Cheat­ing through the ages

Los Angeles Times - - THE GUIDE - By Bill Corn­wall cc­sknight@bell­

THEN: Over the years, many re­ports have been made of play­ers who in­creased their win­ning chances by re­sort­ing to cheat­ing. Th­ese un­scrupu­lous com­peti­tors have a long and cre­ative track record. Chess­men have been added to (or sub­tracted from) the boards. Moves have been se­cretly re­tracted. Clock times have been fa­vor­ably ad­justed. Pawns have been moved back­ward. Po­si­tions have been sneak­ily al­tered. Dis­turb­ing be­hav­iors have been used to dis­tract or up­set the op­po­nent. Co­horts, of­ten coaches and tal­ented friends, have set up sig­nal­ing sys­tems or se­cret meet­ing places to ex­change game-re­lated in­for­ma­tion.

Some of th­ese sto­ries, con­temptible as they might be, are rather hu­mor­ous. For in­stance, there is an ac­count of one dis­rep­utable knave in the 1800s who got away with castling us­ing a rook that he pur­loined fromthe game be­ing played right next to him. Ap­par­ently, none of the other play­ers in ei­ther of the two games no­ticed when it oc­curred. Once at a pre­dom­i­nately male U.S. Open, I could not help but ob­serve that one at­trac­tive fe­male com­peti­tor was in­ap­pro­pri­ately wear­ing a dar­ingly high-cut miniskirt and an eye-pop­pingly low blouse. When con­fronted about her man­ner of dress be­ing dis­trac­tive, she brazenly replied, “Well, yes. Now that’s the idea, isn’t it?”

At one Na­tional Open, player A’s fo­cus was im­paired by his ad­ver­sary’s sur­rep­ti­tious kick­ing of A’s legs un­der the ta­ble. Af­ter­ward, a near-fight en­sued over the un­der-ta­ble leg space al­lot­ment.

NOW: In mod­ern times, cheat­ing has ad­vanced to its high­est level. By ac­cess­ing su­per-pow­er­ful play­ing com­put­ers us­ing elec­tronic de­vices, it is pos­si­ble for dis­hon­est play­ers to de­feat GMs and win big events. The French Chess Fed­er­a­tion once suspended three mem­bers of its own team af­ter de­ter­min­ing that they had cheated dur­ing a Chess Olympiad. Hun­dreds of chess-re­lated cell­phone text mes­sages were dis­cov­ered.

Dur­ing this year’s Dubai Open, Gaioz Ni­galidze, a GM who has pro­duced a string of un­ex­pected ma­jor tour­na­ment vic­to­ries, was de­tected cheat­ing. He had been mak­ing many sus­pi­ciously timed trips to the bath­room where it was re­vealed that he had been ac­cess­ing a phone hid­den in a waste­bas­ket in a stall. The phone was con­nected to a chess pro­gram. Whether hon­estly played or not, one of his games is well worth ex­am­i­na­tion. On the 13th move of a main­line Na­j­dorf Si­cil­ian, Ni­galidze (or a com­puter) sim­ply gave up a knight for two pawns and pro­ceeded to win any­way. In this col­umn’s game, see if you be­lieve a hu­man could have won in this fash­ion.

Up­com­ing ma­jor event

Pa­cific South­west Open, July 3-5, Irvine. $7,000 to $10,000 in prizes (based upon num­ber of en­tries), three sec­tions (Open, Pre­mier, Re­serve), six rounds;

Gameof the­week

Kuzubov, Yuriy-Ni­galidze, Gaioz Al Ain Clas­sic Tour­na­ment United Arab Emi­rates

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be2 e5 7.Nb3 Be7 8.0–0 0–0 9.Be3 Be6 10.a4 Nbd7 11.a5 Rc8 12.Qd2 Qc7 13. Rfd1Nxe4?! 14.Nxe4 Qxc2 15.Qxc2 Rxc2 16.Nc1 d5 17.Ng5 Bxg5 18.Bxg5 Rxb2 19.Be7 Rc8 20.Bd3 Nc5 21.Bxc5 Rxc5 22.Bb1 Rcb5 23.Nd3 Re2 24.Kf1 Re4 25.Ne1 Reb4 26.f3 g5 27.Bd3 Rc5 28.Be2 e4 29.Rd2 f5 30.Rc2 Rxc2 31.Nxc2 Rb2 32.Nd4 Kf7 33.Ke1 Kf6 34.Kd1 Ke5 35.Kc1 Rb4 36.Nxe6 Kxe6 37.Kc2 d4 38.g4 d3+ 39.Bxd3 exd3+ 40.Kc3 Rf4 41.Rb1 Rxf3 42.Rxb7 Rh3 43.Rb6+ Ke5 44.gxf5 Kxf5 45.Rxa6 Rxh2 46.Kxd3 h5 47.Ra8 h4 48.Ke3 Kg4 49.a6 Ra2 50.a7 h3 51.Rd8 Rxa7 52.Kf2 Ra2+ 53.Kg1 Kg3 54.Rd3+ Kh4 55.Rd4+ g4 56.Rb4 Re2 57.Ra4 Kg3 58.Ra3+ Kf4 59.Ra4+ Kf3 60.Ra3+ Re3 61.Ra1 g3 62.Rf1+ Kg4 63.Rb1 h2+ 64.Kg2 Re2+ 65.Kh1 Kh3 0-1

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