Originally posted by danilop
Play blitz online. No cheating there, I think.
Oh there are tons of blitz cheats.
At FICS, you can type var to see what your opponent is using (Winboard, BabasChess,Thief,etc). Sometimes it will say something like Thief+Rybka. Very few of the non-guests are stupid enough to do it that way, but there are other ways as well.
In like 1999 or so (yeah-the stone age of computers), one of my friends (rated under 1000) went in his office and challenged another one (rated 1800) to a blitz game. He slaughtered the 1800 and told him afterwards how he did it. (He hit a button every time he wanted the engine to auto-make its best move.)
If that technology was equipped enough, today's will make your head spin.
As a personal observation, I've noticed that the majority of cheats that I have played were not using Winboard or Babas at FICS.
Thief (mostly used for bughouse, I think), x board (only somewhat), and the JEN (I may be spelling that wrong) seem to attract the most cheats.
I think it has something to do with their capability to display computer analysis. It's not supposed to during a game, but I imagine they found a bug or something around that.
You just have to play blitz and look for patterns if you suspect something.
For instance, I had one cheater make every single move of the game in the exact amount of time (It was like .03 seconds or something for every move.). That is a tell.
Also, the guys who bash out long winded combos without ever pausing (not even before or after) are suspect.
As are the ones, that let you play your tactical variations (3 or 4 moves deep), and then at the end pop out a counterattack of their own (that would be hard to see even on the move - not 5 moves ahead).
Cheats are everywhere, and they are not going away.
You just have to learn to spot tells and censor them.
I even noplay players that give me a bad feeling (for instance someone rated 400 points lower that never makes a mistake in 5 or 6 games).
I must say in the last 6 months or so, that at FICS, I have run into relatively few people that I suspect of foulplay. They must have moved on to more prestigious sites.
I know that computerabuse at FICS is very easy to contact and almost always replies to my emails with honest sincerity in stopping all the cheating.
The staff must really be dedicated considering the whole site is totally free.