European Women's Championship 2015

Discuss anything you like about women's chess at home and abroad.
Alan Walton
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Re: European Women's Championship 2015

Post by Alan Walton » Tue Jun 02, 2015 2:22 pm

For some reason Zhukova didn't accuse me of cheating when I drew with her in Gibraltar this year (she was lucky with the draw)

If anything my prior 4 games against 2398, 2408, 2469, 2549 where I was doing well in all four games and got 2.5/4 could have been considered suspicious, especially since I was only rated 2124 (compared with Michaela's 2300 rating)

But as the games weren't live I suspect this is the difference, also my moves are so random it would have been obvious I wasn't cheating

Matthew Turner
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Re: European Women's Championship 2015

Post by Matthew Turner » Tue Jun 02, 2015 2:50 pm

Might I suggest that this discussion is transferred to its own separate thread. It seems a shame that informed discussion on an interesting event has morphed into a discussion about cheating.
On the subject of cheating, I feel it is important to have a grasp on the scale of the problem before we consider policies going forward. Lets take the 4NCL for example, how big an issue is cheating, by which I mean use of electronic assistance. Is it
a) 10% of the players
b) 1 or 2% of the players
c) less than 10 games in a season
d) It simply never happens

It seems to me that it is very unlikely to be a) or d). Looking at the ease of cheating and the risk/'reward' balance I think a dispassionate onlooker would say it simply must happen. If cheating was rife as is a) then it would dominate the league and every conversation in the bar would revolve around cheating or alleged cheats. That doesn't happen, although I note that I had several conversation with different people about an alleged cheat at the last 4NCL. So, I think we are almost certainly looking at scenario b) or c). If it is c) then I think we should take John Saunders approach, it is simply not worth addressing in any meaningful way - the cheats are gaining very little and suspicion, allegations, proposed remedies will be more damaging to the game than any cheating.
If on the other hand we are in scenario b) then I think it raises difficult questions and I am not sure what the answers are. Ultimately, I wonder if we have to make a clear distinction between 'amateurs' and 'professionals' where 'professionals' agree to certain restrictions such as not having electronic items at the venue in return for the ability to win prize money. A 100 graded player can decide to be a professional to scoop the money in the minor, but they might have their bag checked afterwards.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: European Women's Championship 2015

Post by Roger de Coverly » Tue Jun 02, 2015 3:54 pm

Matthew Turner wrote: Lets take the 4NCL for example, how big an issue is cheating, by which I mean use of electronic assistance.
Residential venues pose a particular problem. The Georgian avoided the problem of having a phone on his person by the high risk strategy of concealing it in a cubicle. But in a residential venue, it becomes possible to return to the hotel room where the analysis device can be left running. Covertly returning to your room is leaving the playing venue without permission of the arbiter and thus against the rules, but to what extent are arbiters watching out for this? Actually it says that if you wanted enforcement, your hotel key should be deposited with the arbiters, not that it works if sharing with a non-player. Perhaps I shouldn't be giving ideas to the ACC or for that matter potential cheats.

NickFaulks
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Re: European Women's Championship 2015

Post by NickFaulks » Tue Jun 02, 2015 5:12 pm

Matthew Turner wrote:If it is c) then I think we should take John Saunders approach, it is simply not worth addressing in any meaningful way
What you are saying is that if it is (c) then we should wait until it becomes (b) - which it will - before we consider doing something. If even a small number are cheating and getting away with it, more will see no reason not to join them.

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Paolo Casaschi
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Re: European Women's Championship 2015

Post by Paolo Casaschi » Tue Jun 02, 2015 5:31 pm

NickFaulks wrote:If even a small number are cheating and getting away with it, more will see no reason not to join them.
A very bleak view of your fellow chess players: nowadays I'm playing mainly in evening leagues in London and so far I've thought none of my opponents in the last 5 years has ever attempted cheating despite having ample possibilities. Am I naive?

Ian Thompson
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Re: European Women's Championship 2015

Post by Ian Thompson » Tue Jun 02, 2015 5:47 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Matthew Turner wrote: Lets take the 4NCL for example, how big an issue is cheating, by which I mean use of electronic assistance.
Residential venues pose a particular problem. The Georgian avoided the problem of having a phone on his person by the high risk strategy of concealing it in a cubicle. But in a residential venue, it becomes possible to return to the hotel room where the analysis device can be left running. Covertly returning to your room is leaving the playing venue without permission of the arbiter and thus against the rules, but to what extent are arbiters watching out for this?
It's virtually impossible to stop this, but what you can do is make the penalty for breaking Law 11.2 a (leaving the playing venue without the permission of the arbiter) loss of the game. That would probably deter some people, particularly if it's a venue with security cameras and the organisers tell players that footage may be reviewed to detect violators.

NickFaulks
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Re: European Women's Championship 2015

Post by NickFaulks » Tue Jun 02, 2015 5:53 pm

Paolo Casaschi wrote:
NickFaulks wrote:If even a small number are cheating and getting away with it, more will see no reason not to join them.
A very bleak view of your fellow chess players: nowadays I'm playing mainly in evening leagues in London and so far I've thought none of my opponents in the last 5 years has ever attempted cheating despite having ample possibilities. Am I naive?
No, I also feel very comfortable in evening leagues. They are seriously contested, but the teams tend to know each other and I don't think that anyone with any suspicion hanging over them would be welcome for long. Weekend Swisses, even at a low level, playing opponents who you have never seen before and may never see again, are a different kettle of fish.

As for the London League, if anyone is prepared to spend an extended period of time in the Golden Lane toilet consulting their chess engine, their sacrifice surely exceeds whatever benefit they may gain.

Matthew Turner
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Re: European Women's Championship 2015

Post by Matthew Turner » Tue Jun 02, 2015 8:27 pm

NickFaulks wrote:
Matthew Turner wrote:If it is c) then I think we should take John Saunders approach, it is simply not worth addressing in any meaningful way
What you are saying is that if it is (c) then we should wait until it becomes (b) - which it will - before we consider doing something. If even a small number are cheating and getting away with it, more will see no reason not to join them.
I don't see why it is inevitable that cheating will increase over time, but lets say it does, perhaps in ten years time cheating in the 4NCL will have reached level (b). Can you predict the technological resources cheats will have or the resources organisers will have to catch them? Any policies or procedures put in place now would almost certainly be out of date by then.

IngridLauterbach
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Re: European Women's Championship 2015

Post by IngridLauterbach » Tue Jun 02, 2015 9:23 pm

Matthew, I think it is not much point in guessing how technology will evolve in ten years time- I think that beside controls like checking the player or his/her bags we should think already now, about technical measures how to detect cheating. In most cases it goes obviously with transmitting data, and this is not completely untraceable. My impression is that for most chess players all this technical methods are far away (which is perhaps even good), but therefore nobody explores if and how we could detect transmission of moves. We would need network experts, but I think it would be worth the effort to find such.

LawrenceCooper
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Re: European Women's Championship 2015

Post by LawrenceCooper » Tue Jun 02, 2015 9:28 pm

http://www.fide.com/component/content/a ... ement.html

The recent 16th European Individual Women's Championship in Chakvi, Georgia, has stirred up quite some controversy as 16 players signed a letter wherein they expressed their “concert about the situation with M. Sandu’s performance”, asking for measures from the organizers. This unprecedented act was followed by an answer from the organizers, a letter from the Romanian Federation and a letter-complaint by Mrs. Sandu.
While no official complaint has been presented to the ACC, the ACC has been following the case very closely and will delve deeper into this very complex matter during its forthcoming meeting at Porto Mannu, Sardinia, on June 15. Parties that are interested in presenting an official complaint or making their views known to the ACC can do so by filing a Complaint Form or writing an e-mail at acc@fide.com.

NickFaulks
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Re: European Women's Championship 2015

Post by NickFaulks » Tue Jun 02, 2015 9:37 pm

IngridLauterbach wrote: My impression is that for most chess players all this technical methods are far away
I doubt that you need anything you can't buy at Maplin.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: European Women's Championship 2015

Post by Roger de Coverly » Tue Jun 02, 2015 10:02 pm

IngridLauterbach wrote: My impression is that for most chess players all this technical methods are far away (which is perhaps even good), but therefore nobody explores if and how we could detect transmission of moves.
I'm wondering whether moves need to be transmitted at all.

It occurred to me that the rather crude Indian method could be the basis of a more sophisticated system. If someone had such a device, it can tell them moves through a concealed miniature speaker in their ear. The problem then is telling the device hidden on their person what the moves have been. Something motion sensitive could do the job but it would be a struggle to reliably transmit anything other than "yes" or "no". So why not use the device to suggest opponent's moves as well? So they open 1. e4 and the hidden device starts to cycle through the possible replies. They shake their foot to confirm the move played and it suggests the next.

Coming tooled up in this manner is quite obviously with the intention of cheating and doesn't have the plausible deniability that it was a one-off that someone consulting a phone might use as an excuse.

Matthew Turner
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Re: European Women's Championship 2015

Post by Matthew Turner » Wed Jun 03, 2015 8:04 am

IngridLauterbach wrote:Matthew, I think it is not much point in guessing how technology will evolve in ten years time- I think that beside controls like checking the player or his/her bags we should think already now, about technical measures how to detect cheating. In most cases it goes obviously with transmitting data, and this is not completely untraceable. My impression is that for most chess players all this technical methods are far away (which is perhaps even good), but therefore nobody explores if and how we could detect transmission of moves. We would need network experts, but I think it would be worth the effort to find such.
We can try to use technology to prevent cheating, but ultimately I would suggest that it would be relatively ineffective in an environment like the 4NCL. If you implement a technology which blocks transmission in the playing hall, what are you going to do when I go to the bar to get a coffee, or the toilet. Similarly, running games through an engine afterwards will catch an unrated player beating 7 GMs in a row, but is not going to catch a cheat with significant chess knowledge and the whole idea opens up a legal minefield. You can of course delay the transmission of moves on the internet or not bother relaying them at all. This might make it a bit harder for the cheater, but again that is really catching the unrated overnight superstar. So, using technology is pretty much paying lip service to tackling cheating, which is all fine assuming that it isn't overly expensive.

The bottom line then is that if we want to tackle cheating in the 4NCL in a meaningful way it means infringing on Ingrid Lauterbach's (and Matthew Turner's) civil liberties - informing the arbiters when you want to use the toilet, having your bags searched at random for example. Is it worth it? Returning to my original post then if c) ten games or less a season involve cheating then No. If b) 1 or 2% of the players are cheating then we have some tough choices to make. It would be damaging to the game to do nothing, but it is naïve to think that doing something couldn't be equally as bad.


Chris Rice
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Re: European Women's Championship 2015

Post by Chris Rice » Fri Jun 05, 2015 1:36 pm

Zhukova has now put out her side of the story and as you can imagine she comes out very well. However, what she doesn't explain is why she thought Mihaela Sandu was cheating (except being "little known" does that count as evidence these days?), how she knew a search would reveal nothing and what she was doing orchestrating the witch hunt in the first place or are we really expected to believe the arbiter made her do it? I think Zhukova's best way forward would be to publicly apologise for what she did before she completely loses all respect from the chess community. http://chess-news.ru/en/node/19190

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