Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Carefully optimistic

The owner of, Erik Allebest, announced changes. He realized his site is heavily spoiled by cheats and decided to employ trained statistician to detect them. He estimates about 1000 accounts to be closed.

It was about time. had for long a reputation of a site, where it was possible cheat and test engines, and this brought new wave of cheaters, who just cheat without shame and bad conscience. It repulses real chess players of course. was banning cheaters, but it took very long time in each case. Considering that average user has no tools, no time and no knowledge to distinguish strong honest human player from a cheater and tournament directors have limited powers to act, this is indeed necessary.

Erik made promises in the past a lot, but nothing significant happened yet. A lot of cheaters were banned, but even more cheaters appeared and despite the fact they were very easy to detect, staff allowed them to stay for very long time. While in the year 2008 the average lifetime of a cheat was about 4 months, it became more than 1 year in correspondence section recently. The site has ten times more members, but limited resources. Staff wastes them to detect cheats in Live Chess section, however there are many cheaters who register for free without any profile in a minute, cheat and leave. This is not a job for a site administrator, but rather for a bot. The correspondence section became sad wasteland, where many good players either left or became cheaters too.

Another bad thing for a community are "useful idiots". I mean group league organizers, who don't care about cheating. Usually they are weak players and they don't bother with checking members. Sometimes they even invite obvious cheats into their groups and tournaments they run. They can't take responsibility and they are lazy to ask for reference or cheat detection. All prestigious tournaments are spoiled by cheaters, but who cares?

Who cares when "nothing" is at stake?

The whole future of correspondence chess is at stake! ICCF didn't even try. Hopefully Erik has become wise and will eventually purge from this nasty garbage in the next 6 weeks how he promised.

Edit 08/04/2011:

The rumble of rolling skulls started!