Diversions and Cheating


Diversions and Cheating


One of my favorite chess tactics is the often surprising, often quite beautiful, Diversion.

Just when everything seems to be as it should, one move exposes the truth -

which is that things aren't exactly as they seem.


   One of the most intriguing games, as well as one of the most famous games, ever created is a study in Diversion.

     This particular game is also embroiled in controversy. Originally presented as an actual game, it's authenticity (as an actual game) as been questioned for more than half a century. It was supposedly played in New Orleans in 1920 between the rising Mexican chess star, Carlos Torre Repetto and a decidedly weaker friend of his, Edwin Ziegler Adams. Even though the game, which had been presented with actual game-notes by Torre himself, is clouded with an aura of mystery, Torre later commented "that who won the game was of no great importance and that it was the beauty of the idea that mattered."

     For a full treatment of intrigue surrounding this game see Edward Winter's Adams v Torre – A Sham?



     Starting on move 18, White makes a series of 6 extraordinary diversionary moves that eventually result in Black's resignation.


     There's a thread, actually a series of threads, instigated by a chess.com member who claims to have been a super-cheater, both on the internet and in tournament games. It was observed by an astute commentor in one of super-cheater's earliest incursions that his entire tournament cheating scenario was a blatant rehash of another - fictional - scenario:  in short, a lie.

     It's a short leap to assume that if the tournament scenario is a lie, that the internet scenario is largely an invention also - or at the least an extreme exaggeration (not to mention several incongruities I've noticed in his tales).

     Yet, I've been following all the threads and postings involving super-cheater, wondering where it will lead.  Although his self-proclaimed cheating history is undoubtedly made-up, the postings do have some philosophical and abstract value concerning the role of cheating and its different effects on players of integrity.

     I'm not sure what super-cheater's motives might be, whether he's simply exercising his troll muscles or whether he has some underlying need to expose the underbelly of internet chess to the light.  Either way, his threads are, in fact, rather benign and little more than a diversionary tactic - but unlike that of Adams, poorly conceived and ineffectively executed.