The Chess Cheating Epidemic Is Destroying The Game

In a post, Canadian Arbiter Caught Cheating,by kevinspraggettonchess, published September 22, 2018, The Canadian Chess Grandmaster wrote:

“Claude Lessard is a popular and well respected arbiter,

organizer and promoter in the Quebec City area chess community. Earlier in the month the Quebec Chess Federation (FQE) took the unprecedented step to ban him for 2 years following an investigation into multiple longtime allegations of cheating using a cellphone chess app during his games.

Questions of whether this cheating was just the tip of the iceberg amongst members of the popular chess club he ran and owned remain unanswered.”

THE CHEATING EPIDEMIC

“On September 7th of this year I wrote a blog article dealing with this precise topic. In this article I argued, amongst other things, to indirectly remove arbiters from FIDE’s efforts to catch cheaters. This Quebec incident proves my point: a cheating arbiter will NEVER report a cheating player because he will be afraid of himself being caught in the resulting web of investigation.

Curiously, the above announcement by the FQE of the two year suspension of Claude Lessard was removed from the FQE’s official website one day after the decision first being announced. Is the FQE trying to bury the incident?

In my blog article mentioned above, I argued for a LIFETIME ban for any individual caught cheating. Zero tolerance. We have come to the point where we have spectators, arbiters, organizers and players cheating. Something must be done about this!”

Cheating is destroying the game

“I don’t play so much these days, but in the relatively few international tournaments that I have played in during the past 5 years here in Europe, I have witnessed a significant number of examples of cheating. Even amongst 2700-plus players, not just the lowly amateur.

Some of these methods used are quite sophisticated, and implicate outside help. All require the tournament arbiters to close their eyes and look the otherway. As I wrote several times here on this blog, a good rule of thumb is that at any given time in any tournament as many as 20% of the participants are cheating in one way or the other.”
http://www.spraggettonchess.com/canadian-arbiter-caught-cheating/

I do not know where, exactly, the tipping point is for people to turn away from the game, but if Grandmaster Spraggett is correct the game is in imminent if not immediate danger of being consigned to the dustbin of history. Ask yourself this question, “If I were a parent would I want my child playing a game in which one out of every five players cheated?”

Ask yourself this question, “What percentage of cheating would be acceptable for me to participate in any game?”

There is, and has been, a small amount of cheating in most games. For example, Leo “The Lip” Durocher,

(https://sabr.org/research/1947-dodgers-suspension-leo-durocher) manager of the 1954 New York Giants, cheated by stealing signs of the opposing teams catcher so his batters would know what kind of pitches were coming, and Leo the Lip is in the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame. The National Football League New England Patriots cheated so often one can click on and read all about the New England Patriots Cheating History. (http://yourteamcheats.com/NE)

In the United States of America it has become fact that cheaters are winners. It has been written Dirty Tricky Dicky Nixxon

did not contest the lost 1960 election because a recount would have shown that he, too, had cheated.

We The People now have a nocuous imbecilic POTUS sitting in the oval office who not only cheated to win, but has continually cheated throughout his life.

Maybe the twenty percent GM Spraggett

quotes is too small a number…For decades FIDE, the governing body of world Chess, has been administered by cheaters and crooks who have turned a blind eye to cheating while having “zero tolerance” for a player turning up a few minutes late for the start of his or her game. I do not see things improving any time soon unless GM Nigel Short wins the soon to be election for FIDE President. One candidate, Georgios Makropoulos,

has been VP for decades and knows where the bodies, and money, is buried. He has one foot, and several toes, in the grave. Another candidate, Arkady Dvorkovich,

is yet another Putin puppet. If elected Putin’s puppet Dvorkovich will simply bring more of Putin’s poison to the world of Chess. Therefore, the only hope for change in FIDE is Grandmaster Nigel Short.

What chance does Nigel have against the rotten cheaters against whom he is running? Maybe a snowball’s chance in HELL…

There is a post on the forum at the website of the United States Chess Federation titled, Spraggett on Cheating where one finds this by the forum’s resident philosopher, Thomas Magar:

“Over the years, from the early 1970’s to now, the most frequent forms of “cheating” I have seen fit into the following categories:

1. Casual contact between players, coaches, spectators, and parents. It was common to go to big tournaments and see players conversing in aisles with compatriots. While some of it was innocuous, the frequency of the contacts was more than suspicious. It was clear that chess was a team game for some Russian speaking players, with information being passed at critical times. One could hear moves and variations being discussed during games. Other nationalities also talked to each other about games in progress. TDs who did not know the languages could not police the floors even if they tried. One player I know found his higher rated, titled foreign opponent in the book seller’s room reading a book on the opening they were playing. They guy was forfeited but was allowed to play subsequent rounds, earning a prize. Today it is common to see kids conversing animatedly with parents who are holding thin tablets with the position of their child’s games.

2. Various drugs have been used to stimulate players. Back in the ’70’s and even before that, some players experimented with different amphetamines to improve energy and focus. Many players hyped themselves up with extreme doses of caffeine through coffee and tea which may haver worked for some, but were not helpful physically. The use of drugs and caffeine supplements have effects like sleep deprivation, tremors, and frazzled nerves during critical moments. I see players guzzling “5 Hour Energy” at tournaments as well as popping pills. For short term gain, players are risking long term health damages. In the old days, players thought alcohol was a stimulant. Now it is used to come off the highs and numb the brain into sleep. Drugs and alcohol, not a good chess combination.

3. Electronic devices have become ubiquitous. When the program Tech was developed in the early ’70’s, it was not very good, but it was a precursor of what was possible using computers and good programming. By the mid-’80’s, the Hitech and Deep Thought programs were 2450-2550 strength. They required sophisticated hardware and were unwieldy to use except by their handlers. Today, one can buy powerful programs and download apps that fit into devices that are in the palm of your hand. This has opened the chance to cheat to everyone. Every tournament I attend, there are players or parents sitting on the floor analyzing positions using Fritz, Komodo, Stockfish, or other programs, either alone or in multiple configurations tied into databases. The power of these devices is enticing, even if it is used to win a mere trophy.

4. Sandbagging. Once a player rises to a certain level, he may discover that improving the chess rating is noble and ethical, it is not vey economic. Lowering the rating, throwing games in tournaments you are not doing well in, may lead to large prizes in class section of future tournaments. Maintaining a rating below a rating threshold is fairly easy to do. With the new rating changes that have increased volatility, it is possible to lose many more points in the tournaments a player decides to crash his rating in. He must be careful to toss as many as he can before and after a big event. That is not so hard as there are plenty of Game 30s to give away points in. Running out of time or hanging a piece is easy in a fast timecontrol tournament and no one notices what he is doing, unless he loses several games o players who are considerable lower rated. Having a couple of mediocre tournaments that are cheap to play in works just fine. He can work on new openings and then make a blunder. The acting crushed takes some dramatic skill, but suffering for one’s art is expected.

Is all of this killing the game? There seem to be a lot more players around even if one cannot trust them. If your goal is to attract attendance and make money, you may not want to notice what is going on. On the other hand, if you are a purist who thinks the game is an art, a noble conquest, and an elevation of man’s culture, you are not happy about the sleazy way the tournament game has degenerated into a gambler’s paradise. In any event, move over as the means to stop the cheating are few. You can punish the ones you catch, but you will have a harder time changing the new chess culture. As they say, “If you ain’t cheating, you ain’t trying.” It is all about the Benjamins.”

I have never played Chess because of “the Benjamins.” I played for the love of the game. I played Backgammon professionally for “the Benjamins.” If I play tournament Chess again it will, most probably, be in a Senior tournament, where the risk of encountering cheating would be minuscule, if at all. I may possibly play in a week night tournament with a time limit of fifteen minutes. Who would cheat in in such a tournament?

GM Spraggett has called for “Zero tolerance,” and “…a LIFETIME ban for any individual caught cheating.”
Although this seems rather harsh to someone brought up in a Southern Baptist environment with the prevalent idea of giving people a second chance, I must concur with GM Spraggett. The Major League Baseball rule against wagering on MLB games did not deter Pete Rose


https://nypost.com/2018/04/24/pete-rose-still-betting-and-losing-big-estranged-wife-claims/

even with the possibility of a lifetime ban, so it will not eliminate all cheating, but surely it could possibly cut the twenty percent figure considerably.


Cheating At Solitaire

Mike Ness
Album: Cheating at Solitaire

You can lie to yourself, you can lie to the world
You can lie to the one you call your girl
You can humble yourself to the hearts that you stole
Wondering who’s gonna love you when you grow old?

With a fist full of courage and a heart full of rage
I realized I’d locked myself in a cage
I’ll be the one standing there with the watery eyes
I’ll be the fool in the mirror asking you why…asking why

When I got to the end of my dirty rainbow
And I found that there was no pot of gold
Well, I learned that I was empty and not quite as strong
For I had robbed my heart and cheated my soul

Look for the one with the watery eyes
I’ll be the fool in the mirror asking you why
Cursing lovers in a warm tender embrace
Scoffing at the world and the whole human race

Chorus:
You can run, you can hide
You can feed your foolish pride
You can use and abuse
In the end you’ll always lose…at the game

Chorus:
You can run, you can hide
You can feed your foolish pride
With the hearts that you stole
And an empty pot of gold
And the lover’s warm embrace
And the whole damned human race
You can use and abuse
In the end you’ll always lose…at the game

“For I cheated myself at solitaire”

https://genius.com/Mike-ness-cheating-at-solitaire-lyrics

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Pusillanimously Reprehensible Republican Senators

I was born and raised in the South, as is said, “By the grace of God.” Southern men are taught to respect and protect women. My beloved Mother drilled it into me I was to always revere and protect my two sisters no matter what might happen to me.

As a Southern man I learned at an early age I was NEVER to allow a woman to do my bidding. Any Southern man who hid behind the skirt of a woman was considered a coward. A Southern man who allowed a woman to do his bidding, or who stood behind a woman’s skirt, lost face. He was a man without honor.

Women bring the future into the world and if for no other reason should be protected.

The sight of watching these reprehensible Republican Senators hiding in plain sight behind a woman while allowing her do their bidding today in Washington DC was sickening.

These are the Republican “men”, and I use the word very loosely, on the Senate Judiciary Committee:

Chairman
Senator Chuck Grassley R-IA COWARD

Senator Orrin G. Hatch R-UT COWARD

Senator Lindsey Graham R-SC COWARD

Senator John Cornyn R-TX COWARD

Senator Michael S. Lee R-UT Senator Michael S. Lee R-UT

Senator Ted Cruz R-TX COWARD

Senator Ben Sasse R-NE COWARD

Senator Jeff Flake R-AZ COWARD

Senator Mike Crapo R-ID COWARD

Senator Thom Tillis R-NC COWARD

Senator John Kennedy R-LA COWARD

If you agree with what I have written, please pass it on. Do not worry about what these cowards may do to me in retaliation to what I have written because I am an old man living with cancer and can, therefore, speak my mind in hopes you younger people reading this will do something about the current Fools In Power, as Jean-Paul Sartre said, “By

Who You Gonna Believe, Nickki Haley or Your Lying Eyes

Nikki Haley says the UN loves Trump: ‘The media got this so wrong’

by Pete Kasperowicz
| September 26, 2018 07:58 AM

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley

said reporters got it wrong when they said U.N. leaders laughed at President Trump after he said he has accomplished more than most U.S. presidents.

After that comment at the U.N. General Assembly, a murmur ran through the crowd, prompting Trump to react by saying, ” so true.” Attendees broke into laughter then, and many press reports said the group was laughing at Trump’s claim.

But Haley said the audience was laughing because Trump was being so honest with them.

The media got this so wrong,” Haley said on Fox News.

“I deal with these leaders every single day. I know exactly how they think,” she said. “Do they love America? No. Do they respect America? Now they do.”

“When he said that, they loved how honest he is, and it’s not diplomatic, and they find it funny,” Haley said.

She said U.N. leaders aren’t used to being spoken too so honestly, and were “taken aback” by Trump’s remarks. She also said the U.N. crowd loves being around Trump.

“All day yesterday, they were falling over themselves to get a picture with him, to talk about how great his speech was, how strong it was,” she said.

“Whether he said good things about them or not, they love that he’s honest with them, and they’ve never seen anything like it,” she said. “And so there’s a respect there.”

“I saw that the media was trying to make it something disrespectful. That’s not what it was,” Haley said. “They love to be with him, that’s the only time you’ll see that entire chamber standing room only.”

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/nikki-haley-says-the-un-loves-trump-the-media-got-this-so-wrong

U.N. Laughs at US

Trump touts his own achievements, and the U.N. laughs

President Trump addresses the 73rd session of the U.N. General Assembly in New York on Tuesday. (Photo: Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images)

President Trump on Tuesday strode to the podium at the United Nations General Assembly in New York City to “share the extraordinary progress” the U.S. has made during his time in office. The reaction he received from the assembled world leaders wasn’t what he was expecting.

“In less than two years, my administration has accomplished more than almost any administration in the history of our country,” Trump proclaimed. There was a smattering of audible laughter from the assembled diplomats, representing 193 countries.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/trump-touts-achievements-u-n-laughs-153255266.html

Donald Trump bragged about himself to the United Nations. The UN laughed.

Analysis by Chris Cillizza, CNN Editor-at-large
Updated 3:42 PM ET, Tue September 25, 2018

(CNN) President Donald Trump’s touting of how his administration has accomplished more than any — yes, any — past administration in its first two years is one of his most consistent applause lines in his campaign patter.
“I don’t believe there has been any administration in the history of this country that has done more in two years — and we’re not even up to two years yet — than our administration,” Trump said last week during a campaign speech in Las Vegas — while reading a literal paper list of those accomplishments.
“Nobody has done what this administration has done in terms of getting things passed and getting things through,” he told a group of sheriffs earlier this month.

His supporters love the line: Despite all of the losers and haters, Trump is MAGA-ing!

Which brings us to Tuesday morning — and Trump’s speech to the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
“In less than two years, my administration has accomplished more than almost any administration in the history of our country,” Trump said, as he does.
“So true,” said Trump, clearly caught by surprise by the laughter. “I didn’t expect that reaction, but that’s OK,” he added to more laughter and some applause.

Before we go any further let me be clear: I wasn’t in the room. I was watching it live on TV from Washington. But, watching on television, the perception of those few seconds was clear: The gathered world leaders — or at least some of them — were laughing at Trump’s contention that he had done more in two years than any previous American administration ever.
Which makes some sense given that the claim seems, on its face ridiculous.

https://www.cnn.com/2018/09/25/politics/donald-trump-un-speech-laugh/index.html

Trump cuts a lonely figure at the U.N.

On his return to the U.N. General Assembly, President Trump will surprise few world leaders with his sharp rhetoric. His speech today is expected to underscore a now-familiar message: American sovereignty and supremacy are not to be challenged, nor is Washington’s right to act unilaterally on the world stage.

By Ishaan Tharoor

President Trump’s address before the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday will underscore a now-familiar message: American sovereignty and supremacy are not to be challenged, nor is Washington’s right to act unilaterally on the world stage.

Trump, as readers of Today’s WorldView know, has acted according to those principles since taking office last year. He has sparked trade disputes with close allies, cast doubt upon traditional alliances in the West, withdrawn the United States from global agreements such as the Paris climate accords and upset the apple cart at multilateral summits like this year’s meeting of the Group of Seven nations. His public appearances have often sounded like the campaign rally he held last week in Las Vegas, where he attacked the “globalism” of his political enemies and linked liberal internationalism to economic hardship at home.

“The forces opposing us in Washington are the same people who squandered trillions of dollars overseas, who sacrificed our sovereignty, who shipped away our jobs, who oversaw the greatest transfer of wealth in the history of the world,” Trump said. “In 2016, the American people voted to reject this corrupt globalism. Hey, I’m the president of the United States — I’m not the president of the globe.”

Such rhetoric, when delivered from the dais of the General Assembly chamber, was a shock last year. But as Trump makes his second appearance at the United Nations as president, no world leader or foreign dignitary will be surprised to hear more of the same.

The key question is whether Trump is an outlier — or the new normal.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2018/09/25/trump-cuts-lonely-figure-un/?utm_term=.6a69ce973e4b

Fight Fire with Fire
Metallica
Produced by Flemming Rasmussen
Album Ride the Lightning

[Verse 1]
Do unto others as they’ve done to you
But what the hell is this world coming to?
Blow the universe into nothingness
Nuclear warfare shall lay us to rest

[Chorus]
Fight fire with fire
Ending is near
Fight fire with fire
Bursting with fear
We all shall die

[Verse 2]
Time is like a fuse, short and burning fast
Armageddon’s here, like said in the past

[Chorus]
Fight fire with fire
Ending is near
Fight fire with fire
Bursting with fear

[Verse 3]
Soon to fill our lungs, the hot winds of death
The gods are laughing, so take your last breath

[Chorus]
Fight fire with fire
Ending is near
Fight fire with fire
Bursting with fear

[Outro]
Fight fire with fire, fight fire with fire
Fight fire with fire, fight fire with fire
Fight fire with fire, fight fire with fire
Fight fire with fire, fight fire with fire!
Fight!

https://genius.com/Metallica-fight-fire-with-fire-lyrics

Why Girls Stop Playing Chess At Puberty

Much has been written concerning young girls leaving Chess around puberty. This blog contains several posts pertaining to the subject. Until now the possible reasons why young girls decide to stop playing Chess has been speculation. An article appeared recently which has shed some light on the subject. You can find excerpts from the article below, with a link to the full article.

How Puberty Kills Girls’ Confidence

In their tween and teenage years, girls become dramatically less self-assured—a feeling that often lasts through adulthood.

Claire Shipman, Katty Kay, JillEllyn Riley
Sep 20, 2018

The change can be baffling to many parents: Their young girls are masters of the universe, full of gutsy fire. But as puberty sets in, their confidence nose-dives, and those same daughters can transform into unrecognizably timid, cautious, risk-averse versions of their former self.

Over the course of writing our latest book, we spoke with hundreds of tween and teen girls who detailed a striking number of things they don’t feel confident about: “making new friends,” “the way I dress,” “speaking in a group.” In our research, we worked with Ypulse, a polling firm that focuses on tweens and teens, to survey more than 1,300 girls from the ages of 8 to 18 and their parents. (The sample was broadly representative of the country’s teen population in terms of race and geographic distribution.) The data is more dramatic than we’d imagined: The girls surveyed were asked to rate their confidence on a scale of 0 to 10, and from the ages of 8 to 14, the average of girls’ responses fell from approximately 8.5 to 6—a drop-off of 30 percent.

Until the age of 12, there was virtually no difference in confidence between boys and girls. But, because of the drop-off girls experienced during puberty, by the age of 14 the average girl was far less confident than the average boy. Many boys, the survey suggested, do experience some hits to their confidence entering their teens, but nothing like what girls experience.

What makes confidence building so much more elusive for so many tween and teen girls? A few things stand out. The habit of what psychologists call rumination—essentially, dwelling extensively on negative feelings—is more prevalent in women than in men, and often starts at puberty. This can make girls more cautious, and less inclined toward risk taking. “If life were one long grade school,” Carol Dweck, the Stanford University psychologist who wrote The Growth Mindset, explained to us in an interview for our first book, women “would be the undisputed rulers of the world. But life isn’t one long grade school.”

In fact, later in life, the goalposts shift considerably. “It rewards people who take risks and rebound,” Dweck added. And the boys in our survey seemed to have a greater appetite for risk taking: Our poll shows that from ages 8 to 14 boys are more likely than girls to describe themselves as confident, strong, adventurous, and fearless.

There’s evidence that tweaking the status quo, and acclimating girls at this critical age to more risk taking and failure, makes a difference. Some of the most compelling data links participation in sports to professional success. A study from the accounting firm EY and espnW, ESPN’s women’s site, found that 94 percent of the women currently with C-suite jobs in the U.S. played competitive sports. It’s not only through athletics that young girls can gain confidence; sport is simply an organized and easily available opportunity to experience loss, failure, and resilience. But the same skills can be acquired by participating on a debate team, learning to cook, or speaking up on behalf of a cause like animal welfare—as long as there is a move outside of her comfort zone, and a process of struggle and mastery, confidence will usually be the result.

It’s essential to close the gap, and to do so early, because the long-term effects of these dynamics hurt not only girls, but the women they become, many of whom, within a few years of entering the workforce, experience another confidence drop, and a drop in aspirations. Their rule-following, good-girl methods have been celebrated, rewarded by a structured educational and societal system. It’s a shock to arrive in the adult world and discover a dramatically new playing field: Failure is okay. Risk is worth it. No wonder they struggle: Their whole life, to date, they’ve internalized just the opposite, a societal bait and switch that should be recognized. Girls are adept at learning—they just need the right study guide.

https://www.theatlantic.com/family/archive/2018/09/puberty-girls-confidence/563804/