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Thread: Chess.com and allegations of cheating resulting in account suspension

  1. #1
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    Default Chess.com and allegations of cheating resulting in account suspension

    With everyone going online to play chess when regular over the board play is largely impossible, a trend has emerged.

    First off, chess.com has countermeasures which will catch cheating. I am not fully aware of what they are but some of them can result in a false positive for cheating.

    Most of the false positives seem to be centred around a certain behaviour.

    I am not omniscient but a number of kids who I know to be of good character have been caught up in this accusation of cheating. When I question their parents, the facts of the case seem to boil down to the same or similar circumstance. They opened a new window on their desktop or changed the focus from the chess.com window that they were using and opened something else on their desktop. In one case the boy was doing homework in word at the same time as playing a game. This is not advisable as a practice but it is hardly cheating. Long ago I recall one of my good friends doing his homework while playing an over the board game. In another case, the girl found the game a bit slow and boring so she was watching a movie at the same time as she was playing a slow game, again in a different tab or window on her browser. So if you do this you are likely to draw attention and an accusation, particularly if you play particularly well in the game in question.

    Chess.com has the capability to analyze every game though I am occasionally skeptical of the results of this analysis particularly when it says that I played a game with very high accuracy on the order of 98%. My komodo engine usually gives slightly lower evaluations.

    Chess.com usually offers a way to reinstate your account. Their immediate offer is that you can get your frozen account back, if you admit to the cheating. If you actually did cheat, this is probably the way to go. If you did not cheat, do not admit to a crime that you did not commit. Appeal the suspension.

    In a communist or socialist country if you are tortured and induced to confess to your crimes, admitting to crimes you didn't commit usually meant that you immediately or after a period of time disappeared or were killed for those non-existent crimes. If you declined to admit your "crimes" you usually did not die. I think the torturers and those behind the charges had to fill out more paperwork if they killed someone who did not confess and presumably there was a lot of that paperwork. Later when the regimes fell, the paperwork would still be around to help convict the overzealous torturer and their bosses. In a similar vein, if the police or prosecutors charge you with a crime you didn't commit, you often hear of false confessions for crimes the supposed guilty parties could not have committed. This is usually a very bad idea.

  2. #2
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    Thanks for this post Vlad. One of my students down south was declared cheating, and it drove his parents and I crazy trying to figure out why he was false positive.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aris Marghetis View Post
    Thanks for this post Vlad. One of my students down south was declared cheating, and it drove his parents and I crazy trying to figure out why he was false positive.
    I heard of one such case a few years ago but lately I am aware of two or three with very similar circumstances. I have had issues with chess.com disconnecting, likely due to power glitches in my powerline network and also issues due to an underpowered computer. The problems have declined in frequency after getting a more up to date computer but have not disappeared entirely. I hate losing games that I am winning due to such glitches.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vladimir Drkulec View Post
    I heard of one such case a few years ago but lately I am aware of two or three with very similar circumstances. I have had issues with chess.com disconnecting, likely due to power glitches in my powerline network and also issues due to an underpowered computer. The problems have declined in frequency after getting a more up to date computer but have not disappeared entirely. I hate losing games that I am winning due to such glitches.
    Actually it happens way more often than people think. There is nothing you can do about it. Even the "appeal system" in place is irrelevant. Chess.com has been well known for doing this for years now. Most people don't care about it until it happens to them or to close ones. My advice is to carry on and change site. At the end of the day, chess.com is all about money. Maybe it wasn't mentioned before, but this almost only happens to people that try to play for free on chess.com. Changing pages while playing, even receiving emails or only watching a Youtube video will trigger this. Also it's known to happen when the site lags. And it lags often enough.
    Last edited by Serge Archambault; 04-08-2020 at 03:34 PM.

  5. #5
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    I am hearing multiple reports from CFC members getting tagged with a false positive for cheating on chessdotcom. Everyone reacts differently. Some just start a new account, but others decide to fight the charges. I am curious as to just how prevalent this problem is. I invite all those afflicted to either post here your story or send me an email if you prefer to remain anonymous.

    My second thought is maybe somebody is willing to champion the cause of those unfairly accused. Perhaps someone with some knowledge or understanding of the issues involved. Any takers?

    Anyway, I believe I shall send a letter to their anti cheating cops for at least an explanation of their software and protocols.

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