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  1. #256
    CC Grandmaster Desmond's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham View Post
    Nigel Short
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    In Section B (1401-1700) of the recent European Online Chess Championship, 5 out of the top 6 players have been banned for cheating. This scourge will not stop until people are criminally prosecuted for fraud.
    Why bother? Not even any cash prizes by the looks of it.
    So what's your excuse? To run like the devil's chasing you.

    See you in another life, brotha.

  2. #257
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    Quote Originally Posted by Desmond View Post
    Why bother? Not even any cash prizes by the looks of it.
    I presume you mean why bother prosecuting rather than why bother cheating - we already know that no or minimal financial benefit is not a deterrent.

    I'm not a lawyer but it seems to be the case that courts aren't that interested in breaches of sports rules below a certain level, considering it the duty of the sport to regulate itself - when was someone last charged with cheating at bridge?

    Another substantial impediment is that while website operators can simply declare someone a cheat, in court you would have to prove it beyond reasonable doubt. You might hope to do that in many OTB cases, but when the sole "evidence" is moves achieving a score on a secret test it's a tougher job.

    The answer is that the scourge won't stop, because clever cheats are hard to detect and there are plenty of not so clever ones who don't mind being caught eventually anyway. The solution is to accept that online chess is for amusement and training, unless held under de facto OTB conditions with arbiters present, and not to take it too seriously. Indeed one of the attractions is that you can attribute your losses to opponents cheating.

  3. #258
    CC Grandmaster Garvinator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Rout View Post
    I presume you mean why bother prosecuting rather than why bother cheating - we already know that no or minimal financial benefit is not a deterrent.
    I had taken Desmond's comment as meaning - What is the point in engine cheating when there is not even a prize to win? All you do is line yourself up for a potential suspension, and there is not financial gain anyways.

    I'm not a lawyer but it seems to be the case that courts aren't that interested in breaches of sports rules below a certain level, considering it the duty of the sport to regulate itself - when was someone last charged with cheating at bridge?
    General courts of law are loath to get involved in matters concerning sports affairs, unless someone can show evidence of a law being broken. Courts general position is that sports have their own hearing and appeal mechanisms in place and those need to be exhausted before any court will look at a case.

    The case of Sun Yang is a good example of this. His appeal processes have all been exhausted through the sports bodies, all the way to Court of Arbitration for Sport and now his only appeal option is to the Swiss Federal Court, which he asking to hear the case.

  4. #259
    CC Grandmaster Desmond's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garvinator View Post
    I had taken Desmond's comment as meaning - What is the point in engine cheating when there is not even a prize to win? All you do is line yourself up for a potential suspension, and there is not financial gain anyways.
    Yes you're right - that was what I intended. Though I take Ian's point, that some people generally need no incentive, it seems.
    So what's your excuse? To run like the devil's chasing you.

    See you in another life, brotha.

  5. #260
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    Quote Originally Posted by Desmond View Post
    Yes you're right - that was what I intended. Though I take Ian's point, that some people generally need no incentive, it seems.
    One theory I have is that some people who are caught cheating are in fact not stupid or careless and do have a motive - they are players using secondary accounts, which they are prepared to have banned, in order to test how the anti-cheating software works and how far they can go. They could even be doing so not in order to cheat on their main account but to learn how to protect themselves from false positives, or just out of curiosity.

    I can't prove it, or put a figure on it, but I reckon it sounds sensible.

  6. #261
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    Criminal prosecutions for fraud or similar would not be worth the effort in these cases unless substantial sums are involved. Most chess tournaments online or offline wouldn't reach that threshold.
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  7. #262
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    Quote Originally Posted by Craig_Hall View Post
    Criminal prosecutions for fraud or similar would not be worth the effort in these cases unless substantial sums are involved. Most chess tournaments online or offline wouldn't reach that threshold.
    I agree that a fraud prosecution is unlikely, but I wonder if a match-fixing prosecution might be possible?

  8. #263
    CC Grandmaster Garvinator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Byrom View Post
    I agree that a fraud prosecution is unlikely, but I wonder if a match-fixing prosecution might be possible?
    If you have a look at the examples of what constitutes 'match fixing' in the Qld Criminal code, the actions done by computer cheaters does not fit. In each of the examples, the player plays poorly and another person has bet on the outcome, knowing the player was going to miss the goal attempt, for instance.

    So in this case for chess, there would need to be a financial relationship of some sort between the engine user and an outside party.

  9. #264
    CC Grandmaster Garvinator's Avatar
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    In this discussion, Ian Rout mentioned that the evidence needs to be beyond a reasonable doubt. There are mainly two types of charges that can be laid against you. They are either criminal or civil charges.

    Criminal charges do carry the burden of proof of 'beyond a reasonable doubt', and this because with criminal charges, the penalties involve some kind of loss of life, liberty or property (which can include fines).

    It is far more likely that for engine cheaters in prize money tournaments, that civil charges are more likely. A person can claim that they were denied a money prize because of the actions of the engine cheater ie they finished second and the engine user finished first.

    But there is a large hurdle to overcome here - the only money you could claim is the difference between first place and second place, as that is the amount of money you were denied. And then even if you could claim this in small claims court or similar courts, the process would first have to have gone through all the sporting bodies appeal mechanisms.

    So in summary- the odds of getting a civil judgement in your favour that is worth the time and outlaid expense is really only worth in very large money tournaments where there is a sizeable money difference between what you received at the tournament (if anything) and the prize money for the place you are claiming.

    And after all that, you have to actually win the case in court.

  10. #265
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garvinator View Post
    It is far more likely that for engine cheaters in prize money tournaments, that civil charges are more likely. A person can claim that they were denied a money prize because of the actions of the engine cheater ie they finished second and the engine user finished first.

    But there is a large hurdle to overcome here - the only money you could claim is the difference between first place and second place, as that is the amount of money you were denied. And then even if you could claim this in small claims court or similar courts, the process would first have to have gone through all the sporting bodies appeal mechanisms.

    So in summary- the odds of getting a civil judgement in your favour that is worth the time and outlaid expense is really only worth in very large money tournaments where there is a sizeable money difference between what you received at the tournament (if anything) and the prize money for the place you are claiming.

    And after all that, you have to actually win the case in court.
    Yes, I was referring to criminal law as this was what Short was calling for. It's true that the threshold for civil action is lower. On the other hand the deterrent value is lower, since as noted you could only claim the value of the prize you missed.

    In addition the overhead of pursuing such action is much higher, as you would have to conduct and finance it yourself rather than have the police handle it. And even with a lower standard of proof the chances of meeting it are probably no higher as the organiser won't release details of their anti-cheating software for scrutiny, so the limit of the "evidence" is that the organiser's black box said so.

  11. #266
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    When there are continuous problems with cheating even at events without prizes (some do it while playing social chess) it may make us wonder, whether long term bans should be considered that apply for both online and OTB tournaments. Also, players should be able to register and play on the server ONLY under their real names with proof of ID provided.
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  12. #267
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelBaron View Post
    When there are continuous problems with cheating even at events without prizes (some do it while playing social chess) it may make us wonder, whether long term bans should be considered that apply for both online and OTB tournaments. Also, players should be able to register and play on the server ONLY under their real names with proof of ID provided.
    It isn't normal for sporting bodies to penalise people over transgressions in private/social games; if you neighbour cheats at bridge the International Bridge Union won't do anything about it, it's your responsibility to play with someone else. You could envision instances like a high-profile footballer making the news for whacking someone in a game at a barbecue and being disciplined by the NRL, but that would be for bringing the game into disrepute rather than the act itself.

    If it's a FIDE-approved event however, then it's reasonable to apply normal FIDE rules, and assuming players would be playing under their FIDE ID then it can be done. BUT

    (a) First you have to catch them. Not only is that much harder online than OTB but there are other ways than using a computer which would be pretty much undetectable. Still, dealing with those you catch is better than nothing.

    (b) You have to make the charges stick, and avoid punishing the innocent. FIDE is a signatory to CAS and I expect a half-decent lawyer could tear holes in the cheating detection software, and the server operators would be aghast at the thought of a judge directing them to hand over their software and records of their testing.

    So on balance I donít see it happening, or at best in a handful of blatant cases. Even senior FIDE official Nigel Short, while advocating criminal prosecution, doesnít seem to suggest that FIDE could do it.

  13. #268
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Rout View Post
    (b) You have to make the charges stick, and avoid punishing the innocent. FIDE is a signatory to CAS and I expect a half-decent lawyer could tear holes in the cheating detection software, and the server operators would be aghast at the thought of a judge directing them to hand over their software and records of their testing.
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  14. #269
    CC Grandmaster Garvinator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Rout View Post
    So on balance I donít see it happening, or at best in a handful of blatant cases. Even senior FIDE official Nigel Short, while advocating criminal prosecution, doesnít seem to suggest that FIDE could do it.
    I think there is an easy conclusion to be reached here.

    Nigel Short can claim that criminal cases should be brought against suspected offenders. Anyone can claim that. But as Nigel is a member of FIDE Council, he can not claim that otb chess players playing in online tournaments should be sanctioned/suspended. He would then be in breach of claiming players, who are under the FIDE Council's jurisdiction and so he is their VP, are guilty, before there was even a formal allegation made against them.

    There is a process for making such accusations, but then Nigel would have to provide his 'proof' and then ask the Fide Anti Cheating Commission to look into such allegations.

    It is much easier to blow hard and say people should be criminally prosecuted for supposed cheating in a tournament of some sort, rather than adhering to his role as Fide VP and act within the bounds of the sport. And this assumes of course that any of the bodies mentioned have the grounds to conduct a hearing about the event in question.

    Having said all that. We could take it that he considered all that, and decided the criminal charges are the way to go as he knows he can not claim that those inside Fide should 'do something', or as was evidenced during his commentary of the recent Women's World Championship match, Nigel has no issue with making wild claims with no basis in fact.

    So, which is more likely:

    1) Nigel thought deep and hard about the best course of action to be taken, given his position as Fide VP and decided the safest course was to call for criminal charges, so he can look like he is 'doing something', whilst not actually doing anything meaningful
    2) Nigel just ran off at the mouth as he is want to do and his claims should just be ignored.

  15. #270
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    Some are suggesting playing in a ''Virtual reality'' Mode...Dvorkovich says Fide is working on it....but I doubt it will be cost effective.
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