ACP to FIDE: do something about cheating in chess!

by ChessBase
3/8/2007 – The subject simply won't go away. Realizing the gravity of the situation the Association of Chess Professionals has demanded that FIDE take immediate action to find a solution to the problem of cheating in general. Meanwhile new accusations have been raised against an Indian IM. Press release.

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In view of some recent events in the cheating controversy and several hasty comments from the press, the ACP Board has decided to clarify its position on the matter.

The ACP Board does not believe it has the power to establish a verdict based on the available evidences on whether certain players made use of illegal means to improve their playing strength and results. We find it wiser, however, to concentrate our energy on trying to find solutions to the problem of cheating in general.

The situation has become unpleasant, to say the least. Rumours can be very harmful. Recent allegations and articles published in the press create an unhealthy situation in the chess world. We are afraid that a tense atmosphere of reciprocal suspicion among chess players may install itself at future top-tournaments.

We consider it our duty to do everything possible to prevent such a scenario from happening. It would be wrong, however, to pretend that cheating in chess cannot exist, or that no one would ever cheat. Bearing in mind that progress in technology and electronics undoubtedly create more and more cheating opportunities, the problem is real. In our view, the solution involves creating tournament conditions which will not allow cheating altogether. Some important measures have to be taken. It seems obvious, however, that all steps will not be applicable to all kinds of tournaments. The more participants, the more difficult the chance to create perfect conditions.

The ACP Board has written a letter to FIDE in which a set of concrete measures have been proposed to prevent cheating opportunities. A similar letter will also be sent to organizers of the most famous tournaments.

Thus, we hope that temptation will no longer be possible, and that rumours will consequently disappear. The integrity of our chess elite is at stake. We expect a fruitful discussion to lead to important decisions in this matter.

ACP Board

New accusations of cheating

Indian newspapers are currently carrying a story about IM D.P. Singh who has again been accused of receiving computer assistance during his (successful) bit to gain a GM norm in an international tournament in Kolkata, India. Here are some of the reports.

Under suspicion: IM D.P. Singh

DP Singh frisked thrice, given clean chit
February 28: Off-board drama dominated proceedings on Day Four of the Kolkata Open at the Alekhine Chess Club. Few players of the Chess Players Association of India (CPAI) suspected that controversial IM Diwakar Prasad Singh could be using unfair means during his match against city lad Arghyadip Das, and demanded that Singh be thoroughly checked. In fact, players have been demanding random checking ever since the tournament began.

Following the appeals made by a section of the players again today, India’s highest-rated IM was frisked after winning his match against Das and later made to undergo a metal detector test. ENT specialist Dr Ranjan Roychowdhury was also called to check if Singh was using any device fitted in the ear. But the man in the center of the storm came out clear on all three occasions. As a source put it: “Either he (Singh) is a genius or he’s a big fraud. His career graph is in the extremes, he plays like a genius one day and then loses to someone he should beat hands down. The whole situation is baffling.” Full article.

Drama over Singh continues
March 1: It’s unfortunate to say the least that an Indian is making headlines for all the wrong reasons in one of Asia’s strongest open chess tournaments. Despite the presence of a host of GMs from across the world, it seems the second edition of the Kolkata Open is all about controversial IM D P Singh whose moves on and off the chequered board are under constant scrutiny ever since the tournament began last Sunday.

Following a complaint lodged by the Chess Players Association of India (CPAI), the local organisers had subjected India’s highest-rated IM to physical frisking and a metal detector test last evening after his match against Arghyadip Das, for Singh showed the brilliance of a 2700 Elo rating player during the match. Singh was also examined by an ENT surgeon for any possible device fitted in his ear, but came out clean on all three occasions.

A day later, Singh was again under the scanner with players watching his game with a hawk-eye. But while the frisking didn’t affect his game against Das, Singh said he failed to convert a winning situation against G N Gopal today and had to settle for a draw. “I’m being unnecessarily harassed. Though I was winning today, I couldn’t concentrate and failed to convert the win. One of AICF’s vice-presidents Sameer Salgoankar and Federation treasurer Bharat Singh Chauhan have told me to just concentrate on my game,” Singh told reporters today. Full article.

DP Singh’s moves matched with Fritz, claims Petrosian
March 5: Even on the penultimate day of the Kolkata Open chess event, controversy around IM D P Singh refused to die down. After the representatives of the Chess Players Association of India (CPAI), it was the turn of Armenian GM Tigran Petrosian who after beating the highest-rated Indian IM today, said the player’s moves created suspicion and that they matched with those of the Fritz chess engine.

“Everyone’s been talking about him (Singh) in this tournament. I was scared of my opponent’s reputation too, so I exchanged queens and went for an endgame because it’s easier to play against a computer without queens on the board,” Petrosian remarked after the match. The 22-year-old Armenian GM with a rating of 2592 added: “I offered him a draw on the 23rd move which he declined. I’m not sure if I was playing against a computer, but then he made two moves, c6 and Nh6, in two minutes, which is impossible for a GM to calculate in such a short time. A GM would normally take 15-20 minutes to calculate the same, or else he would be a world champion. In fact, I analysed his game with (Alexander) Fominyh and found that his moves matched with Fritz’s first suggestions.” Full article.

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