April 1, 2011 weblog
French chess team cheated via text
(PhysOrg.com) -- We all want to get ahead, but how many of us are willing to cheat to do it? As it turns out, when the stakes are high, cheating really isn't that uncommon. Sadly, we have come to see cheating as commonplace when it is done by professional athletes or politicians, but when you think about cheating, chess probably isn't the first place that comes to mind.
Well, you may want to think again. As it turns out some of the smartest people in the world may not be the most moral, and technology is helping cheaters to be better at what they do.
The French chess federation has seen fit to suspend three of its players for allegedly using technology to cheat. The players under suspension are Sébastien Feller, a chess grandmaster who is only 20 years old, Cyril Marzolo, and Arnaud Hauchard, who is the French team captain. The trio is accused of using the help of a chess playing computer during the matches. You may wonder how they were getting the information in real time during the match. Simple, by using a tool that you probably have in your pocket right now, a cell phone. Moves were allegedly exchanged via text messages.
The cheating is supposed to have happened at last September's Chess Olympiad which took place in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia. The team was accused by the French federation's own vice president, Joanna Pomian, who saw a text message saying "Hurry up and send me some moves." that was sent by Mr Hauchard during a match.
An examination of the players phone bills showed over 150 texts during the match. Privacy laws prevented looking at the actual text of the messages, but it was enough to convince authorities.
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