“The World Open Has Become a Cheat Paradise”

This comment, from Jack Lee, was sent earlier this month in reply to my post of July 13, 2013, “Players Expelled from World Open!” (https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/2013/07/15/players-expelled-from-world-open/)
It has been posted there, but because cheating has been prominently featured recently I decided to publish it today.
Submitted on 2014/05/12
“I played the Under 1800 and lost to “”David Zhou”” from Quebec (QC) who was “unrated”, with 7 games in Canada, assigned under 1800 section instead of being unrated. He tied for first, clearly master strength. Wonder what his real name and rating is.
I also lost to “Michael Quan” whose moves matched Fritz 12 when I analyzed the game. For 25+ moves in a row. Quan left the hall on his move several times and talked to a guy outside, I followed him. He, Quan, has never played since World Open. Computer Cheat!
Another in the under 1800 was a Nigerian (Nwoye Nnamdi), unrated, won 6 drew 3, tied for first.
Other sections – 1600/1400/1200 had unrated players winning top prizes.
Full standings:
http://www.chesstournamentservices.com/cca/tag/world-open-2013-standings/
The whole unrated thing is a joke. There should be no prizes for unrated players, just return the entry fee.
The World Open has become a cheat paradise. I won’t be back until it’s cleaned up.”
A recent conversation at a coffee shop caused me to reflect on the comments of Mr. Lee.
The Atlanta Chess & (What other Game?) Center may have been called The Dump, but the coffee was wonderful because one of the members worked for Starbucks and would pay for his membership and other things, like books, etc., with freshly ground Starbucks coffee. I have kept in touch with the gentleman and every now and then stop by for a cuppa java and a game of chess. My friend and I have time for a quick game when he is able to take a break. After finishing a game recently a distinguished gentleman who had been watching us while reading a NY Times came over to talk. He told me he played chess in school many decades ago and had kept up with the game by reading the chess column in the NY Times. He never had time to play, but said he would break out his pocket chess set and play over the game from the Times chess column and had done so “Since before Bobby Fischer beat Boris Spassky the first time.” We had been talking for some time when he asked, “Why do people still play chess?” Startled, I asked what he meant by his question. He told me it was obvious to him that chess was on its way out and had been since “Kasparov lost to Deep Blue.” He went on to say there had always been a mystique about chess that was not there now that the “Best players are accusing each other of using a computer to cheat as in the ‘Toiletgate’ incident.” As we continued talking I was unsure of how to answer the gentleman’s question. I told him chess was different now because of the effect computer programs have had on the game in that it used to be the top GM’s were the final word, but now a program known as Stockfish was the final word. He said, “Now that the genie is out of the bottle, it can never be put back in. No one can ever know for certain whether or not a player has cheated because the threat will always be stronger than its execution.”

Why People Cheat

An article, “Cheating’s Surprising Thrill”, by Jan Hoffman, appeared on the NY Times website Oct. 7, 2013. http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/10/07/in-bad-news-cheating-feels-good/?ref=health?src=dayp&_r=0
The first sentence is a question, “When was the last time you cheated?” I thought of the philosophy of the TV Dr. House, which is, “Everyone lies.”
The next question is, “And how did you feel afterward?” This is followed by the answer, “But new research shows that as long as you didn’t think your cheating hurt anyone, you may have felt great.”
Like everything else these days, the reason for cheating has been studied. “…some behavioral ethics researchers were startled by a study published recently in The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology by researchers at the University of Washington, the London Business School, Harvard and the University of Pennsylvania. The title: “The Cheater’s High: The Unexpected Affective Benefits of Unethical Behavior.”
“One reason for pervasive garden-variety cheating is “that we have so many ways to cheat anonymously, especially via the Web,” Professor Wiltermuth said. The exhilaration, he added, may come from “people congratulating themselves on their cleverness.”
“The fact that people feel happier after cheating is disturbing, because there is emotional reinforcement of the behavior, meaning they could be more likely to do it again,” said Nicole E. Ruedy, the study’s lead author and a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Washington’s Center for Leadership and Strategic Thinking.
“…the researchers found that those who cheated experienced thrill, self-satisfaction, a sense of superiority. The effect persisted even when subjects cheated indirectly.”

Ole Petter Pedersen left this comment to my previous post: “Well, hard to blame white for Black’s losing moves, as in this game… I think people only look at a player’s rating and goes, hey, he must have cheated. However, computers do affect the way we play, and the term ‘human move’ has always sounded stupid to me. Good move or bad move, that is the question, to paraphrase Mr. Hendricks.”
This was my answer: I looked at the game and did not want to use it as an example, realizing someone may consider the game, as you have done, in lieu of looking at the big picture, which is that it has now become impossible to know for certain whether or not a player has availed himself of a 3000+ rated program. A decade ago there was speculation Topalov and his manager, Danilov, were using signals. Some still believe they accused Kramnik of cheating to throw suspicion off themselves. The Discman was incredulous when learning FIDE still allowed gizmo’s into the playing hall of their tournaments, as well he should be. In chess, the threat is stronger than the execution, is it not?