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  1. 05 Oct '09 13:10
    I've been playing blitz at chess.com a little bit recently. I decided to take a look at who their top players were, and to my surprise discovered a player with an ECF grade of 150 who had managed to achieve a rating of over 2700 on chess.com! (My own rating there is 1800, partly because I'm not very good at blitz and partly because I haven't played all that many games).

    I always thought that it must be impossible to cheat at online blitz, simply because of the time it would take to play the move on an engine, wait for a reply and then enter it on the online site. However the enormous discrepancy between the OTB grade and online rating of this player have convinced me that it is possible after all.

    Does anyone have any experience of this? For example, is there some way to get an engine to play the moves automatically without the human slowing it down?
  2. 05 Oct '09 13:24 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Fat Lady
    For example, is there some way to get an engine to play the moves automatically without the human slowing it down?
    really don't know the chess/engine side of this (i.e. how long it takes to produce a move) but would think it's possible technically (i.e. interface-wise) given that there were/are softwares bidding for you on eBay (i.e. last minute, or rather - second, bets)
  3. Standard member wormwood
    If Theres Hell Below
    05 Oct '09 13:33 / 1 edit
    everything done on a computer can be programmed, but I doubt it's widespread. for one, write your own client and add whatever 'features' you want. should be relatively easy.

    years ago I remember someone (rahimk?) trying out the most obvious way of cheating in blitz, making moves both on the client & fritz board simultaneously. I think he said it was easily doable, and the overhead of switching was something like 2s per move.

    so it's definitely possible.
  4. 05 Oct '09 13:39
    Originally posted by wormwood
    everything done on a computer can be programmed, but I doubt it's widespread. for one, write your own client and add whatever 'features' you want. should be relatively easy.

    years ago I remember someone (rahimk?) trying out the most obvious way of cheating in blitz, making moves both on the client & fritz board simultaneously. I think he said it was easi ...[text shortened]... nd the overhead of switching was something like 2s per move.

    so it's definitely possible.
    I know it's possible on ICC and other "old fashioned" chess playing sites, but that's because they have a well defined protocol for sending and receiving moves which the GUI clients just sit on top of. However I thought it would be very difficult to program that sort of thing for chess.com, playchess.com (which is a program rather than a website!) and of course the blitz part of redhotpawn.com.

    I suppose if the overhead is two seconds per move, and assuming a strong engine can checkmate just about any player likely to be on such a site within sixty moves, then it would be like trying to beat Fritz at 5 minutes to 3 odds!
  5. 05 Oct '09 13:57 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Fat Lady
    I've been playing blitz at chess.com a little bit recently. I decided to take a look at who their top players were, and to my surprise discovered a player with an ECF grade of 150 who had managed to achieve a rating of over 2700 on chess.com! (My own rating there is 1800, partly because I'm not very good at blitz and partly because I haven't played all tha ...[text shortened]... some way to get an engine to play the moves automatically without the human slowing it down?
    Blitz ratings don't mean much if a player doesn't focus on it. I took a break from blitz for a bit more than a month and dropped 500+ points. I regained almost everything after a few days but it meant nothing outside of blitz. I was just as strong as ever in longer time controls. Don't assume cheating as the first instinct every time someone has a great performance.
  6. Standard member wormwood
    If Theres Hell Below
    05 Oct '09 14:01
    Originally posted by Fat Lady
    I know it's possible on ICC and other "old fashioned" chess playing sites, but that's because they have a well defined protocol for sending and receiving moves which the GUI clients just sit on top of. However I thought it would be very difficult to program that sort of thing for chess.com, playchess.com (which is a program rather than a website!) and of co ...[text shortened]... site within sixty moves, then it would be like trying to beat Fritz at 5 minutes to 3 odds!
    I don't know what kind of blitz chess.com has, but playchess wouldn't be any more problem than ICC/FICS.

    and even if it was, one way to circumvent any possible obfuscation/encryption would be to write a screencapture prog, an optical classifier for the visual data (extremely simple for a 2d board), extract moves as they show up on board, analyse, show the engine response, and then you'd just manually make the move on the board. klunky, but in a way much more powerful than any reverse engineering approach.
  7. 05 Oct '09 14:09
    Originally posted by exigentsky
    Blitz ratings don't mean much if a player doesn't focus on it. I took a break from blitz for a bit more than a month and dropped 500+ points. I regained almost everything after a few days but it meant nothing outside of blitz. I was just as strong as ever in longer time controls. Don't assume cheating as the first instinct every time someone has a great performance.
    But what rating drop are you talking about? The difference between a 1300 player and a 1800 one is that the former leaves his pieces en pris and the latter falls for two move cheapos. To achieve a high rating on any of the online chess sites, either at blitz or slow play, is very difficult, because you have to start getting results against the seriously good players.
  8. 05 Oct '09 14:36
    Originally posted by Fat Lady
    I've been playing blitz at chess.com a little bit recently. I decided to take a look at who their top players were, and to my surprise discovered a player with an ECF grade of 150 who had managed to achieve a rating of over 2700 on chess.com! (My own rating there is 1800, partly because I'm not very good at blitz and partly because I haven't played all tha ...[text shortened]... some way to get an engine to play the moves automatically without the human slowing it down?
    Which chess.com rating are you on about? The highest blitz rating there appears to be 2334 or something. I think the account you are referring to has a turn based rating over 2700. There is a remarkably similar account here...
  9. 05 Oct '09 14:41
    Originally posted by Quiet Interlude
    Which chess.com rating are you on about? The highest blitz rating there appears to be 2334 or something. I think the account you are referring to has a turn based rating over 2700. There is a remarkably similar account here...
    OK, I must have misread what the list I was looking at referred to. Because I was on the "live" (i.e. blitz / rapidplay) chess page I assumed that the "top players" link would take me to the list of the players who were the top at blitz and rapidplay.

    It makes much more sense that the player was able to achieve 2700+ in the slow style of chess, as cheating is very easy and widespread there.

    And yes, this particularly player does have an account on RHP. He's lost just the once so far.
  10. 05 Oct '09 15:37
    What are you talking about, there is someone with a blitz rating of 4000 on chess.com, the "ratings" there are nonsense.
  11. 05 Oct '09 15:53
    Mind you this computer only has a rating in the 1800s there

    http://www.chess.com/members/view/Computer2-MEDIUM
  12. 05 Oct '09 15:56
    Originally posted by Quiet Interlude
    Mind you this computer only has a rating in the 1800s there

    http://www.chess.com/members/view/Computer2-MEDIUM
    They've just reset all ratings yesterday, not sure. There used to be this guy called ChessNetwork who really had a 4000 Blitz rating. Now the highest is only 2300?
  13. 05 Oct '09 15:57
    Originally posted by Fat Lady
    I've been playing blitz at chess.com a little bit recently. I decided to take a look at who their top players were, and to my surprise discovered a player with an ECF grade of 150 who had managed to achieve a rating of over 2700 on chess.com! (My own rating there is 1800, partly because I'm not very good at blitz and partly because I haven't played all tha ...[text shortened]... some way to get an engine to play the moves automatically without the human slowing it down?
    Oh, you are talking about the turn-based thingy, not the live chess. Why do you include "blitz" in the thread's title if it really is not about blitz at all
  14. 05 Oct '09 15:59
    If there's a way, the cheats have the will.
  15. 05 Oct '09 17:41
    Play blitz/rapid at ICC, Playchess and FICS. Other blitz sites are for "entertainment purposes" where you may encounter Yahoo style cheating.