2020 European Online Chess Championships

The very latest International round up of English news.
Chris Rice
Posts: 2930
Joined: Thu Nov 08, 2012 5:17 am

2020 European Online Chess Championships

Post by Chris Rice » Sun May 17, 2020 3:46 pm

The U-1400 section got off to a great start, with six of the top ten banned for cheating by Chess.com. Here's the starting rank list with real names and their handles (for future reference).

David Sedgwick
Posts: 3760
Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2007 5:56 pm
Location: Croydon

Re: 2020 European Online Chess Championships

Post by David Sedgwick » Sun May 17, 2020 5:34 pm

Chris Rice wrote:
Sun May 17, 2020 3:46 pm
The U-1400 section got off to a great start, with six of the top ten banned for cheating by Chess.com.
It doesn't sound great if you put it like that. However, overall 14 players were disqualified out of 1535, which doesn't sound so bad.

http://chess-results.com/tnr527507.aspx ... ilen=99999

I shall be playing in the 1701 -2000 section on Friday 22nd May and, if things go well, on Saturday 23rd May.

Some readers may recall my earlier comments:
David Sedgwick (in another thread) wrote:
Sat May 02, 2020 8:28 am
For most people, being banned from Chess.com would not affect their employment or other earnings. In my case, as a Category A International Arbiter, it could result in my never working again.
However, as I indicated then, I am satisfied that the regulations for the European Online Chess Championship strike a good balance between identifying and disqualifying the guilty and providing a measure of protection from false allegations for the innocent.

I am having discussions with members of the ECF Board and others about these issues, which is why I have recently commented only sparingly about them on here.

Chris Rice
Posts: 2930
Joined: Thu Nov 08, 2012 5:17 am

Re: 2020 European Online Chess Championships

Post by Chris Rice » Sun May 17, 2020 7:59 pm

David Sedgwick wrote:
Sun May 17, 2020 5:34 pm
Chris Rice wrote:
Sun May 17, 2020 3:46 pm
The U-1400 section got off to a great start, with six of the top ten banned for cheating by Chess.com.
It doesn't sound great if you put it like that. However, overall 14 players were disqualified out of 1535, which doesn't sound so bad.

http://chess-results.com/tnr527507.aspx ... ilen=99999...

...I am having discussions with members of the ECF Board and others about these issues, which is why I have recently commented only sparingly about them on here.
But that's why its so bad in my opinion. 1521 players were playing honestly but a lot of the prizewinners (or people finishing in high places as I haven't checked whether they actually won any money) were apparently cheats. Why would you expect the cheats to feature in larger numbers lower down the rankings David? Isn't that the whole point of cheating that they feature at the top?

Andy McCulloch
Posts: 96
Joined: Wed Nov 05, 2008 8:57 pm

Re: 2020 European Online Chess Championships

Post by Andy McCulloch » Sun May 17, 2020 9:25 pm

To have 6 cheats in the top 10, but only 8 out of the remaining 1525, would seem to indicate that cheating is fairly low on average. It would also seem that those who do cheat, do it extensively, and are not very subtle about it.

Ian Thompson
Posts: 2303
Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2008 4:31 pm
Location: Awbridge, Hampshire

Re: 2020 European Online Chess Championships

Post by Ian Thompson » Sun May 17, 2020 9:35 pm

David Sedgwick wrote:
Sun May 17, 2020 5:34 pm
It doesn't sound great if you put it like that. However, overall 14 players were disqualified out of 1535, which doesn't sound so bad.
Chris Rice wrote:
Sun May 17, 2020 7:59 pm
But that's why its so bad in my opinion. 1521 players were playing honestly but a lot of the prizewinners (or people finishing in high places as I haven't checked whether they actually won any money) were apparently cheats.
Assuming these players were cheating, they've seriously affected the chances of quite a few other players qualifying for the next stage. The score to guarantee qualification to the next stage was 6/7, with 5.5 and a good tie-break also being good enough. Tough to do that if you've already lost a point to a cheat.

Ian Thompson
Posts: 2303
Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2008 4:31 pm
Location: Awbridge, Hampshire

Re: 2020 European Online Chess Championships

Post by Ian Thompson » Sun May 17, 2020 9:53 pm

Andy McCulloch wrote:
Sun May 17, 2020 9:25 pm
To have 6 cheats in the top 10, but only 8 out of the remaining 1525, would seem to indicate that cheating is fairly low on average. It would also seem that those who do cheat, do it extensively, and are not very subtle about it.
Or it could mean that the reliability of the cheat detection methods is low.

11 of the accounts closed for cheating had been open for a long time with large numbers of games played. The obvious question is whether the players had just started cheating for this event, or they've been wrongly accused of cheating, or they've been getting away with cheating for a long time.

John Swain
Posts: 263
Joined: Sun Jun 20, 2010 10:35 pm
Location: Nottingham

Re: 2020 European Online Chess Championships

Post by John Swain » Sun May 17, 2020 11:38 pm

Ian Thompson wrote:
Sun May 17, 2020 9:53 pm
Andy McCulloch wrote:
Sun May 17, 2020 9:25 pm
To have 6 cheats in the top 10, but only 8 out of the remaining 1525, would seem to indicate that cheating is fairly low on average. It would also seem that those who do cheat, do it extensively, and are not very subtle about it.
Or it could mean that the reliability of the cheat detection methods is low.

11 of the accounts closed for cheating had been open for a long time with large numbers of games played. The obvious question is whether the players had just started cheating for this event, or they've been wrongly accused of cheating, or they've been getting away with cheating for a long time.
The fact that most of the alleged cheaters' accounts had been open without apparent mishap for a prolonged period does pose serious questions. Chess.com propaganda boasts of recent improvements to anti-cheating software and I imagine this would be their "party line", or perhaps that these players had been biding their time waiting for a prestigious tournament before resorting to cheating.

Whilst six of the alleged cheats featured in the top ten with a score of more than six points, a further six scored six points, so there were twelve alleged cheats in the top forty-nine (over 24% of this group) which must have seriously distorted the tournament, if you accept the verdict of chess.com that all of these players were guilty. If they were cheating, and if their ill-gotten gains were restored to their victims after-the-event, those "lucky" enough to have played these individuals in rounds 1-6 would have actually benefited (by having an easier draw, unlike those who were paired against allegedly honest players).

The sooner we can return to over-the-board chess the better!

Roger de Coverly
Posts: 18516
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:51 pm

Re: 2020 European Online Chess Championships

Post by Roger de Coverly » Mon May 18, 2020 12:49 am

John Swain wrote:
Sun May 17, 2020 11:38 pm
The fact that most of the alleged cheaters' accounts had been open without apparent mishap for a prolonged period does pose serious questions.
I though there was a claim that decisions on disqualification of players would be made by arbiters acting for the organisers, rather than chess.com.

It was a rating restricted tournament, but which rating?

John Swain
Posts: 263
Joined: Sun Jun 20, 2010 10:35 pm
Location: Nottingham

Re: 2020 European Online Chess Championships

Post by John Swain » Mon May 18, 2020 1:21 am

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 12:49 am
John Swain wrote:
Sun May 17, 2020 11:38 pm
The fact that most of the alleged cheaters' accounts had been open without apparent mishap for a prolonged period does pose serious questions.
I though there was a claim that decisions on disqualification of players would be made by arbiters acting for the organisers, rather than chess.com.

It was a rating restricted tournament, but which rating?
This particular event was Under 1400; there were several other sections for higher graded players.

With regard to the tournament regulations, the arbiters are relying on chess.com's anti-cheating software. Those detected of unfair play by chess.com will also face a ban for two years from ECU online events but at the same time ECU organisers try to avoid leaving themselves open to legal action:

"3.10 Players are not allowed to open a second window or connect through another device to chess.com while playing their tournament. The server automatically will disqualify them from the tournament.
5. FAIR PLAY - DISCLAIMER
5.2 The anti-cheating measures are based on Chess.com’s resources. Throughout the European Online Championship, Chess.com's dedicated team of fair play professionals, computer scientists and statisticians will be working in coordination with their proprietary fair play detection technology to ensure that fair results are made for each game. You can find more information on Chess.com Fair Play and Cheat Detection Policy here.
5.3 All participants shall comply and co-operate with Chess.com Fair Play and Anti-cheating detection team. Players may be removed from the Championship at any time by final decision of the Chief Arbiter or the European Chess Union based on the consultation of fair play evaluation of Chess.com.
5.4 All participants winning a prize in each category will be additionally post-checked by the European Chess Union and can be disqualified and after once the tournament has concluded.
5.5 Any fair play actions taken against participants are in accordance with fair play policy of Chess.com including but not limited to statistical analysis and manual review. The ECU does not claim or acknowledge that such actions are evidence of unfair play. These actions are not considered by ECU as a reason for any sanctions in further ECU live events. However, if any player is considered in violation of Chess.com’s fair play policies, they will be disqualified from the ECU Online events for 2 years starting from 1st June 2020 till 31st May 2022. All the players agree that they have no right to appeal the aforementioned actions either through arbitration, consultation or in a court of law within any jurisdiction."

User avatar
JustinHorton
Posts: 7380
Joined: Mon Aug 04, 2008 10:06 am
Location: Somewhere you're not

Re: 2020 European Online Chess Championships

Post by JustinHorton » Mon May 18, 2020 3:39 am

John Swain wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 1:21 am
"All the players agree that they have no right to appeal the aforementioned actions either through arbitration, consultation or in a court of law within any jurisdiction."
What on earth is that supposed to be?
"Do you play chess?"
"Yes, but I prefer a game with a better chance of cheating."

lostontime.blogspot.com

Kevin Thurlow
Posts: 3386
Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2008 12:28 pm

Re: 2020 European Online Chess Championships

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Mon May 18, 2020 8:25 am

"The ECU does not claim or acknowledge that such actions are evidence of unfair play. These actions are not considered by ECU as a reason for any sanctions in further ECU live events. However, if any player is considered in violation of Chess.com’s fair play policies, they will be disqualified from the ECU Online events for 2 years starting from 1st June 2020 till 31st May 2022."

That doesn't make a lot of sense either.

Roger de Coverly
Posts: 18516
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:51 pm

Re: 2020 European Online Chess Championships

Post by Roger de Coverly » Mon May 18, 2020 8:31 am

John Swain wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 1:21 am

"3.10 Players are not allowed to open a second window or connect through another device to chess.com while playing their tournament. The server automatically will disqualify them from the tournament.
You perhaps have to ask how this is policed. If it's by IP Address, it's going to give false positives anywhere there's a shared wifi or wired connection. That might apply in a hotel, student residence or block of flats.

It's a condition which makes hosting a team match on chess.com quite probably out of the question. How do you tell what's happening elsewhere in the match?

Roger de Coverly
Posts: 18516
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:51 pm

Re: 2020 European Online Chess Championships

Post by Roger de Coverly » Mon May 18, 2020 8:33 am

Kevin Thurlow wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 8:25 am
That doesn't make a lot of sense either.

I think it does if the term "live event" is intended to refer to over the board play.

MartinCarpenter
Posts: 2515
Joined: Tue May 24, 2011 10:58 am

Re: 2020 European Online Chess Championships

Post by MartinCarpenter » Mon May 18, 2020 9:01 am

Ian Thompson wrote:
Sun May 17, 2020 9:53 pm
Andy McCulloch wrote:
Sun May 17, 2020 9:25 pm
To have 6 cheats in the top 10, but only 8 out of the remaining 1525, would seem to indicate that cheating is fairly low on average. It would also seem that those who do cheat, do it extensively, and are not very subtle about it.
Or it could mean that the reliability of the cheat detection methods is low.

11 of the accounts closed for cheating had been open for a long time with large numbers of games played. The obvious question is whether the players had just started cheating for this event, or they've been wrongly accused of cheating, or they've been getting away with cheating for a long time.
Very easy to check in fact - these people had FIDE rapid play grades <1400.

I can't imagine how anyone could cheat with a computer and keep their grading anything like that low, so cross compare with their chess.com ratings and there you go.

John Swain
Posts: 263
Joined: Sun Jun 20, 2010 10:35 pm
Location: Nottingham

Re: 2020 European Online Chess Championships

Post by John Swain » Mon May 18, 2020 9:05 am

JustinHorton wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 3:39 am
John Swain wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 1:21 am
"All the players agree that they have no right to appeal the aforementioned actions either through arbitration, consultation or in a court of law within any jurisdiction."
What on earth is that supposed to be?
I would be interested to know from a lawyer - we have several on this Forum - whether this clause is of any validity or is simply a bluff to discourage litigation.

Post Reply