Cheating Allegations Lead to "Strip Search" of Chess Player

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ohnoitsabear:
My theory is that, instead of having somebody send him moves, he just had extra chess pieces up his sleeves that he sneaked onto the board when nobody was looking. It makes so much more sense!

his board was full of queens, towers and knights.

or playing video games can make you better at chess.
i bet he read a lot of strategy books to be able to program a good chess simulator.

Treblaine:

DoPo:

That doesn't explain why his performance was inconsistent

That doesn't prove illegal aid, people get better, can even get radically better, within the rules. And his opponents can get worse.

It's not implausible for people to perform barely adequately then suddenly make a breakthrough.

I mean this guy didn't even come first, he came THIRD!

Uhh, is that a logarithmic scale? Because that's only 5% higher. That's hardly "shooting up". It may be simply the scoring system doesn't give the huge tournament points until you've crossed over a threshold of the best of the best.

He could be using any other advanced technique that's "Quasi legal" like cold reading, telling the opponent's moves by reading their body language. He may have played a more probabilistic game, based on what his known opponents are likely to try.

You still ACTUALLY have to prove he is using a computer, not just that he COULD have been using a computer as that applies just as much to all the other contenders, including the one who actually WON the tournament.

if you put his performance in a graph, you can see that "jump"
image
http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=8751

i wonder if the chess players flip the tables and start shooting everyone with their colts.

Them chessmasters are freakin' salty. To be fair, if they can't prove he is cheating then stop going on about until you get some, what was the word? Oh yes, evidence

Maybe he just studied the best chess playing computer patterns towards all the chess strats and learned/copied them from memory.

Or maybe people missed the small Bluetooth earpiece that a chess program was feeding him answers from.

It's nowhere near as silly as that LoL fiasco. The full 10 player minimap was BEHIND THE PLAYERS and Riot said "don't look behind you or you're disqualified"

Inb4 cheating allegations.

rhizhim:

ohnoitsabear:
My theory is that, instead of having somebody send him moves, he just had extra chess pieces up his sleeves that he sneaked onto the board when nobody was looking. It makes so much more sense!

his board was full of queens, towers and knights.

or playing video games can make you better at chess.
i bet he read a lot of strategy books to be able to program a good chess simulator.

Treblaine:

DoPo:

That doesn't explain why his performance was inconsistent

That doesn't prove illegal aid, people get better, can even get radically better, within the rules. And his opponents can get worse.

It's not implausible for people to perform barely adequately then suddenly make a breakthrough.

I mean this guy didn't even come first, he came THIRD!

Uhh, is that a logarithmic scale? Because that's only 5% higher. That's hardly "shooting up". It may be simply the scoring system doesn't give the huge tournament points until you've crossed over a threshold of the best of the best.

He could be using any other advanced technique that's "Quasi legal" like cold reading, telling the opponent's moves by reading their body language. He may have played a more probabilistic game, based on what his known opponents are likely to try.

You still ACTUALLY have to prove he is using a computer, not just that he COULD have been using a computer as that applies just as much to all the other contenders, including the one who actually WON the tournament.

if you put his performance in a graph, you can see that "jump"
image
http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=8751

i wonder if the chess players flip the tables and start shooting everyone with their colts.

HA! That's brilliant. Like they've regressed into losing at Monopoly or something... I don't blame people for flipping Monopoly tables though, seeing as the game is entirely about one player gaining an unfair advantage then snowballing the rest of the game into an absolutely overwhelming win.

"Checkmate"

"ARGGGH *table flip* FUCK THIS! PIECE OF SHIT GAME!"

E4. I don't believe much more needs to be said.

Or maybe he just played against a computer using moves and strategies he knew his opponents favoured, and memorized the moves the computer used against them.

Apparently it doesn't take a chess genius to figure it out.

I really hope that in the end it turns out that he's just that good.

jp201:

Treblaine:

DoPo:

That doesn't explain why his performance was inconsistent

That doesn't prove illegal aid, people get better, can even get radically better, within the rules. And his opponents can get worse.

It's not implausible for people to perform barely adequately then suddenly make a breakthrough.

I mean this guy didn't even come first, he came THIRD!

His FIDE rating, which had previously peaked at 2227 in 2011, shot up to 2342 this month.

Uhh, is that a logarithmic scale? Because that's only 5% higher. That's hardly "shooting up". It may be simply the scoring system doesn't give the huge tournament points until you've crossed over a threshold of the best of the best.

He could be using any other advanced technique that's "Quasi legal" like cold reading, telling the opponent's moves by reading their body language. He may have played a more probabilistic game, based on what his known opponents are likely to try.

You still ACTUALLY have to prove he is using a computer, not just that he COULD have been using a computer as that applies just as much to all the other contenders, including the one who actually WON the tournament.

Yes it is a scale to determine a players skill level and changes depending on the opponents FIDE rating (there is a formula behind how rating change). To jump over 100 points in one month is also quite a leap but not unheard of.

The problem isn't were he placed, but his level of play during those matches.He performed at a level higher then the greatest GMs in the history of chess have ever performed by a large margin and considering his FIDE rating, its IMPOSSIBLE by any fair means. He would have had to transcend human capabilities for those games and become a computer for those matches in order to achieve what he did without cheating.

There is no question that he did cheat, it is more of how he cheated I'm interested in finding out.

image

All the time people out of obscurity can suddenly outperform hugely better than everyone else, but oh no, JUST because of that:

There is no question that he did cheat

Without a shred of evidence.

What specific rule has he broken? If one of the rules is suddenly being better than the "Grand Masters" then this isn't a fucking competition, this is an ego trip for the established elite where the rules are specifically set up to protect any young contender coming in and beating them. And he is young, this isn't like a middle aged man comes out of nowhere, at 25 his intellect would have still been growing.

I mean they have farcical shit like chips implanted under his skin, or in his teeth. Where are are these supposed communication methods??!

rhizhim:

if you put his performance in a graph, you can see that "jump"
image
http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=8751

i wonder if the chess players flip the tables and start shooting everyone with their colts.

Funny, looks like my grades trends in school.

HERP A DERP! I mushtav cheated on AAAALLLL of my exams! And it should be obvious from how poor my coursework was.

Fuck evidence, he's "too good".

DoPo:

KefkaCultist:
Maybe, and I'm going out on a very long limb here, he's just really good at chess?

Maybe he practiced a lot. Not like "couple-hours-a-day" a lot, but more like "holy shit I have nothing else in life time to practice 24/7" a lot.

I mean, the article says he's a programmer (of chess games nonetheless) and having experience in programming I can say that it does develop memory and logical/critical thinking skills, so theoretically this guy could have just extensively studied the top tactics and/or the common tactics of his opponents (if he knew who he was facing beforehand) and just memorized the best moves for those situations. It sounds incredulous, but remember, there are people that can recite the value of pi to at least 100,000 digits from memory. This seems like child's play compared to that.

That doesn't explain why his performance was inconsistent - he pulled this for the first time, the mathematician dude calculated a way high efficiency - higher than chess masters, and his performance suffered when there was he was not televised. Yeah, he could have just devoted his life to mastering chess after a while and the televised thing is just a coincidence but...it's also improbable.

You guys don't seem to realize that Grand Masters (>2500; depending on where you are, I'm going by USCF) think very, very, similarly to a player rated 1400. The reason that they're so good is that Grand Masters have learned by this point to avoid falling into common pitfalls and blunders that would cost them the game. Otherwise, it's perfectly possible to beat them, but not consistently.

Erm...it is. The only reason computers are better than humans is because of sheer number crunching power. Any chess algorithms rely on that. Unless he suddenly, and I do mean suddenly (remember - it's not his first tournament - it's the first one he's so good), devised a way to juggle millions of numbers in his mind, which is implausible given that he never seemingly showed any aptitude for it.

Humans can experiment, be illogical and make it work. Call me when Skynet plays chess with this guy, okay? Whoops; already happened...

Seriously, the way chess works isn't by juggling numbers in your head. To truly think of some good chess moves, you need to consider the board and think about what could possibly happen if your opponent decided to move X piece. This isn't directed at you; it just bugs me how many people think that Chess == math. -.-

But out of nowhere? Really? Until that point he had won one point and then pulls 60. Yeah, so in a few months, he manages to become so good.

That bugs me too. Maybe he's just a dedicated guy, but I'm calling that he used a digital note-taker with a chess analysis engine on it. That's how a person at my chess club (best player too, he was 1700) got banned from playing at the State level.

Are you kidding me? In chess? What, did he roll high or something?

People could screw up their opening/defense. It's easier than it sounds at high level games. There are so many ways that things can go wrong in a chess game from a single pawn move. One. Pawn. Move. I've seen entire games blundered away from moves that weren't really bad at the time, but had a devastating effect in the endgame.

No physical evidence yes but that does not mean "no evidence". Did you read the article? His performance suffered when the games weren't broadcast. Also the mathematician dude with the simulation. Also the fact that he has never shown he can do that. Yeah, not "physical" but come on, you just discarded it as if it was nothing. Here is something else I found (weirdly, I can't find the original link just some people quoting it)

I have again gone through all nine games with Stockfish on my laptop. Ivanov makes a total of 290 moves (I did not evaluate the opening moves that could be considered to be theory). 256 of these are the first choice of Stockfish. That makes 88%. It would have been higher if he hadnīt started to lose his magic in round 8 after the 15 first moves. In the last 19 moves he commits several mistakes, small and big. It is reported that the internet relay of the games went down during this round.

So how good is 88%? I took nine top games of nine world champions to compare with. Here is a summary of the results.

Lasker - Capablanca, St Petersburg 1914, 1-0. Lasker reaches 81%.

Nimzowitsch - Capablanca, St Petersburg 1914, 0-1. Capa reaches a record 84%.

Botvinnik - Keres, Moscow 1953, 1-0. Botvinnik makes 79%.

Fischer - Spassky, Reykjavik 1972, game 6, 1-0. Fischer makes 61%. Considered to be Fischers best effort in the match by many including Spassky - who applauded Fischer on stage after the game.

Karpov - Kasparov, Wch match 1993, game 17, 1-0. Karpov reaches 64%.

Karpov - Kasparov, Linares 1993, 0-1. Kasparov makes 76%.

Topalov - Anand, Wch match 2010, final game, 0-1. Anand makes 76%.

Carlsen - Anand, Master final 2012, 1-0. Carlsen makes 57% in this brilliant game.

Kramnik - McShane, London CC 2012, 1-0. Kramnik makes 68%.

A total of 249 moves when the known opening moves are subtracted. 181 are first choice moves for Stockfish. That makes 73%.

Ivanov is not playing world champion chess. He plays 15% better.

So how unlikely is it to play that well by pure chance? Letīs do some math.

If we simplify and say that in every position there is only two moves a good player (or computer) has to choose from. An oversimplification for sure, but the results are staggering. Then the chance to reach the world champions score 73% is in the order of one in 10 to the power of 21 (a one with 21 zeroes after it). To reach Ivanovs 88% you have one chance in 10 to the power of 53.

If we grant Ivanov world champion strength his chance of reaching 88% would be one in 10 to the power of 32.

I assume it's the mathematician referenced but I'm not sure. Still, if true, it's pretty jarring, assuming those numbers are correct.

Where'd you get that? That seems to be an interesting read.

OT- Cheating, you say? The closest way I can think of is him having an analysis engine on him as he was noting his moves, digitally. I have no idea what else he could be doing.

thesilentman:
Seriously, the way chess works isn't by juggling numbers in your head. To truly think of some good chess moves, you need to consider the board and think about what could possibly happen if your opponent decided to move X piece. This isn't directed at you; it just bugs me how many people think that Chess == math. -.-

Yes, chess does not work like that, computers work like that. AI playing chess (and most AI, actually) is just extremely good at number crunching. This was a response tot he guy who said that "Oh, he could be thinking like a computer" - impossible. Ok, very improbably - unless he's crunching many, many numbers at a very fast pace - no he cannot. He'll be thinking like a human. A distinct difference.

thesilentman:

Are you kidding me? In chess? What, did he roll high or something?

People could screw up their opening/defense. It's easier than it sounds at high level games. There are so many ways that things can go wrong in a chess game from a single pawn move. One. Pawn. Move. I've seen entire games blundered away from moves that weren't really bad at the time, but had a devastating effect in the endgame.

Keep in mind that this is a tournament with many people on there, many of which very good players. The chance of all of them making stupid mistakes is quite low. Also, it is said that he made good moves, not his opponents bad ones.

thesilentman:
Where'd you get that? That seems to be an interesting read.

I saw it quoted in two forums but I have no idea what the original is - Google failed me even. Strangely. Here is where I took it from, although I quoted the whole of it (the whole of the quoted bit, at least), the other forum had the exact same quote, however it is a Bulgarian one, so not of much use, I assume. Maybe chess.com has more elaboration and people discussing it - I haven't gone through the thread.

Treblaine:

DoPo:

That doesn't explain why his performance was inconsistent

That doesn't prove illegal aid, people get better, can even get radically better, within the rules. And his opponents can get worse.

It's not implausible for people to perform barely adequately then suddenly make a breakthrough.

I mean this guy didn't even come first, he came THIRD!

Remember that he didn't preform as good when his games weren't broadcast. Also, not implausible - as I said it's quite improbable, however.

Treblaine:
He could be using any other advanced technique that's "Quasi legal" like cold reading, telling the opponent's moves by reading their body language. He may have played a more probabilistic game, based on what his known opponents are likely to try.

Ugh...dude, that's chess. Nobody cares what the next move would be - you'll see it anyway - the person will play it right in front of you. Knowing what the move is several moments in advance is not actually that useful.

EDIT: OK, lol - above, I did say that the Bulgarian forum wouldn't be of much help...actually I took a second look at it and somebody quoted something in Serbian which seems to be a system that could be used to cheat in chess

If anybody's interested, here's a link to the thread (in Bulgarian, OP has the quoted Serbian above)

You know, the entire Chess community needs to step back, take a deep breath, and then slap themselves silly, before taking another deep breath. WTF is wrong with these people, do they have no pride anymore?

Growing up there was the whole question as to whether a computer could ever beat a real grandmaster playing chess. For years there were battles of "Man Vs. Machine" which lead to the computers losing, until eventually, after many years, "Deep Blue" (I believe it was) actually managed to win. Now I see what seems to be a general consensus among these guys that they can't beat computers, which is just frakking sad. This guy using a computer to play against them should actually be considered a disadvantage.

That said this guy is a computer programmer who writes chess programs. Gee, do you think that might just come accross in how he plays?

I find it deplorable how little pride there is in the chess community anymore, and that rather than celebrating someone who pulls off an amazing victory, everyone is screaming like school children and accusing him of using the one thing I'd expect REAL chess masters to disparage. "Wow, you suck so much you couldn't possibly have won", well, if that's the case why was he brought into the tournament to begin with? The point is that anyone who is there to begin with could be a wildcard/underdog winner, which is kind of the point.

I guess the bottom line is that I think it's a combination of horrible sportsmanship, a lack of pride, and insane paranoia. I mean if this guy has a computer equivilent fo Deep Blue or something at his beck and call that in of
itself is quite an achievement.

thing is this guy seemed to go from the guy that would be getting these guys coffee, to beating several gms in one run. sure you can get hot maybe he worked something out about his game, but then he lose by a rookie mistake, in the one type of game that computer chess programs struggle against. where before he was playing so utterly perfectly it seemed he was using a chess program to do it.

it could be quite simply he had a plant in the audience and they ran the game and fed him moves, why does it have to be via radio implant? simple sign language and a laptop or even calculator chess programs would have probably gotten the same thing and been way less out there than microchips in his teeth or brain.

Therumancer:
That said this guy is a computer programmer who writes chess programs. Gee, do you think that might just come accross in how he plays?

No, it cannot. AI relies on lots and lots of computation - it's normally not possible for any human, unless they are some kind of savant. And I do mean it, if he was capable of doing this to begin with he would have been just...wrong. From birth, at least, or probably would have suffered some kind of trauma or something in the mean time.

Please, people, chess is practically one of the first topics to be covered in AI courses, with these comments "he programs chess - HE IS USING THE SAME TO PLAY" you're just proving that 1. you don't know chess AI actually works 2. you don't have basic foundation of AI, either, so you shouldn't be making any sort of comment on that to begin with.

In other news, I took a third look at that Bulgarian chess thread. OMG, shit is so funny xD there are several suggestions how Borislav ivanov could have cheated, all of them plausible. The guy himself (or at least somebody claiming to be him - seems sort of legit) also..erm, takes part (you might call it that) in the discussion. I'll try to summarise it when I finish reading through it.

Therumancer:
You know, the entire Chess community needs to step back, take a deep breath, and then slap themselves silly, before taking another deep breath. WTF is wrong with these people, do they have no pride anymore?

Not sure if intentional humour or not.

Seriously, Chess has kind of gone the way of the buggy-whip by technological advances. Chess used to be considered the pinnacle of thought, now it's being won so consistently by machines that we curse everyday for making stupid decision with our files and photos. And that has a retroactive effect, it just goes to show being good at chess is not some divine intelligence, it's not an excellence of abstract thought, it's just another mechanical process that machines quietly and effortlessly... beat us every time.

It's like setting a land speed record... on foot. When there are machines that break 1000 miles per hour and even faster ones that fly or travel into space.

Why is it most competitive racing on TV is motor-vehicles rather than people on foot? Olympics racing by pure human-power is the exception to the rule.

Here is most telling about this case...

They have no evidence that he has had any outside help, the ONLY evidence that he is cheating is... that he's better than the "Grand Masters". AUTOMATICALLY they assume machine.

Give up. Throw the chess board away because it doesn't really matter if he actually was cheating or not, if excellence in playing chess will always be denigrated with association with machines, then WHAT IS THE POINT IN BEING GOOD AT IT?!?!?! If you're just going to be put in the same category as a lifeless uncaring machine.

image

This is the end of chess.

What's happened to chess is the equivalent of what happened to Snakes and Ladders after we learned about probability and that "luck" doesn't exist.

Arguably it started with Deep Blue burying it 6 feet under but now the tombstone has been picked over and the graveyard paved over to make a parking lot, precisely because of how the chess community has reacted.

You have to admit, before Deep Blue they would not have acted this way to someone performing so well.

Shoe computers have been used by professional cheaters at gambling. If they are concerned they probably should just put both players in a room that blocks wifi and cell signals. Make it so only wired cameras can work.

Chuckle. I was waiting for something like this to happen. That it was this dude makes it even more funny. Some people never, never, ever change. I used to catch this dude cheating all the time on a now defunct chess site I admined for.

Also, computers wander in closed positions. They lack the sophistication to plan deeply in those positions. As an e.g. Symetrical English, KID, as well as a number of others. Also, another thing that gives it away that he was up to something nefarious is the level of strong play in sharp tactical positions. Even GM's like Kasparov and Larry Christiansen (a known attacking player) will make mistakes. This guy, schooled 4 GM's with a huge performance rating. One GM, is possible that the GM missed a line and the guy capitilized on a blunder but, 4 GM's? I think not. Sharp positions are frought with peril for even GM's. So many ways they can play out or make a mistake in them.

Then there is all the theory for these positions and openings. No way a lower rated master would have the knowledge base to excel in all of them. Unless of course he memorized thousands of pages of opening and midgame theory...

Edit 1: and seeing as 100's of pages of theory are added each year it is highly unlikely this clown knew em all. Unless, of course, he managed to find novelty lines for each GM he beat. And if he did that then he managed to surpass Fischer who came up with a huge novelty line that has been used frequently in the Njdorf. Which, is also highly unlikely that a low rated master would manage to find not 1 but 4 novelty lines...

My god but they're petty! Just proves that even chess players (grand masters at that) are not above calling 'hax!' when their ego gets properly bitch-slapped.

Maybe he was really that good at it despite being at a low rank?

Also really? You cna use math to see if that person is cheating?

ISN'T IT OBVIOUS! He and the machines have merged. He has transcended the other inferior chess players, the only reason he didn't win all the games is his human side is fighting to regain control.

OK, finished the thread, here is a summary - the OP is actually Atanas Kurtenkov (a different Bulgarian chess player, retired now, but has played for twenty years) - he suggests the Serbian thing I quoted above as well as saying that there are quite a lot of tech that would both allow cheating and are virtually undetectable. At least from a casual pat down, which was actually not what Boris Ivanov was subjected to - he was checked way less thorough than that - he took off his shirt (on his own volition) and emptied his pockets (which he was asked to). According to him, there are a whole range of devices that can me hidden under the skin, in the ear. Mr Kurtenkov also says that a lot of them could be jammed using a simple device...however, there are two problems, with that - one, it can be bypassed by different types of tech which are not affected by it, two, it cannot actually be deployed in the tournament to begin with (it could interfere with pacemakers, for example). According to Mr Kurtenkov, he retired because found out exactly how easy it is to cheat.

Valeri Lilov (also chess player - has an official title of FIDE Master) - username tigerlilov does a really...interesting analysis (it's in English, although an hour long)

To summarise it - 98% of the moves Borislav Ivanov does are exactly what a chess engine called Houdini 2.0c would do. Mr Lilov also posts an interesting chat he had with another chess player (Jivko is the first name...don't know ho exactly is it - probably either Jivko Jekov or Jivko Kaikamdzozov) where he (Lilov) suggests a hidden cam, or a sensor of some description used to send the moves to somebody else, attached to the clothes (maybe). Apparently, these things can be very easily discarded if, for example, one decides to take off their shirt. You know. Incidentally, after Borislav Ivanov was searched and his pen taken away, he suddenly started making mistakes and generally not following what Houdini 2.0c would do. Finally, Mr Lilov posted an email from Darko Feletar.

One other user Nikola (chess player - Nikola Antonov. Google doesn't suggest he's as well known as Mr Kurtov) puts forward the suggestion for something even simpler...just a stripped down existing device, like a smart phone. It's pretty easy to just have it programmed to communicate through vibrations (Morse alphabet, for example, although any sequence signalling can work). Also, hiding whatever the device is, is quite easy - in the underwear. The player cannot legally be checked there without a court order or an officer of the law. Also, a mistake Borislav Ivanov did at the end of the game, (Lilov references it - it's more than 100 moves into the game) can be explained neatly by dead battery - 100 moves is a lot of time.

Borislav Ivanov also..takes part in the thread, as I said. Or somebody who claims to be him. Mr Kurtenkov seems to believe it is really Borislav Ivanov, since they actually spoke on the phone too - Kurtenkov suggested a chess match between the two of them. With the catch that Kurtenkov would take any equipment that could potentially show Ivanov is cheating. In the thread Borislav Ivanov acts like...OK, you all know the stereotypical 13 year old cursing CoD player, I assume. That's exactly how Borislav Ivanov acts throughout the entire thread - just imagine the 13 year old is actually typing instead of shouting in a microphone and it's using txtspeak and bad grammar. I'm not exaggerating or ridiculing him or anything, it is the actual equivalence of what he does - just flaming everybody. Also, threatens Mr Kurtov.

Scarim Coral:
Also really? You cna use math to see if that person is cheating?

Yes, you can look for statistical abnormalities.

electric method:
-snip-

thesilentman:
-snip-

You two might be interested in the video above, I think Mr Lilov talks really interesting stuff and goes in depth into chess and the analysis of the play. From what I heard, at least.

DoPo:

No, it cannot. AI relies on lots and lots of computation - it's normally not possible for any human, unless they are some kind of savant. And I do mean it, if he was capable of doing this to begin with he would have been just...wrong. From birth, at least, or probably would have suffered some kind of trauma or something in the mean time.

That's not how human intelligence works. It's not a zero-sum thing.

It's not like to be really good at mathematical calculation you have to sacrifice social intelligence or coordination or anything like that.

Even though there are some remarkable individuals of amazing mathematical intelligence but poor social intelligence that's as much down to people who have impeded social intelligence enjoy maths.

So a low-ranked master beats four grand masters in one night, losing only when the broadcasting of the matches cease?
In addition, his moves are statistically more similar to a chess computer than most anything that's ever been played before?

That certainly does warrant an investigation into the issue.
I don't see why people are pissed off that this guy is being accused of cheating. His actually performing the way he did without any AI aid is ridiculously improbable.
If some person who's been making mediocre times at the 400 m all his life suddenly, one month after his last mediocre recorded time, suddenly does a 37 second run, you're damn right the sports community would be checking his ass for steroids.
Particularly considering that his method of running highly resembles that of a person on steroids, and his times suddenly going mediocre when the magical steroid-blocking device is turned on.
It just happens that in this case, it's a lot harder to prove the use of the "steroids".

And people saying that you could go from "low-ranked master" to "playing almost at the level of a computer (additionally very similar to a computer's manner)" simply by studying really hard for a month: I don't think you appreciate the level of effort grand masters put into their studying of the game. From what I understand of chess it's not like any old low-rank can suddenly surpass grand masters simply by studying really hard for a month.

Treblaine:

DoPo:

No, it cannot. AI relies on lots and lots of computation - it's normally not possible for any human, unless they are some kind of savant. And I do mean it, if he was capable of doing this to begin with he would have been just...wrong. From birth, at least, or probably would have suffered some kind of trauma or something in the mean time.

That's not how human intelligence works. It's not a zero-sum thing.

It's not like to be really good at mathematical calculation you have to sacrifice social intelligence or coordination or anything like that.

Even though there are some remarkable individuals of amazing mathematical intelligence but poor social intelligence that's as much down to people who have impeded social intelligence enjoy maths.

At the higher levels of chess it more about memorization and pattern recognition than most anything else. Yes, one can use math to infer the probability that a specific player is going to play a specific line at a specific time. However, trying to apply math to how a GM approaches chess isn't quite a good idea. Seeing as most spend hours learning lines, memorizing end game and opening theory and pouring over positions to find new plans or improve exsisting ones it's hard to quantify how they think in each situation. A good eg of this was a move Kasparov pioneered in the Queen's Gambit. It became wildly popular and saw a lot of use, (Qc2 at move 4 if I remember this line right). Once this line gained traction a lot of theory was developed for it and one would see it a lot in high level play. Now one could statistically model the probability that line would be played but, not which player would play it or the plan behind it.

Jonluw:
So a low-ranked master beats four grand masters in one night, losing only when the broadcasting of the matches cease?
In addition, his moves are statistically more similar to a chess computer than most anything that's ever been played before?

That certainly does warrant an investigation into the issue.
I don't see why people are pissed off that this guy is being accused of cheating. His actually performing the way he did without any AI aid is ridiculously improbable.
If some person who's been making mediocre times at the 400 m all his life suddenly, one month after his last mediocre recorded time, suddenly does a 37 second run, you're damn right the sports community would be checking his ass for steroids.
Particularly considering that his method of running highly resembles that of a person on steroids, and his times suddenly going mediocre when the magical steroid-blocking device is turned on.
It just happens that in this case, it's a lot harder to prove the use of the "steroids".

And people saying that you could go from "low-ranked master" to "playing almost at the level of a computer (additionally very similar to a computer's manner)" simply by studying really hard for a month: I don't think you appreciate the level of effort grand masters put into their studying of the game. From what I understand of chess it's not like any old low-rank can suddenly surpass grand masters simply by studying really hard for a month.

You are correct. A lower rated player would not suddenly, in a months time, perform at a GM level. Think of it this way, most, if not all, GM's have this series of books that comes out every year that deal exclusively with opening theory. Each one of those books is something like 800 pages long. For a master level player to suddenly learn and play better than a GM with years of study and experience behind them is not only unlikely but, highly improbable due to how much study is required.

A good eg of this is the multiple openings in the Sicilian. Each one of the variations on this opening has hundreds of associated lines with them. Learning them all and playing them all to perfection would be a feat no human could do.

See the problem here is the fact that Chess is a game of finite moves. Yes, yes I know there are millions of moves that can occur during a game, but if you break things down you are dropping into the thousands and when you take the skill level of high-ranking people it drops possibly into the hundreds, and that is something people can memorize.

Chess is a game of patterns, and if you memorize and see enough of the patterns you can defeat them.

DoPo:
. Mr Kurtenkov also says that a lot of them could be jammed using a simple device...however, there are two problems, with that - one, it can be bypassed by different types of tech which are not affected by it, two, it cannot actually be deployed in the tournament to begin with (it could interfere with pacemakers, for example).

What!?!?! You're trying to summarise with that claim?

What about a Faraday cage

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faraday_cage

Blocks all EM waves used in wireless transmitters, doesn't affect pacemakers nor any medical devices and is not restricted by any communications authority as it doesn't block signals within a radius like an active jammer, it simply stops any radio or microwave radiation entering the cage.

These can be made very discrete, the principal is simple, it's like being surrounded by the antenna that absorbs the WAVES before the receiver can. And the receiver would most likely be extremely weak if it has to be so concealable. This stops mobile phones and everything similar.

Any system would utterly depend on an outside confederate to record each piece move and enter it into a machine to determine what the next move should be. With mobile phone tucked between his nuts or a fanciful device somehow inserted under the skin, can't have any data entered into it to tell him what the next move should be.

I thought Chess players were supposed to be smart.

Well, maybe smart with chess moves but not the common sense to do the bare minimum of research before declaring something non-viable.

And this is all so convenient, to say the cheating is undetectable then equally anyone can be accused, this fantasy is an inquisitor's wet dream, so to speak.

aoi287:
Sounds like the people he beat are pretty butthurt.

My exact thoughts.

Don't know how else to say it but evidently chess is serious buisness!

....

Hold on, how the hell do you cheat at chess? Unless your fucking psychic or robotic, that shouldn't even be possible.

Treblaine:

DoPo:
. Mr Kurtenkov also says that a lot of them could be jammed using a simple device...however, there are two problems, with that - one, it can be bypassed by different types of tech which are not affected by it, two, it cannot actually be deployed in the tournament to begin with (it could interfere with pacemakers, for example).

What!?!?! You're trying to summarise with that claim?

I'm summarising and relying the words of Mr Kurtenkov (and others), that's what I'm doing. I thought it obvious, seeing as I said as much.

A Faraday cage could work but it seems nobody thought to build one at the tournament, I assume. Ideally, you'd want the room shielded which means build it into the room. Which means, have the chess tournaments in only one (or very few) places at a time. That's before factoring in the expenses. Or make an actual cage and place people inside but, again, it's not quite so elegant and there are other complications, too (makes shooting the match a bit annoying, for example).

electric method:
trying to apply math to how a GM approaches chess isn't quite a good idea.

Yes, on the surface - to someone who has never really tried it - it may seem that way.

But attaching giant fan to an oversized kite and riding the thing over the Kittyhawk dunes expecting the thing to fly equally "isn't quite a good idea", yet controlled flight was invented in America thinks to some Brothers trying precisely that. All aeroplane control systems descend from their solution to the flying problem.

And you know what, when they first did it EVERYONE thought they were frauds. They thought it was all faked, it was all a marketing stunt, and they said it was categorically impossible for them to succeed where other inventors with the funding of rich Industrialists and monarchies had repeatedly failed.

I don't want to be the modern equivalent of the person who called the Wright Brothers frauds, not over a matter of evidence, but refusal to recognise such lowly ones could achieve above that of the elites.

However he won, he deserves the respect and honour of all his victories till it is proven that he cheated.

electric method:
Think of it this way, most, if not all, GM's have this series of books that comes out every year that deal exclusively with opening theory. Each one of those books is something like 800 pages long.

Going back to the Wright Brother's achievement, there were entire libraries full of books on aerodynamics that the Wright Brothers consulted.

Turns out it was a whole load of writing but most of it was useless, all the complexities and theories weren't backed up and over-complicated the problem. Over complicated. If it takes 800 pages to summarise your opening strategy, then that is such a fiendishly convoluted strategy it's always going to favour the raw power of a machine.

What if he's not trying to think like a machine, but think like a human.

Remember, this guy designs chess-beating computer algorithms, he knows chess.

I'd give him the benefit of the doubt. Old elites all reading the same same 800-page books thinking in the same way have been made fools of before...

Zen Toombs:
Wait, you AREN'T supposed to strip while playing chess?

Oh.

Yeah, I saw that movie too.

DoPo:

Treblaine:

DoPo:
. Mr Kurtenkov also says that a lot of them could be jammed using a simple device...however, there are two problems, with that - one, it can be bypassed by different types of tech which are not affected by it, two, it cannot actually be deployed in the tournament to begin with (it could interfere with pacemakers, for example).

What!?!?! You're trying to summarise with that claim?

I'm summarising and relying the words of Mr Kurtenkov (and others), that's what I'm doing. I thought it obvious, seeing as I said as much.

A Faraday cage could work but it seems nobody thought to build one at the tournament, I assume. Ideally, you'd want the room shielded which means build it into the room. Which means, have the chess tournaments in only one (or very few) places at a time. That's before factoring in the expenses. Or make an actual cage and place people inside but, again, it's not quite so elegant and there are other complications, too (makes shooting the match a bit annoying, for example).

No one thought of that? Then they didn't think much at all! They weren't thinking about robust anti-cheating strategies, it seem they only thought enough of how to suit their foregone conclusion that cheating was impossible to detect, so empowering themselves to declare whoever they like is a cheater at their whim.

Expenses? Don't be ridiculous. It's ANY wire! And they forked out enough for live no-delay internet streaming which if anything would only help cheating.

It's clear even after being informed about this you don't know what a Faraday cage entails. You've probably walked into a Faraday cage before and not known it, the only clue being suddenly losing all signal on your phone.

It doesn't have to be a cage with thick bars, a veil of thin wires is more than enough, come on, the entire reputation of Chess is at stake and still the feet dragging of "oooh, it's too hard". But not too hard to be an inquisitor!

Thanks for the link to the analysis Dopo.

Treblaine:
No one thought of that? Then they didn't think much at all! They weren't thinking about robust anti-cheating strategies

I think there is more about your suggestion than you actually realise.

Treblaine:
Expenses? Don't be ridiculous. It's ANY wire! And they forked out enough for live no-delay internet streaming which if anything would only help cheating.

It's any wire, yes, but you have to install it, also work around it for the equipment. If you want to build it into the wall, that's fucking expensive, too.

Treblaine:
It's clear even after being informed about this you don't know what a Faraday cage entails.

Yeah, thanks for that - I do know enough to tell you that it's not exactly high priority thing to build around a room with a tournament in. You would do it if you suspect there would be cheating to begin with, not start wrapping the area when you first hear about it.

Treblaine:
Remember, this guy designs chess-beating computer algorithms, he knows chess.

Actually, I've been scouring Google for this and...it seems surprisingly lacking on any mention of him making chess software. The only info to that effect is what is quoted here and elsewhere (from the same source). In fact, all the Bulgarian media covering this scandal only say he's a computer programmer by trade, that's all. I can tell you he's doing first year pedagogy, though. Also, he came second in a chess tournament in Bulgaria just a couple of months ago (21 November), too. Also, there seems to be a Borislav Ivanov who is a web developer but I have no idea if it's the same guy or not it sort of seems he isn't but I don't really know - the name is quite common (there is a business man, an actor, a karate instructor, a weight lifter, and a cyclist all coming up in the searches).

It's almost if...it's easy to be banging on about one thing if it supports your position, isn't it? Don't worry, I'm continuing my Google searches, I'll notify you if I find any actual proof he is what the news claim he is.

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