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j4rio

Chess Cheating

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A curious case happened in Italy last week. A friend of mine with a rating of 2378 has played in a prestigious tournament with some 37 years old Ricciardi Arcangelo with a rating of 1868. This italian player has beaten him, along with grandmaster and other players with ratings above 2000. For every match it took him around 20-30 minutes and he beat them without a trace of hesitation, completely clean victories. It was completely clear to all the top players that he was somehow cheating, except judges with ratings of around 1400 that refused to acknowledge it and persisted he is probably a genius. The question remained how he does it, because he didn't leave his chair a single time throughout any match and it wasn't broadcasted online either. After sixth round judges searched him on demand of many players, but found nothing and kept on with "everything is possible" and "he is probably a genius". However, complaints continued and after round 8 judges used metal detectors on players, which Ricciardi refused to undergo. That was basically his confession, because refusing so meant getting kicked from the tourney. The final version of the story is that he had a microchip in his ear and camera in a button of his shirt. Had he not always chosen the best moves his computer was hinting him, it would have been far more difficult, if not impossible to uncover him. Of course, this has completely ruined the tourney and disgusted a lot of players.

There are also news reports of it on BBC and other sites. However, some informations on these news sites are sometimes blatantly false or speculations brought up as facts. I'm linking anyway.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-34184940
http://en.chessbase.com/post/another-case-of-cheating

The exact mechanism of the cheating device has most likely not been uncovered at all. The cheater bailed when he aroused suspicion. Whether it was "morse code" or "microchip" is only a speculation, although many players were sure he had something noticable in his ear. Also, the judge Coqueraut was supposedly a huge moron, but in all the news report he is described as the hero behind the uncover. He argumented the cheater has probably played so long with a computer that he learned to play that way...

Now as for the law&order people clueless about chess, it is likely to expect a point regarding his innocence brough up due to lack of evidence. That is actually the main point of curiosity behind the case. To anybody skilled enough in chess it's 100% clear he cheated basing on his moves, acting and his bailing the moment he had a chance, as anybody innocent would do anything to prove his innocence. Also, a 1868 ranked played doesn't just magically start pulling off 2600+ rating matches out of the blue. None of that is however meaning much to the public, so chess as a sport probably suffered a major blow.

(By the way, whoever mentions something about "rectal computer" ITT will get permabanned.)

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We should send Grazza to hunt him down and shove some of his published works of chess etiquette into his face.

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j4rio said:

Now as for the law&order people clueless about chess, it is likely to expect a point regarding his innocence brough up due to lack of evidence. That is actually the main point of curiosity behind the case. To anybody skilled enough in chess it's 100% clear he cheated basing on his moves, acting and his bailing the moment he had a chance, as anybody innocent would do anything to prove his innocence. Also, a 1868 ranked played doesn't just magically start pulling off 2600+ rating matches out of the blue. None of that is however meaning much to the public, so chess as a sport probably suffered a major blow.


So the accusation is that he had some kind of wireless audio device in his ear, one small enough to go unnoticed and a wireless camera somewhere also?

He was physically searched and nothing was found and then left the tournament before a metal detector was employed on him?

Honestly, I would've walked out myself and basically said fuck you to everyone. Being openly ridiculed and scrutinized and called a cheat and then being forced through TSA airport security for a chess event might be considered pretty humiliating as much as damning evidence of guilt when he decided to bail.

Would a metal detector be sensitive enough to located something small enough to avoid visual inspection? An object or objects that aren't entirely metal to begin with. I honestly do not know. I would assume that if they were then there would be tons of false positives if you happened to have some microscopic sliver of metal inadvertently stuck in your clothing.

As a bad chess player myself, when I play against a computer, I find myself on the defensive almost immediately and get the impression that there is no subtlety with the computers moves and its always on the attack. I don't see that when I play a human. Maybe that's just my awful skill, but assuming not and assuming he was being fed moves from a computer was he playing super aggressive? What kind of moves was a mere mortal 1800 making that he shouldn't have been? Or was he being given moves from a person perhaps?

In any event this story is really wierd.

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He was physically searched and nothing was found and then left the tournament before a metal detector was employed on him?


Yes, he was first physically searched and nothing was found. However, it's doubtable it was airport-like search. The judges were on his side throughout the tourney until the very end. Also, one thing to keep in mind is that the events (physical search, detector) were days apart, as the tourney took a whole week.

I've been told the guy left after refusing to get checked by detector, but every other available version of the incident is that the detector was used and noticed an electronic device on him, but he left before being closely inspected.

Honestly, I would've walked out myself and basically said fuck you to everyone. Being openly ridiculed and scrutinized and called a cheat and then being forced through TSA airport security for a chess event might be considered pretty humiliating as much as damning evidence of guilt when he decided to bail.


Doubt it, nobody would just give up on notable heap of cash and world-wide fame in a blink of an eye.

As a bad chess player myself, when I play against a computer, I find myself on the defensive almost immediately and get the impression that there is no subtlety with the computers moves and its always on the attack. I don't see that when I play a human. Maybe that's just my awful skill, but assuming not and assuming he was being fed moves from a computer was he playing super aggressive? What kind of moves was a mere mortal 1800 making that he shouldn't have been? Or was he being given moves from a person perhaps?



A comment from an attendant

The case has been deeply discussed here in Italy, and everyone was quite sure there was something wrong days before the devices were found on the guy.
Here are the FACTS in Imperia:
1) almost 100% moves equal with Stockfish 1st line (with only one big exception, Bxc3, in the 3rd round draw) - maybe an error in "translation" of the move?)
2) the player NEVER did any post-mortem analysys even if asked for
3) the behaviour at the board was very strange - never standing up, always with his hand under the armpit
4) some moves (12.g4!! in game against Mazur) are mostly "engine"moves with deep tactical AND positional ideas behind, ideas that the guy could NOT explain
Moreover, the guy wa already under the spyglass for a tournament in Milan in june, where he played a few odd games:
1) versus GM Salvador he was playing 100% stockfish moves, with a +2 advantage - until he blundered the queen in ONE MOVE, his queen was on b1 and after a Qb2 played by Salvador, the gut played Qc2???? leaving the queen en prise.
2) in another game he sacrificed the queen for R+B and a crushing attack, but some moves later he took MATE IN ONE

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Quast said:

As a bad chess player myself, when I play against a computer, I find myself on the defensive almost immediately and get the impression that there is no subtlety with the computers moves and its always on the attack. I don't see that when I play a human. Maybe that's just my awful skill, but assuming not and assuming he was being fed moves from a computer was he playing super aggressive? What kind of moves was a mere mortal 1800 making that he shouldn't have been? Or was he being given moves from a person perhaps?


What engine are you playing? Ime the best engines aren't super aggressive or anything -- they just play good moves. What you're noticing is probably just finding yourself in a bad/uncomfortable position almost immediately (making mistakes that an engine or strong player would punish but a weaker player lets slide). It's not like good engines are randomly launching attacks all the time.

Engine play is generally typified by stuff like:

1) Omission of human sense of danger (because comps can calculate everything out and know when moves are safe). E.g. a human might avoid, say, putting a piece on a weird-looking square where it really "looks" like it could get lost to a tactic, not even wanting to expend the mental energy calculating if it's legitimately safe; but SF6 or whatever, calculating like a beast, would play it if it's judged to be safe.

2) Planless dithering. Human play is governed by strategic plans, typical positional operations, etc. Comps calculate everything really well but have cruder evaluation functions. So in positions with no clear line that returns a good eval, you might see weird-ass maneuvers and shuffling that no human would bother with.

Here's a video where Black was almost certainly using a comp:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rlxHusHfpck

It's blitz, so the engine has less time to think and thus plays weaker than whatever this guy would be using, but it's still pretty good. (Though the operator in this vid ends up having to play for himself.)

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"Stockfish moves" alludes to this by the way.

It's pretty clear he cheated.

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It is possible he had a vibrating computer in his armpit if his hand was always in his armpit. Assuming one is mature and does not shave there, it could even be tied with hairs so there is no characteristic strap and such. Also the eyelid movement is probably to confirm move sets and such to the other person.

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It is entirely possible that he had some sort of computer in his buπhole (for example, the hole from which he poops), probably some sort of a vibrating buπhole computer that vibrated morse code into the hole area of his buπ, then when he felt tingles in his buπhole, he knew which move to make because he could decipher the tingles in the hole in his buπ (aka his "buπhole").

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Okay, that's the second obvious sockpuppet that's gotten through. Last I heard, Doomworld has some notoriously slow user approval system. Are the admins deliberately letting these through or did they strip the approval system?

I can't think of any other possibility for how "nigggmork" and "j4rio2" could have possibly gotten through. Can't have been without notice.

It's a conspiracy! The admins, under mind control, are now attempting to implement the NewDoomWorld Order! Linguica is actually the disguised cyborg space demon ghost of Phoebus who is an Aluminumati agent capable of mind control and is executing this plot with his powers, the real Linguica's body is actually out back in a dumpster being fed to hampsters, homeless hipsters and nanomachines! (namely, the leftmost dumpster of the ones in the NW corner of cybie2.wad)

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This thread is infinitely better with sock puppets. I'd say they're more of a sport than chess.

Now, from my understanding, this guy was exposed, but he wasn't caught and no official action was taken against him by the sport officials (Like some kind of game ban)? Or is that what's weird? He clearly cheated, but it still doesn't appear that he cheated?

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Sounds like he just left and was disqualified. I guess word will get around and he will be banned from future competitions. And people will be more vigilant.

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