Fabiano is dropping so much information in this live stream that he keeps saying is public information, and might be? But I've never seen so plainly stated and open, he's saying a lot of things that are apparently public in the high level chess world as opposed to general public.


It is seriously some of the most informative stuff I've listened to in a long while. For everyone else reading this comment: if you have time, listen to the rest of the livestream instead of just this clip, Fabi is sharing extremely interesting stuff about cheating online and OTB. Including how anticheating works at that level, and how paranoid everyone can be.


I am listening from your timestamp and it is excellent, probably the best interview in this whole affaire. Is the part before the timestamp as good?


> Is the part before the timestamp as good? the previous 5-10 minutes yeah.. before that they were talking about trivial stuff, like the 960 event etc


I got the sense that Levon was not paranoid at all until Hans admitted he was cheating online. He gives everyone the benefit of the doubt


Yep, and I also get the sense that Levon was "blind" to all of the rumours about Hans because Levon was dealing with a lot over the past several years.


Yeah. Poor guy. I hope he’s doing ok, all things considered.


What has he been dealing with?


Wife died


Oh no, how awful. Poor guy.


Levon has never been anything short of an absolute gem and a class act, even through personal and professional tragedies. Dude’s wife died suddenly, whom he clearly adored. He’s had to deal with Armenia’s awful geopolitical situation. And of course, he’s choked at several critical chances to earn a world championship ticket, and was generally stuck alongside Caruana as second fiddle to Magnus during his prime. In spite of all that, he still shows up everytime with a warm smile and a wacky new shirt. Guy’s a legend


when his wife died, i never expected him to return to chess. for me personally, i would never be able to touch the hobby that my wife and i so closely shared. shit, i wouldn't even want to live anymore if she was gone. I certainly could never put a smile on my face every day like he does.


His wife passed away, and the war in his home country Armenia has weighed heavily on him. He said he has lost friends to the war, and has considered joining the army himself if necessary. He's also gotten crap for his move to play for the US.


I hear what you and Fabiano are saying, but I still think we should go with the opinions and ideas of random teenage redditors.


Reddit is agreeing with this.


Until the next thread


> I hear what you and Fabiano are saying, but I still think we should go with the opinions and ideas of random teenage redditors. I love you. But also, it's not just random teenage redditors, but presumably bright people like Daniel King etc. It seems to me a lot of people just really, really don't want to believe that someone cheated. Maybe they're too nice, I don't know, but there's been a lot of people throughout this saga that you'd expect to be a bit more savvy.


When everyone realizes how easy it is to cheat at chess and how many do it, all the money made from people trying to get better will dry up. They all circle the wagons as a form of self preservation to keep their cash flow. It's not the money ..... IT'S THE MONEY


Look at Aagard. While he's immensely respected as a coach and chess writer and everything, he basically handwaved away Hans' cheating seemingly because he'd taught Hans.


> It seems to me a lot of people just really, really don't want to believe that someone cheated. Lance Armstrong still has a lot of fans, as well as people who have forgiven him. Meanwhile, there remains those who still never will forgive him.


Difference being the next 25+ competitors in line after Lance *also* all got busted for doping. Presumably, anyone not busted for doping in those years (and probably years since) just wasn't inspected well enough. The world of chess may be rife with a fair number of cheaters (see 'the list' and the NDA thing), but to imply the top 25 in any given year (and entire field of championships under that) were cheating just to get there would shake Chess to its very foundations. At that point you need to start asking who/what is the best. What Lance did off the field disqualifies him from forgiveness. But 'on the field,' I think it's fair to say he was the best in those years, not known to be more or less drugged than any other competitor, and that therefore he earned the titles through athleticism- though certainly not behavior. That even the "We're not doping! We're doing this clean!" team sky with Wiggins got busted hard for doping says lots about how awful the competitive cycling community is. I don't blame Magnus at all for doing what he can in his position to keep chess from becoming like that.


>no more or less drugged than any other competitor Or he was the best because he was the best drugged athlete and had more resources and backing than any other competitor.


Yep, and also that he was a super-responder to doping. He had a naturally low haematocrit, so doping elevated him much more than other competitors who were more genetic freaks. Doping certainly wasn't a level playing field.


Natural advantages ensure it’s never a level playing field. We just accept that natural advantages are an acceptable advantage. But I guess not a natural advantage with regards to doping?


Funny video with Bill Burr talking about Lance Armstrong https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O9YL04v-J5U


Donald Trump too


With no concrete proofs it’s difficult to believe in vague insinuations of cheating.


Trust the messenger to a degree, especially when the accused has impugned credibility


But Hans keeps showing some amazing chess level, hes in a tournament full of 2700+'s again and still coming out really well. So unless he has huge cohones and had cheated everygame since the sinquefield cup, or hes actually 2700+ level good and has a history of cheating online. To me it's hard to believe that he would just continue cheating during all what's happening


Guilty until proven innocent, right?


>But also, it's not just random teenage redditors, but presumably bright people like Daniel King Daniel King has had insanely reasonable takes, what are you on about. >It seems to me a lot of people just really, really don't want to believe that someone cheated That's not true. Certainly not Daniel King.


Daniel King is also the step "below" the super GM’s no? The understanding of chess, what is human, and what is suspect is likely different I would imagine between a GM and a super GM


Wanted to add this: I've been labeled a Hikaru moutpiece by a few here over the months, but Fabi said a lot of stuff that Hikaru insinuated during the past couple of weeks. Stuff like people tellin him they were being very suspicious of Hans' play (which Fabi mentioned in his Keymer-Niemann tiebreaks), everyone being on the know about why Carlsen withdrew (many users said that Hikaru was just talking nonsense), and how everyone can be extremely paranoid when it comes to cheating in this game, even at prestigious OTB events. Even some stuff that seems to have gotten under the radar, such as Fabi being suspicious of Petrosian even before Wesley came out and went public about the whole issue. So many issues seem to be "public knowledge" behind the curtains, and it looks like we have no idea how deep it goes. Something I've seen many GMs agree, it's that chesscom's algorithms are actually trustworthy. And Fabi said that within the same breath he said that Regan's methods are untrustworthy. So much stuff that we're left out of as the general public.


> Fabi being suspicious of Petrosian even before Wesley came out and went public about the whole issue. Fabi: "I really admire Petrosian for what he wrote to Wesley. It will live on in eternity." And yet the mods will delete your post if you quote it. Smh my head.


Something like pepe in Huggies


Yes, this interview by Fabi has been by far the most revealing resource and is so detailed compared to what other GMs have said, which have been mostly very generalized statements on cheating. Hikaru, despite flaws that he has, has never been credibly accused of cheating and is a very highly rated player. It’s entirely believable that he would know the rumors circulating around super GMs, he is just more willing to divulge those details. Not sure why so many people were certain he’s pulling shit out of thin air, especially when Hikaru has nothing particular to gain from either side.


Hikaru made BANK on the controversy. He’s the only person who would actually come out in the black from this lol.


Hikaru probably would've gotten the same amount of views and significantly less hate if he went after Magnus and showed support for Hans. So it really makes no sense to say that Hikarus decision to go after Hans was motivated by monetary incentives.


Meh, people would've still called him jealous or spiteful etc if he sided against Magnus. People here always have generally disliked him for whatever reason, though I suspect there were probably a bunch of LSF people here when the drama first started happening that hate him for non chess related reasons. Though I do agree overall that he did not pick a side to make more money


Twitch does that to you.


Nothing to gain? You mean other than subscribers which = $ by fanning the flames? Not saying he was pulling shit out of thin air but he definitely had something to gain.


I guess I meant in relation to the previous comment that stated Hikaru insinuated a lot of things that Fabi said in the interview. Hikaru has $ to gain from fanning the flames, but he likely would have more to lose in the long run from spreading lies or insinuating something baseless on such a high-profile situation. Revealing that Hans had a cheating past and discussing that got people's emotions high and raked in the views. But that was because there was material there, he just divulged it for his benefit. He didn’t exaggerate or fabricate anything. What did Hikaru say that other GMs didn't later corroborate? He said Hans had a cheating past and that was true. He said he had no reason to think Hans cheated in the tournament against Magnus but that Magnus probably thought Hans did -- seems to be the consensus by a lot of GMs as well. He said he had a DM from someone who was convinced Hans cheated in a different tournament -- seems believable given that many GMs have stated that there were prolific rumors about Hans cheating before the Sinquefield Cup. But somehow Hikaru has gotten a lot of hate and have been accused of 'character assassinating' Hans when other GMs have stated or insinuated the same.


People here are calling for Hikaru to apologize to Hans lmao. I thought i was having brain aneurysm while reading those thread.


I thought I was having a brain aneurysm while watching the video of moistcritical (I believe that's his name) on the subject. He actually called Niemann "brave" for being open about having cheated twice before. Which, you know, was common knowledge AND a lie considering he actually cheated way more (as per chess.com).


Yeah, watching penguinz0 is fun for the most part but as soon as he strays into anything serious or complex, his takes are just disappointing or plain bad.


Seems like Critical just keeps giving out mid chess takes. His anti Finegold vid a while back was similarly under-informed.


I have seriously wondered if I’m losing touch with reality reading some of these (incredibly self-assured) comments. The dude cheated online, lied about the extent of his cheating, got further called out by Chesscom, was accused by the best player in the world, and apparently trained under a known cheater. Hey, but how *dare* anyone besmirch his good name by speculating, right? This isn’t mental gymnastics, it’s hardcore deductive parkour


> Something I've seen many GMs agree, it's that chesscom's algorithms are actually trustworthy. And Fabi said that within the same breath he said that Regan's methods are untrustworthy. I've mentioned this elsewhere, but chess.com does not solely rely on algorithms. I'm sure the automated system nukes *a lot* of obvious cheaters, but for more complex analysis they actually have a panel of very high level players who "humanely" analyze the games. Sadly, the reason I know this is because my account got banned very early on when I started playing there, and one of the things that got me acquitted was providing OTB chess games I've played that showed a consistency in style and ability. (And I'm nowhere near the level of these guys, to be clear). To be honest, as a lawyer, I was very impressed by the way chess.com handled that.


You got banned for playing like an 1800 rated player? Thought they would only ban if playing like an engine.




Not gonna do that, I'm more curious about the reasoning that chess.com gave and the ensuing acquittal process.


The first e-mail was a standardized form that my account had been suspended and that I could either (1) Confess to cheating and be allowed to open a new account or (2) Appeal the decision. I chose the latter, and I got a human contact asking for some documentation about OTB chess history. I sent them my USCF identity and several of my old OTB tournament participation, they did a "second review" and then I just got an e-mail saying my account had been reactivated. It took them like fucking 5 weeks or so to do it though, which is what annoyed me the most.


Yeah that makes no sense at all, I'm 2000 uscf and would never he banned for cheating because 2000 uscf is not a very high rating. Never in a million years would any of my games be comparable to engine games.


Caruana didn't call chess dot com's algorithms trustworthy. He said it was the best one out there. And he didn't call Ken's untrustworthy. He said there was an instance he is certain there was cheating but Ken's algorithm exonerated him. Do you think chess dot com would detect cheating in that player's game (the one Caruana mentioned)?


Someone better archive this shit in case


Fabi says a lot of interesting stuff here - that rumors about Hans were swirling for a long time but he never found them credible - that Magnus wanted to drop out before the tournament when Hans was chosen as replacement - that Magnus made the wrong decision to drop out and Fabi thought it was emotional - at the same time, Fabi views Magnus’s motives as a selfless protest, willingly damaging his own reputation to speak out about an issue he believes is harming the community - that Fabi doesn’t trust Regan’s methods to detect cheating because they exonerated a player he was sure was cheating - he thinks Regan should prove he can detect the cheating Hans admitted to as a minimum test - that cheating at the highest level is a serious threat to the game and he worries chess will become like cycling where everyone feels the need to cheat - that online tournaments with $200,000 prizes provide serious incentive to cheat and that the money is life changing to most people in chess - they discuss the issue with chess.com bans not being public and not leading to OTB sanctions - Fabi doesn’t think FIDE can sanction Magnus. Players are allowed to withdraw from tournaments, and they can’t sanction him for the early resignation because that tournament isn’t FIDE sanctioned - he also doesn’t think Magnus has much he can say in a statement, doesn’t think he has proof. Expects another nonstatement - suspects Hans’s silence is because he lawyered up Edit: some more things I remembered - talked about his experience with Petrosian cheating against him. He felt his game against him was weird at the time but didn’t say anything to anyone except his coach. It only came out because Wesley was willing to speak out publicly a few says later -said he’s become increasingly pessimistic about the ability to catch strong players who cheat since that experience. He said he’s thought about the problem of cheating a lot since it happened - he doesn’t think there is adequate punishment for players who cheat online. Partially due to the secrecy of online bans. Says he knows of players in the top 50 who have been banned online but faced no repercussions in their career - says chess is half functioning on an honor system right now. Says rating or being an established player does not equal trust, and top players do sometimes believe other top players are cheating. Said there are some he trusts absolutely and others who he thinks could be capable of cheating


This is pretty incredible information, I wish the names of the top 50 players who have been banned for cheating was public


I don't think he was banned but Nepo admitted to engine use online at some point, not in a tournament.


iirc, that was against a cheater? People can decide for themselves how to view that, we obviously don't want to incentivize pulling out an engine the moment you suspect your opponent of cheating. I don't remember if the opponent got banned or not afterwards.


It was against a suspected cheater.


I see absolutely nothing about this anywhere - source?


Fabi is speaking fact after fact. Great outline.


Fabiano "Public Information" Caruana Hikaru "This is all I'm gonna say" Nakamura Two great distributors of knowledge so far in this saga.


Don't forget Magnus " " Carlsen


It's probably more fair to say Magnus "Lawyered Up" Carlsen, same with Niemann, actually from this tournament Magnus is 1-0 on statements vs Hans. But yours is funnier


Magnus "Crickets" Carlson?


Fabi is a legend


The last point is pretty key. There is a type of person who will have that feeling that these other guys could easily be cheating. How do I know they are not? I better figure out how to sneak some cheating into my tool bag. Maybe I should do it to them because someone has done it to me. If I don’t do it, it’ll get done to me. I need the money too.


You’re onto an important point here. Even someone who would never cheat under normal circumstances, imagine them paired online in a crucial knockout round against someone they believe strongly is a cheater. The opponent plays a very suspicious move against them, the temptation and incentive to cheat in a spot like that would be enormous, rationalizing it not as cheating to get ahead, but cheating to level the playing field against a cheater. And with the suspicion and paranoia seemingly swirling around even top level players this kind of thing could quickly devolve, as was said in the interview, into something cycling-esque.


>but cheating to level the playing field against a cheater. There is no levelling the playing field against a cheater. There's only mutually assured destruction. Either both sides play perfectly and neither player cedes the advantage, or one player decides they've cheated enough and stops cheating to avoid suspicion.


There are few things more toxic to a community than the possibility of cheating. Proof isn't even necessary. I've played some competitive games at a fairly high level, and the assumption that people could be cheating against you erodes the community. It makes people feel the need to cheat themselves and perpetuates the cycle. All the clean players question everyone they play against. No one has fun.


Yeah people should check out his reaction after his loss to very young Andrey Esipenko in classical chess(He was very supportive of him)


Comparing it to doping in cycling seems very appropriate.


This is what happened to cycling


I'd argue this is the genesis of most cheating. Most people are honest enough and wouldn't start the cheating themselves, but many people when faced with an ultimatum of either losing or doing what "everyone else is doing" will say "well, if you can't beat them, join them, the system is not catching them so they will just win automatically against genuine play. That's not fair to me." even though they realize that it will propagate the cheating and damage the system even more. The silver lining is that once more people start joining in, it's more likely the cheat enabling loophole will be spotted and security tightened. Unfortunately, there will always be those that are very good at not only spotting new loopholes, but some will close old loopholes themselves to trap rivals, already having another loophole ready for them and their buddies to hop through. Sadly this seems an intrinsic flaw in humanity and it's not clear how to stop the cycle if it even can be stopped.


Scientists probably don’t even see it as a flaw. It’s seen as some naturalistic behavior that ensures the maximum survival. Like squirrels hiding nuts from each other, and some set of squirrels spending a lot of their time on theft, rather than nut hiding.


> that cheating at the highest level is a serious threat to the game and he worries chess will become like cycling where everyone feels the need to cheat This is kinda funny, because catching cheaters is what labels your sport as being full of cheats. Ice hockey, tennis, football (and soccer), ... they are all doping, but have much more money in the sport to be protected by player unions. The federations don't want to damage the sport either. And people would not rank any of these as being full of dopers. They would point to cycling that actually does a lot to prevent it, and so it's much more likely there are clean athletes. (my rambling is not really related to chess, sorry)


This is a great point. I don't know much about the other sports you mentioned, but last I checked testing is SUPER relaxed in the NHL. Players are only tested a few times a year, told when they're going to be tested, and aren't tested at all during the playoffs. I *think* there's one random test across an entire season. It's also relatively common knowledge that players (probably) use banned substances to speed up injury recovery time as well, as I don't think players are tested when on injury reserve. As you say, nobody talks about it because no big deal is made of it, and it's just kind of a thing that's well known. All it would take though is one very high profile scandal to leak and the league would probably have to crack down. Problem is nobody really cares because it's a team sport and everyone is probably pretty aware of what's going on. People remember (and shame) Lance, but some still forget that every other cyclist in the top 25 was doping at the time as well and a few others that were caught even came to his defence, saying that if he didn't there was no way he could compete with everyone else. He still shouldn't have lied about it though, which is probably where a lot of the hate justifiably comes from.


I do feel like using banned substances to recover from an injury is not really cheating at all to be honest. Where you draw the line of recovery and getting back into things is obviously murky.


I actually agree personally, but my views on PEDs are pretty relaxed in general compared to others... I don't have a problem with much as long as everything for the athletes is pretty out in the open and fair game for all.


This is exactly why it's hilarious people label baseball as the steroid sport yet they were the only ones that actually got around to putting their foot down. The rest of the sports are 1000% doped up, it's just johnny public is too stupid to realize it so they think it's clean.


Yes this is going to end horribly for Hans. Magnus is not a fool to take such a hit on his reputation for no good reason.


wild update! thanks for the summary


Fabi: "We know this, right?" Chirila's face: "*Did we thooooooough?*" Don't think Fabi realized it wasn't public information. edit: seriously listen to the whole livestream, it is extremely interesting and informative about cheating online and otb


Link to the whole stream please?


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CCFB_rNGTaw edit: drama talk starts about 20 minutes in


This video is going to start even more drama. Can't believe Fabi said the Stafford gambit is terrible, smh Eric statement coming out when? He needs to address this.


Eric's response is up. https://youtu.be/qrP3y1CYL6Q


You can see the damage he's done, these top GMs don't care smh. FIDE do something :(


> This video is going to start even more drama. I dunno about that. People seem to have this habit of ignoring Fabi. He somehow manages to slip under the radar, which is kind of unfair on Fabi to be honest.


Really? I only clicked on this because it was Fabi. There are no opinions on this issue more valuable than that of the elite players - Magnus, Fabi, Nepo, Naka, MVL, Giri, Aronian. Maybe Firouzja, though he lacks the experience of the others. And I’m going to put more faith in the words of the first 3 than the others.


I don’t see why it’s a big deal to share these things though


All of this drama caused by Rapport not willing to get a COVID vaccine, lol


Is that why he didn’t play in St. Louis?


The dopamine hit everytime a knew little nugget of info comes out is incredible.


I never actually started browsing the /chess subreddit regularly until this drama came out haha


Fabi also says that 1. he thinks Magnus isn't doing this to be selfish, but the opposite and 2. He doesn't think Ken Regan's method is fool proof *at all*.


For anyone to believe Regan's method works, he first needs to show its performance against random samples from test sets with known GM cheaters. It seems crazy to me that he isn't already doing this and yet claims some authority.


It seems the chess world has been a bit blasé about the whole cheating thing. Hopefully Magnus putting his foot down will inspire some serious changes.


I think a part of this stems from the fact that a lot of players have also seen false accusations of cheating before, so it's as if no one knows who or what to trust.


I mean he did compare Niemann's to Rausis's as an example, but I agree I'd like to see more of this.


I got heavily downvoted for saying this in a post a couple of days ago.


I'm not saying I agree or disagree with his assessment of Regan's analysis, but in my experience experts in fields that historically haven't been subjects of quantitative analysis tend to be suspicious of and underestimate the capability of modern techniques. Hell, even mathematicians don't really trust automated theorem provers. Nothing is foolproof and with a light touch it could take a huge amount of data for anomalies to start to stand out, but, at the same time, what does Fabi know about statistics?


You should listen to what Fabi says - he basically says that he knows of a case where he is sure someone cheated and they got past Regan's detection and nothing happened to them.




Yes, interesting for sure. Not saying that Regan's method is useless by any means, but it mainly requires a lot of data - maybe sometimes data that he doesn't have access too for various reasons.


If it requires a lot of datas it might be weak to consider level variation. (Your set lf datas at 2200 elo must be nothing alike yours at 1800)


That's not a problem of Regan but of statistics. You are right that we shouldn't lean to heavily on these analysis. Most importantly they don't exonerate people definitively but if statistics can't be applied and you don't have solid evidence the suspect must be assumed innocent. You could have a court of professional chess players but I doubt the chess world would be happy with that.


Again, I'm not saying he's wrong, just that you should take his opinions on statistical analysis with a grain of salt. A drawback of statistical approaches is a need for data, and I mean honestly I wouldn't expect anything but the most blatant cheating to be caught in a single game, especially amongst strong players. In a single game, they might have just played well. In 300 games they nail the only good move more often than others at a similar level, maybe they're underrated. In 600 games they overperform at critical junctions against stronger players and otherwise play a little below their rating, that can raise an eyebrows. Alright, fine. I'll go read Regan's method


I get that, but I trust Fabi when he says he knows of a case where someone obviously cheated and got away with it. Not saying Regan's method doesn't work at all, but it's highly likely that it doesn't catch more clever cheaters. Just saying.


Yeah, totally. I need to read his method myself, but I would be skeptical of a claim that any method could detect any but the most blatant cheating off a single game.


Is there really much of a quantitative analysis, if the experts for the subject at hand aren't even really involved? And if there is only one person doing the analysis? In pyschology, physics, economics and other areas you need to have the proper background in those areas to correctly try to intepret any analysis done. A statisician can have all the data they want, but that doesn't mean they will know how to interpret it properly Looking briefly at Regan's model. His model basically assigns probabilities to computer moves based on some parameters (which try to mimic a player's skill). There is no input anywhere from actual experts in chess (ie top players). The model's main objective doesn't even seem to be cheating detection and based on the what I briefly heard from his interview on chess24, it's a model from over a decade ago. I'm more on the pure mathematics side, but based on the small statistical work i had done before in undergrad. From the difficulty of determining parameters, after assuming a specific distribution for data at hand. To having explored mutiple models and variants created for infectious diseases. It makes me personally think, that this area is currently at an infant stage and not really reliable at the moment. But I don't know Fide should start hiring more statisticans/mathematicians or post projects on kaggle, so that more people can start working and researching cheating detection in chess


>Is there really much of a quantitative analysis, if the experts for the subject at hand aren't even really involved? And if there is only one person doing the analysis? >In pyschology, physics, economics and other areas you need to have the proper background in those areas to correctly try to intepret any analysis done. A statisician can have all the data they want, but that doesn't mean they will know how to interpret it properly Yes. Almost all machine learning techniques are done agnostic to the subject at hand. And that includes things like DMD and gradient descent, which are more interpretable than magic ANN blackboxes. Frankly, expert analysis of signals is being phased out. >Looking briefly at Regan's model. His model basically assigns probabilities to computer moves based on some parameters (which try to mimic a player's skill). There is no input anywhere from actual experts in chess (ie top players). The model's main objective doesn't even seem to be cheating detection and based on the what I briefly heard from his interview on chess24, it's a model from over a decade ago. I admit I have not looked at his model, so I have no real comment to make here. But I would say that the thoughts of top players are irrelevant provided he has a sufficient sample of games. An interesting talent of humans is to be able to identify and utilize patterns without being able to articulate them. But I agree that without an objective function it's hard to say what exactly the model detects >I'm more on the pure mathematics side, but based on the small statistical work i had done before in undergrad. From the difficulty of determining parameters, after assuming a specific distribution for data at hand. To having explored mutiple models and variants created for infectious diseases. It makes me personally think, that this area is currently at an infant stage and not really reliable at the moment. But I don't know There's almost certainly some ingrained institutional bias here. As a more applied mathematician, I can tell you my mind is blown by how well some of these techniques can follow the Lorenz attractor. ..like, following a chaotic trajectory with measurement noise should be impossible, but they somehow manage it. Anyway. Yeah, I don't know that Regan's method works. I don't know that any method can work on detecting cheating in a specific game. I can't even properly assess if it's in its infancy or just impossible. OK I'm done


I'm an idiot, and the only thing I know about statistics I learned from 538 But is it true that expert opinions on "signals" are being phased out of modeling? IIrc Nate silver has one model that factors in expert opinion and one that doesnt. Then he does some form of average of the two.


I mean, there's not like a focused effort to push experts out or anything, but a new thing for science in the last couple decades is recording way, way, way more data in way, way, way more resolution than we could ever do before computer storage got as dense as it is. So for a few years there was this disconnect between the insane amount of data we could collect and the classical data analysis techniques, which relied heavily on expert identification of patterns connected to specific contexts (EEG recordings and salmon populations are two that I know of). But now we have a toooon of data, and we have computers that can crunch numbers like crazy, so, as is typical, a bunch of old school theoretical math and new school theoretical computer science happen to have ways to extract "interesting" features of arbitrary data sets. Just today I was reading about isolating moving vehicles and pedestrians from a video feed, and it was just an example of a general feature extraction method. They used the same method to analyze neural data, and the expert analysis was basically only there to validate their findings. The data analysis outperformed the expert analysis on identifying certain structures, and I think the message is clear: at absolute best, human experts can exist to contextualize computer results, but even that is alarmingly short lived. Tl;dr we've already been replaced


Doesnt this require that massive amounts of data though, as you say? Like in the case of politics and Silver's model, part of the reason you need the experts involved is there is a tiny sample size. 46 presidencies, and we only have really good data for the last 50 years or so. Obviously in chess you have an enormous amount of online games. But what other data sets do you need this massive amount of data for? Neiman's games? Do we have enough? The moves themselves? What if he only cheated on two moves in the whole game? How do we prove, using statistics, this one singular game? Also the model still needs to be proved, as others have said. Otherwise the model is just a retrofit, yeah?


What I believe he means is that, in a learning model, the model is not aware of the significance of certain data as attributed to it by human expertise. Rather, it identifies patterns and develops features on its own. In other words, human experts may not be needed to give a pass to the data and try to bias the the model with what is significant or what is irregular to their judgement. The validity of the model would be determined by how much it aligns with a ground truth regardless of what features it finds. What Nate is doing sounds like throwing as many inputs to his model as he can.


It doesn't take an advanced degree in STEM to understand that a GM level player cheating smart, e.g. on one move every other game, is going to have an enormous edge at high level while being extremely hard to detect statistically. Chances are a player who got caught cheating multiple times hasn't stopped cheating, he has just refined his skills to the point that he knows what he can and cannot get away with.


I know plenty about statistics and probably the most important part of any model is showing that it is accurate in its predictions. How has Regan done that?


Look, I haven't read it. I'm assuming it's not completely ridiculous because I'm giving the guy the benefit of the doubt because of his reputation. I doubt any method can determine a pattern of cheating based on a single data point. You wouldn't train a facial recognition algorithm with a ***single image of a human face*** I'm saying that people who play board games for a living aren't the best judges of quantitative analysis techniques. That is all. FWIW I think Magnus has legitimate concerns and is acting fairly shrewdly


All models have flaws, his model is fairly complicated, and he seems to be the only person working on this as a side project while he does his main research in complexity theory. I might give a consensus of experts the benefit of the doubt but not one person.


Based on what I see on reddit I find it very strange that people seem to think his analysis is for exonerating people. The creator himself states that he requires very stringent values to convict. Is it not for catching cheaters who cheat beyond a probabilistic reasonable doubt, not to prove innocence? That said I am fairly ignorant and will check this guy out when I have time.


Fabi spilling the tea for us


God damn I fucking love fabi...


If true that would be an important piece of context. Because if Carlsen entered the tournament _that_ wary of Hans' integrity, it's easy to see how a loss to Hans (even a clean one) would then prompt a reaction. Particularly given that, as Levon and others have said, facing someone you suspect of cheating can have an impact on you psychologically so he may feel _that_ played a part in the loss. And it also opens up the conversation to Hans' OTB games in prior tournaments, as it may be that if Carlsen was able to speak candidly the games he would point to as being most suspicious are ones that made him reluctant to compete in that tournament in the first place, not the one that actually took place in the tournament.


It's pretty likely Carlsen was very wary already before starting the game, then after Hans blitzed out prep in a rare line (which would be very strange on its own, but is somewhat reasonable with the transposition explanation) he probably thought "oh, it's gonna be like that" and imploded at the board.


Especially with the explanation afterwards of "Oh I was miraculously looking at that opening line this morning", which is not exactly a line that will get pre-existing suspicions to die down.


That explanation which he kept repeating over and over again in the same interview, only to later reveal it was a lie and that he *did* know why he looked at that line.


Didn't he spend 10 minutes on one move or something, which was hikarus argument on why it was weird


There's no question that Hans' behavior during the game and in his interviews afterwards helped fuel the suspicion. Hans did spend more than half his time in the game on playing moves he remembered from his preparation that morning.


Then couldn't explain the line in the post game interview.


There's also no question there never would have been suspicion if Magnus did nothing.


People were talking about how strange Hans' post-game interview was before Magnus' didn't show up the next day. Hans was already a weird, abrasive character before Magnus' decision at the Sinquefield Cup. After a fairly terrible performance at Miami a week before, I (and I assume many others) were pretty shocked that he managed to beat Magnus in a Classical tournament. I follow some other juniors, and I consider Pragg a stronger player than Hans, but I know the strongest player Pragg has beaten in classical is Topalov. Winning against Magnus was enough to arouse suspicion, since it's just really rare, and Hans' strongest classical victory prior to the Sinquefield Cup was Arjun Erigaisi (by current rating) or Bassem Amin (by rating at the time). Clearly, Magnus throwing his weight by withdrawing from the tournament made the situation much more visible, but I had already heard before then that Hans' reasoning for knowing the line in the Carlsen game didn't quite make sense.


What about current tourney? He is doing great now. I am not being satirical.


His performance now isn’t evidence one way or the other. On one hand, he isn’t cheating, and he’ll continue beating strong players; on the other, he cheated against Magnus and now must continue cheating to avoid suspicion if his performance falls off. I’m not saying one is more likely than the other, but both are possibilities.


> Winning against Magnus was enough to arouse suspicion There was literally no suspicion of any serious sort before Magnus did something, this is revisionism. Heck, even after the drama broke Hikaru literally admitted there was nothing odd about the game itself.


I think you may be right that before Magnus' dropped out, I hadn't heard a serious accusation of cheating. But I do think people had some trouble making sense of Hans' victory; when the cheating insinuations and accusations came it appeared to be a reasonable explanation. In retrospect, it seems pretty clear that Magnus thought Hans was cheating during the game itself, but I don't think that assessment was made by others while the game was live.


And the others aren’t near as strong as Magnus. He’d be more likely to notice a change in play. To put it in baseball terms, if I’m at the plate I’m not going to notice a difference between a 95mph pitch and a 105 mph pitch because they’re both really fucking fast and I don’t have a prayer to hit either. Professional players hit 95 every day but the degree of difficulty increases exponentially with every gained mph from like 98, according to the pros. They notice if a pitcher suddenly starts hitting over 100 or suddenly adds a couple inches of break to their pitches, just like Magnus and other elite players are more likely to notice the difference between a 2600-2700 human and a computer. I could play a random grandmaster or Stockfish. The game will feel the same to me whereas Magnus will crush most GMs but lose to Stockfish every time.


That’s not true lol his post game interview was praised for his support of Junior players and his forceful dismissal of computer lines and assertion of the supremacy of human intuition and no one found it suspicious. It’s all archived on Reddit just look at peoples responses here on that day.


It was actually 8 moves. And it was after g3 where the transposition to the Catalan happened. He also had another long think after a3 since he said he remembered Carlsen played that idea against So though it was a different structure.


Yes. His stated reason is that he was working out whether the transposition (from the opening Magnus played, into the line he had prepared) was valid.


One analysis of the game Magnus lost to Hans concluded that Magnus beat himself by playing moves he might play against a computer cheater rather than simply being Magnus and playing his own game. This interview gives a little extra weight to that theory.


Is it possible that magnus thought hans cheated in the ftx crypto cup? In the game that hans won against carlsen in round two, all of hans' moves were one of the engine top lines with overall 96-97% accuracy. This could've made magnus suspicious that hans had some help and he became reluctant to play with hans in Sinquefield cup which was happening a week later.


More importantly it tells people that Magnus didn't quit simply because he was a "sore loser" like some here insinuated.


And yet you have two people replying to you who still try to justify it. It's fucking absurd.


This drama is really highlighting the erosion of trust in the game. We have three primary camps: Hans cheated, Hans didn’t cheat, and finally those who are unsure. It seems the actual problem is that fair play cannot be guaranteed. Why are chess institutions not taking this on as a problem to address? Things to help out include faraday cages, body scanners, isolating the match room, delaying the stream, etc. I simply don’t understand why “maybe he did, maybe he didn’t” is an acceptable attitude. No one knows beyond a reasonable doubt and that’s a massive issue.


FIDE is certainly going to have to figure something out moving forward that the top players can agree on, but at this point our hands are tied looking at the games that have already been played. The best we can do is statistical forensics, and if *that's* inconclusive, what *can* you do? Of course, the other issue is that security is expensive, so all those little local otb tournaments are going to be in trouble


X ray machines at venues


Electronics are not the only ways to gain na advantage. If cheating really is that rampant, I guess it's human signalling by collusion with people who have access to venues


Have them play in a box of oneway mirrors


Yeah, I'm honestly surprised at how Fide has invested very little in anticheating. Given what Fabi said, it's clear this is a way bigger issue than most of us knew After watching part of Regan's interview on chess24, checking his page afterwards and briefly looking at the overview of his model, I'm personally taking his conclusions with a grain of salt Fide really needs to get way more than just one person who they can consult on these type of things


Sutovsky actually wants to work with chess sites to see how FIDE can crack down on online cheating with OTB punishments. However, the chess sites don't want to work with FIDE. It seems like they rather want to do their own things unilaterally.


A chess *cage match* would be incredible. Designing some sort of cheat-proof chess battleground is so sci-fi I love it.


Chess boxing cage match would be even better


It reminds me of George St-Pierre and the UFC 15 years ago. He was, and is still considered the greatest of all time in the sport by many, and at the time couldn't stand the UFC not having really fair ethics and proper testing what it came to doping. He ended stepping away from the sport, and leaving a lot of people with lost faith in the UFC's cleanliness/fairness. The UFC ultimately ended up introducing proper advanced PED's tests not long after, and slightly stricter punishments (still very light imo) for people getting caught, and since then the sport has boomed to become what it is today.


> and at the time couldn't stand the UFC not having really fair ethics and proper testing what it came to doping Well that's what he said. Anyone could see that he was juicing and stepped away because he got his shit kicked in by Hendricks. And I wouldn't say "proper" testing. It's better with USADA than what is was before, but you can still get around it and people still do. You can't look at Paulo Costa, Kamaru Usman or 40+ year old Yoel Romero and see these guys are natural.


That's an entirely revisionist history of what happened. GSP, who was not by any reasonable person's estimations clean, was starting to lose ground, and chose to take his ball and go home under the pretense of the UFC not caring about PEDs. GSP was not universally considered the GOAT until the UFC started calling him as such when it was clear he was actually going to make a comeback. Was he in the conversation? Sure, but it wasn't as ubiquitous as it is now. And testing isn't why the UFC grew to what it is today. In many ways, the UFC is popular despite itself.


Is that why he came back?


Enjoy professional chess while it lasts. Eventually cheating devices will be too advanced and will kill the game


Nah, it will all just be 1/0 bullet OTB. Too fast for cheating.


But cheating is already super easy in amateur tournaments atm and there are still thousands of them.


> We have three primary camps: Hans cheated, Hans didn’t cheat, and finally those who are unsure. I assume you mean "Did Hans cheat in that specific game against Magnus", and I don't think it is the right question to ask. Once someone is known to be a serial cheater --- or even just strongly suspected to be capable of cheating --- that is going to affect the game negatively even when he does not cheat.


Like Danya said, everyone should be in the "unsure" camp. I don't know why people are picking sides and attacking each other and top players who have made comments or 'insinuations' based on so little information.


This isn’t only about whether hans cheated against Magnus, it’s also about whether hans should’ve been invited in the first place, and what allowing someone who cheats to compete


Because top players know way more than we do, and if those people thinks Hans cheated, then I’ll believe them. “Unsure” sounds like being fair but there are so many statistical evidence at this point it feels like they’re just people who want to believe in Hans. Everything looks worse for Hans day by day. Did he cheat against Magnus? that you can be unsure about. Is Hans a cheater? He is.


Caruana just came out tonight and said he doesn't suspect Hans ever cheated OTB. MVL also stated as much. So many other GMs said they didn't suspect anything of Hans at the Sinquefield Cup. Why are you just taking Carlsen's word but not considering other top players?


To me OTB or online doesn’t really matter. If you cheat online — which everyone seem to acknowledge — then he’s a cheater. If you find me someone credible who thinks he didn’t cheat online too, my opinion might change. Why everyone who defends Hans don’t seem to care about his online cheating — more than he admitted — is more of a mystery to me.


I respect your opinion but I disagree with it. I do think there's a difference between online and OTB. The people who defend Hans aren't shrugging away his online cheating. They think chess dot com already doled out their punishment back in 2020. What the Hans defenders are saying is we shouldn't use past offenses as proof of current (and future) allegations.


He also said that Hans has showed a "willingness to cheat", which makes him suspect.


Listened to the whole stream and its so refreshingly clear headed compared to almost all of the other commentary I have heard on the topic.


Fabi has talked about this matter much better than Gotham or Hikaru. Even though he is giving out so much information which would lead most of the people on the internet to jump right into conclusions, he doesn't take sides. Respect!


Gotham only has as much insights as a chess journalist cause he’s not in the SuperGM circle. Hikaru is Hikaru. Most of the people that have voiced their opinions are also similar, either they’re not within the top level chess circle to know all the information, or that they’re content creators and they just want controversy.




What the FUCK, Caruana has had his own podcast since September 9th and this is the first I’m hearing about it?! 🤯🤯🤯


Fabiano "Captain America" Caruana


This interview is amazing. Fabi giving us a lot of the context that we haven't got from Magnus. People have suspected Hans of cheating OTB for a long time, and those rumours were widely known.


That can't be true, reddit told me this is all because Magnus is a sore loser.


Guy says in the video that the decision to drop after the loss was emotional and not the right move, so maybe both are true.


Of course it was emotional. Everyone was suspicious before, Magnus didn't agree with him being invited in the first place, but contractually is obligated to play. Hans played some weird shit, couldn't even explain it after the game when asked, and Magnus said fuck this I'm out. Should he have stayed? Probably. Would this get the attention its getting if he played and remained quiet? Nope.


ty for your gift of more drama 🙏


This information changes *everything* for us.


I applaud Fabi for his great explanations. He perfectly described the situation in my opinion. What Magnus is doing is not selfish at all. Of course, it may not be the best way of going at it, but he really is trying to shed more light on the rampant cheating in chess even if his reputation suffers a bit. It’s worked to say the least.


This is looking better and better for MC and worse and worse for Hans


This podcast more than anything so far has clearly put Hans’ back into the known repeated cheater who is distrusted by all of his relevant peers camp.


If Fabi knows which players in the top 50 have cheated online, why doesn't r/chess know? I mean, c'mon.


Is that really suprising though? He is inside that circle so he gets to hear a lot more. I also had much more insight on cheating in some of the games where I was at the very top than reddit had


This scandal, in my opinion shows the whole problem with keeping a secret list like that. It essentially is giving the people who know the list blackmail on you, so if you cheat but don't bother the insiders like Magnus, you get to keep playing without issue or controversy forever, but when you ruffle some feathers it all comes out and you have to deal with it. It's extremely unfair how many other online cheaters are getting away super freely, while Hans has to pay this quite extreme price comparatively.


Incredible pod. Don’t think anyone bullshits less than Fabi.


This interview tells me Hans is cheating. If the World Champion and one of his last two contenders think your cheating, you’re probably cheating. And I think Fabi makes a good point. With the added benefit of computer analysis, even if you don’t completely depend on the computer, a GM is going to be able to finesse a game, play very strong, human moves and throw in a computer “inspired” brilliancy at key moments. It’s not like they’re accusing someone who doesn’t know the game of walking in with an engine. That’d be easy to detect. The algorithms are faced with the challenge of spotting very few computer moves among a game of very strong human moves and well established theory.




Fabi mentioned on his podcast that this beach match was promotional, and all it really proved was that Magnus was still prepared to be publicly associated with Hans at this point.


It was so obviously promotional, goodness me this sub will make something out of nothing.


Wasn't that just a photo OP, not a real game


That would have been *way* better than the current mess.


Magnus being upset before the event began tracks with what I saw at the opening. During the simul, Magnus was the center of attention (naturally!) and it felt like made a couple of little digs at Hans if memory serves. At least one "the chess speaks for itself" type of comment, etc. Then he and his team left before the opening ceremony, and they were the only participants to do that. You can see the confusion in the crowd on the Youtube video of the opening when his name is announced and he's not there.