My first OTB game against a cheater
Playing against Stockfish

My first OTB game against a cheater


Well, I guess it had to happen sooner or later. Cheating has become so incredibly easy with all those smartphones around, that it was just a question of time to experience it first-hand – not as a cheater but as a victim, of course. happy.png

I played on a strong tournament in Dublin two weeks ago, and my first-round opponent was a young guy with about 1500 rating. I did not mind to get a low-rated opponent, as I had not played any OTB game since February and felt a bit rusty. I expected an easy win, but as it turned out, I was playing against an unbeatable opponent – Stockfish itself.

To be honest, I did not suspect anything after the game. My opponent was a teenager, and it is very common that upcoming talents are underrated. Also, as I blundered early in the game, my loss was quite deserved, so I did not give more thought to it and concentrated on my next games. 

My opponent went on to win his second and third game and was already playing against a GM on the stage in the fourth round. He was doing fine in that game as well, until the arbiter (who was already watching him suspiciously) decided to switch off the screen where the top games were shown for the audience. After that Mr Stockfish could not offer any serious resistance and lost in a few moves. Apparently his friends gave him hand signals during the games; and after the screen being switched off, they could not help him as they could not see the boards on the stage.

Mr Stockfish was finally expunged after the 5th round and I (and his other opponents) got back the lost points. 

The take away for me is that I should not be so naive: I was totally unsuspicious until I was informed about his cheating - although he played very quickly and effortlessly during our game, making decisions like 13. ... Qxd4, 14. ... Bd6, and 17. ... Re6 in a few minutes. It is nice to believe in people, but there are limits... happy.png The possibility of cheating is here to stay, and it is important to catch the signs when you are playing against the Fish. 

Hello, nice to meet you, good luck!