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Subject: Genius, Cheating or just Bad Sportsmanship? rss

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Bill Cook
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Real life example of some of the cheating-related discussion we've been having recently.

Background: Magnus Carlsen is not only the world champion at "normal" chess, he's the world champion and pretty much undisputed the best player ever at blitz chess, where players have five minutes per game + 2 second per move. His opening match at the 2017 world blitz championship was against Ernesto Inarkiev, a grandmaster, but not in Magnus' class.

Magnus was in a slightly better position when the following took place:

1. Magnus puts Ernesto's king in check (there's no verbal check announcement in tournament chess)

2. Inarkiev ignores the fact that he's in check and very obviously puts Magnus' king in check (this is an illegal move)

3. Magnus moves his king out of check, ignoring the facts that (1) he still has Inarkiev's king in check and (2) that Inarkiev just made an illegal move

4. Inarkiev stops the clock and declares victory, claming Magnus' move is illegal.

5. The arbitrator rules in Inarkiev's favor, giving him the victory

6. All hell breaks loose

It may seem impossible for a player of Magnus' caliber to overlook an illegal move, but moves were being played at a furious pace and it's almost instinctual to eliminate a check on your king.

Rightly or wrongly, absolutely nobody believes Inarkiev's move was a mistake. It was a premeditated attempt to confuse Magnus with something he's never seen before. And it worked.

I'll post the "rest of the story" in a bit, but for now, what do you think of Inarkiev's gambit. Genius? Outright cheating? Bad sportsmanship?

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Jerry Martin
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Cheater and Genius?

I would say game rewinds until game state is legal. Continue.
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EMBison wrote:
Real life example of some of the cheating-related discussion we've been having recently.

Background: Magnus Carlsen is not only the world champion at "normal" chess, he's the world champion and pretty much undisputed the best player ever at blitz chess, where players have five minutes per game + 2 second per move. His opening match at the 2017 world blitz championship was against Ernesto Inarkiev, a grandmaster, but not in Magnus' class.

Magnus was in a slightly better position when the following took place:

1. Magnus puts Ernesto's king in check (there's no verbal check announcement in tournament chess)

2. Inarkiev ignores the fact that he's in check and very obviously puts Magnus' king in check (this is an illegal move)

3. Magnus moves his king out of check, ignoring the facts that (1) he still has Inarkiev's king in check and (2) that Inarkiev just made an illegal move

4. Inarkiev stops the clock and declares victory, claming Magnus' move is illegal.

5. The arbitrator rules in Inarkiev's favor, giving him the victory

6. All hell breaks loose

It may seem impossible for a player of Magnus' caliber to overlook an illegal move, but moves were being played at a furious pace and it's almost instinctual to eliminate a check on your king.

Rightly or wrongly, absolutely nobody believes Inarkiev's move was a mistake. It was a premeditated attempt to confuse Magnus with something he's never seen before. And it worked.

I'll post the "rest of the story" in a bit, but for now, what do you think of Inarkiev's gambit. Genius? Outright cheating? Bad sportsmanship?

Do the tournament rules say that an illegal move has to be called out by the opponent to be subject to official ruling/sanctioning? If so it wasn't cheating.
Bad sportsmanship (assuming it really was intentional) either way IMO and definitely something the organizers need to look at and decide if they want to allow this being a legitimate tactic in the future.
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DuckOfDeath V
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EMBison wrote:

...
3. Magnus moves his king out of check, ignoring the facts that (1) he still has Inarkiev's king in check and (2) that Inarkiev just made an illegal move

4. Inarkiev stops the clock and declares victory, claming Magnus' move is illegal.
...

I'm not familiar with the rules of blitz chess. How was Magnus' move illegal?
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David Janik-Jones
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While my first gut reaction was to scream "Cheater!", but I now have questions ...

Quote:
2. Inarkiev ignores the fact that he's in check ...

This part is problematic. It's speculative. An opinion. How do we know that Inarkiev knew he was in check? Do we? Could he have missed that fact? Did we observe an unconscious physical twitch/tell that might have indicated Inarkiev did deliberately ignore that state?

However, if there's evidence that [2] is, in fact, true, then ... "Cheater!"
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Kurt Bieberbach
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Magnus should have taken the king. That's the way Chess should end in my opinion, with blood!

Also, at my level (quite low) games would be over a lot faster!
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Geoff Speare
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FIDE Handbook, Appendix A (Rapid play) A.4.b wrote:

An illegal move is completed once the player has pressed his clock. If the arbiter observes this he shall declare the game lost by the player, provided the opponent has not made his next move. If the arbiter does not intervene, the opponent is entitled to claim a win, provided the opponent has not made his next move. However, the game is drawn if the position is such that the opponent cannot checkmate the player’s king by any possible series of legal moves. If the opponent does not claim and the arbiter does not intervene, the illegal move shall stand and the game shall continue. Once the opponent has made his next move, an illegal move cannot be corrected unless this is agreed by the players without intervention of the arbiter.


By the rules of the tournament (assuming these are the rules of course) they handled it properly. IMO making an illegal move intentionally would violate sportsmanship rules, but proving that is of course difficult.

Edit: Handbook is here, technically only valid until mid-2017 but I assume this rule did not change: https://www.fide.com/fide/handbook.html?id=171&view=article

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Franz Kafka
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JoeC0 wrote:
EMBison wrote:

...
3. Magnus moves his king out of check, ignoring the facts that (1) he still has Inarkiev's king in check and (2) that Inarkiev just made an illegal move

4. Inarkiev stops the clock and declares victory, claming Magnus' move is illegal.
...

I'm not familiar with the rules of blitz chess. How was Magnus' move illegal?


From what little I’ve read, the argument was that any move by Magnus other than “claiming victory” would be illegal. Trying to turn that into a victory is ridiculous.
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Pete Goch
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JoeC0 wrote:
EMBison wrote:

...
3. Magnus moves his king out of check, ignoring the facts that (1) he still has Inarkiev's king in check and (2) that Inarkiev just made an illegal move

4. Inarkiev stops the clock and declares victory, claming Magnus' move is illegal.
...

I'm not familiar with the rules of blitz chess. How was Magnus' move illegal?



Yeah, that makes no sense. That and Inarkiev made the first illegal move so why would it matter?
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Geoff Speare
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TheOneTrueZeke wrote:
JoeC0 wrote:
EMBison wrote:

...
3. Magnus moves his king out of check, ignoring the facts that (1) he still has Inarkiev's king in check and (2) that Inarkiev just made an illegal move

4. Inarkiev stops the clock and declares victory, claming Magnus' move is illegal.
...

I'm not familiar with the rules of blitz chess. How was Magnus' move illegal?



Yeah, that makes no sense. That and Inarkiev made the first illegal move so why would it matter?


There is a rule: A position is illegal when it cannot have been reached by any series of legal moves. Starting your move with the opponent in check cannot be reached by legal moves.

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JosefK wrote:
From what little I’ve read, the argument was that any move by Magnus other than “claiming victory” would be illegal. Trying to turn that into a victory is ridiculous.

Can anyone confirm whether the rules literally say this? (It would seem kind of weird if they cover a case of someone having the opponent's king in check and not capturing it, since in principle such a situation should not arise if the previous moves were all legal; you don't literally capture the king in Chess, after all since the game normally ends when you put the king in check and the opponent cannot escape check...)

Or was this a gray area which got debated on the spot?
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Pete Goch
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galfridus wrote:
TheOneTrueZeke wrote:
JoeC0 wrote:
EMBison wrote:

...
3. Magnus moves his king out of check, ignoring the facts that (1) he still has Inarkiev's king in check and (2) that Inarkiev just made an illegal move

4. Inarkiev stops the clock and declares victory, claming Magnus' move is illegal.
...

I'm not familiar with the rules of blitz chess. How was Magnus' move illegal?



Yeah, that makes no sense. That and Inarkiev made the first illegal move so why would it matter?


There is a rule: A position is illegal when it cannot have been reached by any series of legal moves. Starting your move with the opponent in check cannot be reached by legal moves.




OK, but isn't there also a rule that says you must get your king out of check? That rule was broken first.
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The article I just read implies that while the judges orignally gave sir sneaky the victory, they then discussed and said play should continue from the last legal spot and sneaky declined so the good guy won.

so i dont think its clever or cheating, yet

now my question is..if carlsen ignores his own check and makes a different move, would it have worked? because that would be an illegal move by carlaen but mainky due to an illegal board state.

If that would have worked in sneakys fabor, its a clever attempt that just happened to fail. if that also would have gone against him, then its just stupid rules lawyering.
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Geoff Speare
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TheOneTrueZeke wrote:
galfridus wrote:
TheOneTrueZeke wrote:
JoeC0 wrote:
EMBison wrote:

...
3. Magnus moves his king out of check, ignoring the facts that (1) he still has Inarkiev's king in check and (2) that Inarkiev just made an illegal move

4. Inarkiev stops the clock and declares victory, claming Magnus' move is illegal.
...

I'm not familiar with the rules of blitz chess. How was Magnus' move illegal?



Yeah, that makes no sense. That and Inarkiev made the first illegal move so why would it matter?


There is a rule: A position is illegal when it cannot have been reached by any series of legal moves. Starting your move with the opponent in check cannot be reached by legal moves.




OK, but isn't there also a rule that says you must get your king out of check? That rule was broken first.


Sure, but by making a move without protesting, Magnus lost his chance to protest that illegal move.

The response I see is that the rules distinguish between an illegal move and an illegal position. It would appear to me that Magnus made a legal move within an illegal position.
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Bill Cook
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russ wrote:
Or was this a gray area which got debated on the spot?


There are multiple sets of rules that applied, and none of them cover the situation directly. The rules are written in such a way that

- Inarkiev, the arbitrator and the Russians chess community in general are 100% convinced that their position is correct

- Just about everybody else feels equally strongly that the rules do NOT give a victory to Inarkiev

- FIDE is just about the only organization that makes FIFA look competent and above board by comparison.
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Pete
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I'm comfortable with awarding the win to the player who is actually paying attention.

Pete (shrugs)
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TheOneTrueZeke wrote:
Inarkiev made the first illegal move

You missed the quoted tournament rule upthread: "If the opponent does not claim and the arbiter does not intervene, the illegal move shall stand and the game shall continue."
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Pete
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Also, for those who care, Carlsen went on to win the championship. And they did change the ruling:

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2018/jan/05/magnus-carlsen...

Quote:
On successive appeals the ruling changed to a draw, then for play to resume from the last legal position, which Inarkiev refused.


Pete (figures it all ended well)
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It's pretty undeniably all three, IMO.
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Pete Goch
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galfridus wrote:
TheOneTrueZeke wrote:
galfridus wrote:
TheOneTrueZeke wrote:
JoeC0 wrote:
EMBison wrote:

...
3. Magnus moves his king out of check, ignoring the facts that (1) he still has Inarkiev's king in check and (2) that Inarkiev just made an illegal move

4. Inarkiev stops the clock and declares victory, claming Magnus' move is illegal.
...

I'm not familiar with the rules of blitz chess. How was Magnus' move illegal?



Yeah, that makes no sense. That and Inarkiev made the first illegal move so why would it matter?


There is a rule: A position is illegal when it cannot have been reached by any series of legal moves. Starting your move with the opponent in check cannot be reached by legal moves.




OK, but isn't there also a rule that says you must get your king out of check? That rule was broken first.


Sure, but by making a move without protesting, Magnus lost his chance to protest that illegal move.

The response I see is that the rules distinguish between an illegal move and an illegal position. It would appear to me that Magnus made a legal move within an illegal position.


I guess I don't know why these tournaments have referees then.

And, if this really is the correct ruling, then anyone who finds themselves in a losing position and in check should try the same thing. Why not? You've already determined you can't win otherwise so may as well give it a shot.
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Tony Sanfilippo
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It is neither cheating nor bad sportsmanship. Is it bad sportsmanship if during a football game and you notice that a lineman on the offense is a lining up wrong and you don't inform them that they are?
 
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Pete Goch
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russ wrote:
TheOneTrueZeke wrote:
Inarkiev made the first illegal move

You missed the quoted tournament rule upthread: "If the opponent does not claim and the arbiter does not intervene, the illegal move shall stand and the game shall continue."


The thing is even that rule doesn't make a whole lot of sense given that you have to review the history of the game in order to determine whether or not Magnus made an illegal play. You can't just look at the current board state (after Magnus move) and determine whether or not the rule "A position is illegal when it cannot have been reached by any series of legal moves" has been broken. If we're rewinding then why not keep rewinding until we hit the first illegal move?

Essentially, the rules make the players the enforcers of the rules and the refs are relegated to arbitrating rules disputes.
 
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Niko
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TheOneTrueZeke wrote:
russ wrote:
TheOneTrueZeke wrote:
Inarkiev made the first illegal move

You missed the quoted tournament rule upthread: "If the opponent does not claim and the arbiter does not intervene, the illegal move shall stand and the game shall continue."


The thing is even that rule doesn't make a whole lot of sense given that you have to review the history of the game in order to determine whether or not Magnus made an illegal play. You can't just look at the current board state (after Magnus move) and determine whether or not the rule "A position is illegal when it cannot have been reached by any series of legal moves" has been broken. If we're rewinding then why not keep rewinding until we hit the first illegal move?

Essentially, the rules make the players the enforcers of the rules and the refs are relegated to arbitrating rules disputes.
Which makes sense for any tournament where the organizers do not want to provide an individual referee for every game.
A 2:1 ratio of players to referees would be kind of absurd, no?
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Doesn't seem very genius since, y'know, Carlsen was ultimately awarded the win. It also seem unlikely that it was an attempt to cheat, since Inarkiev declined to continue the game; if it was purely a strategic ploy, why would he accept a guaranteed loss instead of continuing to play for a draw or win? Seems to me that he probably felt that he was genuinely in the right, which doesn't strike me as "bad sportsmanship", either.

So, my ultimate verdict is "none of the above".
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Pete Goch
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Ze_German_Guy wrote:
TheOneTrueZeke wrote:
russ wrote:
TheOneTrueZeke wrote:
Inarkiev made the first illegal move

You missed the quoted tournament rule upthread: "If the opponent does not claim and the arbiter does not intervene, the illegal move shall stand and the game shall continue."


The thing is even that rule doesn't make a whole lot of sense given that you have to review the history of the game in order to determine whether or not Magnus made an illegal play. You can't just look at the current board state (after Magnus move) and determine whether or not the rule "A position is illegal when it cannot have been reached by any series of legal moves" has been broken. If we're rewinding then why not keep rewinding until we hit the first illegal move?

Essentially, the rules make the players the enforcers of the rules and the refs are relegated to arbitrating rules disputes.
Which makes sense for any tournament where the organizers do not want to provide an individual referee for every game.
A 2:1 ratio of players to referees would be kind of absurd, no?


Also unnecessary when the games are being filmed as I assume high level chess tournaments would be.

Also the whole idea is just perverse.

Let's take a closer look:

We have a rule stating that a move that results in a board state that cannot have obtained legally and a rule that renders an illegal move legal if it is not caught coming in to conflict

Inarkiev makes an illegal move which is not caught. Since it is not caught the game, by the rules, proceeds as is which makes it, de facto, a legal board state. If that is the case then why is the board state illegal after Mangus move? Is Magnus now required to make a move that takes Inarkiev out of check in order for the game to continue without another rules infraction?

It's just ridiculous.
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