Maximize the cheating!
Do I remember this now?

Maximize the cheating!

Mar 9, 2018, 12:26 PM |

Cheating has been a surging phenomenon in chess tournaments all over the world since the smartphone. There are many suggestions how to minimize it, how make it harder, how to punish, how to expose it etc.


Hey hey hey. You are all so boring.


Instead, how would one arrange the ultimate tournament that maximizes the cheating? Assuming, we still would want to keep some silly facade of everything being ok.


Well, first you need players. Preferably not only any players, but males in their late teenage or early 20s - that age when hormones are high and judgment is low. Most cheaters are in that category - but they are present all over the human spectrum.

Then you need incitement. Something good to happen to you if you succeed. Like fame. Money. Travels. Women. Spots on the national team. Fast cars.

Then you need to create pressure for not succeeding. Maybe another year of nagging and bitching from parents if they fail. Physical punishment might do. Or cramschool, with double dosage of algebra! Oh yeah, that should hurt!

So how do we achieve the things above? Hmm. How about if we could somehow tie winning to .. say college scholarship?! We would hit the age target, the incitement, and the parental pressure - all three at the same time!

Great! It's a deal!


Next, not having arbiters might look bad. That facade, huh? So we need to get someone to hang around and play with their cell-phone during the tournament. This person is preferably blind, numb, apathetic, and definitely not a chess player. And with a compulsive urge to exercise power over others. But all those requirements are probably too much to wish for. People with such tremendous qualifications are extremely sought after in every level of politics. We have to mostly do with just non-chess players, with maybe a bare minimum of the other qualifications. Pity. But sometimes you get lucky.

The arbitering part is easy. You can respond to any complaint with a random choice of "What shall I do about that?", "There is no rule for that", or maybe "You lose the game!" if you are really bored and live it up a bit. Insist to death on whatever snap decision you made, and ask the players to file an official protest if they get too emotional.

Get rid of that FIDE rule disallowing electronic devices in your tournament. Allow them in the tournament area, in the venue, in the analysis area .. or heck this is complicated. Scratch the distinctions. Make it all one area anyway. Pretend to not to see any cell phone usage during games or notice when a player uses the toilet for the 22nd time in 40 minutes. It is only that extra mug of tea he drank after lunch. And he brings his cell phone with him only so it won't get stolen.

Experience has shown that those official complaints will start pouring in. Handling them is super easy! First you need to charge a fee to file one. The fee should be set to what a couple of beers for three would cost an evening. Then you invite two buddies (aka "a committee") to have a couple of beers, and when the money you got start to run out, you finally write responses to the complaints. Some easy to word responses (even after a few beers) could be "We see no wrongdoing here", "You have no evidence", or "We need another round of beer!".


Or ... scratch that last one. Forgetting that silly facade again.