To Catch A Chess Cheater

Cheating at chess has been featured prominently in the news recently. In addition to the article in the latest issue of Chess Life, June 2014, “How To Catch A Chess Cheater,” the subject of the article, IM Ken Regan, was interviewed on the PBS program, “Weekend Edition,” on June 21, 2014. The program can be heard, or a transcript read, online here:
Mark Weeks posted “The ‘No Cheating’ Jigsaw Puzzle; on 10 June 2014 ( He posted a link to the aforementioned Chess Life article and to the “Draft Copy of Recommendations of the Anti-Cheating Committee” at the FIDE website: (
There is a current thread on the USCF forum, “Increased Allegations of Cheating.” (
The thread was started by “DENTONCHESS,” who is Robert B. Jones. His thread begins, “This topic applies to regular events, as (at least in most DFW events) we kick parents/coaches out of the scholastic playing area. The allegations that seem to be increasing…”
Jeff K. Weiwel, Posting as “jwiewel,” writes, “I’d guess that one reason for the larger number of accusations is that now there are programs anybody can run that are much stronger than the scholastic players (heck, often they are much stronger than GMs).”
Most of the thread concerns cheating in scholastic events. For example, Thomas Magar, or “tmagchesspgh” on the forum, writes, “It may be necessary to have some announcements before a tournament begins, backed up by flyers and education sessions for parents to explain to them what acceptable communication they can have with their children. Alleging someone is cheating is ratcheting up complaints to the highest degree.”
Later on he writes, “At one tournament, one of my students went outside of the playing hall to talk to his dad. I exploded all over him and his dad for doing that.”
I would liked to have seen that explosion! I cannot help wondering how long it took to clean the mess…
My point is that talk of possible cheating is prolific. The chess discussion, rather than being about the positive attributes of the Royal game, has been consumed by constant talk of cheating. Rumors abound in every tournament. An example would be the rampant rumor of the child playing in a recent scholastic event here in Atlanta who “Built a fortress around his scoresheet in order to hide a gizmo underneath.” I have absolutely no idea whether or not this particular rumor is true. Whether true or not does not matter. What matters is people are talking about the possibility of cheating.

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