Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Don't tell me, I've got this

There is the often made claim that if we were alerted to 'critical positions' once or twice during a game, we would perform 100 or 150 rating points better. This is often used as a possible example of 'smart' cheating, where a player need not be told the best move, simply that they should be looking for one.
However if this were demonstrably true, players would have been using this technique for decades. I'm not talking about using computers or a signalling system, but simply by watching the body language of spectators. Plenty of times I've seen a spectator come up to game, spot a strong move, and then rush off to tell other spectators. I would have thought that this might provide a conscious, or sub conscious clue, but I've yet to find a player who exploits this.
The diagram position provides an example of where this may have been helpful. It is White to play, but he realises that 1. c8=Q walks into 1. .. Nd6+ Instead he chose 1.Kg4, surrendering the pawn and half a point. Clearly this was a position where chattering spectators might have helped as White had a far stronger idea. I leave it up to you to find it.


Mark said...

c8=N would seem to do the trick...

KWRegan said...

Frederic Friedel once quoted me telling him exactly that kind of "spectator vibes" anecdote. See the quoted letter to him here: http://en.chessbase.com/post/profeor-builds-better-program-to-detect-cheating-in-che