Wednesday 22 April 2020

The banhammer

I must confess I am surprised at the number of young* players who have been caught (and admitted to) using outside assistance in online events. I know below a certain age the concept of right and wrong is a little fuzzy, but if you are smart enough to know how to 'boost' your chess ability, you should be smart enough to recognise the consequences.
It turns out that there may be a longer lasting effect for the players concerned. While results come and go, damage to reputation tends to last a lot longer. I can certainly remember (and even repeat) stories of players arranging results or getting outside assistance going back almost 40 years. So while players may think the risk of getting banned from an event is possibly worth it, the damage may last longer than that.

*I have also been told of a recent incident from the UK, which involved a 50 year old player, so it isn't just kids.


Xoyepa said...

How’d they get caught? Were they just cheating stupidly (like playing all engine moves in all games), or did their parents find out and report it to the event organiser?

Shaun Press said...

For a lot of young kids, I think it may have been a case of simply 'playing too well' and this being noticed. By that, I don't mean just having a good tournament (which is certainly possible), but choosing openings they don't usually play, winning endings they don't know about, and basically showing a level of chess above what their coaches had previously observed (NB These events are mainly organised by coaching organisations, and so they are usually aware of the skill level each player normally plays at).
However in at least one case (in one event I manage), the fair-play software flagged a player, so I'm guessing it was too many engine-like moves.