Chess Player Strip Searched

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Mick Norris
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Re: Chess Player Strip Searched

Post by Mick Norris » Thu May 23, 2013 9:51 pm

Paolo Casaschi wrote: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.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/22643157 looks pretty much like exactly that

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/cricket/22643839 innocent until proven guilty?
Any postings on here represent my personal views and should not be taken as representative of the Manchester Chess Federation www.manchesterchess.co.uk

Richard Bates
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Re: Chess Player Strip Searched

Post by Richard Bates » Thu May 23, 2013 9:55 pm

Paolo Casaschi wrote:
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...
I wasn't expressing a view on the suspension. I was just pointing out that it wasn't the case that there was no evidence that he was cheating. Even if it is circumstantial. Chess is very much in its infancy when it comes to establishing methods and procedures for identifying and combatting cheating. It is hardly surprising therefore that there can be accusations that they are making it up as they go along. That is not a good thing, and may create legal difficulties, but if someone is cheating then the lack of formal testing procedures is not in itself an excuse to do nothing. If the authorities are exceeding their authority then he does have the legal route to fall back on if he chooses.

Incidentally I think it is not always true that Athletics, for example, defines all testing and illegalities in advance. Some illegal substances aren't known by the testers when they are being taken. And others can not be tested for. That is why they are increasingly going back and using modern techniques and knowledge to test old samples which are now routinely stored for several years. And finding people guilty and suspending them retrospectively.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Chess Player Strip Searched

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu May 23, 2013 10:07 pm

Richard Bates wrote: Chess is very much in its infancy when it comes to establishing methods and procedures for identifying and combatting cheating.
As far as the Ivanov case is concerned I believe it's established that he isn't using one of the known methods such as taking a mobile phone to the rest rooms. His performance is the Rapid event demonstrated that.

So it comes down to two resolutions
(a) establishing how the cheating is done
or
(b) establish how it is that he can predict the move selections of chess engines with such accuracy.

You could at least hypothetically test around (b). All you would have to do is ask him to play at an unknown time and place and establish whether he was still able to maintain his matching. Not conclusive by any means, but a failure to maintain his previous standard of play is additional evidence. Other method might be to interview him after the game as is now standard at major events. The participants in such events will usually respond to a question about why they played a particular move with a long string of analysis and an evaluation at the end of it.

Richard Bates
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Re: Chess Player Strip Searched

Post by Richard Bates » Thu May 23, 2013 10:14 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote: Other method might be to interview him after the game as is now standard at major events. The participants in such events will usually respond to a question about why they played a particular move with a long string of analysis and an evaluation at the end of it.
Kramnik does. Carlsen, not so much... 8)

Chris Rice
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Re: Chess Player Strip Searched

Post by Chris Rice » Tue May 28, 2013 12:10 pm

The ACP Board has nominated the following ACP reps to the joint ACP-FIDE Anti-Cheating Committee:

IA Laurent Freyd
IO Yuri Garrett
GM Miguel Illescas
GM Konstantin Landa
IM Professor Kenneth Regan

Sean Hewitt
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Re: Chess Player Strip Searched

Post by Sean Hewitt » Tue May 28, 2013 12:46 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?
Caster Semenya, for example. She was suspended whilst gender testing was carried out. When she was cleared, she was allowed to return to competition.

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Chess Player Strip Searched

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Fri May 31, 2013 8:07 am

"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. "

I'm more of an expert and the above is true. Initially tests were not that sensitive, so the discovery of a banned substance meant you had cheated. Now, the techniques are much more sensitive, so you have to determine "natural" levels, set a limit above that and say that anything exceeding that is cheating.

It is not unusual for bodies to suspend someone whilst they investigate - of course if the individual is then found not guilty (s)he is entitled to compensation.

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Paolo Casaschi
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Re: Chess Player Strip Searched

Post by Paolo Casaschi » Fri May 31, 2013 12:18 pm

Kevin Thurlow wrote:"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. "

I'm more of an expert and the above is true. Initially tests were not that sensitive, so the discovery of a banned substance meant you had cheated. Now, the techniques are much more sensitive, so you have to determine "natural" levels, set a limit above that and say that anything exceeding that is cheating.

It is not unusual for bodies to suspend someone whilst they investigate - of course if the individual is then found not guilty (s)he is entitled to compensation.
They key point though is that the suspension can only be triggered by strong evidence, for example failing a first drug test against "standard" thresholds. It should not be allowed to suspend an athlete based on hearsay: "his/her performance is much better than we expected to be, hence we should suspend him/her while we start testing".

In respect to chess, the key question is whether comparing moves against houdini and rybka is enough evidence for a suspension, or even worse for a ban. I certainly believe it's not; unfortunately and worryingly, there seem to be a rather widespread opinion to the contrary; I just got today the June issue of CHESS and M.Pein in the editorial writes: "Thanks to Professor Ken Regan and others, we can tell when a computer has been used or appears to have been used. This, combined with the rating of the player, enables an arbiter to judge with near certainty if there has been cheating." and then goes to suggest a five years ban for cheaters. In other words: the arbiter runs your last game (or, why not, your current game while you are still playing) through a FIDE blessed software, if your play appears too good for your rating then you are automatically banned for 5 years (automatically because no arbiter will have the chess knowledge and/or the statistical knowledge to understand anything of the analysis done by the software). No mention whatsoever of finding factual evidence that any cheating happened and how.

I most definitely agree with five years bans for cheaters, I definitely disagree with relaying on hearsay rather than factual evidence.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Chess Player Strip Searched

Post by Roger de Coverly » Fri May 31, 2013 12:47 pm

Paolo Casaschi wrote: I just got today the June issue of CHESS and M.Pein in the editorial writes: "Thanks to Professor Ken Regan and others, we can tell when a computer has been used or appears to have been used. This, combined with the rating of the player, enables an arbiter to judge with near certainty if there has been cheating."
That's total nonsense when applied to over the board chess. The articles by Regan suggested that you needed a volume of evidence to apply statistical tests, far more than available from a single game. It's not even cheating to use a computer engine provided you do so before the game. The point being that the probability of an FM beating a GM isn't particularly low and they might even have done it with the aid of pre-game analysis.

If arbiters notice someone frequently leaving the playing area particularly when their move and also find them in possession of a mobile phone or other computing device with indications that it's been in use, that's somewhat better evidence. The problem with the Ivanov case is that despite the evidence of his moves matching those of chess engines and his performance compared to his rating, the method used to consult a chess engine, if such a consultation is taking place, has yet to be established.

Geoff Chandler
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Re: Chess Player Strip Searched

Post by Geoff Chandler » Fri May 31, 2013 4:23 pm

You cannot tell from one game if a box has been used. You need x amount of games.
(I believe 20 is the current accepted figure.)

The thought of some untrained arbiter, and there is more to this cheat hunting than
just sitting there watching a computer screen, suddenly declaring without a shred of evidence
other than a computer's match up on one game that a player is cheating....is nonsense.

You will end up with half the country being banned for 5 years.

Scenario One.

Mr Brown has just returned home and is greeted by his charming wife.

"How did you get on today Dear?"

"I won with an unclear piece sacrifice I've been playing for the past 25 years."

"Oh Good, how much money did you win."

"Nothing, I was frog marched from the tournament hall and banned for 5 years."

And this "we know you did it, but don't know how you did it." law that has banned Ivanov is also a farce.

Our ancestors fought wars to establish that you are innoncent until proven guilty.
Suddenly up pops some leather elbow patched Professor to declare he has the solution
to all the problems and has all the answers.

And just how much is he and gang of inquisitors getting paid?
They will have to justify their high fees and soon innocent chess players will be
cast out to roam the streets like lepers.

We have got to unite and man the barricades on this one lads.

No one is to play on these stupid live boards anymore and everyone just tell the arbiter
the result of the game , nobody is to hand over a game scoresheet. No one.

Chris Rice
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Re: Chess Player Strip Searched

Post by Chris Rice » Mon Jun 03, 2013 10:10 am

Another article on Ivanov on ChessBase (link below) as the controversy rages on with some more analysis by Valeri Lilov. In the article it is made clear that the Bulgarian Chess Federation did in effect ban Ivanov for four months due to his comments on TV about other chess players. Here's an extract:

"Yet, it was his unseen penchant for bold words and love for short-lived fame that led to Ivanov’s official ban from tournament participation on the territory of Bulgaria for the next four months. The Bulgarian Chess Federation has taken clear stand on Ivanov’s appalling comments on chess players in general and penalized him for slander of Bulgarian chess thanks to his numerous explicit comments given during various interviews published in the local and international press.

One stark example of Ivanov’s chaotic rant against chess players ..... Chess is my passion. Every day I practice three to four hours at the board. I have no girlfriend. The problem is that no one expects me to win. I play brilliantly because I have good training, that is the answer. The grandmasters refuse to accept that I am good and therefore started bringing up suspicions. They had me checked as if I was the biggest terrorist. They stripped off my jacket and shirt. I don't know if they expected to find a bomb strapped to me. I just went to the tournament and won.

Most chess players are absolute buttheads. For too many people, chess is an antisocial game. Therefore, chess players are usually old bachelors, lonely and unhappy people. But there are many cool players, too. I am constantly trying to escape from this stereotype. To be honest, sometimes I feel ashamed to say that I am a chess player.

In addition to blocking Ivanov’s participation in a number of major international open tournaments to be held near Varna, Bulgaria this summer, the Bulgarian Chess Federation included a second clause directed at the suspected cheater, which reads in part: “Due to experts’ common standpoint derived from their analyses of Borislav Ivanov’s games from chess tournaments in the past 9 (nine) months and in connection with the suspicions and accusations of cheating on numerous international tournaments, […] we recommend to Borislav Ivanov to provide his permission for conducting extensive tests on him through various technical equipment, which will be both in his favor for the purposes of clearing his name and in favor of the Bulgarian Chess Federation, which will do everything possible in the future to resolve the problem on a national and international level in case it is proven with scientific means that Ivanov does not use any unfair means during his games."


http://en.chessbase.com/Home/TabId/211/ ... 30613.aspx

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Chess Player Strip Searched

Post by Roger de Coverly » Mon Jun 03, 2013 10:28 am

Chris Rice wrote:Another article on Ivanov on ChessBase (link below) as the controversy rages on with some more analysis by Valeri Lilov.
I disagree that analysis proves a great deal, particularly if Ivanov does quite a lot of training with engines. Regarding the endgame position in the article, Lilov writes
It is clear that Black is winning, especially since he has 1...Rc1, stopping the white pawn on c6, followed by ...Bd5 to attack it again. What no human player in extreme time trouble would play is the computer move 1...Bc4!?!?
The idea behind Bc4 is presumably to control the queening square with Ba6. Whilst it may require detail analysis to prove its soundness, it's not obvious that it wouldn't be chosen without analysis on pattern recognition or stylistic grounds.

Actually it would be helpful if Ivanov was searched and found to be clean of devices. He would then just have to repeat his previous form to remove suspicion.

Mick Norris
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Re: Chess Player Strip Searched

Post by Mick Norris » Mon Jun 03, 2013 10:57 am

Thanks for that Chris

Let's hope Ken Regan et all can sort this out once and for all, and soon
Any postings on here represent my personal views and should not be taken as representative of the Manchester Chess Federation www.manchesterchess.co.uk

MartinCarpenter
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Re: Chess Player Strip Searched

Post by MartinCarpenter » Mon Jun 03, 2013 11:02 am

From what people have said (earlier on here iirc) about detecting computer chetaing on online chess - where the potential for doing so is incredibly clear - its a bunch of games (20-30 or whatever it is) for colloration of 1st - 3rd choices of various computers.

Apparently basically no one has ever got that figure especially high over time. There's tons of both 'clean' historical games and (from online cheating) 'tainted' games to analyse , so it should be entirely possible to figure out something both objective and fairly reliable. A higher standard of proof would be needed for over the board games because the a priori chance of computer cheating is so much lower than online.

It might be more aobut whether people let it work objectively :)

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Chess Player Strip Searched

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Mon Jun 03, 2013 12:06 pm

"Most chess players are absolute buttheads. For too many people, chess is an antisocial game. Therefore, chess players are usually old bachelors, lonely and unhappy people. But there are many cool players, too. I am constantly trying to escape from this stereotype. To be honest, sometimes I feel ashamed to say that I am a chess player."

Not particularly controversial surely?

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