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Iphone News

Chess Grandmaster Used iPhone To Cheat During Tournament 237

SternisheFan sends this quote from the Washington Post: Gaioz Nigalidze's rise through the ranks of professional chess began in 2007, the year the first iPhone was released. In hindsight, the timing might not be coincidental. On Saturday, Nigalidze, the 25-year-old reigning Georgian champion, was competing in the 17th annual Dubai Open Chess Tournament when his opponent spotted something strange. "Nigalidze would promptly reply to my moves and then literally run to the toilet," Armenian grandmaster Tigran Petrosian said. "I noticed that he would always visit the same toilet partition, which was strange, since two other partitions weren't occupied." Petrosian complained to the officials. After Nigalidze left the bathroom once more, officials inspected the interior and say they found an iPhone wrapped in toilet paper and hidden behind the toilet. "When confronted, Nigalidze denied he owned the device," according to the tournament's Web site. "But officials opened the smart device and found it was logged into a social networking site under Nigalidze's account. They also found his game being analyzed in one of the chess applications." Nigalidze was expelled from the tournament, which is still ongoing and features more than 70 grandmasters from 43 countries competing for a first-place prize of $12,000. The Georgian's career is now under a microscope. His two national titles are under suspicion.
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Chess Grandmaster Used iPhone To Cheat During Tournament

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  • title is wrong (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bobmajdakjr ( 2484288 ) on Tuesday April 14, 2015 @01:50PM (#49472263)
    He isn't a grandmaster if he cheated. :p
    • by Anonymous Coward

      He's not even a master cheater.

    • Innocent until proven guilty, thought it doesn't look good.
      • Re:title is wrong (Score:4, Interesting)

        by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Tuesday April 14, 2015 @03:01PM (#49472967)

        Innocent until proven guilty, thought it doesn't look good.

        "Innocent until proven guilty" applies to criminal courts of law in some jurisdictions. There is no reason that, say, a Chess Tournament in Dubai, should be held to that standard. Stripping him of his title would be an administrative, not legal, process. If he broke any laws, say, by claiming tournament money to which he was not entitled, that would be another matter.

      • How much more proof do they need? They found an iPhone with a chess computer running under his account hidden in the bathroom he ran to after every move. Even in a court of law, which this isn't, that's a pretty solid case.

        • My plan is coming together nicely. Now with him out of the way, nobody can beat me.

          Seriously, if I was going to set someone up, this is likely how I would do it. Its sort of like a cop throwing a weapon on the guy he just shot.

          What they should have done was turned the sound up and watch for him to go in then listen from the next stall. If they heard the phone, call the number and ask him to step out of the stall.

          • My plan is coming together nicely. Now with him out of the way, nobody can beat me.

            Seriously, if I was going to set someone up, this is likely how I would do it. Its sort of like a cop throwing a weapon on the guy he just shot.

            What they should have done was turned the sound up and watch for him to go in then listen from the next stall. If they heard the phone, call the number and ask him to step out of the stall.

            If he was setup, why would he conveniently always go to THAT stall? Why would he need to go to the bathroom so incredibly frequently? Why would it be hidden somewhat well? How did someone get ahold of his phone and he didn't notice for so long? It doesn't add up. I'm normally much more interested in facts than coincidences, but this is way too suspicious even for me. I wonder what happens if he plays while they hold onto his phone for the match...

        • How much more proof do they need? They found an iPhone with a chess computer running under his account hidden in the bathroom he ran to after every move. Even in a court of law, which this isn't, that's a pretty solid case.

          ...just thinking; if he held out for a few more months, he could've bought that iWatch thingy and saved all the trips to the crapper...

          (now how well he could've hidden that, who knows?)

        • by pavon ( 30274 )

          If they want to revoke his grandmaster status as the original poster suggested, they ought to have some proof that he cheated in those tournaments, not just this recent one in Dubai. Otherwise a ban on future play and footnote on his grandmaster status is more appropriate.

    • by nehumanuscrede ( 624750 ) on Tuesday April 14, 2015 @03:22PM (#49473131)

      Cheating is rampant in all things anymore.

      He's a grandmaster until he gets caught cheating. Until then, he dominates the field and the pressure is on for others to cheat as well just so the playing field is level. ( The Tour De France comes to mind, as does US Baseball's Steroid issue, Online Gaming / Gambling, Standardized Tests ( like the SAT, ACT, Bar exam, etc. etc. )

      It makes it impossible to compete unless you're bending the rules also.

      Makes you wonder of all the "winners" out there, what percentage of them made it to that pedestal legitimately ?

      • No.
        He is looking at a 15-year ban.
        Even if he was not banned, he would no longer get invitations to tournaments. People would refuse to play tournaments where he was present.

        I have no idea if he is going to lose his GM title or not, but it does not really matter - he won't be able to use it for anything.

      • what percentage of them made it to that pedestal legitimately ?

        Define legitimate. Is a performance enhancing drug legitimate? Is drinking water or consuming sugar? We have placed arbitrary restrictions on technology and biology.

        I for one think we should be leveling the playing field. There's no doubt that getting someone else to answer for you (as in this case) is cheating. However I would argue that all performance enhancing drugs should be legal. We should be finding out what the upper limits of the human body are, and we should allow any means of doing so. Likewise

  • by Joe Gillian ( 3683399 ) on Tuesday April 14, 2015 @01:52PM (#49472283)

    I think the real story here is that a Georgian man's cellphone became sentient and was using him as a proxy to enter chess tournaments. The phone is the real grandmaster here.

    • The phone is the real grandmaster here.

      With the right software, all smart phones are grandmasters. Even a cheap modern cellphone is plenty good enough to beat even the best humans. This isn't 1997 [wikipedia.org].

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      New title: Grandmaster iphone uses poor human in scheme to win chess tournament

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 14, 2015 @01:54PM (#49472301)

    Apparently he opted for the logical partition, rather than the extended. Wise move.

  • by Jawnn ( 445279 ) on Tuesday April 14, 2015 @01:55PM (#49472315)
    "He's got the kind of moral fiber we're always looking for, that will to win."

    - [insert name], CEO
    [insert big business name], Inc.
    • by iluvcapra ( 782887 ) on Tuesday April 14, 2015 @02:00PM (#49472357)

      Worked for Kirk when he encountered the Kobayashi Maru.

      • Chess is not a no-win scenario.

  • by danbob999 ( 2490674 ) on Tuesday April 14, 2015 @01:59PM (#49472347)
    Slashvertisment?
  • Chess tourneys should be played by naked participants in a large faraday cage.

    • *shudder* While I'm sure this is someone's idea of where rule #34 should apply ... a bunch of nekkid/pasty/flabby chess players is a terrible idea.

      Just ... no. Stop it.

      • by pla ( 258480 )
        *shudder* While I'm sure this is someone's idea of where rule #34 should apply ... a bunch of nekkid/pasty/flabby chess players is a terrible idea.

        And almost overnight, the world of chess would get obliterated by the Muzychuk sisters, as every opponent (except each other) conceded the match "and then literally run to the toilet".
    • by DigitAl56K ( 805623 ) on Tuesday April 14, 2015 @02:17PM (#49472513)

      This isn't as unusual as it sounds, Deep Blue always plays this way!

      • by cfalcon ( 779563 ) on Tuesday April 14, 2015 @02:30PM (#49472657)

        MOD UP, Jesus. This is the day I don't have mod points?

        Of course it's great that they caught this guy, and obviously they'll have to investigate whether he's really a grandmaster at all, in addition to all the other penalties. But the point that what he did was essentially cyborg (in a competition where that isn't allowed) is a good one. What would a chess league where everyone does this look like? Gary Kasparov may have eventually lost to IBM, some cutting edge hardware, and a huge team of software engineers and chess experts doing everything they could to beat him, but what would Gary Kasparov plus extra analytical hardware/software look like?

        That's what I'm interested in. Magnus Carlsen plus a supercomputer versus just Deep Blue wouldn't resolve in favor of the raw silicon. "Cyborg" league gogo!

    • Chess tourneys should be played by naked participants in a large faraday cage.

      If you think about it that really helps the sport appeal to younger people - instead of advertising a "chess tournament" (what is this, the middle ages)? you get to advertise the event as a STEEL CAGE CHESS MATCH TO THE FINISH!

  • by Guy From V ( 1453391 ) on Tuesday April 14, 2015 @02:02PM (#49472373) Homepage

    All they have to do is remember how many times a tourney he has really bad IBS and they'll have the answer to whether he cheated a lot or not.

  • by Snufu ( 1049644 ) on Tuesday April 14, 2015 @02:03PM (#49472389)

    they use iPhones for toilet paper.

  • When I was actively playing tournament chess the computer world champion program was about as good as a mid-level club player. It ran on a big mainframe at Northwestern University. Most strong players were sure that a computer would never be able to beat a human grandmaster. And now a damn phone wrapped in toilet paper can do it.
    • LOL. My serious counterargument is to be genuinely as good as a human player, the computer program should qualify for the big name tournament by entering lesser many tournaments and racking up a game history that could be studied for weaknesses. IMHO Kasparov played on a not level field, because his long career was open to study and his computer opponent's was not.
      • by itzly ( 3699663 )

        IMHO Kasparov played on a not level field, because his long career was open to study and his computer opponent's was not.

        On the other hand, the computer program didn't study or understand his long career either. At best, the programmers could tune the evaluation algorithm a little bit towards the type of positions that Kasparov would like play, but that's hard to do, and there's no guarantee he would play in his usual style against a computer, especially because his usual style isn't very good against computers.

        • by cfalcon ( 779563 )

          I mean, lets be real here. IBM had meetings, and emails, and long engineering nights for Deep Blue to do that. They studied the HELL out him. He played a committee.

          • by itzly ( 3699663 )

            In the decades before the match, no amount of meetings, emails and long engineering nights managed to build a computer program that could beat the world champion at chess.

      • Well, it was a close run thing. I don't know whether Deep Blue analysed any of Kasparov's games or not, but I'd be surprised if a computer now couldn't beat any player even if that player's game were excluded from any analysis.

        In fact, is past game analysis even a requirement for a chess computer to beat top human players these days?

        • Re:a phone (Score:5, Interesting)

          by itzly ( 3699663 ) on Tuesday April 14, 2015 @02:48PM (#49472845)

          In fact, is past game analysis even a requirement for a chess computer to beat top human players these days?

          No, strong computer programs can easily beat any top human player. That's why you don't see any more straight up computer-human matches. One of the more recent encounters was between Stockfish and GM Nakamura over 4 games. But in two of the games, Nakamura was allowed assistance of an older chess program on a laptop, while in the other two games, he had an extra pawn. The match was won 3-1 by the Stockfish program. The computer played all of its games without an opening book, and without endgame tablebases.

          http://www.chess.com/news/stoc... [chess.com]

          • But in two of the games, Nakamura was allowed assistance of an older chess program on a laptop

            That hardly seems fair.

            "Grandmaster, we're going to pit you against the best computer program to ever play chess, it represents the combined efforts of decades of engineering. But, don't worry, here's a 386SX with Chessmaster 3000 to help you out."

    • The iphone didn't actually run the chess programme. Most grandmasters could easily trounce an iPhone app - you need a fairly powerful computer to run software capable of beating a champ. This guy used his iPhone to connect to the internet so the programme didn't have to actually be running on the phone itself
  • by l2718 ( 514756 ) on Tuesday April 14, 2015 @02:04PM (#49472405)

    The progress of computers in both power and miniaturization has had a strong effect on chess. The biggest effect is the end of the practice of adjourning tournament games. It used to be that games which ran long would be adjourned to the next day, but once overnight analysis by computer became a serious possibility (displacing overnight analysis by each player), the practice became pointless and now tournament games run continuously until they end.

    The challenge of miniature devices both for chess analysis and for communication with analysis occurring elsewhere can't be so easily met by changing the rules, but diligent policing will help. Stricter no-cellphones-in-the-playing area policies would have to be implemented.

    • by Tom ( 822 )

      The challenge of miniature devices both for chess analysis and for communication with analysis occurring elsewhere can't be so easily met

      Nonsense. The time of naked chess has finally arrived.

      You know, just like the TSA will soon make naked flying mandatory.

  • by Phics ( 934282 ) on Tuesday April 14, 2015 @02:05PM (#49472415)

    There's an app for that.

  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna ( 970587 ) on Tuesday April 14, 2015 @02:08PM (#49472439) Journal
    How can such a simpleton become the grandmaster? It belies imagination. Everyone knows the way to cheat at that level of chess tournament is to have a team analyze the game in the audience and have them send color coded yogurt to the player in the middle.
    • Looks there was an Indian boy who was using a blue tooth device sewn into his cap and an accomplice. It went undetected for a long time, and he qualified for the nationals as the top seed. Even he shows more "thinking" than "run-to-the-toilet-and-look-at-iPhone" grand master.
      • I seem to recall a pair of young siblings who (in league with their dad, I think) had a few people fooled with their telepathy act, which turned out to involve high pitched sounds which adults couldn't hear.

  • by pmarinus ( 893520 ) on Tuesday April 14, 2015 @02:19PM (#49472535)
    Note: The former World Chess Champion Tigran V. Petrosian died in 1984.
    The comments were made by grandmaster Tigran L. Petrosian, born 1984 and named after the champion.
  • I noticed that he would always visit the same toilet partition, which was strange

    Why would that be strange? I'd think it was stranger if he visited a different one each time, pausing to consider his options as he enters. "Now, I tried number 3 last time, but I reckon number 1 could be a winner..."

  • There are at least 6 players by my calculations who wound up tied for the top score at this event and therefore split the top prize fund money, approximately $5,000 USD apiece. That is not an easy living if one is trying to survive on chess alone. This probably explains why some cheating at chess is so blatant, because one has to finish at the very top to get any money at all let alone turn a profit. Otherwise a rational cheater would do it sparingly and possibly versus lower level opponents.
    • There are at least 6 players by my calculations who wound up tied for the top score at this event and therefore split the top prize fund money, approximately $5,000 USD apiece. That is not an easy living if one is trying to survive on chess alone. This probably explains why some cheating at chess is so blatant, because one has to finish at the very top to get any money at all let alone turn a profit. Otherwise a rational cheater would do it sparingly and possibly versus lower level opponents.

      If the monetary award is so small, one would have to question why someone would spend the time to learn the game and spend countless hours in tournaments in order to cheat their way to a pathetic prize.

      I don't know what to call for here; more integrity or less stupidity.

      • by PRMan ( 959735 )
        Exactly. I am VERY good at Scrabble and with a lot of work I might be able to be world champion. But for what? Why bother? It's not worth anything.
  • If it were me... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by toonces33 ( 841696 ) on Tuesday April 14, 2015 @02:43PM (#49472793)

    I would have taken the phone and then sat back and watched the guy fall to pieces. Only after the match was complete (and the guy presumably lost) would I have busted him.

    • Then at the end of the match, he accuses you of bringing a phone in to cheat. After all, it has half the match in its cache memory.

      Anyway, I'm pretty sure my friend played this guy a few years ago, and he's been toileting every turn from years ago. My friend had great satisfaction this guy got busted because my friend accused him of cheating back in the day, but the officials did nothing.
    • Re:If it were me... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by pellik ( 193063 ) on Wednesday April 15, 2015 @12:04AM (#49475959)
      This sort of happened a few years ago with a tournament in Croatia with Borislav Ivanov (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Borislav_Ivanov). The cheating player had his friends analyzing the games that were broadcast live. They suspected him of cheating and disabled the broadcast, and he promptly fell apart. Interestingly, his wiki page makes it look like he may be innocent but statistical analysis is very clear (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jr0J8SPENjM).
  • by Dutch Gun ( 899105 ) on Tuesday April 14, 2015 @02:48PM (#49472853)

    Since 'literally' literally no longer means literally, I'm wondering if they guy actually jumped up out of his seat and sprinted to the toilets after each move. Maybe it wouldn't have been so suspicious-looking if he just casually walked to the facilities.

  • That he got away with visiting the toilet between every single move up to now.
  • by Kevin Fishburne ( 1296859 ) on Tuesday April 14, 2015 @03:55PM (#49473363) Homepage
    Why the frak would they let a competitor get up and leave the playing area at all, much less after every single move? Were they playing in someone's garage drinking cheap beer and no one gave a shit? They should treat these competitions more like a casino, where cheating is expected and overcompensated for by paranoid surveillance, especially when money's on the line.
  • Died in 1984.

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