Monday, 2 June 2014

Catching chess cheats

How to catch a chess cheater is the front page article on the latest issue of Chess Life (the USCF's magazine). It is a feature on Professor Ken Regan, both an IM and the worlds leading authority on computer cheating in chess. Normally such a feature would only be available to paid subscribers, but the editorial team thinks the issue is of such importance that they have made it publicly viewable.
The article covers both Ken Regan, the person, as well has providing background on his work. Importantly for me, as Secretary  of the FIDE Anti-cheating Commission, it is further publicity for the work being done in this area. As the proposals from ACC are going to be discussed and approved at Tromso in August, such publicity is very important, as what is agreed there may have an impact on how chess is played in the future ( at least the playing conditions)


jxk said...

So can you tell us in a nutshell how chess cheats are to be discovered? Will we all have to play naked in future? Will chess championships be held in large faraday cages to block incoming radio signals? Will every player have to be x-rayed for hidden computer implants?

Please don't keep us in suspense any longer.

Anonymous said...

There may be a problem with the assumptions here. A couple of years ago a TD known to me was very sure his on-line opponent was cheating because the player's choices were in the top four computer choices over 90% of the time.
A few weeks later I was playing over some Shirov games with Fritz running in analysis mode, and Shirov's choices were in the top four computer choices over 90% of the time. I am sure Shirov was not cheating, but I explored more games I knew for certain had been played before computers were ever thought of - and chose the games of Lasker and Tarrasch. Their choices were in the top four Fritz choices over 90% of the time too. But they were playing about 100 years BF (before Fritz).

Based on this experience I suggest you test the system under consideration with games known not to have been played with computers and make sure the system does not charge some long-deceased GM with cheating.

Whatever you do, the system needs to be fair but also seen to be fair. Because most of us do not have the statistical skills to address the plan's technical merits and only a few people do, I am not sure the "seen to be fair" test has been met.

Alexander Malejewicz said...

There is an incredible amount and wide variety of cheating in Australian chess. I've conveyed my concerns to the president of the ACF and state associations on many occasions in the past, nothing was done and ALL of my letters were ignored.
In my opinion, these debates, like everything else in this former penal colony, only perform the function of making it look like there is something being done about cheating.