Author Topic: GAMERS THREAD  (Read 256908 times)

Offline Emperorjones

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Offline Battle

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Re: GAMERS THREAD
« Reply #1036 on: December 03, 2019, 04:15:19 pm »
http://screenrant.com/playstation-best-selling-console-all-time-brand/






This is a significant article considering that Sony beat Nintendo's sales record despite Nintendo's dominance in the 'console wars'.

Microsoft was nothing more than a faithless follower of the two.  :)

Offline Battle

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Re: GAMERS THREAD
« Reply #1037 on: December 04, 2019, 01:38:03 am »
Wednesday, 4th December 2019
Riot Games will pay $10 million to settle gender discrimination suit
by Sam Dean




Riot Games agreed to pay out at least $10 million to women who worked at the company in the last five years as part of a settlement in a class action lawsuit over alleged gender discrimination, according to court documents filed Monday.

The suit began in November 2018 when two women who had worked at the Los Angeles game studio, which makes the popular “League of Legends” game and is owned by the Chinese technology giant Tencent, sued over violations of the California Equal Pay act, alleging that they were routinely subjected to sexual harassment and gender discrimination.

The newly filed documents reveal the details of the settlement, which was announced in August, for the first time.

The approximately 1,000 women who worked at Riot Games from November 2014 until the date the settlement is finalized will be entitled to a payment from the multimillion-dollar pot.

The final dollar amount that each employee who self-identifies as female receives will vary depending on how long they worked for Riot, with full employees receiving more than contractors.

Asked about the settlement, a Riot spokesperson said in a statement:

“We’re pleased to have a proposed settlement to fully resolve the class action lawsuit. The settlement is another important step forward, and demonstrates our commitment to living up to our values and to making Riot an inclusive environment for the industry’s best talent.”


The company has approximately 2,500 employees at offices around the world and brought in an estimated $1.4 billion in revenue in 2018.

The settlement filing also lays out a number of commitments Riot has made to improve its company culture, including beefing up internal programs for reporting sexual harassment and discrimination.

They include undertaking a review of all pay, promotion and hiring practices to increase fairness and transparency, hiring a dedicated chief diversity officer, and creating a number of employee groups empowered to track the company’s progress on these fronts.

Both the plaintiffs and Riot have agreed to the preliminary settlement, but it still needs to be approved by the court.

The lawsuit was filed in the wake of a dramatic series of exposés, beginning with an article from the games website Kotaku, in which current and former employees described a workplace rife with sexist behavior.

"I'll Sue!"

The suit laid out allegations that Riot fostered a “men-first” “bro culture,” where harassment and inappropriate behavior such as “crotch-grabbing, phantom humping, and sending unsolicited and unwelcome pictures of male genitalia” and managers circulating a “hot girl list,” ranking female employees by attractiveness, went unchecked.

The suit also alleged that outspoken female employees faced retaliation from Riot, including “denied promotions, refusals to provide increased compensation or equal pay, demotions, reassignment with significantly different responsibilities, losses of benefits, suspensions, terminations, and other adverse employment actions.”

Two employees also filed individual wrongful termination and sexual harassment suits against the company.

In response to the scandal, Riot committed to a series of internal initiatives to add more women to its leadership, close wage gaps, and change its company culture.

"I'll Sue!"

But in the spring of 2019, the legal battles spilled out of the courtroom and onto Riot’s West L.A. corporate campus after Riot tried to force the two individual cases into arbitration.

In response, employees organized a walkout.

The walkout marked the first mass worker action of its kind in the video game industry.

Organizers said that it was inspired by the massive Google walkout of November 2018, which was also staged partly as a protest against the tech giant’s use of forced arbitration.

The practice, which denies employees suing their employer a full trial by moving the dispute to an arbitration process that critics say often favors the company, has faced mounting opposition in the last year.


After the Google walkout, the company agreed to do away with forced arbitration entirely.
Fakebook partly followed suit, saying it would stop the practice for sexual harassment cases.

In October, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a new bill making it illegal for companies to require employees hired after Jan. 1, 2020, to sign an arbitration agreement.

Riot Games, for its part, refused to give in to the demands of its employees after the walkout in May, though it did pledge to allow new hires the option to waive the forced arbitration clause for sexual harassment and assault

“once current litigation was resolved.”





















Would You Like To Know More?
https://www.latimes.com/business/technology/story/2019-12-02/riot-games-gender-discrimination-settlement

Offline Emperorjones

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Offline Battle

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Re: GAMERS THREAD
« Reply #1039 on: December 08, 2019, 12:34:21 pm »

Sunday, 8th December 2019
Three Queens to Rule Them All: South Side Chicago School Crowned State Chess Champs
by Anne Branigin





Ten years ago, St. Ethelreda, a majority-black co-ed Catholic school on Chicago’s South Side, was close to being shuttered due to low enrollment.

Now, the school is sitting on top, thanks to the performance of three chess champions.

Shakira Luster, Trechelle Williams, and Imani Hall were greeted with raucous cheers from their fellow students this week as they walked down the hall with their hard-earned trophies.

The three girls each placed in the top 10 of the state tournament last month, securing St. Ethelreda’s place as the top chess team in Illinois, reports ABC 7 Chicago.

“Chess, all chess. No running, no nothing—[just] sitting down, looking at a board, figuring out what’s the best move,” Imani told reporters about her vigorous training regiment (wearing a crown, no less!).

“We always thought we were the best chess team, but now that we have the trophy, it’s proved,” said Trechelle.

Their coach, Eric Luster, and principal Dr. Denise Spells credited the community with rallying behind the team—and the school.

Spells told ABC 7,

“It’s what you do in school to build the community—a community of family, a community of love, a community of students who believe they can conquer the world if they set their minds to it.”

















Would You Like To Know More?
https://www.theroot.com/three-queens-to-rule-them-all-south-side-chicago-schoo-1840249731

Offline Battle

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Re: GAMERS THREAD
« Reply #1040 on: December 22, 2019, 12:35:02 pm »
Sunday, 22nd December 2019


Poking a lil' fun with one of my all-time favorite video games and one of my favorite politicians on Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C.


Jenova the Ranger is a female Elf member of the affluent Rampart and, some players may argue, one of the most powerful towns next to the mysterious & near invincible Necropolis in the classic computer strategy game series, Heroes of Might & Magic 3.


Jenova's portrait bears a striking resemblance to Representative Alexandria-Ocasio Cortez also known as Representative AOC.


Much like the video game character in Heroes of Might & Magic 3, Representative AOC can fundraise for the causes she most believes in such as The Green New Deal for a more Just Society.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2020, 03:47:57 am by Battle »

Offline Battle

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Re: GAMERS THREAD
« Reply #1041 on: January 11, 2020, 01:58:56 pm »
Anyone ever see Hollywood actor Woody Harrelson play against Grandmaster Gary Kasparov in an exhibition game of chess?







« Last Edit: January 12, 2020, 08:48:29 am by Battle »

Offline Emperorjones

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Re: GAMERS THREAD
« Reply #1042 on: January 16, 2020, 03:55:57 pm »

Offline Battle

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Re: GAMERS THREAD
« Reply #1043 on: January 20, 2020, 01:25:59 am »
Monday, 20th January 2020 (originally published Friday, 15th February 2019)
The Story Of The American Classic Arcade Museum
by Gary Waleik





When Gary Vincent was a kid, he and his family spent their summers in Laconia, New Hampshire.

There, on the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee, visitors camp, hike and swim.

But Vincent was often found at a 70,000-square-foot indoor entertainment center called Fun Spot.

He liked to play the arcade games he couldn’t find back home in Connecticut.

Crazy Climber and Alpine Ski," Vincent says.

"Alpine Ski never really caught on with a lot of people, but I got pretty good at it."

In the summer of 1981, Vincent had just graduated high school.

He took a fill-in job as a floor attendant at Fun Spot.

He helped customers whose tokens jammed in pinball machines.

He handed out prizes at the counter near the row of Skee-Ball games.

The job was supposed to last three weeks.

"Thirty-seven years later, I’m still here," he says.

After a brief stint in college, Vincent took a managerial job at Fun Spot.

He didn’t enjoy that very much.

But business boomed.

It was the golden age of the arcade, when customers put their tokens down and waited in long lines for a shot at games like 'Pac-Man', 'Donkey Kong' and 'Frogger'.

But it didn’t last.

"1983, 1984, is the era when the crash occurred," Vincent says.

Affordable home entertainment systems like Intellivision and Atari offered arcade-quality graphics and game play. "That's not accurate."

The big, bulky stand-up consoles were no longer in demand.

People stopped showing up.

"Anywhere from 75 to 80 to 90 percent of arcades closed in a very short period of time," Vincent says.

Thousands of Zaxxon, Galaga, Asteroids and other console games ended up in dumps.

But Fun Spot survived.

It had a bowling alley, kids' rides and lots of other attractions.

It had ample space to store its big console games — and Vincent had learned to repair and maintain them.

Then, in the early 1990s, Vincent noticed something funny happening when visitors showed up.

"They would see a Defender on the floor, or a Pac-Man, and say, ‘Wow, they used to have one of these at the pizza place in town, but they took it out. So, I’m so happy you have a few of these games left,’ " Vincent recalls.

That got visitors asking about other games they remembered.

Vincent saw an opportunity.

"September of 1998 was when I approached the owners at Fun Spot and said, ‘I wanna start a museum.’ " 

They said yes.

The IRS granted non-profit status, and the American Classic Arcade Museum was born.

Gary Vincent was the curator.

At first, he had his doubts.

"Where are we going to go with this?"

Vincent remembers asking himself.

"Is anyone going to like it? Will there be any interest?"

Undeterred, Vincent got to work.

The classic games Fun Spot already owned were scattered throughout the massive building.

So he shepherded them into their own dedicated 7,000-square-foot room.

Then he worked on the atmosphere.

"The room is darker than any of the other rooms that are in the building," Vincent says.

It's louder, too. Vincent installed speakers in the ceiling that pump in 1970s and 1980s music.
 
But Vincent wanted new — or, rather, old — games to add to the existing collection.

He visited trade shows and networked with game enthusiasts.

Sometimes, the games found him.

"Some person will come in and say, ‘Hey, I’m cleaning out the garage. My wife says “Throw ‘em out!” ’ I say, 'Well, don’t throw ‘em out. I’ll take ‘em.' "

He found games at yard sales and on eBay.

They were in various stages of working order, so Vincent bought old control panels, marquees and industry-standard 19-inch screens.

While juggling his other responsibilities at Fun Spot, he found time to hole up in his massive workshop to repair and reconstruct games.

"And I’ll sit on a cabinet for 10 – 15 years trying to find the rest of pieces to put it back together," Vincent says.

"And that is always very exciting to me. I don’t know why. Most people probably think I’m nuts. But that is what I enjoy."

ACAM now features over 250 classics from the golden age of the arcade game.

It’s the largest collection in the world. And visitors can play them all.

But there was one game in particular that Vincent had his eye on.

"I had always wanted a Death Race," he says.

"And they were hard to find, because in 1976, when the game came out, it was very controversial."

In Death Race, the player tries to drive a primitive-looking, black-and-white car over pedestrians ...
who scream when they die.

"By today’s standards, it would be, ‘Oh, it’s just a game where you run over these stick figures,’ " Vincent says.

"But, back then, it was, ‘Oh! It’s violent.’

So a lot of them were pulled from arcades and destroyed."

Very few Death Race consoles survived.

But one day, Vincent saw one listed on eBay.

It was the only one he’d ever seen with yellow and black graphics on the cabinet.

So he bought it.

He was thrilled.

Weeks later, the game arrived.

"All wrapped in plastic," he remembers.

"And we’re cutting all the plastic away, and then you get that whiff — mold, mildew, damp dirt floor cellar smell. And it just became more overpowering as we cut more of the plastic off. And the smell was horrible."

The fiberboard used on most arcade game cabinets is porous.

It picks up odors if stored in areas with moisture.

"And animals," Vincent adds.

"Big problem. A video game is basically a gigantic mouse condominium. So now I’m starting to think that I have this $1,500 boat anchor. And I moved the whole mess up into the shop, wrapped it in a tarp — and it sat there for a year and a half."

"And then one day, I had some time, and I said, ‘You know what? It’s now or never.’ "

Vincent decided to rebuild the cabinet from scratch.

"I posted on one of the game forums what I was doing. So one guy in Florida says, ‘Well, I can scan the artwork for you.’ In the meantime, another gentleman out in Oregon said, ‘I do silk screening. I can make the screens.’ So he flew in and spent a day in my shop with me putting silk-screened artwork back on that game."

Vincent placed the fully-restored Death Race on the ACAM floor.

I’ve played it, and it doesn’t smell anymore.

It’s one of the museum’s many gems, including a 1973 version of Pong and Computer Space — the first commercially-available video game — released all the way back in 1970.

These days, ACAM is an educational resource for enthusiasts of all sorts, including game club members and students from New England colleges.

On my first visit to ACAM, I watched as 200 game design majors from Champlain College arrived on a field trip.

They stormed ACAM’s aisles like a swarm of aliens from 'Space Invaders'.

"And I always enjoy watching that," Vincent says.

"They’ve grown up in an era with amazing graphics, sound — put on the headphones, and you’re in another world. These games are so old. They are playing games that were made before they were born."

"Always brings a big smile to my face when you see parents teaching their kids how to play the games they played when they were younger — ‘Here, let me show you, because I was really good at this!’ "

On that first visit to ACAM, I was there with my wife and our son, Daniel.

He’s one of those Game Design majors from Champlain College.

We located some of the games my wife and I played together in our college student union; 'Dig Dug', 'Centipede', 'Millipede' and 'Q*bert'.

My son watched over my shoulder as I guided the cute fuzzy orange Q*bert away from the bouncing purple snake with the nasty looking fangs.

And I realized something: Daniel is exactly the same age I was when I began playing these games with his mom.

I cleared Level 3 and leaned in closer to the screen.

I couldn’t see too well.

There was something in my eye. :)









Offline Battle

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Re: GAMERS THREAD
« Reply #1044 on: January 24, 2020, 11:56:23 am »
Friday, 24th January 2020
Ju Wenjun Retains Her Title!



2020 Women's World Chess Champion, Chinese GM Ju Wenjun retains her title after beating the challenger Russian GM Aleksandra Goryachkina in the third tie break game!








Offline Battle

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Re: GAMERS THREAD
« Reply #1045 on: January 26, 2020, 04:56:01 pm »
Sunday, 26th January 2020

In 1978, the Atari 2600 was a technical marvel in that the tiny hardware could be programmed to create many kinds of games including sports titles such as  'Basketball'.


Although simplistic by today's standards, 'Basketball' was revolutionary in that no other program like it ever existed before.



What I loved most about those early Atari 2600 games from the seventies was the box art because the artist imagined what a future would be if video games could actually look, feel, sound & play as if the gamer were on a court playing one-on-one basketball.
 

The future is here and now.

Video games today not only look, feel, sound & play as if the gamer were on a court playing one-on-one basketball but emulate the entire National Basketball Association experience; manage entire teams; run plays; custom attire; crowd participation; including likeness, specific behaviors, et cetera.



When the Sony PlayStation 3 was discontinued; while visiting Fayetteville, North Carolina a few years back saw 2K Sports' NBA 2K10 featuring Kobe Bryant on the cover art in the bargain bin at Wal*Mart for less than $5.


Kobe Bryant, 41, the legendary basketball star who spent 20 years with the Lakers, was killed when the helicopter he was traveling in crashed and burst into flames Sunday morning amid foggy conditions in the hills above Calabasas.

Looking back at those old Atari games, I am reminded of the excitement of what video games were & what they have become now.



Knowing that anything is possible when you put your mind, body & soul into it.

Kobe Bryant
1978 - 2020

Offline Battle

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Re: GAMERS THREAD
« Reply #1046 on: February 20, 2020, 04:59:12 am »
Thursday, 20th February 2o2o

The beauty & creativity of such instant classic computer role-playing games such as Pillars of Eternity: The White March (parts 1 & 2) is that the player can create many kinds of characters even historical characters.



Started a new game with the idea of what if Frederick Douglass fell ill onboard that fateful caravan traveling through The Eastern Reach?

Offline Emperorjones

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Re: GAMERS THREAD
« Reply #1048 on: March 16, 2020, 11:58:32 pm »

Sunday, 15th March 2o2o
Yep, chess players cheat online (and offline)
by David Waldstein




Until the sports world ground to a halt last week over the coronavirus outbreak, perhaps the biggest issue looming over professional sports in the United States was the Houston Astros’ cheating scandal.

The revelations of their scheme led Major League Baseball’s commissioner, Rob Manfred, to deliver a stern warning to all 30 club owners that there was a “culture of cheating” in the game.

But baseball’s malfeasance — sign-stealing or otherwise — has nothing on chess.

At prestigious live tournaments and among thousands of others playing daily online, cheating is a scourge.

Whether it’s a secret buzzer planted in a shoe, a smartphone smuggled into the bathroom, a particular flavor of yogurt delivered at a key moment — or just online players using computerized chess programs — chess has perhaps more cheating than any other game in the world.

“Of course it is a problem,” said Leinier Domínguez, the Cuban-born player currently ranked No. 3 in the United States.

“Because with all the advances in technology, it’s always a possibility. People have more chances and opportunities to do this sort of thing.”

In both chess and baseball, both real and rumored instances of cheating have been around for decades, but an explosion in technology and data over the past 10 to 15 years has made the problem much harder to curb for both.

The Astros’ scheme, which helped propel them to the 2017 World Series title, involved illegally deciphering the signs of opposing catchers via a live video feed and then banging on a trash can to signal the next pitch to the batter.

M.L.B. is now grappling with how to prevent similar electronic-based schemes in the future.

In chess, players at live tournaments are now required to leave their phones behind and pass through metal detectors before entering the playing area.

Some have even been asked to remove clothing and been searched.

And some tournaments now put players behind one-way mirrors to limit visual communication.

Pete Ryan But, like the Astros, many chess players still try.

Just last year, a grandmaster named Igors Rausis was caught examining a smartphone in a bathroom stall at a tournament in France.

In 2015, Gaioz Nigalidze of Georgia was barred for three years by FIDE, chess’s global governing body, and had his grandmaster status revoked for the same offense.

FIDE’s anti-cheating commission has recently stepped up its efforts to combat the problem.

The group met last month and resolved to give financial support to national federations that need it to help them root out cheating, and will share detection techniques with online chess platforms.

They are currently investigating 20 cases.

“The cheaters have been winning for a long time,” Arkady Dvorkovich, the president of FIDE, said in a telephone interview from Moscow.

“But in the last few months we showed our determination to fight it and I think people realize it is serious.’”

In 2013, Borislav Ivanov, a young player from Bulgaria, was essentially forced into retirement after he refused to take off his shoes to be searched for an electronic device that might be used to transmit signals to him.

A device was never found — Ivanov reportedly refused to remove his shoes because, he claimed, his socks were too smelly — but he retired shortly after the tournament.

Dominguez said he did not think the top 20 players in the world cheat:

It would be too risky to their reputations, he said. But he was at the 2012 chess Olympiad in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia, when accusations flew that the French team had used an elaborate cheating scheme.

The French team was accused of sending text messages to teammates, who would then stand in prearranged spots in the gallery.

Their location was supposedly the signal to a young, unproven player, Sébastien Feller, for the next move.

Feller denied the accusations but was suspended by the French chess federation, which said it discovered numerous suspicious texts.

That penalty was later overruled by a French court.

Dominguez was not playing Feller, but saw the furor at the time and its effects even on clean players.

“One of the dangers is that you get a bit paranoid about these things,” Dominguez said.

“Maybe in baseball as well. You feel insecure and lose focus on your game.”

There are players who cheat by sandbagging — intentionally playing poorly in order to qualify for a lower tournament and win the prize money.

There are some who create fake accounts online, build up the stature of that account, and then beat it in order to improve their own ranking.

Sometimes opponents agree to an outcome and share meager prize money.

In 1978, Viktor Korchnoi accused Anatoly Karpov of cheating with blueberry yogurt.

After Karpov received purple yogurt from a waiter during the game, Korchnoi worried that the flavor was a signal from someone on the outside.

Korchnoi later claimed his accusation was a joke, but officials took it seriously, ultimately mandating that the same snack would be delivered to both players at a predetermined time.

“It sounds crazy,” said Gerard Le-Marechal, a full-time monitor and anti-cheating detective for Chess.com, one of the world’s largest online chess platforms.

“But it’s a legitimate concern because there are so many ways to help a player.”

Le-Marechal is one of six people employed by the website to combat cheating.

They rely on sophisticated algorithms of statistical data, and Le-Marechal says he gets ping alerts throughout the day about cheaters — many amateurs, some professionals and even the occasional grandmaster.

Pete Ryan During a 40-minute telephone interview, at least three pings could be heard in the background, and Le-Marechal said all were alerts for cheating.

Daniel Rensch, a former junior champion and one of the owners of Chess.com, said his cheat-detection team had consulted for live tournaments to help stop cheating.

There is little doubt, he said, that haptic buzzers have already been used.

The idea is that, while one person plays, another watches from a remote location and simultaneously pores over potential moves on a computerized chess engine.

Then the accomplice would signal the best upcoming moves to the player via the haptic device that taps (or buzzes) a coded signal for the player.

A top player does not necessarily need to be told the exact move.

In some cases, the prearranged signal could simply be:

There is a winning move here.

Grandmasters are skilled enough to find it.

Buzzers have also fueled plenty of speculation in the Astros scandal.

Though they were found only to have cheated in the 2017 season, many suspected they continued beyond then — in part because of a video that showed second baseman Jose Altuve telling teammates not to rip off his shirt after hitting a home run during the 2019 postseason.

Altuve and the Astros denied the accusations, but it has done little to quell rumors and questions:

Could baseball players effectively use haptic devices?

“One hundred percent,” Rensch said,

“and it would not even be that complicated.”

During his team’s investigations, Rensch said, a knowledgeable source indicated that tiny electronic earpiece receivers, the size of a peppercorn, were being used to cheat in chess.

The insidious miniature earbuds, which are marketed online to students for the expressed purpose of cheating on exams, are so small that they cannot be detected.

But Rensch is more concerned with the scourge of online cheating on his platform.

Ever since the IBM computer Deep Blue beat the world champion Garry Kasparov in 1997, increasingly powerful chess engines have made cheating easy.

“It’s so much worse now,” Le-Marechal said.

“You have this almighty god that can tell you everything. It’s so tempting for everybody.”

About 10 years ago, as rank amateurs were beating grandmasters and rampant cheating threatened the legitimacy of online chess, Rensch and his fellow owners of the site held a meeting on the topic.

At that point they were hosting a million games a day — now it is 3.5 million — and someone suggested there might be nothing they could do to stem the rolling tide of deception.

“Just saying it out loud was enough to make us kind of vomit in the back of our throats,” Rensch said.

“We were like, ‘No, we have to do something.’ We have a responsibility as a steward of the game to try to solve this problem, that everybody and their cousin with a free freaking program was suddenly the best chess player in the world.”

The website also hosts tournaments for money, making cheat-detection even more critical.

So the team developed computer programs that mine statistical data to prove cheating, which they say has saved the online game.

They often do not even know how someone is cheating, but they can prove it is happening based on irregularities in the moves over time.

Rensch said they shut down sometimes tens of thousands of accounts a month, including some of professionals and grandmasters.


They can also spot irregularities in live matches.

According to Le-Marechal, they knew about Rausis months before he was busted in the bathroom in France last year. 

Even some professionals — whom Rensch’s team does not name publicly — have confessed, apologized and wondered how they were caught.

“I don’t care how you are doing it,” Rensch said.

“All I’m saying is, what you are doing is not reasonably possible based on the data I have, and I would win in court.”

Rensch and Le-Marechal believe that other sports, particularly baseball with its wide use of statistical data, can adopt their approach to catching cheaters.

Dvorkovich, the head of FIDE, added that just as the cheaters benefit from technology, the authorities can, too.

“No matter what the game is,” Dvorkovich said,

“when there are benefits from winning, you have cheating.”






Offline Emperorjones

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« Last Edit: March 20, 2020, 10:35:47 am by Emperorjones »