European Women's Championship 2015

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

Post by Barry Sandercock » Mon Jun 01, 2015 3:23 pm

Ketevan's win in round 3 today of the Rapidplay was in a position which looks even. Maybe she won on time ?

Keith Arkell
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Re: European Women's Championship 2015

Post by Keith Arkell » Mon Jun 01, 2015 4:55 pm

John Saunders wrote:
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.

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: 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.
I used the airport security analogy to make a point which has nothing to do with the seriousness of the crime being prevented, viz, that if you know that you have been randomly singled out to be searched, rather than, eg, because you look guilty, then you can't claim that you are being victimised. Similarly, Ray Sayers made an analogy with drinking and driving, and it is, again, incidental to his point that drink driving is a far more serious crime than cheating at a game.

Re ' The idea of random searches is, frankly, ludicrous', I'd say less ludicrous than random drug testing, which , as far as I'm aware, is current FIDE policy!

Ian Thompson
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Re: European Women's Championship 2015

Post by Ian Thompson » Mon Jun 01, 2015 5:49 pm

John Saunders wrote: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.
It's quite common for larger shops to have security devices on their goods and detectors at the shop's exit. They don't just secure high value items; it's also low value, small items which they presumably think are at high risk of theft. It doesn't seem to deter people from going in the shop, even though the alarms are sometimes triggered incorrectly (e.g. my work pass has set them off before). If the alarm does go off, the security staff ask to search you, and you refuse, what happens next?

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John Saunders
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Re: European Women's Championship 2015

Post by John Saunders » Mon Jun 01, 2015 7:15 pm

I acknowledged the fact that chess cheating is rather less important than shoplifting when I wrote...
John Saunders wrote: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.
And chess cheating is not a 'crime', either, unless one can interpret it as attempted fraud. The main point is that there is unlikely to be a workable and affordable up-front solution to prevent people cheating. (Game analysis software can do the job after the event - maybe.) A secondary important point is that most chess is played by amateurs who are the customers of tournaments, and I venture to suggest that most people don't shell out money to play in chess tournaments for the privilege of being frisked by an arbiter, at the behest of some paranoid twit who thinks they might be cheating. Or to have their children treated similarly. Such a procedure would be utterly humiliating and stupid. Chess simply isn't important enough to be worth putting anyone through that sort of nonsense. It is punishing the many innocents in a misguided attempt to nab a handful of the guilty.

The whole anti-cheating edifice has grown out of all proportion, mainly because FIDE would insist on inserting their ludicrous mobile phone wording into the laws in the first place. The only sensible solution is to remove it all and replace it with nothing, leaving just the old, straightforward law which governs misconduct generally. A few cheats might get away with a few quid, here and there. So what?
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Roger de Coverly
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Re: European Women's Championship 2015

Post by Roger de Coverly » Tue Jun 02, 2015 12:11 am

John Saunders wrote: The whole anti-cheating edifice has grown out of all proportion, mainly because FIDE would insist on inserting their ludicrous mobile phone wording into the laws in the first place.
The laws of over the board chess have always prohibited external consultation. This included asking your higher rated friend and looking up the theory at the bookstall. You also want to be above suspicion, so a rule that says that mobile phones and other devices including personal computers should be switched off before the game starts and remain switched off for the whole game is an obvious standard. It's complicated a bit in amateur play that a mobile phone might inadvertently be left switched on, this can be countered by an easement that requires it to be switched off even if it does ring or beep.

British arbiters appear to have adopted the pragmatic view that a jacket pocket qualifies as a bag. The risk assessment has to be that a switched off phone or other device which is not removed from the playing area isn't a danger that it might be consulted during a game.

It still leaves open the question as to what you do about those who come tooled up to cheat. The Indian with the phones taped to his legs qualifies, as does the Georgian who secreted his mobile in the cubicle.

NickFaulks
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Re: European Women's Championship 2015

Post by NickFaulks » Tue Jun 02, 2015 12:38 am

John Saunders wrote:The only sensible solution is to remove it all and replace it with nothing.... A few cheats might get away with a few quid, here and there. So what?
I give up.

Chris Rice
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Re: European Women's Championship 2015

Post by Chris Rice » Tue Jun 02, 2015 4:03 am

A Simon Williams article 'Cheating and Witch Hunts' on Ginger GM which brings all these points together. http://www.gingergm.com/blog/2015-06-01 ... itch-hunts

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John Saunders
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Re: European Women's Championship 2015

Post by John Saunders » Tue Jun 02, 2015 7:16 am

Simon's piece is pretty sensible. He mentions random searches but it becomes clear from his subsequent text that he is taking the mickey. He agrees with the point that there is not much to be done up-front if someone is determined enough to cheat. Prevention would be good if it were practical, but it isn't, so we are left with detection after the event.

I agree with what Roger has written. Of course, mobile phones and other gadgets must be switched off during play but it is better for this sort of detail to be regulated locally, via competition rules and arbiter decisions. This really shouldn't be hard-coded into the laws of chess. It seems to be a power thing: FIDE wants to flex its muscles and exercise its power over the whole world, but when local amendments are forced to be made, in order to make chess workable in situations that FIDE hasn't thought about or doesn't care about, it just serves to make them look weaker. I suppose there might be a standardisation argument in an ideal world, but when FIDE have proved themselves time and time again to be incompetent legislators, they really might as well not bother. Nick's earlier point about the indiscretions of one of the leading anti-cheating people only underlines the point.
Paolo Casaschi wrote:... 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.
Another very good point from Paolo. I've been ploughing through these recommendations and am not impressed. The guidelines go off the rails almost immediately:
Anti-Cheating Guidelines wrote:The ACC recognizes that computer-assisted cheating poses a major perceived threat to the integrity
and credibility of chess, and that immediate action is required to adjust the existing Laws of Chess and Regulations accordingly.
I'm far from convinced that the first part of the sentence leads inexorably into the second. Why is it axiomatic that the laws of chess must be changed? As a former civil servant, I can see Sir Humphrey at work here. Possibly as the result of something embarrassing in the press, someone in authority decides that "something must be done", so he sets up a committee. The committee is saddled with the immediate psychological problem that all committees face: it needs to show it is doing something. If, in examining the problem, it discovers that it is actually not nearly so big or pressing a problem as everybody seems to think, or that it would cost £10m to address the problem which is only costing £1m in the first place, it finds itself in a quandary. To go back and say it recommends little or no action risks embarrassing the top brass, who meanwhile have been harrumphing self-importantly about what a terrible problem it is. So what does the committee do? They recommend doing something, which is more than likely to be unworkable and pointlessly expensive.

I'm not sure there is as big a problem here as everybody seems to think. Stories of computer cheating may excite the general media when some misguided player decides to exaggerate it, but we shouldn't overreact to that. I think Paolo has hit the nail on the head: the very fact that we're talking so much about electronic cheating, and FIDE are setting up commissions to investigate it, has created a paranoid climate in which overwrought players may be prone to making ridiculous allegations such as the one in Chakvi. We should all just calm down, play chess and try not to imagine that our opponents are cheating.
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Paolo Casaschi
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Re: European Women's Championship 2015

Post by Paolo Casaschi » Tue Jun 02, 2015 10:00 am

I agree very much with John's comment (especially when he's saying I'm right :-)), even if downplaying the cheating issue seems very unpopular at the moment.
John Saunders wrote:Of course, mobile phones and other gadgets must be switched off during play
Just a reminder, the rule about switching off mobile phones was originally intended against the disturbance of a mobile ringing with a loud ta-da-da-ta-ta while you were trying to think about an unknown opening gambit that appeared on your board; hence the much required draconian rule: if your phone rings you lose the game; the cheating issue came only later and only later the restriction was added not to have a mobile phone on you and so on.

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John Saunders
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Re: European Women's Championship 2015

Post by John Saunders » Tue Jun 02, 2015 10:25 am

Paolo Casaschi wrote:I agree very much with John's comment (especially when he's saying I'm right :-)), even if downplaying the cheating issue seems very unpopular at the moment.
John Saunders wrote:Of course, mobile phones and other gadgets must be switched off during play
Just a reminder, the rule about switching off mobile phones was originally intended against the disturbance of a mobile ringing with a loud ta-da-da-ta-ta while you were trying to think about an unknown opening gambit that appeared on your board; hence the much required draconian rule: if your phone rings you lose the game; the cheating issue came only later and only later the restriction was added not to have a mobile phone on you and so on.
Just to prove that I don't agree with everything you say, Paolo...

I'm against the draconian loss-of-game rule for mobile phone rings for psychological reasons. If there is no penalty, everyone just glares in the direction of the offender, or maybe the guy next to him tells him to turn his phone off. Mild public embarrassment usually does the trick. Incident over and everyone can get back to their games. But when there is a Draconian penalty, the disturbance is massively increased because a public humiliation is about to happen. Heads start swivelling like rubber-neckers at a traffic accident; maybe everyone starts glaring at the wrong guy, who has to look imploringly back as if to say "it wasn't my phone!", etc, etc. The arbiter comes over and all eyes are drawn to the execution. Massive disturbance!

Obviously, for repeat offenders in such circumstances I take a different view. Capital punishment...
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NickFaulks
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Re: European Women's Championship 2015

Post by NickFaulks » Tue Jun 02, 2015 10:31 am

John Saunders wrote: I'm not sure there is as big a problem here as everybody seems to think.
The trouble is, we don't know. I understand that FIDE were only pushed into doing something, rather late in the day in my view, when some really top GMs, who would I think be accepted by everyone here as very sensible people, expressed the view that it might be only a matter of time before it overwhelmed their profession.

I have just found this, from March.

http://en.chessbase.com/post/tkachiev-h ... r-in-chess

You will be relieved to hear that Tkachiev is not one of the sensible people I mentioned above, but he appears to have performed a valuable experiment. It can be done.

Theoretically, the Anti-Cheating Commission is very hot on false allegations. One of their more controversial ideas is that if a player says anything to an arbiter about suspicious behaviour by another player, they should be required to sign a statement and suffer consequences if it is considered to be malicious. In one way this is good, but it could well have the effect of making players very reluctant to say anything, even when they have genuine concerns.

Were the fifteen players in this case making an allegation? I think they were. I really hope that ACC considers this case and at least makes some definitive statement. Unlike Ethics, they can move fast and should do so. One problem is that from where I sit ( not at the table any more! ) they appear to be heavily influenced by the ACP, whose attitude to such accusations is, to be kind, ambivalent. Their motto is "Injustice done to one is a threat to all". We shall see.

Live transmission of games. Either it assists cheating or it doesn't. If it doesn't, let's stop talking about it. If it does, let's stop doing it. Using it as a stick to beat individual players is not the way to go.

Cellphones ( yawn ). If my opponent has a cellphone sitting on the table I probably don't care whether it is turned on or off ( unless it rings, which is an entirely different matter - that would be a strange way to cheat ). If he walks out of the room with the thing in his pocket I definitely don't care whether it is on or off, because I presume he knows how to turn it on.

David Sedgwick
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Re: European Women's Championship 2015

Post by David Sedgwick » Tue Jun 02, 2015 10:55 am

NickFaulks wrote: I have just found this, from March.

http://en.chessbase.com/post/tkachiev-h ... r-in-chess
The article is dated 5/13/2015, or 13th May in English.

NickFaulks
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Re: European Women's Championship 2015

Post by NickFaulks » Tue Jun 02, 2015 10:57 am

I'm more on the ball than I thought!

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Paolo Casaschi
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Re: European Women's Championship 2015

Post by Paolo Casaschi » Tue Jun 02, 2015 10:58 am

NickFaulks wrote:The trouble is, we don't know. I understand that FIDE were only pushed into doing something, rather late in the day in my view, when some really top GMs, who would I think be accepted by everyone here as very sensible people, expressed the view that it might be only a matter of time before it overwhelmed their profession.
If this is the fundamental issue, here is a wild idea: I would not mind if the anti-cheating measures were applied only to titled players (hence capturing all semi-professional and above), leaving the rest of up patzers to enjoy the game. And now you can have those rules as strict as you like. It would be the same as the zero-tolerance rule: I completely agree it makes sense in top competitions, with sponsors, dignitaries and the press lined up... but it does not make any sense for my games at the LCC open.

PS: acting erratically and jumping guns just because *we do not know* does not sound a good idea; it's debatable when very serious issues are at stake like terrorist threats, but for chess games it is really hard to accept.

PS: by any chance, was Mamedyarov one of those top GMs?
Last edited by Paolo Casaschi on Tue Jun 02, 2015 11:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

NickFaulks
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Re: European Women's Championship 2015

Post by NickFaulks » Tue Jun 02, 2015 11:04 am

Paolo Casaschi wrote:
PS: by any chance, was Mamedyarov one of those top GMs?
No, I was being serious.

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