Falko Bindrich

Cheating is the downside of Chess

Cheating dominates the world of sport, and the scourge has not left chess untouched.

The Chessbase web site has covered cheating over the years extensively. It’s an essential read for arbiters and anyone interested in eliminating this scourge.

Now that cycling is losing its sponsors one by one as a result of the Lance Armstrong case, one can’t help wondering if some of these companies could be interested in chess. A new story about cheating – in this case suspected cheating – doesn’t really help to create the image of a clean sport, though.
In last Sunday’s second round of the Bundesliga in Germany the chess games were overshadowed by an incident of suspected cheating. Falko Bindrich’s game was declared lost by the arbiter when the Germand grandmaster admitted that he had his smartphone with him while visiting the toilet, but refused to show it.

Chess Vibes reported “Before playing his GM Falko Bindrich (2532) went to the toilet, even though it was his move. In itself this shouldn’t be a reason for suspicion (if you gotta go, you gotta go).

“That’s why arbiter Dieter von Häfen decided to follow Bindrich, and ask him whether he had his smartphone with him. Bindrich answered positively, but refused to show his phone. The arbiter then pointed out to the player that if his phone wouldn’t show anything chess related, he could simply continue his game. As Bindrich still refused to cooperate, the arbiter decided to declare the game lost.”

There is far more technology involved in chess than in more physical sports. Chess playing programs and online play play a part, but must not have any place when players face each other across the board.

In the United States Chess League, where teams meet not facing each other, but using the Internet Chess Club — ICC — server an incident occurred during the week seven match between Dallas and Arizona, in the Board One game between GM Julio Sadorra and GM Rogelio Barcenilla there was a severe rules violation committed by the winner of a game, GM Barcenilla. who was detected as having “task-switched” out of ICC 24/37 moves in his game, and at the end of the game a chess engine (Houdini) was found to be running on his computer.

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