Kramnik has a point

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Peter Berger
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Kramnik has a point

Post by Peter Berger »

I don't know how closely people are following "hot" discussions in the human chessworld.

I will give a very brief summary concentrating on what I want to discuss:

Former World champion Vladimir Kramnik has some time ago started to complain about online cheating on chess servers with the help of chessengines. He is clearly one of the strongest chessplayers of all time, but he has become a bit rusty and is not so familar with online chess (so his mouse skills are non-existant e.g.).

He is also no maths guy, so his first tries at proving his point with statistical arguments were a bit clumsy and could be challenged easily. In addition his presentation left a lot to be desired at times.

After a few months people lost interest in his mission and the common conclusion was that he had just become positively nuts. Especially once he started to accuse Hikaru Nakamura of cheating with the help of chessprograms while doing his "streaks".

But no one can deny that he is a determined guy. He has since updated his own maths knowledge to some extent, and also he has teamed up with people who know their statistics. And he began to concentrate on improving his presentation.

A few days ago he finally published a video that feels pretty convincing to me.


It still takes some time to follow his presentation (he should be more succinct), but he has learned to concentrate on a few major points (he shows like 5 slides all in all) .

By now I don't see how Hikaru's streaks can be real and fair.

Peter

PS: Why put this up for discussion here? For one, people are very good at maths here - whatever is happening is closely connected to chessengines and their usage (as would be stopping any online cheating) , and I hope to learn what I am missing.
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towforce
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Re: Kramnik has a point

Post by towforce »

Peter Berger wrote: Thu May 02, 2024 3:54 pmPS: Why put this up for discussion here? For one, people are very good at maths here - whatever is happening is closely connected to chessengines and their usage (as would be stopping any online cheating) , and I hope to learn what I am missing.

The video is an hour and 13 minutes long. How much of it is maths? If there are just a few bits of maths in it, then can you give us the time in the video at which the maths occur?

I'm not sure exactly what is meant by "Hikaru's streaks", but statistical distributions show that random events tend to happen in clusters rather than be evenly spaced out. Clusters of wins are also likely due to "The Winner Effect" (studies show that if you accomplish some successes, you're more likely to get more successes going forward. I can describe the experiments done to prove this if anyone is interested, or I can link you to the information, or you can search "the winner effect").
The simple reveals itself after the complex has been exhausted.
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towforce
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Re: Kramnik has a point

Post by towforce »

The list of streaks is at 1:44 in the video.

My intuition is to say, "I don't have enough information".

I agree that they look suspicious, but:

* the data has very obviously been cherry picked

* the streak probability calculations assume that the events are independent - but they are not (for example, he might be good at finding legal ways to play these high speed games well)

* a lot of games in these streaks are probably against a small number of opponents (e.g. 100 games may only have 4 or 5 opponents), reducing the independence required for making probability calculations based on statistical distributions still further

So my conclusion is that this piece of evidence is flawed.

However, I can also see a scenario in which he does cheat: maybe he cheated a small number of times (possibly justifying it on the grounds that his opponent seemed to be cheating), and it has become a habit that has grown out of control - especially on days when he's not in the mood for playing chess (and making all those videos must be a big distraction from his chess as well).

Calling it an "existential problem" for online chess if unchecked is hyperbole: If my rating is 1500, and I play opponents of roughly equal ability, I'm not likely to be paired against an opponent who is cheating.
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CornfedForever
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Re: Kramnik has a point

Post by CornfedForever »

I've seen so many attempts by Kramnik to smear people (like he attempts to with Nakamura here) and justify his math...it's just makes me sick. I could not watch more than 20 min of this one. Sorry. You know what's really funny is that Naka can do what he does while talking to others about the stock market...football...etc. The guy has a gift. Kramnik struggles to even mumble his way through an online blitz tournament.

So, lets think about bullet for a moment. A middling GM named Daniel Naroditsky who has basically retired from OTB chess can win countless bullet games and tournaments against players who are FAR better than him when it comes to normal chess. He goes on many streaks (that's what Arena is largely about) How can he do this? Is he cheating? I don't think so. Of course, Kramnik doesn't play Bullet Brawl and such so he's go not reason to talk about Daniel I guess...unless maybe it would run counter to what he's dishing up (?).

Anyway...Naroditsky plays 1-0 better than about anyone else on the planet consistently online. He uses all the tools and tricks he has to do this...and they do not include engines, just psychology and 'mouse skills'. Online blitz chess is just a step removed from bullet, similar strategies - ESPECIALLY as clocks start running down and they always start to run down. Nakamura has just finished a hair from qualifying for a World Championship match a 2nd straight time. He's really that good. Daniel though...has never sniffed those lofty heights. I just have to wonder why Kramnik speaks openly (now) about the success of Nakamura and Martinez with his 'wink and a nod' pony show and not about the feats of Naroditsky which are arguably far more impressive?
Uri Blass
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Re: Kramnik has a point

Post by Uri Blass »

CornfedForever wrote: Fri May 03, 2024 3:47 am I've seen so many attempts by Kramnik to smear people (like he attempts to with Nakamura here) and justify his math...it's just makes me sick. I could not watch more than 20 min of this one. Sorry. You know what's really funny is that Naka can do what he does while talking to others about the stock market...football...etc. The guy has a gift. Kramnik struggles to even mumble his way through an online blitz tournament.

So, lets think about bullet for a moment. A middling GM named Daniel Naroditsky who has basically retired from OTB chess can win countless bullet games and tournaments against players who are FAR better than him when it comes to normal chess. He goes on many streaks (that's what Arena is largely about) How can he do this? Is he cheating? I don't think so. Of course, Kramnik doesn't play Bullet Brawl and such so he's go not reason to talk about Daniel I guess...unless maybe it would run counter to what he's dishing up (?).

Anyway...Naroditsky plays 1-0 better than about anyone else on the planet consistently online. He uses all the tools and tricks he has to do this...and they do not include engines, just psychology and 'mouse skills'. Online blitz chess is just a step removed from bullet, similar strategies - ESPECIALLY as clocks start running down and they always start to run down. Nakamura has just finished a hair from qualifying for a World Championship match a 2nd straight time. He's really that good. Daniel though...has never sniffed those lofty heights. I just have to wonder why Kramnik speaks openly (now) about the success of Nakamura and Martinez with his 'wink and a nod' pony show and not about the feats of Naroditsky which are arguably far more impressive?
It seems the reason he does not talk about bullet is that in bullet moving the mouse fast is even more important and he prefers to talk about blitz that is closer to normal chess.
Uri Blass
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Re: Kramnik has a point

Post by Uri Blass »

For nakamura I see that he mention 3+1 time control and not bullet in 27:38 in the video
Uri Blass
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Re: Kramnik has a point

Post by Uri Blass »

I did not finish watching the video but I see that one of the claims of kramnik is that it is harder to get rating against weak players (contrary to what hikaru claims).
He use data about blitz fide rating but I think he does not consider the fact that fide rating is not the same system as chess.com blitz rating.

It is possibhle that hikaru find it easy to get rating against weak players in chess,com when it is different for OTB rating.
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towforce
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Re: Kramnik has a point

Post by towforce »

CornfedForever wrote: Fri May 03, 2024 3:47 amI've seen so many attempts by Kramnik to smear people (like he attempts to with Nakamura here) and justify his math...it's just makes me sick.

I wasn't aware that he'd also accused other people. This raises another point: as Magnus Carlsen hopefully now realises, making public accusations against people without compelling evidence is not what quality people do.
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Alexander Schmidt
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Re: Kramnik has a point

Post by Alexander Schmidt »

towforce wrote: Fri May 03, 2024 10:12 am I wasn't aware that he'd also accused other people. This raises another point: as Magnus Carlsen hopefully now realises, making public accusations against people without compelling evidence is not what quality people do.
The difference is that Niemann was caught cheating several times. It is his own fault that he is suspected again and again. There are also various pieces of evidence that we don't need to discuss further here.

This thread is about Hikaru, and the only evidence of cheating is his strength, and that's just nonsense. Just watch his videos where he explains all of his moves. How the hell can someone seriously claim he is cheating?

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towforce
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Re: Kramnik has a point

Post by towforce »

I'd love to watch that video - but it's nearly 6 hours long - so it's a non-starter for me.
The simple reveals itself after the complex has been exhausted.