Statement made by the B&DCL and DCCA

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Alex Holowczak
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Re: Statement made by the B&DCL and DCCA

Post by Alex Holowczak » Thu Dec 12, 2019 9:28 pm

David Sedgwick wrote:
Thu Dec 12, 2019 8:35 pm
Alex says that "independent organisations in general would rather the ECF bugger off and leave them to it". If such a motion were carried, that would refute that as far as this issue is concerned.
This is one of these wonderful motions that Council enthusiastically votes for, on the basis that it's always easy to vote for someone else to do something.

Based on previous experience of such motions, it would not refute it, because when the Board comes back 6 months later with a formal proposal and Council might well vote against it or defer it for amendments for 6 months, which has happened in the past.

Even if Council votes for it, large swathes of English chess will just ignore it anyway and carry on regardless. After all, almost all of English chess has shown zero appetite to introduce their own policies so far, which they have been perfectly at liberty to do without the ECF Board being involved at all.

Alex McFarlane
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Re: Statement made by the B&DCL and DCCA

Post by Alex McFarlane » Thu Dec 12, 2019 9:39 pm

There is no doubt that cheating is a problem in chess. However, there is not a great deal of it going on relatively speaking. That is not to minimise the problem. However, a significantly greater problem is a player’s concerns that his opponent may be cheating.

Just as smoking has become socially unacceptable, possession of active mobile phones and other devices must go the same way. It is up to all chess players, not just arbiters, to change this culture.

I still regularly get told that “My phone is off, it’s in silent mode” Or “It’s in aircraft mode”. Players should be pulling up each other. Team captains should be reminding their teams. Arbiters do tend to issue reminders. However, I believe, that if the same announcement is made every round it not only loses its impact but players also fail to register other items given after the reminder.

In Scotland there is a Committee to which suspicions of cheating can be reported. It is disappointing that there is nothing similar in England. Local groups could set up something but a cheat should be known much wider than just in his own little area.

If there was such a body then it would be much easier to investigate allegations. I have said in the past it is not too difficult to prove someone is guilty of cheating, it is nearly impossible to prove they are innocent. Once a suspect has been named proof of guilt is impossible to get. Game score analysis may dispel some wrong accusations but can never prove a player innocent or guilty. At best it only increases the likelihood that a player was getting illegal assistance.

If a player, suspected of cheating, is alerted to that fact then if they are guilty they will either (a) stop cheating or (b) stop playing. Neither of these outcomes will provide a deterrent to others. Indeed it might encourage some to cheat in the belief that they will be ‘warned’ before they are caught.
Worse however is if a player is innocent as (b) may still apply and a promising player is lost to the game.

It is generally accepted that a player is not cheating on the grounds of one good tournament. Neither should it be accepted that a player has been cheating elsewhere based on one bad tournament.

Due to the availability of Internet chess, it is also now much easier to appear from nowhere as a relatively strong OTB player.
Although players who have been caught cheating can be young or old, strong or weak the general profile in the British Isles is of a rapidly improving relatively young player. Players in that category are therefore more likely to be suspected.

Catching cheats involves players and arbiters working together but it also involves a certain amount of stealth. In the courses I give arbiters are instructed to make a note of the move numbers when a player is frequently missing from the board. If the subsequent moves have a higher than usual correlation with chess engines then further investigation is necessary. Most issues of Arbiting Matters Too contain an article on cheating. Back issues of these are available on the CAA website.

Stamping out cheating is the responsibility of the chess community.

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Michael Farthing
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Re: Statement made by the B&DCL and DCCA

Post by Michael Farthing » Thu Dec 12, 2019 9:43 pm

Alex Holowczak wrote:
Thu Dec 12, 2019 9:28 pm
Even if Council votes for it, large swathes of English chess will just ignore it anyway and carry on regardless. After all, almost all of English chess has shown zero appetite to introduce their own policies so far, which they have been perfectly at liberty to do without the ECF Board being involved at all.
And perhaps they have no desire to introduce such policies as they have minimal problems and the introduction of preventative measures would destroy the comradely feel of their local activities.

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

Post by Matt Bridgeman » Thu Dec 12, 2019 10:01 pm

I don’t think a wand that floats mysteriously around the Lancaster and Morecambe, and Blackpool and Fylde leagues would be the end of the fun factor Michael. I suppose there’s an element of doing it for greater good of English club chess, rather than having another downside of a silo system.

NickFaulks
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Re: Statement made by the B&DCL and DCCA

Post by NickFaulks » Thu Dec 12, 2019 10:27 pm

NickFaulks wrote:
Thu Dec 12, 2019 9:25 pm
Perhaps I've missed something.
For avoidance of doubt, this was not intended as a sarcastic comment. Perhaps I have missed something, and I shall check tomorrow afternoon. Today other political matters have dominated.

Ian Thompson
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Re: Statement made by the B&DCL and DCCA

Post by Ian Thompson » Fri Dec 13, 2019 12:25 am

Phil Makepeace wrote:
Thu Dec 12, 2019 2:57 pm
Adam Ashton wrote: Doesn't seem like a big ask in those circumstances to spend an hour analysing with a strong player to ensure he is legitimate.
Most of us could tell after ten minutes on the phone.
I'd have thought his stronger clubmates would have a view on this already, assuming he has some interaction with them on match nights and club nights (unless he turns up on match nights only, plays his game and leaves straight away). One of them has signed the letter at the start of this thread so we know what he thinks.

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JustinHorton
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Re: Statement made by the B&DCL and DCCA

Post by JustinHorton » Fri Dec 13, 2019 4:54 am

Alex McFarlane wrote:
Thu Dec 12, 2019 9:39 pm
.

Due to the availability of Internet chess, it is also now much easier to appear from nowhere as a relatively strong OTB player.
How strong is "relatively strong" here?
"Do you play chess?"
"Yes, but I prefer a game with a better chance of cheating."

lostontime.blogspot.com

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

Post by Matt Bridgeman » Fri Dec 13, 2019 6:19 am

Yes, I noticed that too. To my mind a realistic scenario would be a person who say discovers say chess.com and immerses themselves in that for say a year, and then finds they are 140-150 strength at the local chess club. ‘You have a real talent for chess,’ they might say.

If people want to make the internet chess idea fit this current scenario, then it would probably have to be an intense 6 months of playing internet chess followed by arriving at the local chess club and playing like a strong IM. The starting point being not exactly out of nowhere, but a 3 out of 6 performance in February 2019 at one of those beginner unrated junior events most counties run.

Mick Norris
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Re: Statement made by the B&DCL and DCCA

Post by Mick Norris » Fri Dec 13, 2019 8:15 am

Alex McFarlane wrote:
Thu Dec 12, 2019 9:39 pm
There is no doubt that cheating is a problem in chess. However, there is not a great deal of it going on relatively speaking. That is not to minimise the problem. However, a significantly greater problem is a player’s concerns that his opponent may be cheating.

Just as smoking has become socially unacceptable, possession of active mobile phones and other devices must go the same way. It is up to all chess players, not just arbiters, to change this culture.

I still regularly get told that “My phone is off, it’s in silent mode” Or “It’s in aircraft mode”. Players should be pulling up each other. Team captains should be reminding their teams. Arbiters do tend to issue reminders. However, I believe, that if the same announcement is made every round it not only loses its impact but players also fail to register other items given after the reminder.
There's a difference here surely between congresses and leagues; although in the very few 1 day congresses I have played in, there's no way not to have a mobile phone on you, albeit switched off, that's definitely true in league chess

I've never had a perception of likely cheating in rapidplays or blitz though, so will be interesting if that changes
Any postings on here represent my personal views and should not be taken as representative of the Manchester Chess Federation www.manchesterchess.co.uk

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JustinHorton
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Re: Statement made by the B&DCL and DCCA

Post by JustinHorton » Fri Dec 13, 2019 8:27 am

Matt Bridgeman wrote:
Fri Dec 13, 2019 6:19 am
Yes, I noticed that too. To my mind a realistic scenario would be a person who say discovers say chess.com and immerses themselves in that for say a year, and then finds they are 140-150 strength at the local chess club. ‘You have a real talent for chess,’ they might say.
Do we have any real-life examples though
"Do you play chess?"
"Yes, but I prefer a game with a better chance of cheating."

lostontime.blogspot.com

Daniel Gormally
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Re: Statement made by the B&DCL and DCCA

Post by Daniel Gormally » Fri Dec 13, 2019 9:02 am

Matt Bridgeman wrote:
Fri Dec 13, 2019 6:19 am
Yes, I noticed that too. To my mind a realistic scenario would be a person who say discovers say chess.com and immerses themselves in that for say a year, and then finds they are 140-150 strength at the local chess club. ‘You have a real talent for chess,’ they might say.

If people want to make the internet chess idea fit this current scenario, then it would probably have to be an intense 6 months of playing internet chess followed by arriving at the local chess club and playing like a strong IM. The starting point being not exactly out of nowhere, but a 3 out of 6 performance in February 2019 at one of those beginner unrated junior events most counties run.
I don't think it's possible to become "strong I.M." strength without extensive over the board experience, and in classical tournaments as well. I don't know of any situation where it hasn't taken years of graft and playing. The idea that you can do it through playing on chess.com and then going down your club and playing a bit is fantasy land.

Nick Ivell
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Re: Statement made by the B&DCL and DCCA

Post by Nick Ivell » Fri Dec 13, 2019 9:19 am

I repeat: strong players do not emerge like Venus in the Botticelli painting.

All this talk about online stuff is disingenuous. Most of those games have very little value. Absolute garbage, in fact.

I return to Bob Beamon. Yes, his jump defied belief. But he was known as a strong, if inconsistent performer. Clearly helped by the Mexican altitude too.

This thread is the most important to appear on these boards for many years. We stand at a crossroads. I don't want to end up with the situation we had in cycling a few years ago, where almost every great performance was regarded with suspicion.

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Statement made by the B&DCL and DCCA

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Fri Dec 13, 2019 10:37 am

I did play an ungraded player in round 1 of a tournament 2 or 3 years ago, who played really well initially, maybe getting worse in the ending, but still doing well enough to draw. This was his first proper game, (he was struggling with the notation) but he said he had been playing online a lot. He fell away later in the tournament, but he probably played 130-140 against me. None of his behaviour was suspicious. I don't know if he has played much since. So his first appearance was not spectacular, but it was a good start.

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JustinHorton
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Re: Statement made by the B&DCL and DCCA

Post by JustinHorton » Fri Dec 13, 2019 10:41 am

Out of interest, how old was your opponent?
"Do you play chess?"
"Yes, but I prefer a game with a better chance of cheating."

lostontime.blogspot.com

Joseph Conlon
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Re: Statement made by the B&DCL and DCCA

Post by Joseph Conlon » Fri Dec 13, 2019 11:05 am

A few months ago, playing my first tournament for almost a decade and so having no current grade, I was hoping to be listed as grade 0 / ungraded to lull opponents into false complacency (my brother-in-law playing in the same tournament was in a similar situation).

Unfortunately the tournament organiser was wise in the ways of the world and instead gave us estimated grades that put me as third seed and him as first seed, restoring the pressure to consistently duff up 150s.

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