Interview with GM Chuchelov - Caruana's Coach

by Alisa Melekhina
9/7/2014 – ChessBase conducts an exclusive interview with the World’s strongest chess trainer. GM Vladimir Chuchelov has coached top players such as Van Wely, Radjabov, Giri, and is currently seconding Fabiano Caruana in the Sinquefield Cup. Read on to discover the insights into Caruana’s preparation to the strongest tournament in history. Interview by Alisa Melekhina.

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Background and Start of Coaching Career

Interview by Alisa Melekhina

Grandmaster Vladimir Chuchelov was born in Moscow, Russia in 1969. His first trainer was famous Moscow trainer Victor Cherniy, who celebrated his 70th birthday with aparachuting jump. Upon getting involved with chess, his permanent trainer became Abram Khasin (pictured below).

Abram Khashin (in Dortmund 2004), one of Russia’s top trainers, and a very
remarkable personality who is still active chess, following his 90th birthday!

Chuchelov’s training career began in 2002. He was invited by Jeroen Piket – one of best players in the Netherlands – for a session before Wijk Aan Zee. Chuchelov has continued to second a variety of players for that tournament for thirteen consecutive years.

Jeroen Piket left chess a year after working with Chuchelov to work
for the famous chess mécénat Joop van Oosterom in Monaco

The following year, Chuchelov was invited by another top Dutch player, Loek van Wely, to help with preparations for the 2003 Wijk Aan Zee tournament. For Loek it was traditionally a very difficult tournament. But five weeks of preparation before the tournament were rewarded.

Van Wely was leading the 2003 Wijk Aan Zee tournament all the way, and despite unfortunate loss of both games to Karpov and Kramnik in the final rounds finished on a plus score (he was +3 at one point).

At this point, Chuchelov was still an active chess player himself. “I was definitely not the top, but decent grandmaster from the top 100.” However, he noticed that the immense work devoted to his training sessions with his students could be seen immediately. The “analytical part of chess was more exciting than playing itself.”

The Dutch Federation noticed the success of his training sessions, and asked him to work with young students. As demand grew, by 2008 he became the head coach of the Dutch Federation. Chuchelov soon realized that “being a Grandmaster was not enough. I had to constantly work on my training materials.” It was a good time to fully focus on a professional trainer career. I took a “top-down approach in training. My goal was to project top-level chess to build up on the young students’ foundations. It was helpful for me to work on both levels simultaneously.”

Alisa Melekhina: Did you consider applying your training methods to improving your own chess?

Vladimir Chuchelov: Unfortunately, it was too late. I actually realized that in fact I was never a real professional player. Being "professional" requires a totally different set-up and approach to training. I had only a very vague idea at that time.

AM: What is your method to improving your students' chess?

VC: It always starts with a 60-hour course called "Strategic balance." All my Students are familiar with it. Then we begin routine work such as analyzing games, working on your opening repertoire, and having calculation sessions. You have to be focused, motivated and willing to work hard. Learning to work efficiently is what counts the most. There is no one formula for success – it depends on each individual player. Everyone has different weaknesses that must be tuned.

By “focus,” do you mean that one must study solely chess?

Not necessarily, but when you are studying chess, you must focus purely on chess. It cannot be half-half. Only then you can be efficient.

How did you begin working with Fabiano Caruana?

I met Fabiano’s father (Lou Caruana) during the 2010 European Championships. I was there with another of my star students, Anish Giri. There were not many spectators and while waiting for the end of the round, I talked to Fabiano's father occasionally. A few weeks later I got an invitation to come over to Lugano, Switzerland. It seemed that Fabiano enjoyed the training sessions. However, Fabiano was not very trusting of a new trainer, so I had to prove my authority. In the end, it worked out well. At first, I assisted him only at major tournaments, but for the past two years I have assisted him at nearly all of them.

Chuchelov and Caruana have been a powerful team since 2010. Photo Credit: Alisa Melekhina

How did you prepare for the Sinquefield Cup?

We did not have much time to prepare because Fabiano played in Dortmund, followed by the Olympiad. We had a few sessions on Skype untill he caught a cold. Regardless, we work the entire year, so it is not important.

What was the impact of playing in two major tournaments before the Sinquefield Cup?

It’s not that it hurt or help in any particular way. It turned out that the nice novelties and pearls discovered even in previous years, his fantastic form, the Ice Bucket Challenge!... It all came together in this tournament. Already, three games were essentially won in the opening:

  1. against Vachier-Lagrave in round two – it was the g4 move in the Caro;
  2. the Na2 idea against Aronian in round four;
  3. and against Topalov in round six the powerful move 13. Re2 was missed by Topalov’s team in his preparation, according to the Bulgarian. Topalov was very upset about this.

Topalov was one of the victims of Caruana's prep. Credit: Lennart Ootes

Then what happens is that opponents start to worry about falling into prep, and start to deviate. But when they deviate, they are also not so comfortable. The cycle continues from there. It has to be said that the "new" Fabiano began in Dortmund, already there he was hardly making mistakes, demonstrating powerful play. Usually I’m very critical and try to keep him sharp with advice, but recently he hasn't provided many occasions for me to be unhappy.

MVL - Caruana, round 7 of the Sinquefield Cup. Photo Credit: Lennart Ootes

How do you decide which openings to focus in on when a field as strong as this can play anything?

After many years of following opponents, you can sense what they can do and what they can’t. You also notice trends. I of course follow their careers, and I expect that they check what their opposition is doing.

Describe the preparation process between you and Fabiano.

There is some misconception about preparation at the top level. It doesn't have to be long it has to be efficient, right to the point. Of course it doesn't always go that way, but it is the right direction, less is always better. This wisdom I managed to pick up still making my first steps, working with Loek Van Wely. It has to be balanced. A player needs to preserve energy for the game, do not prepare for one game as for three.

Do you have a routine for the tournament?

In the evening after the round we try to relax, maybe go for a walk and discuss the game, thinking about what is next, what our options are for the next game. In the morning we work for 2 - 2.5 hours, then have lunch and the round starts. Time passes quickly at these events.

While watching the games live, what is going on in your mind?

I try to keep a distance and not to get involved, but it's not that easy.

Chuchelov trying to stay calm during Caruana's game. Photo by Alisa Melekhina.

Which point in the tournament had you most worried during one of Fabiano’s games?

After Fabiano won his fifth game in a row, I was worried that he would have a stroke of happiness. The result is a little bit unrealistic. But once the second half began the same, I figured he must have gotten used to it.

Fabiano with a stroke of happiness after going perfect in the first half of the event. Photo by Lennart Ootes.

Why is Fabiano steamrolling through the field? Are they playing differently against him?

I don't think so. It seems to be a perfect coincidence. 

But it requires more than a coincidence to reach 7/7?

Yes, it’s a really impressive result. Almost unreal, I would say. It's all about the momentum.

On another hand, let's have a brief look on the role of the other players:

Topalov showed very good shape during the Olympiad, yet here he began his tournament losing both games, clearly struggling. Similarly, Vachier-Lagrave was demonstrating confident play recently, but here he felt insecure from the start. Hikaru is playing very shaky, surely not his tournament. Magnus got a plus score, but missed many chances along the way.

On the contrary, Fabiano played nearly flawlessly. So maybe it is not entirely a coincidence.

Are Fabiano’s opponents affected by the pressure to beat the tournament leader?

It’s 50/50. On the one hand, they’re under pressure. On the other, they must realize that Fabiano’s performance is unrealistic and think that it must stop somewhere. So they may think that they’re the game to end the streak.

Fabiano is always so composed in front of the cameras. Is he excited about his performance?

It is a different atmosphere when the cameras are off. We’re having fun, let’s say.

Fabiano certainly looks more relaxed with the stress of the tournament over. Photo by Sam Thompson.

What is up next for Fabiano?

He is playing in Bilbao after this. There is also the Grand Prix series in Baku, Tashkent, and London.

Many people believe that Fabiano is the next World Champion contender, especially after the unprecedented performance here. What are your thoughts?

We'll see. Let's wait for the next World Championship cycle.

A preview of a future World Championship match? Photo Credit: Lennart Ootes




Alisa Melekhina is a FIDE master and one of the top female players in the United States. She won a gold medal at the 2009 Women’s World Team Championships in Ningbo, China. Alisa has competed in the United States Women’s Championships eight times, finishing third in 2009 and fifth in 2014. She is currently an attorney in New York City, practicing in the fields of intellectual property and commercial litigation. She is author of “Reality Check,” a book that discusses successful competitive strategy on and off the chess board. Her Web site is alisamelekhina.com.
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jaykuppur jaykuppur 9/10/2014 10:58
"Regarding allegations, to be fair my response was more towards the comments of another person who commented, making clear he thought Caruana was cheating, though you also make clear you find the results questionable, and comment he should change his habit of sitting with his hands over his ears. It isn't plausible as being an indicator of cheating, so why change? "
@Firestorm, Why not? it is plausible if one has intention to do it. It does not mean he is doing it. Players habits and conduct must be above board. Eyes and Ears are important organs that can be used for some thing that creates doubt. Caruana is not some Ivanov to run away with his shoes intact. Cauruana has entered in to great limelight now. It is in his interest not to do anything that creates slightest doubt. He can avoid such a unique and questionable pose as it costs nothing for him to change it. Why give room for other impressions? If you say he need not care or bother about it, then, then those who feel something about it need not bother about commenting about it. That's all. Let him keep on cupping his Ears and try to change only when a concerned authority takes it up. Honestly, I said it in the interest of Caruana.

A great GM, Nigel Short commented, "Whatever Fabiano Caruana is taking, I want lots of it!" . Why did Nigel goes in tangent, makes a sort of joke type comment, instead of directly commenting on his play? Three conclusions can possibly be drawn on Nigel comment. We expected a direct comment on Caruana's play, Nigel could not give one. "Cauana is taking" , he may be subtly hinting at taking some sort of help! Therefore, he is hinting about cheating, so charge him! or He may be talking about the type of special food he is consuming! Can taking some food give this level of play? No, food can't give such an effect, he is hinting about cheating, charge him again! He is simply joking, so praise him!
Therefore, unless I make a direct charge, there is no reason for you to charge me based on your perceptions or inferences. I assure you that it is impossible for me to make a direct accusation of cheating as I can never get direct proof. Even producing Computer evidence is not direct proof as it can be explained away as what Caruana can do when his playing strength is as good as that of Computers, it has to match is not his fault. That's why clean laying environment is most important. I am always free to express my views based on my evaluations based on my take on circumstantial informations I come across. I believe in all sorts of views within limits must be expressed. It's in this sense I take your observations by stating that I find no compelling reason to change or correct any of the comments I have made.
jaykuppur jaykuppur 9/10/2014 09:21
@firestorm, All these instances belong to pre-computer era where outside help or computer assistance was non existent. I should have specified period after advent of Computers surpassing human levels of play.
Even then, they qualify in result. They need to be seen in quality, strength of opposition, the way defeats were inflicted, the types of mistakes opponents made and in how many games the player's position was inferior etc, I am sure, some articles in this direction will appear.
I have already said that you can believe the result even if you show or not, as I know that the quality of play aspect is beyond our capabilities.
What you mentioned about mental and physical states of players may be facts. But in what way this fact affected and actually reflected in games? Is it a chance that other players physical and mental propensities should consistently go in favor of Caruana, in a manner where Caruana was never in an inferior position and his opponents were all handicapped in one way or other. Again, it's an issue that can be settled by giving due weightage to quality of play as it occurred. The result can easily be rationalized.

Here are some extracts from "Chess.com" under the heading, "Can you play like Fabiano Caruana?" and it partially deals with the examples you have given.
"Right now the tournament is a one-person show. As I am writing this article, Fabiano Caruana has an unbelievable 7 out of 7! (Update: He finished with the excellent score of 8.5/10.)

This phenomenal result can be only compared to Bobby Fischer's famous massacare of two 1971 candidates matches, with the same lopsided score 6-0 (vs. Taimanov and Larsen).

But to tell you the truth, to me Caruana's result is even more impressive. First of all, both Taimanov and Larsen were psychologically broken somewhere around the 3-0 mark, and couldn't play their best chess after that. Besides, with all due respect, those great chess players weren't world's number one or two (like Carlsen or Aronian).

So, what's Caruana's secret? As Nigel Short put it: "Whatever Fabiano Caruana is taking, I want lots of it!"
In my opinion, his secret is very simple and similar to Fischer's : he practically makes no mistakes and severely punishes his opponents for the slightest inaccuracy. In a sense, he is playing like a human computer!
Let's check one of his wins that made the biggest impression on me. I was watching the game live and tried to guess Caruana's moves. Let me put it this way: I failed!
Of course, I guessed many of his moves correctly (mostly obvious ones!), but I totally missed his big strategical and tactical concepts!
I offer you my dear readers an opportunity to play like Caruana... or at least better than me!"
The article is by GM Gserper. He has also come to the conclusion that he is playing like a Computer! He qualifies it as a simple explanation, possibly worried about misunderstanding by some fans. Obviously, playing like Computer is not a simple, it's extraordinary feat for a Human. What the GM felt is precisely my opinion and I am not having basis to qualify it. Whether it is possible for Humans to play like Computer or even surpass them will be settled in future as we now have Caruana almost playing like Computers.
As for as your other observations are concerned, I have nothing more to say except that I stand by what all said. There is nothing more to say when impressions not matching with your views looks questionable to you, mere characterization of level of play sounds like making accusations or allegations. It is strictly limited to me and has nothing to do with your other mixed up perceptions.

PerfectConscience PerfectConscience 9/10/2014 04:50
I've always suspected
Caruana since his meteoric rise to the top. The
way he intentionally managed to draw won
positions in the final 3 rounds in fear of
accusations made my suspicion even stronger.
The dangerous proximity of the spectators can
be (and must have been) utilized effectively.
firestorm firestorm 9/9/2014 10:22
Some examples:

Fischer wins the US Ch 11-0.
Fischer beats Taimanov 6-0 in candidates 1/4 final
Fischer beats Larsen 6-0 in candidates 1/2 final
Fischer scores 4-0 in last games against Petrosian in candidates final
Karpov scores 12/15 at Linares, starting 6/6 if I recall rightly

and I can list further from the likes of Korchnoi, Polugayevsky, Kasparov ...

Aronian complained during the event of sequelae to nasal surgery just prior to the tournament;
Nakamura was clearly off form;
Carlsen played to win material (not really a sac), and got caught by a pretty savage counter attack;
MVL got caught by Caruana's preparation;
Topalov's style often results in streaks of decisive results.

Caruana was 2800 going into the tourney, and it just seems to me to be a confluence of factors that resulted in the outcome we witnessed. Regarding the last 3 draws- so what? He's already won the tournament outright by then, and it must be draining to play 7 high pressure games and get a result like this. Knowing you've won can mean a release of tension and of motivation.

Regarding allegations, to be fair my response was more towards the comments of another person who commented, making clear he thought Caruana was cheating, though you also make clear you find the results questionable, and comment he should change his habit of sitting with his hands over his ears. It isn't plausible as being an indicator of cheating, so why change?

All I've done is asked the logical questions to the suggestion of computer-assisted play, and the result is nada. I haven't put words in your mouth: it comes down to the fact that there is no actual evidence to support the allegations.

jaykuppur jaykuppur 9/9/2014 08:31
@Firestorm, I never made any accusations like you have said. If my impressions infer or look like accusations, then, it is your problem and I have nothing more to say about. All that I said was my impressions about the level of his play. For me, the level of play looked like a synthesis of several programmes and not a single Chess programme as you have concluded. The levels of Chess programmes are so high now that even one move selected out of a mixture of top 3 moves suggested by each programme can make all the difference when judiciously combined. It's next to impossible to detect this as combinations and permutations of this in itself will be insurmountable for human scrutiny as possibilities in game progression increases rapidly. This is a fact does not mean some one has used it. That's why I suggested that steps may be taken to sanitize playing environment to the extant possible is more important. Why do you think that this has become the general consensus? Do you think that it is totally unfounded?
As long as I do not directly accuse any one of cheating, but, have my own impressions, express my views about how the level of play looked like to me, it may not be praising like you, but, certainly not defaming as you have inferred. History is made in this tournament. Can you give one instance in the past that is comparable Caruana's performance, not in result, but, in quality of play, at a comparable level? Even if you can't give one instance, you are still free to have your opinion that it is normal to you for whatever principle. The same fact did not appear the same to me means that I am seeking some answers. You say, "it boils down to is that you think his results couldn't be obtained without computer assistance" You are putting words in to my mouth. According to you, his play looked like synthesis of more than one top level programmes is same as saying that he has taken a computer assistance? Is it not possible for you to take it as reference made to the quality of level of his play? Characterising the playing level how it appeared is entirely different from saying that the result is obtained from Computer. On the positive side, it's quite possible that Caruana's level of play has improved to this extent, it fore tells the fantastic possibility of emergence of the greatest Human Chess genius the world has ever seen. It points out to a possibility of a Human hitting not 2900 ELO, but, crossing 3000 and above ratings! Time will sort out the impressions of those who are more than surprised by Caruana's unprecedented performance. I will be very happy if it turns out be positive as hinted.
dunican dunican 9/9/2014 12:22
He says Caruana will play in Bilbao, but he's not on the official website...
http://www.bilbaomastersfinal.com/en/players
firestorm firestorm 9/9/2014 09:12
I disagree, Jaykappur: if someone alleges a player is getting computer assistance, it is perfectly reasonable to ask them to identify the moves they allege were generated by a computer program rather than chosen by the player they allege was cheating. It is also reasonable to ask which program they (the person making the allegation) used to examine the game to show why they believe that. It is also reasonable to be able to explain how the player got the information during the game if you are going to allege that is what happened, and what is the evidence for the allegation.

The fact is neither you nor perfectconscience have provided any evidence of cheating- all it boils down to is that you think his results couldn't be obtained without computer assistance. You should understand that you need to have a basis for your comments if you are going to allege misconduct against someone, otherwise they are just defamatory.
jaykuppur jaykuppur 9/9/2014 08:31
@firestorm, no one can provide direct evidence to our questions. All that one can have is probable circumstantial inferences that muddies the waters. Recently, a player called Borislav Ivanov burst in to the scene sweeping GM's 300 to 400 points above his ratings. His case of cheating was direct as it was a case of high level play when possible and back to his normal strength when he was unable to cheat. The best of minds could not find out how he was cheating even when they were intensely observing. Finally, organizers were forced to zero in on his shoes. Upon refusing to take his legs out of his shoes, he voluntarily gave up playing Chess! I failed to figure out how he could have got his clues from his shoes.
Can anyone help how he could have used his shoes to get clues? This shows how sophisticated the whole issue of cheating has become to detect.
Expressing surprise or doubts need not be equal to allegations or accusations. Many are having difficulties digesting the level play displayed by Caruana. Any top player who can manage to work out some sophisticated help arrangement and uses it judiciously, he can wreck havoc as it is next to impossible to detect. For ex, he may use it partially to gain time by playing accurate moves in complex positions, use the extra time so gained to wait and ambush the opponent, in the event of an inaccurate move made after being tired of working over the board. The win can be explained away as pouncing on an inaccuracy and steering to a win with clinical precision. In the event when a player performs a bit poorly on being unable to get the additional hint or help for whatever reasons, it may be rationalized as poor form. The ascendancy of Chess programmes has made all the difference. No Chess programmes means no chances of Cheating!
But, making unprovable allegations takes us no where. The practical way is to ensure fool proof playing environment to the extant possible. FIDE may have to take the help of experts to define certain standard steps to be followed by organizers while conducting top level tournaments to call it as being free and fair.
Unfortunately, the time for it has come.
PerfectConscience PerfectConscience 9/9/2014 04:09
firestorm, I can answer 1 & 4. 2 & 3 I don't really know.
The way he went up 7-0 in the beginning, and the way he managed to draw 3 games in clearly won positions at the end, and the engine-like moves he made throughout the tourney suggest themselves.
firestorm firestorm 9/8/2014 07:56
PerfectConscience, since you don't appear to be able to drop this, can you clarify:

1) In which positions did he get computer assistance?

2) What engine verifies these?

3) Who assisted him?

4) How did they signal the moves?

Looking forward to your substantiation, instead of your "no-one can play they well so they must be cheating" non-argument.
PerfectConscience PerfectConscience 9/8/2014 06:16
What matters in this scenario is the strength of the opposition and the way he crushed it, not to mention the intentional draws in the final rounds. The opposition in the case of Fischer and Karpov were not even close to this one. Caruana needn't necessarily have used an engine himself. He must have had an accomplice among the spectators for instance giving him cues in critical positions.
jaykuppur jaykuppur 9/8/2014 10:28
The level of Caruana's play is really surprising. His play looked like synthesis of more than one top level chess programmmes. Accuracy of his moves in extremely complex positions appeared beyond human levels of thinking. This is inferred on the basis that he managed to steer all his games to winning positions. His small inaccuracies were all in simple end positions where they did not matter much and not likely to result in a loss. The final gap is too high to consider normal at this level as the likes of it ended long ago. Never he was in a position to lose is even a bigger surprise. In his second game against Carlson, a simple win was ignored that looked like a deliberate mercy shown as a player playing at that incredible form can't possibly miss it at all. Naka's escape from jaws of defeat was similar. At that moment, I clearly felt that his play was like a Chess Tsunami sweeping player after player to embrace defeat. Players can have very little chance against a player improved to this extent.
These are my impressions. I believe that steps must be taken to ensure that doubts are not raised. Electronic jamming of all communicable frequencies is a must. Caruana is in the habit of strongly cupping his ears and it's a unique Chess playing posture. It gives the impression that either he may be hearing something from deep outer space or insulating himself even from slightest noise to improve his concentration. it's better if he can give up this posture and adapt one of other commom postures. Only his future play can throw some light on what really happened in this tournament.
firestorm firestorm 9/8/2014 10:13
Caruana and computer moves:

1) He researches and prepares openings and novelties using a computer. Of course his opening preparation and novelties are going to include computer-style moves- doh!

2) He reached 2800+ for a reason- he is young, has talent, dedication, and a good balanced personality.

3) The event was filmed- do you seriously think the organisers would not have intervened if his conduct was suspicious?

Seriously. Someone improves using their talent, hard work and current computer tools to prepare and research chess, and some people will always shout "they must be cheating!" For the record, Na2 was against Aronian, but what won the game was the way Caruana developed the middlegame strategic initiative. For both the Na2 and g4 novelties, iirc, Caruana said they were prepared previously and this was an opportunity to play them, so no mystery. As ChessHulk says, he's the real deal. Roll on FC getting a chance in the candidates.
ChessHulk ChessHulk 9/7/2014 10:19
Caruana has been fairly consistent in his improvement. He's the real deal!
The_Jeh The_Jeh 9/7/2014 05:16
I went to the Sinquefield Cup, and my personal feeling is that Caruana is not a cheater - just a great chess player. However, there was opportunity to do so. Both spectators and players were wanded before being allowed upstairs. However, there was a computer upstairs just outside the door of the playing room, and the pink-haired photographer was allowed to go on that computer and look at the positions with analysis from the Chess24 site. At least, that's what the arbiter told me when I informed him I saw the guy looking at the positions on the website. Presumably this was to help him know when he should get ready to photograph a resignation or something, but I wish the organizers would eliminate computers from the upstairs completely. Whenever there are spectators, though, you can't eliminate outside information completely; the crowds tend to thicken when someone is doing well, and that's information in itself. Plus, anyone can leave the area, look at positions, and come back. There's no foolproof system possible, but I trust that these players are honest.
PerfectConscience PerfectConscience 9/7/2014 04:31
Cheating in chess is almost as old as the game itself. Commonly cited instances of cheating include: collusion with spectators or other players, linking to remote computers, rating manipulation, misuse of the touch-move rule, and the pre-arranged draw. (excerpt from wiki)
The first method is a strong candidate in Caruana's case. Many inhuman moves, Na2 against carls, g4 against mvl etc, and as algorithmy2 pointed out, many engine-like moves in the opening itself. Lets not forget the story of Borislav Ivanov. No one can crush a strong field with an avg of 2800 like Caruana did. Mind you. The cat will be out one day.
EZoto EZoto 9/7/2014 03:20
Playing Chess online and the cheating has gotten so sophisticated now that I don't even care or bother anymore. I'm happy when I play a person win or lose but unfortunately almost every time your gonna get a machine maybe 1 out of 5 times on a server or cheater etc etc etc.
algorithmy2 algorithmy2 9/7/2014 01:14
well "colton" , i don't know about that, my best on playchess was 2400, so i can't tell, but what i know is that they r using other methods to detect weather u r cheating or not, i dont think they just consider u cheater by achieving high rating!, beside its much easier to detect cheating cases in blitz, the computer like moves are very obvious and also the time interval and mistakeless play are another strong indices. also i think some sort of electronic method to detec cheating are used, but chessbase can tell you better than i do.
algorithmy2 algorithmy2 9/7/2014 12:40
Well, let's be reasonable!!
many chess fans have got the notion recently that Fabiano is cheating and that he used some sort of computer assistance to achieve that fantastic results, and to be honest I don't 100% blame chess fans for their doubts, but this in general shows one of the most obnoxious sides of the developing of chess software, every time a chess player achieve great results, he will be asked to prove he is not cheater!. Every time unexpected low rated player wins a tournament ahead of stronger players he will be in the same position, and again u can't blame people for their doubts because it's indeed possible, with all these advancing technologies it definitely is. And it would be extremely bad for chess if chess federation didn't come up with something efficient to solve this problem.
On the top level chess, this problem takes another dimension, as many grandmasters have noticed, a top level player will not need a full dictating from computer of what to play, all what he needs is some hints in critical positions and boom! he can crush even the world champion.
In Fabiano case, what happened in Saint-Louis is really looking questionable for many reasons:
First, u don't crush the top players in the world like that and without making a single mistake in 7 games!, even the most brilliant results in history were not without mistakes, and Fabiano previously didn’t provide what proves that he is better!
Second, the style of play itself and time management and even the way opening is played are really computer like type.
Third, the clear difference in style of play after round 7, when voices were raised doubting Fabiano's behavior, it looked as if 0-0 in round 8 is a calculated mistake! And didn’t match at all the previous quality.
Just one second!! ….. Those are not a proof of any kind that Caruana Actually cheated, I am just summarizing the doubts which led chess fans to accusing Fabiano's play.
At the end, I would say that it's absolutely the responsibility of chess federation to ensure a clean environment for tournaments that such doubts would have no place, the case of Biroslave is an example of the horrible failure of chess federation to that problem.
And to chess fans, I would say that even if you have logic behind your accusations watch out not to scratch the name of an innocent man, after all it was impressive result by Caruana but not impossible one, taking in consideration the terrible form of his opponents especially Nakamura and Lagrave. And also considering the fantastic preparations Fabiano came up with.
Imagine Fabiano's feeling reading what people said about his best achievement so far, imagine working hard to achieve such a fantastic result and that’s the reward you get, people saying you are cheater!.
mamak mamak 9/7/2014 11:45
She dress up just fine.... :)
firestorm firestorm 9/7/2014 10:00
Amecha, no. Looks like a troll to me.
Amecha Amecha 9/7/2014 08:33
Is there any rational basis to the libelous pronouncements that PerfectConscience is making?
firestorm firestorm 9/7/2014 08:06
@PerfectConscience: Caruana was cheating? No, that bucket of ice looked genuine to me.

Fantastic result Fabiano- you deserved it. Keep working on chess and enjoying what you do. Chess as it should be played!
juanoxgeneroso juanoxgeneroso 9/7/2014 07:05
Kasparov has a different opinion about Caruana. But here he is now! On the very top. Congratulations!
BabyPfuscher BabyPfuscher 9/7/2014 06:29
...the man behind the man! I'm sure he (Chuchelov) will be in high demand now.
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