How to DETECT engines

Feb 8, 2013, 8:37 AM |

Some awesome advice from Evan Ju


1) The first type of “engine-user” is an account that managed to write an algorithm that directly allows the engine to play the moves on I am not sure how this is done. In all of my life, I have never managed to beat an engine of this type in blitz. Fortunately, these types of “engine-users” are extremely rare and is rather apt at detecting and banning them.

2) The second type of “engine-user” is far more common. This account has a commercially available engine running in the background (for example Houdini). This player inputs every move played on into the engine, sees what move the engine suggests, then makes the recommended move manually on the board.


How can you tell if you are playing an “engine-user”. Both of these types of “engine-users”, especially the second type, have a few easily identifiable characteristics. I will list a few of them here, but not all of them because I am aware of the fact that this may have some negative consequence of potentially helping the cheaters. However, I believe that the overall increased community awareness outweighs this.

Common Engine-User Characteristics

1) Never makes any obvious tactical errors

2) Monotonous Move Tempo (i.e. 3-4 seconds for EVERY move, despite how complicated the position is, or even for “obvious” moves)

3) Large rating disparity between Blitz/Standard rating and Bullet rating.

4) Ridiculously good win/loss records (i.e. more than a 5:1 win ratio).


With this information in mind, what should you do if you suspect if someone is using engine-assistance? REPORT THEM directly to the staff. Send in tickets. It does no good at all just accusing them to their face or writing bad notes on their profile. You can help the community so much by following these simple steps.