Chess Player Strip Searched

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Mats Winther
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Ivanov

Post by Mats Winther » Thu May 23, 2013 3:44 pm

The case of Ivanov, whose performance rating varies between 1942 and 2696. Is this cheat or is it an unusual phenomenon? I can't judge.
http://www.chessbase.com/Home/TabId/211 ... 30313.aspx

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Roger de Coverly
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Re: Ivanov

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu May 23, 2013 4:05 pm

Mats Winther wrote:Is this cheat or is it an unusual phenomenon? I can't judge.
It's a saga the forum has been following for months.
http://www.ecforum.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f=31&t=5085

Most posters here are equally uncertain.

Chris Rice
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Re: Chess Player Strip Searched

Post by Chris Rice » Thu May 23, 2013 8:07 pm

The last tournament Ivanov was at ended in farcical circumstances with players defaulting rather than playing him. How can a Bulgarian chess tournament organiser run a serious tournament under these circumstances? What is the Bulgarian chess federation supposed to do in response?

In addition to this Ivanov hasn't attempted at all to justify his new found brilliance and he's had plenty of chances. Indeed he appears to be cashing in with TV appearances and laughing in the face of the chess community.

The Bulgarian chess authorities have taken a decision. They are not saying he's guilty or innocent but that the situation can't go on and there will be a short suspension while they investigate. There is precedent for what they have done, that's all Sean and I are saying, not whether its right or wrong. If Ivanov wants to play outside Bulgaria that doesn't seem to be a problem, if he's that good he'll win plenty of money to make up for the extra travel costs so he's not really suffering that much is he?

Andrew Collins
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Re: Chess Player Strip Searched

Post by Andrew Collins » Thu May 23, 2013 8:40 pm

I agree that the last tournament ended in farcical circumstances, I wonder about that however. One player refused to play Ivanov twice, because as far as he was concerned Ivanov is a cheat, although he like others can't say how.
Was it reasonable behaviour for these 2 players who refused to play him to do so. Should the organizer in fact be punishing them. I would argue that both players should have played him and if concerned of cheating, which no doubt they would be, then raise the issue with the controller and put pressure on the tournament organizer to investigate thoroughly.

'If' Ivanov is cheating and especially so if it does not involve an assistant then realistically there is only so many ways he can possibly be doing it, and if that involves him relaying moves to get computer assistance and back to him as argued then he must have some equipment on him that is doing so. Whilst the post investigations presumably going on now may be able to get an idea of what equipment he could be using without anyone noticing, it will not be able to prove he was using such equipment, this is why I believe thorough investigations should have been undertaken at tournaments where people had reason for concern.

I myself deeply don't like the notion of presuming someone guilty on various move match up percentages. I even more deeply don't like the idea that there could prove to be no physical evidence ever and yet a large amount of people will still pronounce him guilty and nothing could change their opinion

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Paolo Casaschi
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Re: Chess Player Strip Searched

Post by Paolo Casaschi » Thu May 23, 2013 8:57 pm

Chris Rice wrote:There is precedent for what they have done, that's all Sean and I are saying, not whether its right or wrong.
What precedent?

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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: Chess Player Strip Searched

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Thu May 23, 2013 9:01 pm

Paolo Casaschi wrote:
Chris Rice wrote:There is precedent for what they have done, that's all Sean and I are saying, not whether its right or wrong.
What precedent?
I Googled "suspended pending investigation" and "sport", and it is not that uncommon.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/footba ... -clip.html
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-18025722

I do hope, though, that the investigation will be thorough and resolve things either way.

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Paolo Casaschi
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Re: Chess Player Strip Searched

Post by Paolo Casaschi » Thu May 23, 2013 9:06 pm

Christopher Kreuzer wrote:
Paolo Casaschi wrote:
Chris Rice wrote:There is precedent for what they have done, that's all Sean and I are saying, not whether its right or wrong.
What precedent?
I Googled "suspended pending investigation" and "sport", and it is not that uncommon.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/footba ... -clip.html

I do hope, though, that the investigation will be thorough and resolve things either way.
This is completely different. It's an employer that suspended (i.e. they still pay him without asking him to do any work) an employee. It's not a sportsman suspended by a federation for suspected cheating or other type of bribe. You cannot consider this a precedent.
All the results of your google search are in fact similar, mostly coached suspended by their employer (team, school) for doing something improper.

For example, anything like a cyclist suspended because suspected of using doping but before actually failing any test?

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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: Chess Player Strip Searched

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Thu May 23, 2013 9:10 pm

Paolo Casaschi wrote: This is completely different. It's an employer that suspended (i.e. they still pay him without asking him to do any work) an employee. It's not a sportsman suspended by a federation for suspected cheating or other type of bribe. You cannot consider this a precedent.
All the results of your google search are in fact similar, mostly coached suspended by their employer (team, school) for doing something improper.

For example, anything like a cyclist suspended because suspected of using doping but before actually failing any test?
Good points. If he was receiving any funding, they could suspend that, but suspending membership of a federation is different (maybe suspending people for missing drugs tests is the closest you can get?). Oops. I shouldn't have mentioned membership...

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Paolo Casaschi
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Re: Chess Player Strip Searched

Post by Paolo Casaschi » Thu May 23, 2013 9:13 pm

Christopher Kreuzer wrote:Good points. If he was receiving any funding, they could suspend that, but suspending membership of a federation is different (maybe suspending people for missing drugs tests is the closest you can get?). Oops. I shouldn't have mentioned membership...
Somebody should get in touch with Ivanov and suggest him to ask for a refund of the compulsory membership fee for the duration of the suspension ;-)

Richard Bates
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Re: Chess Player Strip Searched

Post by Richard Bates » Thu May 23, 2013 9:14 pm

You could argue that he has failed a test. Multiple times. The test being "correlation with computer generated moves". The only question is the validity of the test as a determination of cheating. On Internet chess sites it almost certainly would be. The problem here is arguably not the basic test but that people cannot work out how he is doing it. Doesn't mean he isn't doing it though...

Remember even doping tests in sport are often really tests against the balance of probabilities or beyond reasonable doubt etc.

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Paolo Casaschi
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Re: Chess Player Strip Searched

Post by Paolo Casaschi » Thu May 23, 2013 9:20 pm

Richard Bates wrote:Remember even doping tests in sport are often really tests against the balance of probabilities or beyond reasonable doubt etc.
Oh dear. Could you elaborate on that? I thought that doping test would check for the presence of a certain chemical in your samples. If anything forbidden is found then you are done? Where is the "probability" element?

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Paolo Casaschi
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Re: Chess Player Strip Searched

Post by Paolo Casaschi » Thu May 23, 2013 9:27 pm

Richard Bates wrote:You could argue that he has failed a test. Multiple times. The test being "correlation with computer generated moves". The only question is the validity of the test as a determination of cheating. On Internet chess sites it almost certainly would be.
The fundamental principle behind doping tests is that sporting bodies define very clearly in advance what is being tested and how. They dont take samples and THEN decide what the test methodology is.

In fact, this is what's fundamentally wrong in those anti-cheating techniques on playing sites: they never disclose the testing technique and their decision is never explained. This is all well for a private website where you can invite to play whoever you want and reject anyone else. However it's unacceptable from a national federation.

Richard Bates
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Re: Chess Player Strip Searched

Post by Richard Bates » Thu May 23, 2013 9:31 pm

Paolo Casaschi wrote:
Richard Bates wrote:Remember even doping tests in sport are often really tests against the balance of probabilities or beyond reasonable doubt etc.
Oh dear. Could you elaborate on that? I thought that doping test would check for the presence of a certain chemical in your samples. If anything forbidden is found then you are done? Where is the "probability" element?
I'm obviously not an expert so best not to get into a debate. But it is certainly true that some illegal drugs are known to be naturally occurring. Eg testosterone. So to fail a test for such drugs one must demonstrate levels which are beyond that which is believed likely to be generated naturally. In this context there are bound to be potential grey areas. Famously an American sprinter, Dennis Mitchell, failed such a test and argued (initially successfully with US track and Field) that it was caused by "beer and large amounts of sex". Zero tolerance approaches are sometimes not based on the definite guilt of a transgressor, but simply rely on the basis that an individual is responsible for whatever gets in their body.

Richard Bates
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Re: Chess Player Strip Searched

Post by Richard Bates » Thu May 23, 2013 9:32 pm

Paolo Casaschi wrote:
Richard Bates wrote:You could argue that he has failed a test. Multiple times. The test being "correlation with computer generated moves". The only question is the validity of the test as a determination of cheating. On Internet chess sites it almost certainly would be.
The fundamental principle behind doping tests is that sporting bodies define very clearly in advance what is being tested and how. They dont take samples and THEN decide what the test methodology is.
Well yes, that is a fair point.

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Paolo Casaschi
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Re: Chess Player Strip Searched

Post by Paolo Casaschi » Thu May 23, 2013 9:43 pm

Richard Bates wrote:Zero tolerance approaches are sometimes not based on the definite guilt of a transgressor, but simply rely on the basis that an individual is responsible for whatever gets in their body.
I don't see how do you get from the sentence above to justify suspending Ivanov based on an arbitrary comparison of his moves against some computer.
Shouldn't you first define the testing rules, then apply those, eventually run an investigation and finally ban the guy for life if guilty?
Instead the guy is first suspended, then the investigation is run while the tests and the rules are defined as you go along. All this after he was closely monitored while playing the suspected games without anyone noticing any wrongdoing.
I see this as a very easy way out an uncomfortable situation for the Bulgarian chess federation; but the question here is about fairness...

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