European Women's Championship 2015

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

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Sat May 30, 2015 7:24 pm

I wonder if the Romanian federation might take some sort of action?
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LawrenceCooper
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Re: European Women's Championship 2015

Post by LawrenceCooper » Sat May 30, 2015 7:50 pm

Matt Mackenzie wrote:I wonder if the Romanian federation might take some sort of action?
The letters from the federation and Mihaela (shown again in this link) http://en.chessbase.com/post/support-for-mihaela-sandu mention the possibility. I suspect she'll want to get home, put the ordeal behind her (even though she did manage a well deserved IM norm) and then decide what to do.

It's very sad, I know her from the London Chess Classic women events and you couldn't meet a nicer person. If nothing else, I hope this horrible incident makes people think twice before making accusations. For all the surprise at her 5/5 start she was given a helping hand by several of her opponents. Unless she has the ability to hypnotise her opponents into blundering I don't see how anyone could suspect foul play.

Jonathan Rogers
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Re: European Women's Championship 2015

Post by Jonathan Rogers » Sun May 31, 2015 5:09 pm

Agreed, it has made for very difficult viewing. It seems that the arbiters should have been firmer, and insisted that there would be no special measures in the absence of real evidence (and/or they could presumably have satisfied everyone, more or less, by delaying transmission on all live boards).

Keith Arkell
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Re: European Women's Championship 2015

Post by Keith Arkell » Sun May 31, 2015 7:27 pm

I rather like the idea, which I think I first read on GM Artur Kogan's facebook wall, of a condition of acceptance into a tournament being to agree to undergo a search for cheating devices, if randomly chosen to do so.

Of course, the problem with the case being discussed here is that the player a)wasn't selected randomly, and b) wasn't searched, thus denying her the chance to demonstrate her innocence.

Ian Thompson
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Re: European Women's Championship 2015

Post by Ian Thompson » Sun May 31, 2015 8:12 pm

Keith Arkell wrote:I rather like the idea, which I think I first read on GM Artur Kogan's facebook wall, of a condition of acceptance into a tournament being to agree to undergo a search for cheating devices, if randomly chosen to do so.
I think the FIDE Laws permit this already, so there's no need for extra conditions. Law 11.3 b says "The arbiter may require the player to allow his clothes, bags or other items to be inspected, in private". There's nothing in the laws putting conditions on when the arbiter is allowed to do this (e.g. having to have suspicions that something is being concealed), so random searches are OK, as would be more targeted searches (e.g. random amongst players in with a chance of a prize, norm, etc.).

Keith Arkell
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Re: European Women's Championship 2015

Post by Keith Arkell » Mon Jun 01, 2015 3:13 am

Ah, ok - I didn't know exactly what the current situation is.

With a random search policy in operation, players can have no reason to resent being picked on - in the same way that we don't really mind having our bags thoroughly searched at airport security.

Of course, the arbiter still has the option to search someone who has been caught cheating, or where there is very strong suspicion, but I was really making the point that the random search option would be a big deterrent against somebody arriving in the playing hall 'wired up', or with a phone which has a chess engine installed on it, on their person. Their plight would then be akin to the stress of, at customs, going through 'nothing to declare' despite having something to declare.

Chris Rice
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Re: European Women's Championship 2015

Post by Chris Rice » Mon Jun 01, 2015 7:34 am

Keith's suggestion is fine and was what I was arguing previously that as long as you are being consistent with all the competitors then you can employ such methods.

What happened in this tournament wasn't consistent. 15 women allegedly stirred up by Zhukova (who spookily was 15th seed) and without a single shred of evidence named and shamed Sandu by singling her game out initially in round 6 for the delayed broadcast then nailing a petition to the hotel wall, with a clear implication that she was cheating, for good measure. Couldn't a smear campaign like this be considered cheating?

Mihaela Sandu on social media was thanking people for their support "in the worst time of my life" yesterday. She went on to say "At this moment I am in a terrible state but I want to thank everyone who supported me. This supports means a lot to me and helped me cope with the worst situation I was ever in in my life! I am down right now but I hope to come back one day even stronger."

Clearly some proper process is needed here. Of course the measures against reporting suspicious behaviour can't be so severe that its deters the whistleblowers but it has to be balanced so that we don't get any more repeats of these witch hunts.

NickFaulks
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Re: European Women's Championship 2015

Post by NickFaulks » Mon Jun 01, 2015 8:57 am

LawrenceCooper wrote:
Chris Rice wrote:Complete and utter bloody disgrace the way Mihaela Sandu has been treated.
Their are fifteen names on the petition asking for her games not to be broadcast:

Zhukova Ukraine
Galliamova Russia
Stetsko Belarus
Ziaziulkina Belarus
Bodnaruk Russia
Savina Russia
Belenkaya Russia
Vojinovic Montenegro
Ovod Russia
Melia Georgia
Matveeva Russia
Guseva Russia
Tskhadadze Russia
Ivanova Russia
Kovalevskaya Russia
Half of these names are members of the ACP, who should be taking a lead in dealing with this sort of abuse. Unfortunately, given the penchant of their President for making baseless accusations of cheating, it is more likely that they will offer support to the fifteen.

benedgell
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Re: European Women's Championship 2015

Post by benedgell » Mon Jun 01, 2015 9:46 am

http://www.davidsmerdon.com/?p=1684

I rather liked this article by David Smerdon.

Chris Rice
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Re: European Women's Championship 2015

Post by Chris Rice » Mon Jun 01, 2015 9:58 am

Yes it was well written. That is apart from "It’s a lesson that not only Sandu could learn from, but also the strong Russian GM Igor Kurnosov" considering that Kurnosov was hit and killed by a car on 8 August 2013.

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John Saunders
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Re: European Women's Championship 2015

Post by John Saunders » Mon Jun 01, 2015 12:36 pm

Ian Thompson wrote:
Keith Arkell wrote:I rather like the idea, which I think I first read on GM Artur Kogan's facebook wall, of a condition of acceptance into a tournament being to agree to undergo a search for cheating devices, if randomly chosen to do so.
I think the FIDE Laws permit this already, so there's no need for extra conditions. Law 11.3 b says "The arbiter may require the player to allow his clothes, bags or other items to be inspected, in private". There's nothing in the laws putting conditions on when the arbiter is allowed to do this (e.g. having to have suspicions that something is being concealed), so random searches are OK, as would be more targeted searches (e.g. random amongst players in with a chance of a prize, norm, etc.).
Keith Arkell wrote:With a random search policy in operation, players can have no reason to resent being picked on - in the same way that we don't really mind having our bags thoroughly searched at airport security.
I don't think you can sensibly draw a parallel between security measures taken to prevent mass murder and security measures taken to prevent people cheating at chess.

As has already been pointed out here by others, law 11.3 b is unworkable. I don't think any arbiter or organiser in their right mind would risk implementing the full rigour of this law, which is of course overridden by the law of the land. The idea of random searches is, frankly, ludicrous.

Ray Sayers wrote a very good post here about this general subject a couple of years ago...
Ray Sayers, 2013 wrote:My 2c:

The problem: cheating. Either by someone using a chess engine or communicating with someone who does.

Facilitated by: technology. Once it was just asking a mate for his opinion on a game. Now it is using a 2500+ rated chess engine on a phone in a toilet, for example.

Unfortunately: banning phones won't stop this; it is just a stop-gap. Technology is improving too fast. There are google glasses. There are smart wristwatches. At some point the devices will become so small and easy to hide that searching for them becomes practically impossible.

Solution: Since you can't practically stop people cheating, the penalty for being caught should be stringent. You can't stop people from drinking and driving, but you can ban them from driving when they are caught. So make the penalty for being caught cheating a 2 year ban from competition. People can of course appeal but that should be the penalty.

Chasing the technology is just going to be a waste of time very soon.
Ray is right on all the key issues here. In general, preventative measures are only practicable and affordable for small, closed, elite events where all the players are paid and under contract. For other events, they are unaffordable, unworkable and, in my view, just plain silly. It's only chess, after all, even if a fair bit of money is at stake. A better parallel than the OTT one quoted above is with shoplifting. I suppose shopkeepers could impose something akin to airport security before allowing customers (or "potential shoplifters") into their premises but my guess is they wouldn't get many customers if they permitted themselves to conduct, say, random frisking of customers. Instead, they do as much as they can afford to secure their property and are careful to treat prospective customers with respect. Shoplifting is a fact of life which we all have to live with and keep in perspective. Chess cheating is the same, except that it is rather less important.

What I am not saying is "do nothing". Measures may be taken after a game if solid evidence (and not just a vague suspicion) of cheating is found. But I would suggest that the evidence has to be considerably more concrete than 'Player X played a bit above his/her rating'. What happened in Chakvi was deplorable.
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LawrenceCooper
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Re: European Women's Championship 2015

Post by LawrenceCooper » Mon Jun 01, 2015 2:13 pm

EUROPEAN - ACP INDIVIDUAL WOMEN’S RAPID CHESS CHAMPIONSHIP is now underway in Georgia but given the events of last week I'm struggling to summon up too much enthusiasm.

Pairings, results and rankings are available on Chess-results: http://chess-results.com/tnr173242.aspx ... =30&wi=821 with live games here: http://www.e2e4.ge/public_html/ewrcc/tfd.htm

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Paolo Casaschi
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Re: European Women's Championship 2015

Post by Paolo Casaschi » Mon Jun 01, 2015 2:29 pm

Chris Rice wrote:Clearly some proper process is needed here. Of course the measures against reporting suspicious behaviour can't be so severe that its deters the whistleblowers but it has to be balanced so that we don't get any more repeats of these witch hunts.
I think this is a key point where the recommendations of the anti-cheating commission got things wrong: I believe it's wrong to encourage players to file complaints and reports against other players; it creates an awful environment in chess tournaments, as clearly demonstrated by the recent events. Policing correctness belong to the arbiters/referees; chess players are way too keen creating excuses for a loss and do not need an easy route as "my opponent is obviously cheating (even if I have no idea how)". Whatever is done, it should be done by a third party.

Compare this with football, for example: how much do you think the referee should weight the complain of the defenders that the opponent was diving hoping for a penalty?

LawrenceCooper
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Re: European Women's Championship 2015

Post by LawrenceCooper » Mon Jun 01, 2015 3:14 pm

LawrenceCooper wrote:EUROPEAN - ACP INDIVIDUAL WOMEN’S RAPID CHESS CHAMPIONSHIP is now underway in Georgia but given the events of last week I'm struggling to summon up too much enthusiasm.

Pairings, results and rankings are available on Chess-results: http://chess-results.com/tnr173242.aspx ... =30&wi=821 with live games here: http://www.e2e4.ge/public_html/ewrcc/tfd.htm
3/3 for Ketevan :D

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