Cheating in chess

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NickFaulks
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Re: Cheating in chess

Post by NickFaulks » Sun Jul 12, 2020 7:32 pm

JustinHorton wrote:
Sun Jul 12, 2020 3:37 pm
I am really not sure why you say so, unless we're neglecting the question of false accusations.
You are surely familiar with the concept of acceptable collateral damage.
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Jacques Parry
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Re: Cheating in chess

Post by Jacques Parry » Sun Jul 12, 2020 8:10 pm

Adam Raoof wrote:
Sun Jul 12, 2020 1:51 pm
The bottom line is - it is easy to catch people who use assistance
How do you know that it's easy to catch them, when you don't know how many of them there are?
JustinHorton wrote:
Sun Jul 12, 2020 3:37 pm
Adam Raoof wrote:
Sun Jul 12, 2020 1:51 pm
I have seen juniors doing this for money (which is a criminal act)
We've gone over this a few times on here, including on this thread, and while this may be true, it's not so easy to demonstrate so.
As previously discussed, there is no doubt that doing it for money is criminal, at least in England. Or do you mean it's not clear that any juniors do it for money?

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JustinHorton
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Re: Cheating in chess

Post by JustinHorton » Sun Jul 12, 2020 8:13 pm

You're a lawyer and I'm not, Jacques, but do we have any relevant precedent here?
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"Yes, but I prefer a game with a better chance of cheating."

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David Robertson
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Re: Cheating in chess

Post by David Robertson » Sun Jul 12, 2020 9:45 pm

Matt Bridgeman wrote:
Sun Jul 12, 2020 1:28 pm
One of the leaders after 3 rounds of the 4NCL Online Congress did not make it to round 4.
Just the one, eh? I've played through a number of those games. And I'm saying nothing. Absolutely nothing :roll:

Ian Thompson
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Re: Cheating in chess

Post by Ian Thompson » Sun Jul 12, 2020 10:49 pm

Matt Bridgeman wrote:
Sun Jul 12, 2020 1:28 pm
One of the leaders after 3 rounds of the 4NCL Online Congress did not make it to round 4.
... and has now closed their lichess account (assuming there's only one person who was on 3/3 and didn't play in rounds 4 or 5).
Last edited by Carl Hibbard on Mon Jul 13, 2020 7:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Handle to a Junior removed.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Cheating in chess

Post by Roger de Coverly » Mon Jul 13, 2020 1:02 am

Ian Thompson wrote:
Sun Jul 12, 2020 10:49 pm
... and has now closed their lichess account (assuming there's only one person who was on 3/3 and didn't play in rounds 4 or 5).
The chess-results software presents the finishing orders by points scored and pre-tournament rating.

Are those finishing well above their pre-tournament expectation to be congratulated on their achievement or investigated as potential recipients of external advice?

If those rumoured to have been fingered as engine users by lichess come from the same part of the world or even the same chess club, is that coincidence or something more dubious?
Last edited by Carl Hibbard on Mon Jul 13, 2020 7:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Handle to a Junior removed.

Pete Heaven
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Re: Cheating in chess

Post by Pete Heaven » Mon Jul 13, 2020 3:25 am

I was very interested to see how the 4NCL Congress compared with the 4NCL league in terms of 'high-quality' chess, I have to say I'm even more disappointed after this weekend than I was at the end of the league.

In terms of accounts being closed before, during and after the tournament, (at least) 2 players had accounts closed just before (and set up new ones), two lost accounts during the event and one afterwards. Of course, this could be for any reason. Only one of the three who had their accounts closed in the past 48 hours would have been in my top 20.

As to Roger's point about congratulating players performing above expectation, one beat 3 players over 40 ECF points higher and another scored 2.5. That must be quite rare in one event.

Of the 52 players who completed the Open I would like to congratulate those who used no engine assistance, despite the temptation. That's at least 15 people. And to all those who displayed a form of advanced chess that can only be marvelled at - that's at least 20. Not sure about the remaining 17...somewhere in the middle, and analysing 125 games with 3 engines over several hours ,i would hate to jump to conclusions in the middle of the night but there was some mighty fine chess played by many of these.

And congratulations to me on predicting the winner of the Major, well one of the joint winners. That wasn't hard though.

I only post this, on the back of a couple of other posts in the same vein, to emphasise what I believe is the futility of long play online chess, unless the result is of little importance to you. Relying on software, whether lichess's or Prof Regan's, to catch 'advanced' players at 45+15, will have limited success.

I think I've made my point. I will retire from such posts until the next OTB wunderkind appears.

Richard Bates
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Re: Cheating in chess

Post by Richard Bates » Mon Jul 13, 2020 7:37 am

Are people seriously of the view that juniors (in particular) performing several hundred points above their “official” rating, and not often when not even doing so consistently enough to win every game, is prima facie evidence of cheating (when zeroing in on individual cases)? Because that’s ridiculous. When it happens in over the board chess, all we hear is complaints about “under-rated juniors”, but now there’s another potential explanation ...well they must all be at it.

I reckon some people might get a shock at how much advance some juniors may have made if and when OTB chess resumes. I’m quite sure that the Coronavirus lockdown may have accelerated progress for some by many months if not years, as freed from the shackles of school and with other distractions ruled out, some may have actually spent the time “productively”.

There is probably no doubt that the statistics when looked at in the generality can give no other conclusion than that there is a level of cheating going on in online chess. Of course it is - the temptation for some, combined with the opportunity is too great. But in the specific, and based on variance from presumed strength - I wouldn’t draw any conclusions, especially where juniors or newish players are involved.

One of the UK’s best 10 year olds beats 3 players 40pts higher than them and loses to a couple of others? I’m calling “improvement” over “cheating” every time unless given solid evidence to the contrary. Lucky the players who played in the open and were therefore fortunate enough not to risk getting 100%.

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Carl Hibbard
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Re: Cheating in chess

Post by Carl Hibbard » Mon Jul 13, 2020 7:59 am

A couple of references to the juniors handle were removed.
Cheers
Carl Hibbard

Nick Burrows
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Re: Cheating in chess

Post by Nick Burrows » Mon Jul 13, 2020 8:02 am

I played in round 1 on Friday evening. I recently had an operation and have been taking Codeine all week, which makes you somewhat drowsy. I almost withdrew, but thought I would play round 1 and see how it went.
I was paired with Derek Simpson who is 130ecf / 1630 Fide. I proceeded to reach a +5 position, but was struggling to calculate clearly and using too much time. At a certain point I was aware that he was making very good moves, he reversed his disadvantage and beat me. I then withdrew from the tournament, blaming my poor play on the Codeine.

After reading Pete's post above, I decided to go back and analyse my game to check my opponents moves. Upon opening Lichess, I was informed I had lost to a cheater and Dereks account has been closed. He had a 2280 rating performance - 600 points above his rating. Not bad! Afterwards he said - "I was so lucky" Yeah right!


NickFaulks
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Re: Cheating in chess

Post by NickFaulks » Mon Jul 13, 2020 8:52 am

Richard Bates wrote:
Mon Jul 13, 2020 7:37 am
Are people seriously of the view that juniors (in particular) performing several hundred points above their “official” rating, and not often when not even doing so consistently enough to win every game, is prima facie evidence of cheating (when zeroing in on individual cases)? Because that’s ridiculous. When it happens in over the board chess, all we hear is complaints about “under-rated juniors”, but now there’s another potential explanation ...well they must all be at it.
Absolutely right, Richard, but not an attitude that will make you many friends in the current environment.
If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever.

Joseph Conlon
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Re: Cheating in chess

Post by Joseph Conlon » Mon Jul 13, 2020 9:25 am

Picking up earlier comments, three accounts towards the top of the U8 boys gigafinal have been closed by lichess.

https://lichess.org/swiss/FfnK1EKK

Looking at the games, I don't believe any involved computer assistance. But the top of this age group is around 120/130 ECF and it doesn't need a computer to do very well, and I expect that these accounts were flagged because, while juniors can improve rapidly, improvements over the course of a week from - ''see a check - play a check - hang a queen for nothing' chess to 130 ECF chess are stretching the bounds of credibility.

In terms of the UK chess challenge, I would guesstimate that the cleanest section is the U10s, as the children are young enough to be less prey to the temptations of stockfish, but strong enough to be beyond the assistance of elder siblings / parents.

I don't think there's any good solution to this other than the return to OTB chess.

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Adam Raoof
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Re: Cheating in chess

Post by Adam Raoof » Mon Jul 13, 2020 9:30 am

I agree with Richard. Dont make assumptions based on your predjudices or one or two games, download all their games from the event and run them through pgnspy. I did look at the games using the lichess engine and that hinted at which accounts might be flagged. Pgnspy does all the analytical work for you. If you can download all the games even better.

Tornelo will soon have the Regan / pgnspy software integrated so that arbiters can identify potential problems before they become critical.

Why did 4NCL make it harder to find players handles by removing them from the list? You can still find them by looking at the full player profile on Swiss Manager.

This experience shows that financial gain is not always the motive for this kind of behavior. Some of these players have probably been banned before, and opened new accounts specifically to play in this event. What the 4NCL needs to do now is ban them from future events.
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Jacques Parry
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Re: Cheating in chess

Post by Jacques Parry » Mon Jul 13, 2020 9:44 am

JustinHorton wrote:
Sun Jul 12, 2020 8:13 pm
You're a lawyer and I'm not, Jacques, but do we have any relevant precedent here?
Not sure what kind of precedent you're looking for. The Fraud Act says that you commit fraud if you dishonestly try to make money by false pretences. (I'm paraphrasing a bit, but that's the gist.) This clearly includes someone who cheats in a chess tournament so as to win a prize, since they are falsely pretending to be playing without assistance. I don't know of a case in which such a person has been convicted of fraud, but we don't need one, since the principle is clear.

The closest example I can think of is the 'Millionaire' case, where the basis of the convictions was that Ingram falsely pretended to be playing without assistance. The defence was that he was playing without assistance. It wasn't suggested that, even if he had been cheating, no fraud would have been committed. See viewtopic.php?f=36&t=7452&start=90, especially Jonathan Rogers' post. He knows whereof he speaks.

MartinCarpenter
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Re: Cheating in chess

Post by MartinCarpenter » Mon Jul 13, 2020 10:05 am

Adam Raoof wrote:
Mon Jul 13, 2020 9:30 am
I agree with Richard. Dont make assumptions based on your predjudices or one or two games, download all their games from the event and run them through pgnspy.
Definitely. You only need to look at that very helpful graph for OTB vs online 4NCL to see there's a lot of people are playing quite significantly below their expected OTB strength online.

Trying to map grades across simply doesn't work.

Especially with juniors. I would be amazed if current juniors - brought up with chess computers/online chess from a very early age - didn't (as a population) see a significantly lower drop in strength from playing online vs OTB than everyone else.

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