016 11:00 am

I too classed Nigel's post as a dig but if it isn't open up comments on your own blog please Nigel.
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Nigel_Davies
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Re: Grading Cheat or Patzer?

Post by Nigel_Davies » Wed Feb 03, 2016 11:03 am

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Nigel_Davies wrote:I think this is of great relevance to this thread and most of the others too.

As well as being a way of having a disguised personal snipe at Horton?

Do you think there are chess players who will deliberately seriously under-perform in order to gain the prestige of winning tournaments for which they would not otherwise be eligible ?
The point of this post was to encourage reflection and awareness, it was not a snipe at anyone. So if someone makes thousands upon thousands of posts on a chess bulletin board joins in with attacks on others with mental 'differences', are they showing compassion and awareness?

Think about it.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Grading Cheat or Patzer?

Post by Roger de Coverly » Wed Feb 03, 2016 11:21 am

Nigel_Davies wrote: it was not a snipe at anyone.
In an otherwise generic piece, linking to an example where you have had personal differences with the author is a snipe.

If there are players who for mental health reasons will deliberately play below their normal or best standard, this represents a challenge in general to rating systems and in particular to those who use rating systems to offer prizes and prestige to lower standard players.

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Nigel_Davies
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Re: Grading Cheat or Patzer?

Post by Nigel_Davies » Wed Feb 03, 2016 11:29 am

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Nigel_Davies wrote: it was not a snipe at anyone.
In an otherwise generic piece, linking to an example where you have had personal differences with the author is a snipe.

If there are players who for mental health reasons will deliberately play below their normal or best standard, this represents a challenge in general to rating systems and in particular to those who use rating systems to offer prizes and prestige to lower standard players.
Rubbish. The person concerned put that piece up himself and has left it there, all I did was link to it. Meanwhile it looks like you haven't tried the compassion and self awareness bit yet.

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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: Grading Cheat or Patzer?

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Wed Feb 03, 2016 11:52 am

Nigel, in your blog piece, you say it "might be better to keep taking the tablets" and then link to a blog post where one of the main points was not being medicated. Both that, and your use of the word 'wacky' suggest to me that you shouldn't be opining on mental health issues, certainly not on a forum or blog.

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Nigel_Davies
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Re: Grading Cheat or Patzer?

Post by Nigel_Davies » Wed Feb 03, 2016 11:57 am

Christopher Kreuzer wrote:Nigel, in your blog piece, you say it "might be better to keep taking the tablets" and then link to a blog post where one of the main points was not being medicated. Both that, and your use of the word 'wacky' suggest to me that you shouldn't be opining on mental health issues, certainly not on a forum or blog.
OK, everyone here is completely normal and not in the least bit in denial.

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JustinHorton
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Re: Grading Cheat or Patzer?

Post by JustinHorton » Wed Feb 03, 2016 12:09 pm

Just on the money thing, we know that lots of people cheat online with computers. Lots of them. They don't make any money that way: they just get to win games and tournaments.

This fact alone would seem to render null and void any suggestion that motives for cheating are confined to the financial.
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Jon Mahony
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Re: Grading Cheat or Patzer?

Post by Jon Mahony » Wed Feb 03, 2016 12:55 pm

I agree that money won’t be the only issue; in fact I’d go as far as to say ego is the main one, especially at the higher levels. I know several major players that are terrified of busting the grading cap and ending up in the opens - the reason isn’t financial, as they rarely get a top prize in the Majors, they just know a year of misery lies ahead.

I’m still young enough that I want to improve as much as possible, but I guess when you get into the 45-50+ age area, most know their game isn’t going to get a lot better and just want to stay where they are and enjoy Chess.

Minors are a different kettle of fish though, I’m strongly suspicious of 4 or 5 players that disappear for a year or more and then suddenly turn up at Scarborough and Blackpool taking the lion’s share of the money. Mr C I've revised my opinion on sort of 75% since I played him at the British - he could only manage a draw when he needed the win, indeed if I hadn't dropped the ball in the next round he wouldn't have won that section. I didn't think he was as strong as all that.

I have even jokingly been accused of sandbagging once or twice, but I can assure everyone I am just genuinely dopey, I get on a good run and then loose to a 105 or two and ruin it all - my goal is to get to 150, not the reverse :lol:
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Gareth T Ellis
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Re: Grading Cheat or Patzer?

Post by Gareth T Ellis » Wed Feb 03, 2016 1:54 pm

JustinHorton » Wed Feb 03, 2016 12:09 pm

Just on the money thing, we know that lots of people cheat online with computers. Lots of them. They don't make any money that way: they just get to win games and tournaments.

This fact alone would seem to render null and void any suggestion that motives for cheating are confined to the financial.
There's a massive difference between someone sitting at home costing them nothing to watch their computer win a game for them compared to traveling around the country, possibly taking time off work, paying to enter, travel, accommodation etc. Which will often amount to more than the first prize, but they're doing it to deliberately lose.

NickFaulks
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Re: Grading Cheat or Patzer?

Post by NickFaulks » Wed Feb 03, 2016 2:10 pm

In the example I quoted above one player was thrilled when he manoeuvred his rating to 159, so that he was established on top board at weekend Swisses, just like Tony Miles across the room. Pathetic, I know. He did claim the his winnings ( he was probably worth 170 ) covered all expenses, but mostly it was bragging rights.
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Jon Mahony
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Re: Grading Cheat or Patzer?

Post by Jon Mahony » Wed Feb 03, 2016 2:16 pm

Gareth T Ellis wrote:
JustinHorton » Wed Feb 03, 2016 12:09 pm

Just on the money thing, we know that lots of people cheat online with computers. Lots of them. They don't make any money that way: they just get to win games and tournaments.

This fact alone would seem to render null and void any suggestion that motives for cheating are confined to the financial.
There's a massive difference between someone sitting at home costing them nothing to watch their computer win a game for them compared to traveling around the country, possibly taking time off work, paying to enter, travel, accommodation etc. Which will often amount to more than the first prize, but they're doing it to deliberately lose.
Yeah I’d second that, even if they do pick up a couple of “big” prizes a year, it wont cover the cost of doing that, and what are we talking £500 quid twice a year and a few £250’s? Minus cost of getting there and staying over in some cases. Unless its for the glory, it doesn’t seem financially worth it.

I do wonder though if some *ahem* individuals, genuinely loose the first game and with hopes of taking the tournament dashed, think “Oh well, as I’m here, may as well secure my next minor entry” and start getting careless with Rooks and Queens for the remaining games - it would explain 5 out of 5 to 0 out of 5.

There is also turning up for a local league game every week and loosing every single one, and I’ve noticed a lot of these suspect minor winners very out of form on a Wednesday night ;)
"When you see a good move, look for a better one!" - Lasker

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