Screened game: The chess world goes to great lengths to prevent cheating – but it cannot be completely ruled out, especially in online tournaments.
Bild: picture alliance / Zoonar
Chess world champion Magnus Carlsen alienates young Hans Nieman again. He probably thinks he’s a fraudster who bypasses security measures.
John von Neumann wore headphones at the board and thought even when there was only one sensible move for him to make. Only when he wanted to collect 800 dollars in prize money at the end of the World Open in Philadelphia did a referee come up with the idea of presenting him with a simple chess problem. The man, who had borrowed the name of a computer pioneer, didn’t even try to find the right move, but immediately fled. It was that easy in 1993 to get unauthorized help at the chess board, and that easy to track down a cheater.
Headphones have long been banned on the board. Mobile phones especially. Even your own ballpoint pens are no longer allowed in many tournament halls since an Italian amateur with a mini-camera in the pen transmitted his current position to a helper. Many tournaments only transmit the games to the Internet with a time delay. Helpers who want to give forbidden tips with computer help then have to get to the trains first. To prevent any communication, World Championship matches are held in isolated rooms with glass only transparent from the outside. At the World Cup Candidates Tournament three months ago, spectators were not even allowed near the playing hall or the players’ toilets.