Cheating in chess

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Matthew Turner
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Re: Cheating in chess

Post by Matthew Turner » Mon Jan 18, 2021 8:32 pm

We have different vaccines for Covid which use the same methodology, such as stimulating the production of T-cells. They do not produce exactly the same results but they have the same underlying principles. This is how scientific processes work.

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JustinHorton
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Re: Cheating in chess

Post by JustinHorton » Mon Jan 18, 2021 8:37 pm

Underlying principles and methodology aren't the same thing
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Roger de Coverly
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Re: Cheating in chess

Post by Roger de Coverly » Mon Jan 18, 2021 8:54 pm

JustinHorton wrote:
Mon Jan 18, 2021 8:25 pm
If they don't give the same results it's not the same methodology
it would be well known amongst computer chess experts that the quality of the moves is dependent on the hardware and background software and how long you give the engine to compute.

One might wonder whether the time control at which the supposed cheating was taking place makes a difference. if someone is accused of engine use at 3 0, matching moves to those generated by a spy program allowed several minutes thought would lack credibility.

Li Wu
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Re: Cheating in chess

Post by Li Wu » Mon Jan 18, 2021 9:10 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Mon Jan 18, 2021 8:54 pm
JustinHorton wrote:
Mon Jan 18, 2021 8:25 pm
If they don't give the same results it's not the same methodology
it would be well known amongst computer chess experts that the quality of the moves is dependent on the hardware and background software and how long you give the engine to compute.

One might wonder whether the time control at which the supposed cheating was taking place makes a difference. if someone is accused of engine use at 3 0, matching moves to those generated by a spy program allowed several minutes thought would lack credibility.
I don't know if this is what they do but- 1) hardware shouldn't matter 2) background software shouldn't matter. Both of these things add randomness for the depth of the search during e.g. engine matches with fixed time controls.

What Ken Regan does is run Stockfish analysis for 1-ply up to (say 25-ply). The randomness is then transferred to the length of time this calculation will take. Doesn't matter if you're using a toaster or a super computer- you arrive at the same evaluations. I concede that there might still be randomness added with:

1) Different engine used (this is the biggest issue I would say)
2) Potentially multi-threading (I don't understand this very well unfortunately- but it's when a task is split up simultaneously, and the order in which things are calculated can be randomised)

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JustinHorton
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Re: Cheating in chess

Post by JustinHorton » Mon Jan 18, 2021 9:14 pm

Another potentially important point is that when we're discussing methodology, we're not just talking about what the programs do - we're talking about how human beings then interpret the results. On what basis do they proceed to make decisions? Is it just a tickboxing exercise (and if so, how does it work) or is something else, conceivably involving some guesswork and judgment?
"Do you play chess?"
"Yes, but I prefer a game with a better chance of cheating."

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NickFaulks
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Re: Cheating in chess

Post by NickFaulks » Mon Jan 18, 2021 9:15 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Mon Jan 18, 2021 8:15 pm
There's no support in OTB chess for using the Regan methodology or similar in any way other than to give arbiters a wink as to whom they might wish to pay attention. Certainly not for arbitrary bans in the absence of physical or strong circumstantial evidence.
If true, is this consistent with the idea, popular in some circles, that an online ban should lead to an OTB ban? Reputationally, the two may be the same anyway.
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Li Wu
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Re: Cheating in chess

Post by Li Wu » Mon Jan 18, 2021 9:23 pm

Regan methodology works less well in OTB chess because:

1) takes more time to get sample.
2) cheaters are forced to cheat less by practical reasons (again more sample).
3) there is a much better option! Combine Regan style analysis to alert arbiters who can ask players that are suspicious for a search.

with 3) an arbiter can choose to act on a lower p-value of cheating, without needing to ban them. I don't see any point in using Regan style analysis alone in OTB chess.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Cheating in chess

Post by Roger de Coverly » Mon Jan 18, 2021 9:46 pm

NickFaulks wrote:
Mon Jan 18, 2021 9:15 pm
If true, is this consistent with the idea, popular in some circles, that an online ban should lead to an OTB ban? Reputationally, the two may be the same anyway.
Most of the online bans and accusations have taken place in secret. Here and there, real names have been deduced or have leaked. It remains to be seen how match captains, organisers, arbiters and opponents handle these players, presuming that they return.

Neil Graham
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Re: Cheating in chess

Post by Neil Graham » Tue Jan 19, 2021 4:53 pm

John Foley wrote:
Fri Jan 15, 2021 3:35 pm
The 4NCL Fair Play Report gives the following useful information:
The statistics for Season 2 are below:
- 11 players were banned due to fair play violations;
- 11 other players were banned by Lichess, for whom the weight of statistical
evidence did not support the 4NCL overturning results (e.g. the bans were imposed
as a result of the cheating taking place in non-4NCL games on Lichess);
For the sake of completeness, and to calculate base rates, could the missing data be supplied?
  • How many players participated in the 4NCL?
  • How many games were played in total in Season 2?
  • For those banned players, in how many games were they deemed to be cheating?
  • Were these bans before or after any appeals process?
  • What is the proportion of "cheaters"?
  • What is the proportion of games in which fair play violations occurred?


I don't suppose you've had an answer to this:-

1) The ECF Grading Officer will have the details on how many players competed; perhaps they will supply an answer on here.
2) The 4NCL website shows that 3236 games were played in Season 2 of 4NCL On Line and 4321 in Junior 4NCL On Line.
3) I am aware of one of the players concerned; his/her games were all changed to losses from the previous results. The games are shown with the original results in pgn/replay.
4) I would be very surprised if anyone went to appeal. There is no official 4NCL presence on this board so unless the report is enlarged on you won't know.
5) & 6) As only 11 players were banned; plus another 11 on Lichess the proportion is liable to be very low. The report quotes 25 players in total.

David Sedgwick has rightly noted that of the 174 ECF Arbiters only 25 competed in the 4NCL On-Line. I've no reason to doubt his figures; similarly there are 115 captains of which three were earmarked as not honest in the report. Whilst on one hand you cannot name and shame players according to 4NCL rules, it is disappointing that two relatively small groups have been referred to in this report where innuendo will now prevail. As regards Lichess, I had cause to ask them about a closed account and they replied ". It is our recommendation that you treat every closed account as a de-facto cheating account, .

Finally this is the first report we've had since half-way through Season 1. We should thank the 4NCL for this; it appears that the vast majority of players adhere to the guidelines and cause no problems

Chris Rice
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Re: Cheating in chess

Post by Chris Rice » Tue Jan 19, 2021 9:24 pm

FIDE Press release with Hybrid events now being rated. Perhaps this is the way to go for online chess?

David Sedgwick
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Re: Cheating in chess

Post by David Sedgwick » Wed Jan 20, 2021 12:37 am

Neil Graham wrote:
Tue Jan 19, 2021 4:53 pm
David Sedgwick has rightly noted that of the 174 ECF Arbiters only 25 competed in the 4NCL On-Line. I've no reason to doubt his figures...
I have reason to doubt them. I made no such statement.

I have made no attempt to ascertain how many ECF Arbiters competed.

Ian Thompson
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Re: Cheating in chess

Post by Ian Thompson » Wed Jan 20, 2021 1:04 am

David Sedgwick wrote:
Wed Jan 20, 2021 12:37 am
Neil Graham wrote:
Tue Jan 19, 2021 4:53 pm
David Sedgwick has rightly noted that of the 174 ECF Arbiters only 25 competed in the 4NCL On-Line. I've no reason to doubt his figures...
I have reason to doubt them. I made no such statement.

I have made no attempt to ascertain how many ECF Arbiters competed.
Your statement below is, though, open to misinterpretation in the way that Neil understood as it was a response to a comment about arbiters. I thought the same as Neil on first reading but then changed my mind and decided you probably meant 25 players in total suspected of cheating, not 1 out of 25 arbiters.
David Sedgwick wrote:
Fri Jan 15, 2021 10:34 pm
Nick Grey wrote:
Fri Jan 15, 2021 10:04 pm
Handful of arbiters played and 1 under suspicion. Ok not to play russian roulette. But ought to be banned from arbiting until cleared.
There are 25 people in that position. Nothing has been proved against any of them and none of them can be named.

However, you want to single one of them out for shaming.

I hate to have to tell you, but natural justice extends to ECF Arbiters.

David Sedgwick
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Re: Cheating in chess

Post by David Sedgwick » Wed Jan 20, 2021 3:08 am

Ian Thompson wrote:
Wed Jan 20, 2021 1:04 am
Your statement below is, though, open to misinterpretation in the way that Neil understood as it was a response to a comment about arbiters. I thought the same as Neil on first reading but then changed my mind and decided you probably meant 25 players in total suspected of cheating, not 1 out of 25 arbiters.
Thank you, Ian. I now realise the ambiguity.

My apologies to Neil and to anyone else who was misled.

Matthew Turner
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Re: Cheating in chess

Post by Matthew Turner » Wed Jan 20, 2021 10:49 am

Neil,
I don't think the 4NCL are trying to cast aspersions against arbiters or team managers, but I do think they are trying to send a message. In season 1, the 4NCL said that the majority of those caught cheating were 'youngsters'. It was therefore possible to conclude that the only people caught were inept and naive and if you were a bit smarter you would get away with it. As time goes on there is a changing demographic to those caught cheating, either because the 4NCL builds up more evidence, or cheats get addicted to cheating and indulge in it more often.
I think it is good that the 4NCL has sent this signal and I hope that those who are cheating reflect on what they are doing.

Mike Gunn
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Re: Cheating in chess

Post by Mike Gunn » Wed Jan 20, 2021 11:14 am

I have been hesitating to out myself as an ECF arbiter playing in the 4NCL as the cloud of suspicion must surely now fall on me. However, my playing record (played 1, lost 1) and general standard of play probably lets me off the hook.

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