Is it Cheating or is it Me?

Scott Tortorice

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I don't like to throw around the "C" word that easily, but I am starting to suspect that there is a heck of a lot of cheating going on. Has anybody else noticed lots of players playing way above their rating at Chess.com?

Now, it could be me. I want to make that clear. The reason why I haven't posted much chess content lately is because I took a year off from chess. Just got burned out on it after our last tourney. I didn't stop completely, but I did slow down to about two or three games going on at any given time (which was way down from my usual 12 or more!). Now I have started to play some more and have about nine games going on. So, yes, I have gotten rusty during that year off. And I am still not as hot for chess as I once was. So these two things together will have a downward pressure on my performance.

...But 200 hundred points? Three hundred points?!? My rating has slipped from 18xx to 1721 or so - which it should as that rating was wildly inflated - but I am finding myself losing to players rated 16xx, 15xx and 14xx! And I mean losing almost from right out of the gate. I mean losing to lower rated players who play endgames perfectly. Who seem to spot every mating trap and push me into it.

Again, it could be me; I might just have gotten that rusty. But my gut tells me that it isn't that, at least not in 100% of the cases. Part of the reason why I think the "C" word is involved is because I recently accepted some games from people I have played against in the past, or friends of such people, and those games, win or lose, feel right. Some of the games I have against strangers just feel wrong, like I am playing against a computer, or against someone using a lot of books. Of course, referencing books is legal, so if I am losing to that, no complaint from me. But I just know one thing: most of the games I am losing are involving sharp play that seems way above the rating of the person in question.

I went and checked out the "cheaters list" on Chess.com (http://www.chess.com/cheating?page=3) and it seems to come out to 60 a day! :crosseye: So it is definitely possible that Chess.com is getting hit was a flood of these guys, and I am playing some of them.

Anyway, just had to rant. Something feels off to me and I was wondering if anybody else felt the same. I think I am going to let my Chess.com games run down and return to some chess sites that I have used in the past to see how my games go there as a point of reference. Since Chess.com is now the largest chess site, it might have become a magnet for chess grifters - hence all the cheating.
 

Kevin Kenneally

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I don't like to throw around the "C" word that easily, but I am starting to suspect that there is a heck of a lot of cheating going on. Has anybody else noticed lots of players playing way above their rating at Chess.com?

Now, it could be me. I want to make that clear. The reason why I haven't posted much chess content lately is because I took a year off from chess. Just got burned out on it after our last tourney. I didn't stop completely, but I did slow down to about two or three games going on at any given time (which was way down from my usual 12 or more!). Now I have started to play some more and have about nine games going on. So, yes, I have gotten rusty during that year off. And I am still not as hot for chess as I once was. So these two things together will have a downward pressure on my performance.

...But 200 hundred points? Three hundred points?!? My rating has slipped from 18xx to 1721 or so - which it should as that rating was wildly inflated - but I am finding myself losing to players rated 16xx, 15xx and 14xx! And I mean losing almost from right out of the gate. I mean losing to lower rated players who play endgames perfectly. Who seem to spot every mating trap and push me into it.

Again, it could be me; I might just have gotten that rusty. But my gut tells me that it isn't that, at least not in 100% of the cases. Part of the reason why I think the "C" word is involved is because I recently accepted some games from people I have played against in the past, or friends of such people, and those games, win or lose, feel right. Some of the games I have against strangers just feel wrong, like I am playing against a computer, or against someone using a lot of books. Of course, referencing books is legal, so if I am losing to that, no complaint from me. But I just know one thing: most of the games I am losing are involving sharp play that seems way above the rating of the person in question.

I went and checked out the "cheaters list" on Chess.com (http://www.chess.com/cheating?page=3) and it seems to come out to 60 a day! :crosseye: So it is definitely possible that Chess.com is getting hit was a flood of these guys, and I am playing some of them.

Anyway, just had to rant. Something feels off to me and I was wondering if anybody else felt the same. I think I am going to let my Chess.com games run down and return to some chess sites that I have used in the past to see how my games go there as a point of reference. Since Chess.com is now the largest chess site, it might have become a magnet for chess grifters - hence all the cheating.
Scott,

It is you. You are getting to be like the rest of us..... "Old".....

Thought you need that.

But seriously, it could be that some players are using a computer to help them beat you.

It is the world of computers......
 

Scott Tortorice

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Scott,

It is you. You are getting to be like the rest of us..... "Old".....

Thought you need that.

I did need that dose of reality. Thanks! :D

It is a scary thought, though. As I was playing these losing games, a dark memory kept forcing its way into my conscience. When I had just started playing chess, I met a nice guy on the internet who was quite the chess ace. He beat me effortlessly time and again. But because he was such a good guy, we played PBEM chess for years and years (we still play). Now, a number of years ago things switched and I began winning one game, and then another, and then another...until I was winning all the time against my old foe. What has changed? I don't know, but I do know that my opponent, who was a good twenty or so years older than me, wasn't getting any younger! :D It's not unthinkable:

http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2013-11-20/news/44285047_1_viswanathan-anand-boris-gelfand-magnus-carlsen

Interestingly, I am right at the start point of decline! :laugh:

And I think that is what is happening.

Over the weekend I looked at some of the players I had been losing to and, well, if they are cheating, they have a weird way of going about it. Most of them seem to be losing against other players all the time. Just not me! :D

Sigh. Is this how it begins? Does dusk approach? How much longer before I can't play something else, like a shooter, without losing every time? Come to think of it, seeing how I never get higher than the middle of the pack on the leader boards these days, I think it is already happening. View attachment 44912


But seriously, it could be that some players are using a computer to help them beat you.

It is the world of computers......
Yeah, there does seem to be a rash of cheaters...which I really don't get in a game of chess. Why even play it? And while I do think one or two were cheaters (especially the ones who refused a rematch), I am starting to conclude it just was me.

:hissyfit:

So sad:

View attachment 44913

Albeit, looking at this chart makes me realize I did have other low points (I don't even recall the disaster that was 2009! :D). Maybe I will bounce back again.
 

Michael Power

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Of those you suspect, invite them to play real time and see if there is a difference. Use a clock. If there is a chess computer user you may see a difference. Most of my experience with playing against a computer is the long time for it to consider a move on a high level.
 

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Sites like Chess.com do police for cheating and will close out accounts when they determine that this is happening. Some other sites on the other hand do not, and I have found numerous cheaters on those.

Another factor is how a familiar opponent is currently playing. For instance I used to be very dedicated to deeply analyzing all of my games. Now I find my time is more limited and I play mostly speed moves, often with an attitude of indifference. So some of my games are very well played while others are sloppy and error prone. If I start drifting into a poor position then I will try to take more time to analyze to hopefully play better and recover the position.
 

Scott Tortorice

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Sites like Chess.com do police for cheating and will close out accounts when they determine that this is happening. Some other sites on the other hand do not, and I have found numerous cheaters on those.

Another factor is how a familiar opponent is currently playing. For instance I used to be very dedicated to deeply analyzing all of my games. Now I find my time is more limited and I play mostly speed moves, often with an attitude of indifference. So some of my games are very well played while others are sloppy and error prone. If I start drifting into a poor position then I will try to take more time to analyze to hopefully play better and recover the position.
Hey, welcome back to the Chess forum, Lurker!

How have ya been?
 

Scott Tortorice

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Busy, with adjusted priorities! :)
I hear you on that!

However, I have to say that after my year or so layoff from Chess it feels good to be a bit more active again. There is a refreshing civility to chess that I just don't find in very many other games these days.
 

Scott Tortorice

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I am still around, but haven't been playing much lately.
That's three, at least. :) Yeah, I needed to take a break from chess, too. Not completely - I only had two or three games going on at a time last year, and they were real slow games where I would almost take the full two weeks to make a move - but I did cut way back from my 20+ games of years past. :) I am starting to get more active now that PC gaming is taking another nosedive, but even now I only have about eight or so games, with a slow response time.
 

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Wow! I've never used those kinds of phones. Mine is just an old flip-top so that would not have occurred to me. In the same article they mention one fellow was communicating by wireless device to someone else that was analyzing the board and sending back the moves.

It looks like the tournament directors are going to have to take better counter-measures.
 
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