Monday, 5 August 2013

Some developments in the area of computer cheating

Over the weekend German IM Jens Kotainy was disqualified from the Sparkassen Open (Dortmund), for having a communication device on his person during the game. During his games he was observed putting his hand in the pocket where the phone was located after each move, leading to suspicions he was receiving computer assistance. After the game the phone was inspected, and after it made a buzzing noise the arbiters decided to exclude him from the tournament, as well as award a win to each of his opponent she had already played.
As a member of the recently formed FIDE/ACP Anti-Cheating Committee, I was already aware of some of the previous claims against Kotainy. There had been some disquiet about his participation in other events, but the organisers allowed him to play, as there had been no definite proof he had been using a computer. However a combination of physical evidence, supported by statistical analysis of the games he played during the tournament, gave the organisers reasonable grounds to suspect that something was going on.
What happens to Kotainy now is still being decided. After an earlier case (the Bindrich Case) the German Chess Federation has tightened up its regulations to deal with such incidents. There is also the possibility that FIDE could also take action via the Ethics Commission.
For anyone interested in looking at the statistical side of things, I suggest you look at the work that Ken Regan (a fellow member of the committee) has done in this area. As I mentioned in this previous post, the numbers are less about the number of times a players move matches a computers and more about the likelihood that such a players moves and a computer engines moves would agree.


Anonymous said...

The funny part is that in one of the earlier tournaments, Kotainy came first while some senior police officer came second. The police guy rated 2350+ was pretty sure that Kotainy is cheating. He was the main reason why Kotainy was caught in Dortmund.

Graham Clayton said...

Hi Shaun,

I like the idea of making players who are leading or who have won tournaments give analysis of their own games. If they are cheating, they will be unable to analyse multiple moves and their refutation.