Cheating at German Championship
In general, cheating is born of ”opportunism’‘; giving in to temptation and doing something that one would normally never realistically think of doing. Perhaps one thinks that one can get away with it, that no one is watching or will suspect anything. In the German case, with the IM norm on the line, Natsidis was tempted to use his smartphone to help him secure the necessary edge. (Perhaps he even used it in earlier rounds!)
Cheating is very difficult to prove, and in the absence of a direct confession (as in the case in the German Championship), often all one has is indirect evidence and suspicions. However, this is sometimes enough for arbiters to exclude certain players and their results by using the section of the rule book that deals with ”bringing the game into disrepute”.
Mr. Plotking wrote on a message board last week a sort of defence of his actions in his game against Calugar. While not a confession by any means, Mr. Plotking did very little to salvage his reputation. We could call his defence: ‘The $166 defence”. Plotking did not refute any of my observations from my original blog entry , nor did he address the FUNDAMENTAL question of whether he deliberately refused the draw because losing was more profitable. Instead, Mr. Plotking feels we should be focused on a $166 prize that he might have won…(!)
In essence, Mr. Plotking argues that he is smarter than everyone else: he just shrugs his shoulders and challenges anyone to prove that he had cheated! Plotking even goes to great pains to list numerous examples from his tournament praxis; yes, certainly he could have easily lost numerous games by trying too hard to win money prizes. All would have been unnecessary losses.
Furthermore, in an earlier post he even bragged :
”…I believe you just overestimate my chess level. I am not a 2300 FIDE-rated player. My rating fluctuates between 2200 and 2250 last few years, that means 2250 is very close to my top.
More important, I even don’t know how I can play better. My opening knowledge is below zero and I don’t plan to make any significant effort to improve it. I believe almost every 2000+ CFC-rated player knows openings better than me. In my last 4 games against higher-rated opponents I made mistake on move 7 (Hamilton), 5 !!! (Gerzhoy), 9 (Panjwani) and 6 !! (Samsonkin). Pretty impressive numbers, right?”
We are supposed to conclude that Mr. Plotking can lose any given position at any given time or on any given move…and this is his right! But don’t accuse him of being unethical!
What can I say? If Mr. Plotking wants to claim that he is an idiot –and idiots lose all types of good positions unnecessarily–then he is welcome to it! I doubt anyone would be proud of such an affirmation…it seems a lot like the defence of insanity to avoid being tried for murder!
In the real world cheating is not a crime and nobody is hurt, but neither is it something to encourage, let alone to brag about and then dare others to prove it! In sports, cheating– in all of its varied and imaginative forms–leaves a bad taste in one’s mouth.
The chess community has a right and an obligation to expose those examples where the game of chess is brought into disrepute. The Plotking vs Calugar game brings the chess into disrepute. It is important for the leaders of the chess community to denounce this kind of behaviour. It took place during a national championship. What is more, the titles of FM and IM deserve more respect than Mr. Plotking showed them.
SPRAGGETT ON CHESS