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  1. Subscriber 64squaresofpain
    The drunk knight
    09 Oct '15 16:05
    I had played a few games vs. a seemingly strong player on another site (avg rating above 1900)
    and he tells me that I was looking good in one of my other games,
    and even suggested it was "mate in 10 or 11 moves if you find the right continuation".

    I was surprised, not just because he thought he had seen mate but for the specific number of moves he gave.

    This was the position in question, it was my move with White:



    I personally did not see mate, and just played on to a won position which ended the game nearly 30 moves later...
    I then checked this position with Fritz and what he said was true, it was indeed mate in 11 moves.

    My question is how likely is it that he used a box to find this mate?
    And is it then likely that he could be using this tool in his games? (since joining the site he has won 51, drawn 1 and lost 1)

    Call it paranoia, but I have declined playing any more games vs. this person.

    (Incidentally, can anyone here find the mate?)
  2. Subscriber BigDoggProblem
    The Advanced Mind
    09 Oct '15 18:05 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by 64squaresofpain
    I had played a few games vs. a seemingly strong player on another site (avg rating above 1900)
    and he tells me that I was looking good in one of my other games,
    and even suggested it was "mate in 10 or 11 moves if you find the right continuation".

    I was surprised, not just because he thought he had seen mate but for the specific number of moves ...[text shortened]... clined playing any more games vs. this person.

    (Incidentally, can anyone here find the mate?)
    Looks like 1.Rxh6. I only spent a few seconds of thinking time, but opening up the b2 Bishop's diagonal looks very strong. (It also helps to know there's a mate in 11.)

    If this is in fact the move, I don't think a human would need to calculate very far. Just keep playing natural attacking moves until it's mate.

    It's also easier to announce long mates when you are allowed to analyze moving pieces on a board.
  3. Subscriber 64squaresofpain
    The drunk knight
    09 Oct '15 19:29
    Originally posted by BigDoggProblem
    Looks like 1.Rxh6. I only spent a few seconds of thinking time, but opening up the b2 Bishop's diagonal looks very strong. (It also helps to know there's a mate in 11.)

    If this is in fact the move, I don't think a human would need to calculate very far. Just keep playing natural attacking moves until it's mate.

    It's also easier to announce long mates when you are allowed to analyze moving pieces on a board.
    The actual sequence though, to me, is not so easy to see, certainly not all at once, even including an analysis board.
    I tried this, following Rxh6, but could not find a mate like how he said.

    I consider you a strong player, could you honestly see mate in 11 moves after Rxh6?
    I understand a master probably could, perhaps without too much difficulty,
    but it's not exactly straight forward say if the reply was Rf5.

    He also beat me all too convincingly in our games, barely doing anything wrong, just seemed fishy is all.
  4. Subscriber Marinkatomb
    wotagr8game
    09 Oct '15 20:01
    Originally posted by 64squaresofpain
    The actual sequence though, to me, is not so easy to see, certainly not all at once, even including an analysis board.
    I tried this, following Rxh6, but could not find a mate like how he said.

    I consider you a strong player, could you honestly see mate in 11 moves after Rxh6?
    I understand a master probably could, perhaps without too much difficu ...[text shortened]... eat me all too convincingly in our games, barely doing anything wrong, just seemed fishy is all.
    I would play Rxh6 on the spot for the simple reason that it is obvious the rook can't be taken. That combination is much easier to calculate! Rxh6 ..gxh6 Qg6 is lights out, so the only thing to consider really is, does black have a check?
  5. Subscriber BigDoggProblem
    The Advanced Mind
    09 Oct '15 20:53
    Originally posted by 64squaresofpain
    The actual sequence though, to me, is not so easy to see, certainly not all at once, even including an analysis board.
    I tried this, following Rxh6, but could not find a mate like how he said.

    I consider you a strong player, could you honestly see mate in 11 moves after Rxh6?
    I understand a master probably could, perhaps without too much difficu ...[text shortened]... eat me all too convincingly in our games, barely doing anything wrong, just seemed fishy is all.
    I didn't even try to calculate the mate. I'm just saying a more rigorous human analyst could probably do it.

    I agree it is somewhat suspicious that a human would bother finding the exact number of moves. Even more so if he's only lost 1 game out of 52. I suppose it depends on who he's been playing. Racking up 50 wins against weakies is pretty easy. If he's winning that many against strong players, however, it's probably a box.
  6. Subscriber Marinkatomb
    wotagr8game
    09 Oct '15 21:01
    Originally posted by BigDoggProblem
    I didn't even try to calculate the mate. I'm just saying a more rigorous human analyst could probably do it.

    I agree it is somewhat suspicious that a human would bother finding the exact number of moves. Even more so if he's only lost 1 game out of 52. I suppose it depends on who he's been playing. Racking up 50 wins against weakies is pretty easy. If he's winning that many against strong players, however, it's probably a box.
    I think he just guessed 11, Black has no decent way to avoid checkmate on h7 without giving up material. The fact that the king can't get to the queenside means it just must be mate.
  7. Subscriber 64squaresofpain
    The drunk knight
    09 Oct '15 22:06
    Originally posted by Marinkatomb
    I think he just guessed 11, Black has no decent way to avoid checkmate on h7 without giving up material. The fact that the king can't get to the queenside means it just must be mate.
    Precisely, it was how he specifically said 11 moves that made me suspicious,
    so i waited and waited for the game to finish so i could finally put it through Fritz, and there it was.

    Ok it turns out i made a couple of side-stepping moves which prolonged the win, but still got there eventually, but I'm still not playing that guy any more.
  8. Subscriber Marinkatomb
    wotagr8game
    09 Oct '15 22:09 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by 64squaresofpain
    Precisely, it was how he specifically said 11 moves that made me suspicious,
    so i waited and waited for the game to finish so i could finally put it through Fritz, and there it was.

    Ok it turns out i made a couple of side-stepping moves which prolonged the win, but still got there eventually, but I'm still not playing that guy any more.
    I suppose if he was using an engine it could announce mate in 11, but do you think you would have achieved a position with mate in 11 against an engine?

    I'll be honest with you, i looked at that position and saw three mates right away. Black must move the rook on f7, it is the only move that avoids mate in one (you can move the f8 rook and prolong the mate to two but the only real try is moving the Rf7). ..Rxf2 Qh7+ ..Kf7 Rxf2+ is winning all day long, whether you deliver mate or not is irrelevant, both rooks are falling and the king is running defenceless.
  9. 10 Oct '15 04:13
    Rxh6 and mating ideas all over the place.

    What is the longest variation.

    If he said 11 and the longest line is 11 and it includes a daft piece sac or two
    that do nothing but prolong the mate then it's a computer variation.

    If the 11 move line skips the fact White can win the Queen or even a Rook thus
    making resigns the best Black move I'd be a bit wary as well especially if the final
    mate is unnecessarily complicated. (not a common mating pattern.)

    If White can win a bucket load of material instead of mating why is the lad
    analysing on and on. When analysing you stop if the material count is too high and resign.

    He may not be using an engine all the time and only switched it on because he
    saw your Rxh6 threat and hoped the box would find a defence. This explains how
    he got into the position if he is using a box. He's not, just sometimes.
  10. Subscriber Paul Leggett
    Chess Librarian
    10 Oct '15 04:45 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by 64squaresofpain
    Precisely, it was how he specifically said 11 moves that made me suspicious,
    so i waited and waited for the game to finish so i could finally put it through Fritz, and there it was.

    Ok it turns out i made a couple of side-stepping moves which prolonged the win, but still got there eventually, but I'm still not playing that guy any more.
    f I were defending, I would keep on trying possibilities and lines until I found a defense, or until I realized there was no defense. It's possible that your opponent did the same thing.

    As for the "10 or 11" in your original post, that is a little different than "specifically 11" as you posted here. To be honest, "10 or 11" surprises me because I would assume he would know exactly how many moves.

    Positional chess has myriad possibilities, and looking ahead accurately can be inexact. However, when we are dealing with mating attacks and lots of forced lines, the calculating becomes easier. Even the first and rather obvious suggestion, Rxh6, threatens mate in 1 on h7, so the area of focus and calculation immediately gets pared down substantially.

    This kind of stuff used to happen when correspondence was via mail, simply to save postage. Nowadays when cheating is common and everyone is suspicious, there is no shortage of angst.
  11. Standard member byedidia
    Mister Why
    10 Oct '15 23:47
    You say he was looking at one of your other games. I think there is no harm in turning on an engine to look one of someone else's games, assuming he was not involved.
  12. Subscriber 64squaresofpain
    The drunk knight
    11 Oct '15 11:36
    Originally posted by byedidia
    You say he was looking at one of your other games. I think there is no harm in turning on an engine to look one of someone else's games, assuming he was not involved.
    Yeah, let's just be clear that the guy who i was playing against in the "mate in 11" game is not the person i'm suspecting of cheating.
    This person was maybe even trying to be helpful, saying "go on, you got 'im! It's mate in 10 or 11" (maybe it was 10 and a half moves?)

    Sure there's no real harm in using a box for other people's games as a spectator
    (although you're not supposed to give hints), but it still rang alarm bells.

    With his 97% win record, I am very sceptical.
    The Rxh6 move was the clear favourite, winning material, but I just couldn't see mate and went on to win a slower endgame.

    And yes GP, I'm pretty sure the 'mate in 11' line involves some computer moves, saccing pieces unnecessarily etc.
    I'm gonna try and make a PGN to show the sequence.
  13. Subscriber moonbus
    Uber-Nerd
    11 Oct '15 13:53
    Stockfish finds the following mate in exactly 10 and a half (or 11) moves. The fact that it involves a spurious Black queen sac on the 3d move of the variation strongly suggests that a human would not have bothered to calculate the remaining moves to the 11-move eventual mate.




    I looked at some other variations for Black not involving a spurious queen sac; they ended in about 5 moves (which is easily calculable for humans).
  14. 11 Oct '15 16:44
    Ahh...it was a spectator who suggested the mate.

    Tell your opponent that someone has chipped in with unasked for advice.
    If you still have it sent him a copy of the PM and let them sort it out.
  15. Subscriber Paul Leggett
    Chess Librarian
    12 Oct '15 02:26
    Originally posted by 64squaresofpain
    Yeah, let's just be clear that the guy who i was playing against in the "mate in 11" game is not the person i'm suspecting of cheating.
    This person was maybe even trying to be helpful, saying "go on, you got 'im! It's mate in 10 or 11" (maybe it was 10 and a half moves?)

    Sure there's no real harm in using a box for other people's games as a spect ...[text shortened]... ter moves, saccing pieces unnecessarily etc.
    I'm gonna try and make a PGN to show the sequence.
    Sorry, I did not understand that it was a third person.
    The very fact that they would comment like that on a game in progress is a red flag all by itself.
    Even a complete novice would know better than that.