Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Sportsmanship and Cheating

Recently there is a case of cheating being reported by various blogs. You can read the full story here.

I just want to say that such accusations are almost impossible to prove. Everyone have a story of how they were cheated. Just to give my example, over twenty years ago this happened to me. I was up against a player who has been around for a long time. At that time I was a very fast player and after each move I usually get up to look at other games around me. Upon returning to the board, I sat down and saw my opponent had not made his move yet. After a while, I glanced at the clock and realized my time was running! My opponent flatly denied starting my clock. There was not much I could do except my renewed determination to beat him properly over the board. I do not want to name the player because there is just no proof. For example, I could have made my move without pressing my clock - happens to a lot of players.

Then there is another blogger who claimed he was cheated. There was a three-fold repetition and he made his move, stopped the clock to call the arbiter. Thereupon, his opponent made his move and the three-fold repetition no longer exists.

Hello, this is not cheating. Resetting the clock to give yourself more time or to lessen your opponent time is cheating. Starting your opponent clock without making your move is cheating. Using computer software to help you during a tournament game is cheating.

Making your move after your opponent makes his - even if he stopped the clock - is not cheating. By the way, even if your opponent did not make any move, the arbiter will not award you three-fold repetition. The simple reason is that you only have the right to claim when it is your move. Once you played your move on the board - with or without pressing the clock - the move already passed to your opponent.

Our blogger goes on to say "A sporting and gentleman player would have accept the draw". Yeah, right. By the same logic, if we have a lost position we should resign? Got to tell that to all my opponents. Especially the one who took advantage when I left my rook en prise.


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