Marshall Attacks and foils cheating in the Greek Gift
I was playing the Marshall Attack again today in the Spanish Opening, 5/0 blitz. This time I am attempting to break the previous record of 18 seconds and 23 moves to finish the game using the trap with a Greek gift sacrifice. I was once again successful to trap my opponent. On my 20th move, I have only spent 13 seconds off my clock. So if the game finishes on the 23rd as it usually does, I would probably break the record.
However, prior to making his or her 21st move (see image below after the 20th move 20...Re4), there was a long pause of more than two minutes leaving his or her clock close to just one minute of playing time. What I noticed was that my opponent's moves upon his return became the engine recommendations as were given by previous analysis of this game which is shown on my blog Greek Gift helped Marshall win in Ruy Lopez. My opponent tried to refute my moves with accurate moves and was almost successful to make a come back. In this game, the engine's suggestion is to give up the queen which is unnatural. So my opponent did give up the queen and has to play with his pieces. Many players prefer the queen over the three pieces (the equivalence in value) because it is easier to find the moves for the queen.
After giving up the queen, white was still ahead in materials but lagging behind in development. With precise moves for black, white's position is still doomed. However, I was unable to make the precise moves all the time, naturally because it was a blitz game. With less than a minute, my opponent had no trouble with his moves.
I was finally relaxed when his or her clock was down to less than 10 sec. Despite that he was running out of time, his move speed remained steady in 2 to 4 sec interval until his clock ran out. I sent our game for computer analysis to confirm my suspicion that his moves starting the 21st move were an attempt to cheat in live 5/0 blitz. The computer concurs with almost all critical moves but declared two to three moves as inaccurate or blunder. I attribute the inconsistencies to the engine speed used by my opponent and the shallow ply-level of search. In this case, the engine was to provide instantaneous reply which resulted to shallower depth and less accurate moves compared to the chess.com game analysis.
I admit that the accuracy of many moves may not withstand scruitiny as a conclusive proof, but combine that with the disappearance or no move of more than two minutes and the unnatural equal intervals of moves thereafter, then, i have reasons enough to make a conclusion.
A typical progger characteristic I have cited in my first blog here at chess.com entitled Spotting Cheaters - Chess Progs.
Our game is shown below together with the computer analysis. A definite cheating which I will try to bring to the attention of chess.com staff. I will post next time the reply from chess.com as a comment to this blog. I'm not optimistic though that chess.com would do something about this.