Sunday, September 28, 2014

Too easy to cheat

Posted by GilaChess

3 years ago one of my friends showed me his then ‘cool’ smart watch cum phone. One look at it and you never guess that it is a phone. Incidentally he showed us the watch during one of the Malaysian Open at Cititel and I remember telling Najib how easy it was to cheat.


It still is.


I can imagine this happening during one of the tournament during the chess festival at Cititel Mid Valley. All you have to do is have an accomplice walk around the hall and study your position. He will then go out to one of the comfortable couches outside the hall and check with a notebook with an engine. SMS the best move and it will appear on the watch. An inaudible buzz will alert the player of a new sms. The notification with the move eg: 23. Ne5! is shown the watch and fades away after 2 seconds. No need to even touch the watch. No one would suspect a chess player glancing at his watch.

The above is cheap at RM 188 and with programmable language like Java it’s possible to even change the face to show an analog time with hours and minute hands to look less conspicuous.

I am not advocating cheating but just pointing out that it is challenging for organisers to detect cheating like this even with the ban on electronic devices like tablets and phones on the person during the tournament. Should they check their watches too ?