It isn't clear that this is a serious story - that Magnus Carlsen is really concerned about his opening preparation being hacked by Russians looking to give Sergey Karjakin a leg up in their forthcoming world championship match - but in principle it could be a genuine worry. As a fun exercise of the imagination, think of how Bobby Fischer would have worried about this had present-day technology been around at the time of his 1972 match with Boris Spassky. Oh my!
Entries in cheating (26)
To err is human, and to sin is too, unfortunately. It should be noted that the allegations in this story - that an elite shogi player cheated by using software during a match - are just that: allegations. (If someone knows what came of them, please let us know in the comments.)
One remarkable aspect of the story is that shogi players are allowed to bring electronic devices into the playing room during a match; only recently was a rule passed preventing it, and it won't take effect until this December. Either their governing body is incredibly naive, or the shogi culture is a more honorable one than our chess culture.
HT: David Thompson
Earlier this year Georgian GM Gaioz Nigalidze was caught cheating at the Dubai Open. His case was referred to the FIDE Ethics Commission, and they have ruled - strongly. He has been banned from FIDE competition for three years and been stripped of his grandmaster title. A good summary of the case is here.
HT: Joe Bunin
Nothing so new, thankfully, but in case anyone is new to the site and hasn't seen all the (not so) wonderful ways in which cheating takes place in the royal game, this article may be of some interest to you. (Hopefully not as a "how-to".)
HT: Howard Sample
I know next to nothing about bridge, though as I recall the former world chess champion Emanuel Lasker (1868-1941, world champion from 1894-1921) was reputedly an excellent player. It seems that they have an even bigger problem with cheating than chess does, which probably isn't terribly surprising given the nature of the game. Still, it's a little surprising that it's such a big problem at the top - most elite chess players think that their colleagues at the top would not engage in such skullduggery, due at least in part to their love and respect for the game. The problems in bridge suggest that spending the time to become an elite performer in a game of mental skill is no guarantor of competitive integrity. So one sad moral, perhaps, is that we should be wary in our game as well. It may be inevitable that some member of the 2800 crowd, present or future, will do something to bring the game into disrepute.
HT: Gerald Grimsley
At least no one has tried semaphore yet, so we still have something to look forward to. More on the (alleged) Morse code bandit, here and here. Fortunately, this guy (if he is indeed guilty) wasn't terribly bright, as despite his 1868-rated player he went all out and apparently led the event ahead of some IMs and GMs. Sadly, not all cheaters will be so naive, and I'm sure many have succeeded and will continue to get away with their nefarious deeds. I wonder: have their been any studies of cheating that give some idea of how many players are doing it and what percentage tend to get away with it? (E.g., through some sort of self-reporting surveys, whether in chess or for other sports, or even for test-takers in schools.)
HT: Ross Hytnen and Marc Beishon.
But the scandal isn't the cheating, it's the witch hunt. A relatively low-rated player had a great score early in the European Women's Championship, so "obviously" she was cheating. The games themselves don't seem to bear this out, however, so all the protests seem to have done is dragged an apparently innocent player's name through the mud and helped ruin the second half of her tournament. More here.
FIDE is introducing online rated play, which is a fantastic idea because no one would ever cheat in an online game, right? Great. I wonder how long it will be before some unknown player reaches 3000.
(HT: Ross Hytnen)
Many people maintained their faith in Lance Armstrong for a long time, and faithful Linus van Pelt is still waiting for the Great Pumpkin to return. I'm sure Borislav Ivanov has his defenders too - though I bet they haven't had to play him in a tournament with money or norms on the line. Anyway, it seems he has unretired for the moment, and readers can catch up on his most recent adventures here and here.
Determining whether a player is cheating (or conversely, taking a dive) can be very difficult. Can be, but not always. Between the IPR and the circumstantial evidence around Borislav Ivanov, it beggars belief that his successes over the chess board the past year or two have come without inappropriate technological intervention. Here's the latest story, in which Maxim Dlugy doesn't quite manage to put a permanent end to Ivanov's tournament career, but does get a point in the tournament and casts further doubt on Ivanov's reputation.
(HT: Allen Becker)