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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Fide approves online chess regulations (Read 2091 times)
Confused_by_Theory
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Re: Fide approves online chess regulations
Reply #37 - 01/25/21 at 13:28:48
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Hi.

Don't think this has been mentioned but Hybrid competitions are possible to have rated.
https://en.chessbase.com/post/fide-approves-hybrid-competitions-valid-for-rating

Hybrid competitions are the ones where the players play with computers but still all are present in a venue.

Have a nice day.
  
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an ordinary chessplayer
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Re: Fide approves online chess regulations
Reply #36 - 01/17/21 at 13:35:35
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ReneDescartes wrote on 01/17/21 at 00:05:59:
Finally, though hope to support my position vigorously with reasoning and examples, sometimes including your own words, none of my language is ever meant to make light of either you or the importance of a just result--in this or in anything else.

Thank you. I respect your views at all times. It's the internet, misunderstandings happen. I take things the wrong way at least as often as anybody else does. I went for a long walk afterwards, probably it would have been better to do that before my post.

ReneDescartes wrote on 01/17/21 at 00:05:59:
an ordinary chessplayer wrote on 01/12/21 at 21:02:21:
In cases of independent writing the words themselves are the only possible evidence. As a matter of course the words themselves would be considered decisive.
I didn't labor the point before, but that you somehow thought matching passages should be the only possible evidence of plagiarism illustrates my point.

By "independent writing" I meant a book or article outside of the classroom setting, as opposed to an assigned essay or test for a course (which would be "dependent"). It was clear in my own head but not as written here. Sorry about that.

ReneDescartes wrote on 01/17/21 at 00:05:59:
When I said "it's not a murder case," I meant not that justice is in any way unimportant here, but only that where the nature of the crime is different--here it is in the creation of abstract patterns (my very next sentence)--the type of evidence required may be different as well. My purpose  was to reinforce the analogy to plagiarism, where we do allow ex post facto pattern-matching evidence  (for that is what parallel passages are) to carry the day uncorroborated if the pattern match is extremely unlikely to have occurred by chance.

And I thought I answered this. In my view the analogy is different enough that accepting ex post facto matching as decisive in one case does not imply accepting it in the other case.

In terms of injustice, I don't think someone being convicted when they didn't actually do the deed is necessarily unjust, although in the cases that come to light it almost always is. But it might just be extremely bad luck. To demonstrate injustice, we would need to find something like:
  • the law was not enforced equally;
  • evidence was fabricated or ignored;
  • due process was violated;
  • the law as written was stacked against them.

On the flip side, I think it's possible for a person to be convicted and they actually did it, and yet it was still unjust for one of the reasons above. It's just a lot harder to get upset about a case like that. (Off topic: This I think is a poison in the USA criminal justice system, i.e. well they're a criminal, even if maybe they should be acquitted in this case, probably they should be convicted of something else, so bends law here.)

I think FIDE is going to take the position it's not a criminal case at all, but is governed by contract law instead. Whether such a contract is binding is a thorny issue and probably differs by jurisdiction. Similarly the online sites cite the Terms and Conditions, saying "you did not adhere to our fair play guidelines" or similar language. They are very careful about that! Most players are going to gloss over these paragraphs, thinking "I'm not a cheater, I don't need to pay attention to that part". And if someone is sanctioned per the contract, most outside observers are going to make the substitution:
"broke the fair play guidelines" ==> "convicted of cheating".
  
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ReneDescartes
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Re: Fide approves online chess regulations
Reply #35 - 01/17/21 at 00:05:59
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When I wrote "I at least,"  I meant "I, as opposed to Danny Rensch." I assumed then, and still do, that we both reject the idea of using unpublished protocols as a basis for FIDE sanctions (I think you said something about this in the T.L. Petrosian thread). When I said "I am not worried," I didn't say that I am not worried by injustice; I said I am not worried that (meaning I do not believe that) there will be a differential between the injustices produced by trials using other evidence and trials using this evidence. I apologize if my ambiguous writing here led to your discomfort.

When I said "it's not a murder case," I meant not that justice is in any way unimportant here, but only that where the nature of the crime is different--here it is in the creation of abstract patterns (see my very next sentence)--the type of evidence required may be different as well. My purpose was to reinforce the analogy to plagiarism, where we do allow ex post facto pattern-matching evidence  (for that is what parallel passages are) to carry the day uncorroborated if the pattern match is extremely unlikely to have occurred by chance.

an ordinary chessplayer wrote on 01/12/21 at 21:02:21:
In cases of independent writing the words themselves are the only possible evidence. As a matter of course the words themselves would be considered decisive.
I didn't labor the point before, but that you somehow thought matching passages should be the only possible evidence of plagiarism illustrates my point. Of course they are not the only possible evidence: it is possible to have roommate-eyewitnesses to copying from the book into the paper, to have correlations of the date a book was checked out with the dates of successive drafts where the suspect passages first appeared, to have witnesses who heard the student quote the passage with attribution in conversation, etc. It is even possible to have confessions! That you forgot about these or regarded them as superfluous shows how even you yourself  instinctively accept extremely unlikely pattern-matching as conclusive on its own without corroboration--and rightly so, in my opinion.

Nor does does relying on strong inference violate the position in the beautiful and moving passage you cite. The original reference is from the Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Sanhedrin 37b. If you read the chapter, it states the exclusion of inferred facts no matter how strongly they are inferred only applies in capital cases. In other words, different kinds of evidence apply if "it's not a murder case" (or another case punishable by death). https://www.sefaria.org/Sanhedrin.37b?lang=bi

Finally, though I hope to support my position vigorously with logic, none of my language is ever meant to make light of either you or of the suffering caused by an unjust result, in this or in anything else.
.
« Last Edit: 01/17/21 at 23:37:13 by ReneDescartes »  
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Re: Fide approves online chess regulations
Reply #34 - 01/16/21 at 20:50:56
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ReneDescartes wrote on 01/16/21 at 18:06:11:
You keep returning to the same scenario, where an innocent person is convicted, or is helpless to prevent himself from being convicted, on the basis of statistical evidence. It sounds like you just don't believe that statistical evidence will be handled well. It is terrible whenever an innocent person is convicted, but I at least have in mind evidence obtained from a competently designed, published set of statistical protocols. That is  a bit more than one statistician's opinion, and I'm not worried that after peer review it will produce more unjust convictions than other methods do.

What other scenario could I possibly be concerned about? Logically there are four scenarios, I'm not suggesting they are all equally likely but here they are:
  1. algorithm says didn't cheat + actually didn't cheat
  2. algorithm says didn't cheat + actually cheated
  3. algorithm says cheated + actually didn't cheat
  4. algorithm says cheated + actually cheated

Scenario three is the one I care about. And yes, I'm going to keep banging on about it, you can be sure of that.

We're not talking about using statistics to prove an invariant scientific fact. We're talking about using statistics to prove whether or not a human did some deed. It's not the same thing! In science the more measurements you make the more confident you become. In human behavior, every event is completely independent. It's a lottery. If the statistical evidence won't be handled well, that would indeed be a problem. But my concerns are more fundamental. First, statistics alone cannot tell us what actually happened, they can only say what *probably* happened. Second, the system contemplated means the accused is *defenseless* against statistical evidence. So the statistical evidence, instead of being treated as probable, will be treated as certain.

Your "I'm not worried" remark has me hopping mad, and not because it might be me that gets accused. In an earlier comment you wrote "It's not a murder case." That also makes my blood boil. This is serious stuff. We are talking about sporting result, reputation, future employment prospects, in other words real life consequences. And the alternative is not do nothing about cheating, the alternative is do something hard, or do something costly, or perhaps simply don't try to hold serious competitions where we can't really verify there is no cheating.

I'll leave off with a story, a murder case. The relevance to my thinking is found in the phrase "extreme example of this cautious attitude".
Quote:
... the courts do not accept circumstantial evidence even if no other interpretaton of the facts is feasible. An extreme example of this cautious attitude is cited by the Talmud itself when it states that if witnesses see a man, sword in hand, pursuing someone, both enter a building, the pursuer emerges alone with a blood-stained weapon and the other is found dead inside, the pursuer cannot be convicted on the basis of this eye-witness evidence. Witnesses can only attest to what they have actually seen with their own eyes, and neither conjectures, theories, nor hearsay evidence will be accepted by the court. Evidence concerning a crime is valid only when the witnesses actually saw the crime occur. 
.. Adin Steinsaltz, The Essential Talmud (Basic Books, 1976), page 168
  
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Re: Fide approves online chess regulations
Reply #33 - 01/16/21 at 18:06:11
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@aoc I agree, the video or, even better, the witness are about the only things I can think of.  Otherwise, you're pretty much helpless.

Well, that is all normal. Very strong evidence of any kind, statistical or otherwise, cannot easily be overcome. It doesn't reverse the burden of proof if one side provides convincing evidence and the other side then has to struggle to counter it.

You keep returning to the same scenario, where an innocent person is convicted, or is helpless to prevent himself from being convicted, on the basis of statistical evidence. It sounds like you just don't believe that statistical evidence will be handled well. It is terrible whenever an innocent person is convicted, but I at least have in mind evidence obtained from a competently designed, published set of statistical protocols. That is  a bit more than one statistician's opinion, and I'm not worried that after peer review it will produce more unjust convictions than other methods do.

For other posters--the question of whether such protocols are too weak is separate from the question of the justice of a strong protocol (except perhaps for the question of publication, but I at least feel publication is necessary). If it is possible undetected to cheat very subtly by, say, consulting a computer in only one position every three games, that does not mean that if someone cheats egregiously enough to fall afoul of a published statistical protocol he should not be sanctioned.
« Last Edit: 01/16/21 at 19:13:01 by ReneDescartes »  
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Re: Fide approves online chess regulations
Reply #32 - 01/16/21 at 13:28:58
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So the statistical evidence shows I cheated, to the satisfaction of some competent statistician. That means multiple games. My burden is now to provide evidence that counterbalances that. Like, what?
  • Video recordings of me playing *all* those game with no evidence therein that I was cheating.
  • Testimony from my wife that she brought me coffee three times and didn't notice any cheating.
  • Character witness from my coach that I am not the cheating type.

What am I missing here? To my mind, the only possible evidence that would carry any weight would be a neutral observer (for example, an arbiter) physically present for the duration of the game(s). Even the video evidence is tainted by the fact that I was the one who made the recording.
  
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Re: Fide approves online chess regulations
Reply #31 - 01/16/21 at 11:16:49
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Hi.

To be honest it would even feel good to see some more passages about statistical evidence just because it seems so important.

Like:
What is considered statistical evidence.
How an accused would be entitled to receive all the data surrounding claims of statsitical evidence for cheating and not just a summary.
How long to prepare a reply to the accusation (since it may get very, very technical and the investigating person apparently tries to investigate cases within two weeks - H.4.)
  
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Re: Fide approves online chess regulations
Reply #30 - 01/16/21 at 11:00:35
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Hi.

an ordinary chessplayer wrote on 01/14/21 at 17:23:57:
There's a lot in your post, but this one really stands out to me. Since proving a negative is an impossible burden, if this sentence is an accurate summary then logically it means statistical evidence will be practically decisive just by itself. It also seems to flip the "comfortable satisfaction" standard you mentioned later. What the commission will do in practice is unknown, but whenever the accused is unhappy with the outcome the commission can always point back to this as justification.

I mean it can be but doesn't have to be. The way I interpret it is that the fair play commission has the authority to say when there is statistical evidence that forces a defence from the accused. By forces a defence I mean they would be considered to have cheated if nothing more happened. This is obviously practical since if the defendant does nothing (or even some half-baked effort) the case should be possible to finish without serious panel-wide deliberation and real effort would be spared. Still I am not so sure I like it though because the incentive for the investigating person, especially if it usually gets met with poor defence which I somewhat fear, may well be to just lean on these statistical evidences to much.

(notice it seems like there is normally one guy investigating each case making the whole process a bit dependent on what that person pursues)
Edit: I am assuming that investigating person gets to decide when to say there is statistical evidence and place the ball in the defendant's court. If it is only after panel-wide deliberation it's less bad imo.


B.4.
Statistical  evidence  may  lead  to  the  assumption  that  a  cheating  offence  has  been  committed  unless  a player can prove on the balance of probabilities that he/she was playing honestly.


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Re: Fide approves online chess regulations
Reply #29 - 01/14/21 at 17:26:54
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Hi.

an ordinary chessplayer wrote on 01/14/21 at 16:18:12:
What happened in your case? I didn't get "banned", but three times last year I got locked out with the error message:

Yea. That. Error message in middle of writing a post and not able to log in.

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Re: Fide approves online chess regulations
Reply #28 - 01/14/21 at 17:23:57
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Confused_by_Theory wrote on 01/14/21 at 15:15:02:
Basically, if there is statistical evidence the player may be forced to prove he/she is more likely than not to be innocent.

There's a lot in your post, but this one really stands out to me. Since proving a negative is an impossible burden, if this sentence is an accurate summary then logically it means statistical evidence will be practically decisive just by itself. It also seems to flip the "comfortable satisfaction" standard you mentioned later. What the commission will do in practice is unknown, but whenever the accused is unhappy with the outcome the commission can always point back to this as justification.
  
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Re: Fide approves online chess regulations
Reply #27 - 01/14/21 at 16:18:12
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Confused_by_Theory wrote on 01/14/21 at 15:15:02:
I have been away due to technical problems. Basically for the second time I got randomly banned while writing a post Grin. Got some help to get back though and if there is something to be done I think it will be found eventually, so no worries.


What happened in your case? I didn't get "banned", but three times last year I got locked out with the error message:
Quote:
System information
Something bad has happened. Please inform the admin of this forum of what you were doing when this error occurred.

Maybe yours was different, because the admin (Tony?) said it only happened to me! I figured out that it was due to editing bbcode in the post, on mobile, while the post Preview was enabled. I still edit the bbcode on mobile, but I try to remember to close the Preview first, and it hasn't happened since.
  
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Re: Fide approves online chess regulations
Reply #26 - 01/14/21 at 15:15:02
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Hello.

I have been away due to technical problems. Basically for the second time I got randomly banned while writing a post Grin. Got some help to get back though and if there is something to be done I think it will be found eventually, so no worries.

Am very glad to see continued discussions. Will say a few things.

Fide has some usage of various probability concepts in the text (p.14). Basically, if there is statistical evidence the player may be forced to prove he/she is more likely than not to be innocent. Perhaps statistical evidence is a broad phrase and perhaps inputs are mostly limited to Fide's screening tool very hard to say. The value to the accused of being able to combat statistical evidence seems relatively high though. I hope the fair play commission sort of remembers to always assess the strength of statistical evidence as it comes in themselves and does not automatically leave it to defendants. It has to be hard for the average person to do.

In other cases Fide's fair play commission has to have "comfortable satisfaction of the hearing panel bearing in mind the seriousness of the allegation which is made". They define this as
"greater than a mere balance of probability but less than proof beyond a reasonable doubt". Even if you would think this is not good remember that it will be rare for cases to end up before the fair play commission. Most cases will be handled by playing platforms or national federations.

I guess what I personally would have liked to have seen was some kind of guidance on how if cases are on the low end, near just over balance of probabilities, penalties could be reduced slightly or something along those lines. Asfair, at least with suspensions, they have set penalties though.

cathexis wrote on 01/10/21 at 00:20:40:
I don't understand about the venues of play - Are we talking rented halls, etc.? As now happens in some "Pro-Gamer" competitions? Or just me in my basement with Zoom setup to show my basement area so the Arbiter can "look around"?
'Cause then -

8.1 (PDF page 5)
"The ‘playing venue’ is defined as the ‘playing area’, and toilets or restrooms.The playing area is defined as  the  room  where  the  player  plays  his/hermoves. The  regulations  of  a  competition  may  require the playing area should be monitored by cameras."

It is not specified as being a thing so I take it camera searches outside the playing venue is not even considered by the rule-writers.

There is also the playing zone, which is basically the website that hosts the game or the tournament lobby if the tournament has one.

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Re: Fide approves online chess regulations
Reply #25 - 01/14/21 at 04:52:42
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ReneDescartes wrote on 01/13/21 at 23:42:17:
...our thinking turns out to be somewhat closer than it appeared before. Our primarily differences are perhaps differences of emphasis.

Our analysis is mostly(*) the same, but our conclusions are necessarily different. That's because a difference in degree eventually becomes a difference in kind. If we compare our two measurements, there is only a slight difference in degree, but in your case you think it hasn't crossed the blurry line into a difference in kind, whereas I think it has. Based on a very slight difference in degree, we can reach radically different conclusions.

It's my view that chess without physically present arbiters is "too different" from chess with such arbiters. Without such arbiters, there can't be a serious competition. Of course if someone disagrees with *that*, then there still exists a whole range of questions about how "best" to hold a competition without arbiters. There I may agree on prudent measures, I may even agree with everything decided, but it doesn't mean I've changed my mind that the whole endeavor is fundamentally misdirected.

Anyway I accept that this is not one of those things where I get to decide what's right and what's wrong. Or rather, I have decided, but the practical effect is nil. So I'll try to be polite. Please let me know if I don't succeed.

(*)One place we diverge more significantly I'm sure I don't need to repeat. But it's also not an essential difference. Even if that actor didn't exist, it wouldn't change anything in my final analysis.
  
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Re: Fide approves online chess regulations
Reply #24 - 01/13/21 at 23:42:17
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I agree, a formal examination does seem an even better analogy than a paper--except that there may be no equivalent for the computer, whereas a book plays the role of the computer in the case of the paper. At any rate, I'm happy that our thinking turns out to be somewhat closer than it appeared before. Our primarily differences are perhaps differences of emphasis.

  
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Re: Fide approves online chess regulations
Reply #23 - 01/12/21 at 21:02:21
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ReneDescartes wrote on 01/12/21 at 13:53:35:
It's not a murder case. Chess,  like language, is abstract. Much closer to the case of cheating in chess is that of  plagiarizing passages of a book in a paper. The resemblance between the paper and the suspected source is also "a single indirect fact." No one saw the student using the source, the ink from the book is not on the student's hands, and the student didn't tell anyone he was cheating.  We just have a single fact--that parts of the paper closely resemble another piece of writing. A lot of matches, in other words. Furthermore, they're not always exact matches, a lot of the paper does not appear plagiarized,, and the student is intelligent enough to have written the disputed phrases considered one at a time. Yet we're comfortable enough using this ex post facto evidence, sometimes without material corroboration. All those matches a single indirect fact? Ok, but it's one hell of a fact.


Writing is not a perfect analogy, for several reasons.
  • Both an author and a chessplayer are expected to assimilate prior art before undertaking their own, but they have a different duty with respect to it. An author has a duty not to plagiarize; a chessplayer has no such duty, in fact being able to memorize theory is highly respected.
  • An author starts from a blank page with a relatively free choice of words to apply to it. A chessplayer by contrast is constrained by the candidate moves available, most of which can be quickly rejected.
  • In cases of independent writing the words themselves are the only possible evidence. As a matter of course the words themselves would be considered decisive. Indeed it should only take some effort (time) for the author (or editor) to adhere to the non-plagiarism standard. Failure to make that effort is the entire crime.
  • The closest analogy to chess would be a writing test situation, e.g. a proctored examination. Here the duty is more non-cribbing than non-plagiarism. And the absence of other evidence of cheating would be persuasive even if there were a suspiciously high match of words. We are talking here about matching the reading material, not about closely matching another examination.

Bottom line, the chessplayer is trying to match the engine choices, would be proud to succeed, and even if choosing rather haphazardly would still succeed to a certain extent. Of course that's not news.

ReneDescartes wrote on 01/12/21 at 13:53:35:
Regarding the number of moves needed to make a judgment, the man in the street may misunderstand, but he will not be making policy or decisions for major platforms or FIDE. Statistical evidence is fine; it just has to be interpreted thoughtfully by scientifically competent people, like other technical evidence.

Okay, I agree with that.

ReneDescartes wrote on 01/12/21 at 13:53:35:
Regarding the scientific study cited, it's a lost cause. It's not a confirmation of general relativity: no one, but no one, publishes a paper as an example of a routine statistical effect--and even if they did, they would certainly mention it in the analysis! They just embarrassed themselves, plain and simple. The best one can say is that their idiocy illustrates how someone else could go wrong, too, drawing conclusions from too-small samples. But we don't have to choose between 40 moves 40,000--we can quantify the effect and the error term, and weigh this evidence alongside other evidence.

I don't agree. I had to re-read it to see just what your objection is. From their conclusions:

Quote:
Rather than being entirely negative, another way to see these conclusions is as a sanity check against frivolous and hasty accusations and to provide thresholds for further investigation, such as recommending a body search.

Sounds very reasonable to me.
  
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