Wednesday, August 07, 2019

Metal detectors for tournaments

Posted by GilaChess
That's the price of one type of metal detectors at Lazada. Cheap right?

The shorter the wand the less sensitive the metal detector is. That is why the short one sold at Lazada is only RM 35.

I mention in a past post that metal detectors can be used as one of the deterrent to chess cheating but as usual technology moves at a rapid rate and even metal detectors can be circumvented. Proper shielding can ensure even metal detectors cannot detect phones. It's logical too as metal detectors like the one show above is meant to detect metallic objects like a gun and most more than half the phone is usually just plastic material rather than metal. That is why 2014 Baku Olympiad metal detectors was used but the 2018 Batumi Olympiad it was not used. Presumably the organisers also knew the weaknesses and the many way metal detectors can be circumvented.

Here an article detailing some of the methods metal detectors are made ineffective: How to get a phone throught metal detectors. Here's another making it easy wrapping your phone in a certain material,

The latest Olympiad in Batumi used X-ray frames like the one they used in airports instead of metal detectors which I think is extreme and expensive but yet unfortunately necessary.

So is technology siding the cheaters? It's not if we use technology more to find and deter cheaters. It need not even be costly. For example a simple wide angle video camera of the whole hall to monitor movement and behaviour of visitors and players can be replayed back for post mortem. Also it need not be technology based. The Batumi Olympiad made random searches on players after every round as deterrent. Again, I think it's extreme and hard to implement in our local tournaments.

Of course, I think the recently went viral non-ethical method taking photos of a player in the toilet is the wrong way to go about it.