FM Tilicheev Busted as (C)heater at Chess.com online Tourney

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Sean Evans
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FM Tilicheev Busted as (C)heater at Chess.com online Tourney

Post by Sean Evans » Tue Jun 16, 2015 11:31 am

FM Tilicheev Seeking to Restore Justice on Chess.com


Tuesday, 16.06.2015 06:14

On June 2nd, the largest web chess community Chess.com hosted its traditional Titled Players Tuesday, which is a monthly blitz tournament with cash prizes that usually attract numerous strong players including even elite GMs. However, that time one of the highlights of the American chess portal resulted in a controversy: two players were disqualified straight after the event as Chess.com decided that they had used illegal assistance during the tournament. Moreover, their accounts have been closed by the Chess.com administration.

Had it not happened, one of them, an IM whose FIDE rating is 2366 would have been a co-winner with 8/9, getting a solid cash prize. This IM had also been noticed to be unusually strong in the Internet Chess Club championship at the end of May. The other player, an FM who scored 7/9, would have won a prize of approximately $100.

What is the proof, except their high scores? Daniel Rensch, Vice President of Chess.com, explains:

"The systems we use to detect these violations are based on deep heuristics and statistical evaluation. We have spent years developing our technology, and continue to invest heavily in our fairness systems. We employ one full-time on-staff statistician, and another full-time 'detective' of sorts. We have analyzed millions and millions of games and developed clear profiles to distinguish between human, super-human, and engine-level play. In these two cases, the evidence collected was overwhelming."

This sounds really logical. As a leading playing portal, Chess.com is expected to have developed something like this. At the same time, Rensch admits:

"There can never be 100% proof of cheating in online chess. [...] We are simply doing our best. Is there room for error? Yes, there is."

Is it possible that an error could take place on June 2nd? Yes, it is. At least in one of the cases. It's time to disclose the identity of the FM, all the more that he has written to Chess-News, explaining the situation and asking for help. Viacheslav Tilicheev, born in 1994, got a FIDE rating over 2400 in 2012 and was considered a promising player. However, a year later, in 2013, he almost ceased his competitive activity, switching to teaching chess, giving online simuls, and blogging. The website where he was making living by doing this all was... Chess.com. So, if he decided to cheat indeed, he would put his reputation (which was already good and stable) and income at risk. Looks quite illogical, doesn't it?

Tilicheev's response can be read here. Among other things, he writes (we have corrected his English since it's far from perfect - Ed.):

"Unfortunately, Chess.com staff decided that in yesterday Titled Tuesday tournament I've used chess programs. This accusation is unacceptable without 100% proofs, just based on talking of some confidential system. My reputation after this is completely damaged - and I have many students here, hosting simuls in which many players already played. How can I break it all down for only something like $100?"

Tilicheev, who comes from Russia (as well as the other banned player) but is now living in Bulgaria, also says he works as a security guard, along with his chess activities. He played the last Titled Tuesday from his working place. Over there, he has only one computer which is used to watch the surveillance cameras, and it wasn't possible for him to install or use any special chess software since he doesn't have the administrator rights of access.

According to Tilicheev, he simply had an excellent tournament, which "can happen to any 2400 player once in a while", and many of the games went according to his opening preparation. What's the more, Tilicheev had played in Titled Tuesday many times and had been often close to prizes, but it was only this June that he managed to get it, only to be disqualified afterwards. He says: "Chess.com banned me because they found 'no blunders and only 4 minor mistakes' in my games from the Titled Tuesday. Please tell me why I'm obliged to blunder if several games were successful as a result of my opening preparation, several other games ended in extremely bad blunders by my opponents, and also there were some games shorter than 30 moves? Chess.com called this game the 'most blatant' example of his allegedly illegal play."

Chess-News finds this particular game very human-looking and very possible to be played by a 2400 player, especially given that he was a pawn down without sufficient compensation for the half of it.

Shortly after the Chess.com decision, Viacheslav posted the video in which he analyzes all his games played in the June Titled Tuesday and explains his decisions one by one.

Despite all this, Chess.com decided to keep his account closed, albeit after some additional consideration. Now Tilicheev isn't allowed to re-open his account or get a new one unless he confesses cheating. "Why should I admit something I haven't done at all?", he wonders. Tilicheev even agrees to have his account closed, only asking Chess.com for public apologies and admittance of the error.

These were the facts, and below is the opinion of Andrey Deviatkin, a Chess-News editor and a GM:

"Of course, one can't be 100% sure - neither Chess.com can be 100% sure about their accusations, as they admit. It's also clear that Chess.com, as a privately owned commercial entity, has every right to act on its sole discretion, and the players should understand it when they register and accept the Chess.com terms and conditions. It means that everyone is at risk to some extent. I think the alternative, an Orwellian total surveillance, is worse. After all, life is a risky business.

However, taking into account all the facts given above, as well as games played by Tilicheev in the Titled Tuesday, and my own chess experience, it seems very probable to me that he was playing honestly. As to his opening preparation, I played Tilicheev in 2011 in Chigorin Memorial, and, albeit I won a nice game, I can confirm that his opening preparation was already very good by the time. In my opinion, an error is very likely to have happened indeed - the one Chess.com admits room for."

styx
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Re: FM Tilicheev Busted as (C)heater at Chess.com online Tou

Post by styx » Tue Jun 16, 2015 1:27 pm

isn't 3+2 a bit short for cheating effectively?

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MikeGL
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Re: FM Tilicheev Busted as (C)heater at Chess.com online Tou

Post by MikeGL » Tue Jun 16, 2015 1:57 pm

styx wrote:isn't 3+2 a bit short for cheating effectively?
I think there was once an article where the cheater (who cheated just to
document it in his article) was playing only 3 min game, (3min + 0
increment), and he still won. That article is in chessbase if my memory serves me right and was published around 2003 or 2004.

Sean Evans
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Re: FM Tilicheev Busted as (C)heater at Chess.com online Tou

Post by Sean Evans » Tue Jun 16, 2015 2:05 pm

styx wrote:isn't 3+2 a bit short for cheating effectively?
Difficult but not impossible. In the case of Chess.com it is not possible to connect an engine directly to the GUI as it is Internet based, i.e. nothing on your hard drive. Strange that an FM would (C)heat to win $100 :o

Cordially,

Sean

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MikeGL
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Re: FM Tilicheev Busted as (C)heater at Chess.com online Tou

Post by MikeGL » Tue Jun 16, 2015 2:41 pm

Sean Evans wrote:
styx wrote:isn't 3+2 a bit short for cheating effectively?
Difficult but not impossible. In the case of Chess.com it is not possible to connect an engine directly to the GUI as it is Internet based, i.e. nothing on your hard drive. Strange that an FM would (C)heat to win $100 :o

Cordially,

Sean
Actually while watching some blitz games of a GM, someone posted a youtube link, a tutorial on how to cheat at chess dot com, the tutorial showed a binary being downloaded then being ran in the background then while you're at chess dot com with your browser, the engine will kickin and play all the moves for you. That engine can even play 1min, i think they called it "apocalypse" chess bot. It has no GUI.

Sean Evans
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Re: FM Tilicheev Busted as (C)heater at Chess.com online Tou

Post by Sean Evans » Tue Jun 16, 2015 3:05 pm

MikeGL wrote:
Sean Evans wrote:
styx wrote:isn't 3+2 a bit short for cheating effectively?
Difficult but not impossible. In the case of Chess.com it is not possible to connect an engine directly to the GUI as it is Internet based, i.e. nothing on your hard drive. Strange that an FM would (C)heat to win $100 :o

Cordially,

Sean
Actually while watching some blitz games of a GM, someone posted a youtube link, a tutorial on how to cheat at chess dot com, the tutorial showed a binary being downloaded then being ran in the background then while you're at chess dot com with your browser, the engine will kickin and play all the moves for you. That engine can even play 1min, i think they called it "apocalypse" chess bot. It has no GUI.
Hi, Why would you not provide a link to the video??

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MikeGL
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Re: FM Tilicheev Busted as (C)heater at Chess.com online Tou

Post by MikeGL » Tue Jun 16, 2015 4:26 pm

Sean Evans wrote:
MikeGL wrote:
Sean Evans wrote:
styx wrote:isn't 3+2 a bit short for cheating effectively?
Difficult but not impossible. In the case of Chess.com it is not possible to connect an engine directly to the GUI as it is Internet based, i.e. nothing on your hard drive. Strange that an FM would (C)heat to win $100 :o

Cordially,

Sean
Actually while watching some blitz games of a GM, someone posted a youtube link, a tutorial on how to cheat at chess dot com, the tutorial showed a binary being downloaded then being ran in the background then while you're at chess dot com with your browser, the engine will kickin and play all the moves for you. That engine can even play 1min, i think they called it "apocalypse" chess bot. It has no GUI.
Hi, Why would you not provide a link to the video??
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1SwOskkPnS0


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ix9pl3lhkCI


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PW1vMXHJdnM


just copy paste, can't view these videos on my current setup.

syzygy
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Re: FM Tilicheev Busted as (C)heater at Chess.com online Tou

Post by syzygy » Tue Jun 16, 2015 7:30 pm

Sean Evans wrote:"The systems we use to detect these violations are based on deep heuristics and statistical evaluation. We have spent years developing our technology, and continue to invest heavily in our fairness systems. We employ one full-time on-staff statistician, and another full-time 'detective' of sorts. We have analyzed millions and millions of games and developed clear profiles to distinguish between human, super-human, and engine-level play. In these two cases, the evidence collected was overwhelming."
We're not going to tell you how, just trust us.
Sure...

Ferdy
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Re: FM Tilicheev Busted as (C)heater at Chess.com online Tou

Post by Ferdy » Tue Jun 16, 2015 7:53 pm

Run an error evaluator to see how they scored on SF 6 at 1s/pos. Not a complete game for whole tour, but some of his. He got 11.53 cp ave error, with couple of non-optimal moves especially in 20cp to 49cp. The list is sorted by move ave error.

Code: Select all

Move Error Evaluator v9.3

Moves Error calculation based from Stockfish 6 64 POPCNT and players from
Event: LiveChess

Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-2600K CPU @ 3.40GHz
Engine id name Stockfish 6 64 POPCNT
Hash 128 MB, Threads 1, MoveTime 1.00 sec/pos
Engine error margin: 10 centipawn

 Rank                       Players  AveDepth  TotalPos  AveError  DECnt  E300CP  E200CP  E100CP  E50CP  E20CP  EECnt   EERate    W    L    D  Games  Score  SRate

    1                      jcibarra        15        14      5.43      2       0       0       0      0      1      2   14.29%    0    0    1      1    0.5   50.0%
    2                        Hikaru        17        16      7.75      1       0       0       0      1      0      0    0.00%    0    0    1      1    0.5   50.0%
    3          Tilicheev_Viacheslav        20       184     11.43     19       0       1       1      3     14      8    4.35%    5    0    4      9    7.0   77.8%
    4            Gevorg_Harutjunyan        19        27     15.30      5       0       0       1      0      1      0    0.00%    0    0    1      1    0.5   50.0%
    5                     Tal-Baron        16         6     18.00      1       0       0       0      1      0      0    0.00%    0    0    1      1    0.5   50.0%
    6                         Viaje        15        10     40.30      1       0       0       1      1      1      1   10.00%    0    1    0      1    0.0    0.0%
    7                     GGuseinov        15        17     57.12      5       1       0       0      1      2      0    0.00%    0    1    0      1    0.0    0.0%
    8                       ruifeng        16        25     68.04     12       0       0       2      0      6      1    4.00%    0    1    0      1    0.0    0.0%
    9                     MinhGTrAn        15        16     79.12      2       1       1       0      2      0      0    0.00%    0    1    0      1    0.0    0.0%
   10                     Genghis_K        17        19     84.95      6       0       0       2      1      5      0    0.00%    0    1    0      1    0.0    0.0%


Legend:
Rank     - ranking based on low average error
AveDepth - average depth reached by the engine in analyzing those positions
AveError - average difference between the engine and player score, in centipawn (1p = 100)
DECnt    - count of positions where position score is below zero, as a result of move error.
         - This is called Dangerous Error Counts
E300CP   - count of positions where player has blundered by 3 or more pawns
E200CP   - count of positions where player has blundered by 2 to 2.99 pawns
E100CP   - count of positions where player has blundered by 1 to 1.99 pawns
E50CP    - count of positions where player has blundered by 0.5 to 0.99 pawns
E20CP    - count of positions where player has blundered by 0.2 to 0.49 pawns
EECnt    - count of positions where player move score is better than engine move score
EERate   - 100*EECnt/TotalPos or the percentage of the Engine Error Counts

Notes:
1. Analysis of positions start at move 12.
2. If best score of engine is already above 3 pawns and the score of player move
   is also above 3 pawns then error for this position is set to zero. The more cases
   like this only proves that that player is able to maintain its advantage and this
   will minimize its average error.
   On the other hand if the best score of engine is already below minus 3 pawns, no further
   analysis will be done, and this position will not be included in error calculation.
3. When a player move is a blunder that brings down the score below minus 3 pawns,
   error for this position is set to 6 pawns in the calculation. The reason being once
   the opponent found the refutation, the succeeding positions will no longer be evaluated.
   It is just fair to penalize this heavily to also reflect on the average error which
   should be high for players that have more game loses or fatal blunders.
4. move_error = engine_score - player_score.
   engine_score = score returned by the engine after searching for a given amount of time.
   player_score = score returned by the engine after searching the player move for a given amount of time.
   AveError = sum of [move_error] / totalPos.
5. Error is increased if the score of position after player move has dropped to below zero.
   6x error if &#40;score <= -200 cp&#41;, 5x error if &#40;score <= -150 cp&#41;, 4x error if &#40;score <= -100 cp&#41;,
   3x error if &#40;score <= -50 cp&#41;, and 2x error if &#40;score < 0 cp&#41;.
   The idea is only those errors which will result to inferior position &#40;below zero score&#41; should be penalized more.
   If the increased error penalty is more than 3 pawns, error is set to 3 pawns.
6. Regarding EECnt or Engine error counts, this is a counter check to engine where the human move
   is sometimes better than the engine move, this is because the analysis time given to the engine is
   shorter and also perhaps the position is complicated that bigger depths are required to determine
   correct assessment of the position.
7. DECnt or Dangerous Error Counts is an info to see which player is probably always in trouble.
   Strong players usually have low count of this.
8. Engine error margin is the minimum difference between the player score and the engine score in centipawn
   where the error of the engine is not counted. Engine error happens when the move of the player is better
   than the move suggested by the engine in a given position and analysis time. If this value is high say
   1/2 of a pawn or 50 cp, then there could be less error from engine that will be recorded.
That 200cp error is the following. He played g1g7.
[d]r1bk3r/ppp3pp/3b1p2/4p3/4P3/2N5/PPP2P1n/2BRKBR1 w - - fmvn 1; sm "g1g7"; c3 "Result 1-0"; c2 "Tilicheev_Viacheslav / MinhGTrAn"; c1 "Round ?"; c0 "Event Live Chess"; hmvc 0;

mvk
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Re: FM Tilicheev Busted as (C)heater at Chess.com online Tou

Post by mvk » Wed Jun 17, 2015 5:36 pm

syzygy wrote:We're not going to tell you how, just trust us.
Sure...
That is not really different from what casinos do. Except casinos tend to skip the step of converting such matters into a pr disaster.
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