Cheaters, Sandbaggers, and Liars

Oct 12, 2014, 3:51 PM |

I wrote an earlier blog about my views on cheating in chess.  You can find it here: "My Personal Code of Ethics"

In this entry, I'm just going to discuss how that has affected me personally.  As part of my duties with a few of the teams I am associated, I help in Vote Chess.  On one particular team, we had a person get banned as an engine-using cheater four times (former screen names: ac-cd_fan, farshidt, kmj123, taktik-fuchs).  I am 99% certain it is the same person (for reasons that I will not disclose here).  So when the fifth incarnation of this cheater appeared, as "Neob," I moved to ban him where I had the power to do so.

Some other administrators felt that I was hasty and should wait for to ban the person from the site, but I do not like seeing honest people cheated, or games ruined, or matches spoiled by cheaters.

I also took the initiative to notify two friends, who were also administrators for a team which this Neob character was representing.  I was in for a surprise.  One of these friends (let's call him "Don") was unwilling to even look into the cheater.  As a matter of fact, was guilt-tripping me for mentioning it and for saying that I would not associate with a club that embraced Neob.

Don was a nice guy, and I was fond of him - he was fun-loving and a good chatter.  I was paired against him in a match while this was going on.

Another person on the site volunteered some information that "Don" had been in trouble before for cheating.  And that he had explained to others how he intentionally lost a few games (sandbagging) so his rating did not get too high and warrant scrutiny by the site.

I had completely misjudged this person.  Then I find out that the female SA on the team did the same thing!

It upset me a great deal, I blundered one of my games against Don, and immediately resigned them both.  No reason to worry about playing against Stockfish.  I'll take my lumps for my naivete and learn from the experience.  But the upset also spilled over into other games I had going.  That hurt.

Don is no longer a friend.  He is blocked.  I am off his team, no longer a "VIP,"  and happier for it.  As for the female SA, my disappointment is profound.  She seemed to be a nice, caring person.  I guess I am just another chump that is easily fooled and ultimately used.  I am burning a few days of vacation time to get my head back together.

Sometimes we have to learn the hard way.