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The Latest Cheating Scandal
Adam Bremner Wrote:
andyburnett Wrote:These Bulgarian 2100's are pretty strong! Top untitled player in the Masters was another youngish Bulgarian, rated 2126, playing at 2452 level for the tournament.

In the Challengers A played in the morning of the first week his stats were

Rating international 2126
Ratingperformance 2065

By the 2nd week, again the morning competition.

Rating international 2126
Ratingperformance 2536

Obviously warmed up by the 2nd week! By my reckoning he walked off with at least £3000.


To be fair, it is possible. Some games you can just lob pieces, and a bad start gives you a bad mental frame. If he starts week 2 with a big win, confidence can grow. Personally speaking, I don't like the lynch mobs who try and seek out cheats based on people having good performances. The odds of these sorts of results are small, but then again, someone does win the lottery most weeks.

In the case of the now famous Mr Ivanov, I was pretty sure he was cheating, but not enough to condemn the man. The phrase "beyond reasonable doubt" springs to mind, and sometimes people can just streak huge runs in agreement with a machine. For example, I had a league game recently where my 1800 opponent played a near perfect game, and obviously there is nothing dodgy there, it just occasionally happens that people can play like that. The clincher for me though about Ivanov was when he claimed he had beaten Rybka and Houdini 10-0 each. That is ridiculous, and it is weird that a 2000+ can even say that and hope it would be believed. The easy way to disprove that is to give him a challenge game against Houdini, and I would be tempted to bet my life savings that he would get wiped out 10-0.

Good, an argument! Er, discussion I mean Tongue

I agree that occasionally a human can 'streak' both in terms of results and engine match-ups, but this is so improbable over the course of hundreds of moves (a whole tournament for example) that it can be considered 'beyond reasonable doubt' in my opinion.

One of the clinchers for me when someone is suspected of cheating is that it only seems to happen for 'weaker' players when there is great prestige (something like title norms) or lots of money involved!

If you look at the rating history of most of the people accused, it's fairly clear that they have played at a certain more-or less 'normal' level (relative ups and downs) for many years or tournaments and then suddenly improve by 300/400/500 points when something major is at stake.

Let's say I was playing at Gibralter, for example. If I wanted to cheat to win the maximum amount of money possible over the 2 weeks, and avoid immediate suspicion, how would I do this?

Well, I wouldn't produce a +400 point performance in the first week morning tournament and walk off with say £1500 - raising suspicions which could mean I might not even get to play the 2nd week event or finish the Masters event. I might be more inclined to put in an average performance in the first week, and only produce the real goods in the 2nd week, late on, and walk off with £3500!

I'm not saying this is what happened, but adding in the idea that only using 'Houdini-help' in critical positions (as Walter Buchanan I think mentioned) to keep the performance levels under that of Carlsen, etc - this is almost certainly the way I would achieve the maximum pay-off with the least suspicion (or suspicion least likely to affect things at the time).

It's not a 'witch-hunt', but seriously strange or unexpected results deserve to be discussed and analysed.

The clincher for me though about Ivanov was when he claimed he had beaten Rybka and Houdini 10-0 each.

This to me is the least relevant piece of information. Ivanov could be taking the p***, p***ed off because of the whole incident, or (I'm inclined towards this one myself) simply p***ed!

Anyway, cheating in chess won't be going away anytime soon, so discussing such matters is a necessary evil.

P.S. I have nothing against Bulgarians, I just found it a bit co-incidental coming so soon after the Ivanov incident that a 'more realistic unrealistic' result should pop up involving another Bulgarian.
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Above is a link to the 2011 Czech Open European Amateurs event.

Most of you will know that I am a decent major/poor challengers level player. However, I managed to pull off a bit of a brammer of a result (for me) here.
Did I cheat? No.
Did I play well all tournament plus carry some fair slices of luck (good and bad) ? Yes.
Did I see it coming or study in depth for weeks? No.
Did I use any artificial stimulants? Yes..three pints of Czech beer before every game.

I just simply wished to give an example that unusual results at good events are possible if you are in the right frame of mind, relaxed and enjoying yourself.

Well played Robin! That's a very good series of results's

It's definitely not the sort that gets tongues wagging about cheating though - you're still at least 150 - 250 tournament performance rating points behind the guys I'm talking about!

Yes, I know it's not world beating stuff but it's a very unusual result for an enthusiastic (fairly old) but limited plodder like me.
Would I be correct in saying that the higher up the grading ladder the results are, the more suspicious "unusual" results become?
It's all very well for a massively improving first or second season player to have a belter of a result, way above their official grade, especially if they are being coached/come from a strong club etc. Results like this are the norm.

How a guy can produce an incredible improvement from week 1 to week 2 at the same location at virtually the same event under the same conditions defeats me completely.

Robin is being far too modest; he played very well and gave his last round opponent a real drubbing!

But to more serious matters
Quote:Did I use any artificial stimulants? Yes..three pints of Czech beer before every game.

please note that Robin did not purchase these stimulants despite their relative cheapness; no, keeping to the habit of a lifetime Mr Moore was fed these stimulants by so called friends Big Grin
It was nice that when Pat went up to buy a drink at the bar across the road from our digs the barmaid asked....

Hi, have you just arrived today?

Pat: No I've been here for a week or so.

Barmaid: Strange, I haven't seen you up here ordering a drink recently...
Ahoj, jste právě přijeli dnes?

Pat: Ne, já jsem tady za týden nebo tak.

Barmanka: Strange, neviděl jsem tě sem objednávání pití v poslední době ...

strange how Robin understood all of the above, a multi talented man Big Grin

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