Statement made by the B&DCL and DCCA

National developments, strategies and ideas.
Roger Lancaster
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Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2015 2:44 pm

Re: Statement made by the B&DCL and DCCA

Post by Roger Lancaster » Sat Dec 14, 2019 7:30 pm

Daniel Gormally wrote:
Sat Dec 14, 2019 6:48 pm
Roger Lancaster wrote:
Sat Dec 14, 2019 5:03 pm
It has been mentioned elsewhere that, where someone plays club chess, his or her clubmates are - unless the person in question completely refuses to engage in dialogue with them, which would itself probably be seen as strange behaviour - generally in a good position to make a decent assessment of that individual's level of chess expertise. Answers to questions such as "What did you have planned if your opponent did so-and-so instead?" tend to be illuminating.

In the Dorset example, the individual in question plays club chess. Nevertheless three decent chessplayers [the signatories to the B&DCL/DCCA statement are, or were, all around the ECF180 mark] are all prepared to go out on a limb and say that, to the best of their knowledge, everything is above board. The trio in question, even if not clubmates of the person in question, will undoubtedly know other competent players who are. They must also know that they will be ridiculed if proved wrong. In my view, that should be given rather more weight in this thread than hitherto.

But how do you know if they've had any contact with him. Maybe they're just proud of the fact they've got a good junior.

I mean I wouldn't personally put any store into anyone defending an alleged cheat, I don't think these people know anything more than anyone else. When Rausis was accused plenty of people came out and defended him, some of whom played with him in leagues or knew him through the chess circuit and swore he wouldn't do anything like that. Ultimately either the person is cheating or not, what I or anyone else has to say about it is largely irrelevant.

What I can't get by is when someone matches up highly with an engine and over so many moves. In my experience, I can't see how, in such a situation there's a scenario where a player isn't cheating. That's why I was so sure with Rausis. I just don't think you can play like that and be legitimate, unless you are talking about the super grandmaster level, and even those guys make mistakes from time to time.
I don't know that they have had any contact with him but I do know that they would be unwise in the extreme to issue their statement unless they were confident as to its accuracy. I take your point, and I'm no fonder of cheats than you are, but if these three guys have first-hand knowledge then - while I acknowledge that they might be proved wrong - I don't feel their opinion should be dismissed out of hand.

Andy Stoker
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Re: Statement made by the B&DCL and DCCA

Post by Andy Stoker » Sat Dec 14, 2019 7:55 pm

I think there is a significant safeguarding issue naming and discussing in this way someone who is under 16. Whilst I recognise that individual comments have been proscribed, I wonder if the whole thread should be taken down.

I recognise that the comments on this thread do not seem to be addressed by the ECF Safeguarding Policy (https://www.englishchess.org.uk/safegua ... en-policy/) - I also recognise that this is a topic of significant interest - but it still feels wrong to me

Matt Bridgeman
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Re: Statement made by the B&DCL and DCCA

Post by Matt Bridgeman » Sat Dec 14, 2019 8:08 pm

Perhaps either everyone could go back into their posts and remove names? Or at least Dorset Chess could make sure they have a screenshot of everything before its considered for removal, as there is a lot of relevant information contained in these two threads.

Daniel Gormally
Posts: 128
Joined: Wed Dec 11, 2019 6:41 pm

Re: Statement made by the B&DCL and DCCA

Post by Daniel Gormally » Sat Dec 14, 2019 8:27 pm

Roger Lancaster wrote:
Sat Dec 14, 2019 7:30 pm
Daniel Gormally wrote:
Sat Dec 14, 2019 6:48 pm
Roger Lancaster wrote:
Sat Dec 14, 2019 5:03 pm
It has been mentioned elsewhere that, where someone plays club chess, his or her clubmates are - unless the person in question completely refuses to engage in dialogue with them, which would itself probably be seen as strange behaviour - generally in a good position to make a decent assessment of that individual's level of chess expertise. Answers to questions such as "What did you have planned if your opponent did so-and-so instead?" tend to be illuminating.

In the Dorset example, the individual in question plays club chess. Nevertheless three decent chessplayers [the signatories to the B&DCL/DCCA statement are, or were, all around the ECF180 mark] are all prepared to go out on a limb and say that, to the best of their knowledge, everything is above board. The trio in question, even if not clubmates of the person in question, will undoubtedly know other competent players who are. They must also know that they will be ridiculed if proved wrong. In my view, that should be given rather more weight in this thread than hitherto.

But how do you know if they've had any contact with him. Maybe they're just proud of the fact they've got a good junior.

I mean I wouldn't personally put any store into anyone defending an alleged cheat, I don't think these people know anything more than anyone else. When Rausis was accused plenty of people came out and defended him, some of whom played with him in leagues or knew him through the chess circuit and swore he wouldn't do anything like that. Ultimately either the person is cheating or not, what I or anyone else has to say about it is largely irrelevant.

What I can't get by is when someone matches up highly with an engine and over so many moves. In my experience, I can't see how, in such a situation there's a scenario where a player isn't cheating. That's why I was so sure with Rausis. I just don't think you can play like that and be legitimate, unless you are talking about the super grandmaster level, and even those guys make mistakes from time to time.
I don't know that they have had any contact with him but I do know that they would be unwise in the extreme to issue their statement unless they were confident as to its accuracy. I take your point, and I'm no fonder of cheats than you are, but if these three guys have first-hand knowledge then - while I acknowledge that they might be proved wrong - I don't feel their opinion should be dismissed out of hand.
But at the end of the statement they write " For our part we shall continue to keep a watching brief without jumping to conclusions and suggest others do the same."

Which rather suggests they are not completely sure he is on the level either...

anyway as others have suggested enough has been said on the matter. Perhaps it's best not to speculate and just see how this one plays out. In my experience if people are cheating (and I hope he is not) then these characters tend to get caught in the act sooner rather than later.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Statement made by the B&DCL and DCCA

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sat Dec 14, 2019 8:33 pm

Matt Bridgeman wrote:
Sat Dec 14, 2019 5:45 pm
If an entirely new English player won a high profile English event, perhaps at the expense of a number of the top English Grandmasters - How would the mainstream media and chess media cover the story?
I'm not sure the mainstream media would notice unless there was some other angle. In practice the chess media tends to spot new talent quite rapidly. Sometimes the new talent draws attention to itself by beating IM chess correspondents at the age of 10 or whatever. (That was Gawain Jones many years ago)

Matthew Turner
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Joined: Fri May 16, 2008 11:54 am

Re: Statement made by the B&DCL and DCCA

Post by Matthew Turner » Sat Dec 14, 2019 9:13 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Sat Dec 14, 2019 8:33 pm
Matt Bridgeman wrote:
Sat Dec 14, 2019 5:45 pm
If an entirely new English player won a high profile English event, perhaps at the expense of a number of the top English Grandmasters - How would the mainstream media and chess media cover the story?
I'm not sure the mainstream media would notice unless there was some other angle. In practice the chess media tends to spot new talent quite rapidly. Sometimes the new talent draws attention to itself by beating IM chess correspondents at the age of 10 or whatever. (That was Gawain Jones many years ago)
Newspapers cannot afford to employ (m)any proper journalists, so most stories are just picked up from social media. If a Chess story attracted enough social media interest then it would be picked up by the ‘mainstream’ media.

Roger de Coverly
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Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:51 pm

Re: Statement made by the B&DCL and DCCA

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sun Dec 15, 2019 12:35 am

Daniel Gormally wrote:
Sat Dec 14, 2019 6:48 pm
What I can't get by is when someone matches up highly with an engine and over so many moves. In my experience, I can't see how, in such a situation there's a scenario where a player isn't cheating.
I think there can be a reasonable supposition that published analysis has at the very least been engine checked.

So someone with a decent memory who can reproduce book analysis is likely to be following engine recommendations. It could even be their own or their coach's private work.

That's why I believe you have to establish the cheating method as well to justify accusations. Consulting a device in private is an obvious method, but not so easy in OTB chess given the need to be absent from the board. Having a collaborator to do the analysis is also possible, but does require a method of transmitting positions and moves between the two. The most difficult to implement would on the face of it be the solo approach. In principle then, there's a concealed device and some mechanism of telling it the moves or current position and getting back its suggestions for the right move to play.

One of the earliest examples of suspected concealed devices was back in 1993
https://en.chessbase.com/post/a-history ... g-in-che-2
In the gambling world, devices for card counting, regarded as cheating by casinos go back that far as well.

Matt Bridgeman
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Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2016 9:21 pm

Re: Statement made by the B&DCL and DCCA

Post by Matt Bridgeman » Sun Dec 15, 2019 12:48 am

Bringing Down the House. A really entertaining book by Ben Mezrich, if a less successful film. I’d say absolutely an inspiration to countless cheats in the gaming world. The casinos didn’t know what hit them for a long time.

Daniel Gormally
Posts: 128
Joined: Wed Dec 11, 2019 6:41 pm

Re: Statement made by the B&DCL and DCCA

Post by Daniel Gormally » Sun Dec 15, 2019 9:24 am

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Sun Dec 15, 2019 12:35 am
Daniel Gormally wrote:
Sat Dec 14, 2019 6:48 pm
What I can't get by is when someone matches up highly with an engine and over so many moves. In my experience, I can't see how, in such a situation there's a scenario where a player isn't cheating.
I think there can be a reasonable supposition that published analysis has at the very least been engine checked.

So someone with a decent memory who can reproduce book analysis is likely to be following engine recommendations. It could even be their own or their coach's private work.

But that's reproducing theory, which in itself is quite difficult to that level without an exceptional memory (I routinely forget even basic stuff in the opening, which is a sign of impending old age I guess :roll: )

What we're talking about here is engine accuracy deep into the middlegame, and in complex positions at that, hitting the top engine move so many times to me just doesn't fit in with someone who's on the level. I'll be happy to be proved wrong otherwise, but I won't be. Not unless said person is a being from another dimension (even bobby fischer wasn't that accurate.)

Matt Bridgeman
Posts: 434
Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2016 9:21 pm

Re: Statement made by the B&DCL and DCCA

Post by Matt Bridgeman » Sun Dec 15, 2019 10:15 am

And I suppose the level of reasonable suspicion is raised when a player plays say a very long sequence of engine accurate moves more or less in time with the speed the engine might produce them. Granted I’m a patzer, but in my mind for an expert human to have a chance to produce a long sequence of engine happy moves I’m guessing they would have to reach deep down into their soul (metaphorically) and use every ounce of time on their clock and probably end up surviving on increment with their accuracy then going to pot.

As an aside Danny, as a GM who is playing very well at the moment, after say the opening phase how many moves would you say you produce in a row that are the computers first or second choice on average?

Roger Lancaster
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Re: Statement made by the B&DCL and DCCA

Post by Roger Lancaster » Sun Dec 15, 2019 11:07 am

Perhaps I could redefine this issue - although I feel it more appropriately dealt with under the separate ‘Cheating in chess’ thread - along the following lines.

Highly improbable events do take place. Very occasionally, a child is born who goes on to be Prime Minister - the odds against this are stupendous but, for obvious reasons, we don’t believe [even if that child has a pre-booked place at Eton!] that any cheating is involved. However, a closer analogy applies with, for example, the National Lottery.

The odds against winning the lottery with a single ticket are many millions to one against - the sort of odds which would pass the test of “beyond reasonable doubt” in a criminal Court. Statistically, that’s likely to be broadly comparable to the odds against a talented but unknown player finding the best moves time after time in a game of chess.

So, if both these events are statistically highly unlikely, why do we speculate that the second [chess] scenario might involve cheating but not the first? I would venture to suggest that it’s because we then set the statistics to one side and say, in the case of the lottery, “It ain’t possible”, while accepting that it might well be possible in the case of chess.

To test this out, let’s take a purely hypothetical scenario which one hopes will never happen in practice. It comes to light that it is possible to “fix” the lottery. Once news of this emerges, past lottery winners - who had previously not come under suspicion - would likely be viewed as possible cheats. The change in attitude arises simply because an answer has emerged to the key question, “How?”.

We’ve all seen the low-tech Rausis-type methodology but something more sophisticated would be needed to affect the result of an inter-club match in a venue where there’s no real possibility of spectator assistance [it would be too obvious] and, quite possibly, even mobile phones have poor-quality connectivity. While I hope I take on board Danny Gormally’s points, which seem to me entirely reasonable, it seems to me that they still leave unanswered the key “how” question.

Matt Bridgeman
Posts: 434
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Re: Statement made by the B&DCL and DCCA

Post by Matt Bridgeman » Sun Dec 15, 2019 11:33 am

Maybe it’s time for another Chessbase article showing a couple of experimental ideas in practice. It’s a full 4 and a half years since Grandmaster Vladislav Tkachiev wrote his and technology has moved on again. It would certainly be a popular article to read and probably quite eye opening.

Matthew Turner
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Joined: Fri May 16, 2008 11:54 am

Re: Statement made by the B&DCL and DCCA

Post by Matthew Turner » Sun Dec 15, 2019 11:49 am

Matt Bridgeman wrote:
Sun Dec 15, 2019 10:15 am
As an aside Danny, as a GM who is playing very well at the moment, after say the opening phase how many moves would you say you produce in a row that are the computers first or second choice on average?
It all depends on the position doesn’t it
Put a white king on e1, a pawn on e2 and a Black king on e8. Any GM would would get pretty much a 100% match with the king and pawn. Now let’s say they promote to a Rook, we’d probably see the matching rate go down to 50%, but who cares they would still win. Understanding how and when rates match is part of catching cheats.

Daniel Gormally
Posts: 128
Joined: Wed Dec 11, 2019 6:41 pm

Re: Statement made by the B&DCL and DCCA

Post by Daniel Gormally » Sun Dec 15, 2019 11:53 am

Matt Bridgeman wrote:
Sun Dec 15, 2019 10:15 am
And I suppose the level of reasonable suspicion is raised when a player plays say a very long sequence of engine accurate moves more or less in time with the speed the engine might produce them. Granted I’m a patzer, but in my mind for an expert human to have a chance to produce a long sequence of engine happy moves I’m guessing they would have to reach deep down into their soul (metaphorically) and use every ounce of time on their clock and probably end up surviving on increment with their accuracy then going to pot.

As an aside Danny, as a GM who is playing very well at the moment, after say the opening phase how many moves would you say you produce in a row that are the computers first or second choice on average?
No idea mate. A lot of it depends on the position and how well I'm playing at a particular time. If it's very complex, then I probably don't match with the engine particularly well. But if it's an endgame where the plan is clear, I'm probably matching with the engine a lot. Also time trouble is an issue. It goes against common sense to believe that someone is capable of matching the engine using very little time, because in fact the opposite is true, human accuracy goes down a huge amount if time is restricted, which has been proven time and time again.

Daniel Gormally
Posts: 128
Joined: Wed Dec 11, 2019 6:41 pm

Re: Statement made by the B&DCL and DCCA

Post by Daniel Gormally » Sun Dec 15, 2019 11:53 am

Matthew Turner wrote:
Sun Dec 15, 2019 11:49 am
Matt Bridgeman wrote:
Sun Dec 15, 2019 10:15 am
As an aside Danny, as a GM who is playing very well at the moment, after say the opening phase how many moves would you say you produce in a row that are the computers first or second choice on average?
It all depends on the position doesn’t it
Put a white king on e1, a pawn on e2 and a Black king on e8. Any GM would would get pretty much a 100% match with the king and pawn. Now let’s say they promote to a Rook, we’d probably see the matching rate go down to 50%, but who cares they would still win. Understanding how and when rates match is part of catching cheats.
Snap! :wink:

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