Computer Program Catches Chess Cheaters

Professor aims 'to model how people make decisions'
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Mar 20, 2012 2:18 PM CDT
A chess expert has developed a computer program to catch cheaters.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Cheaters beware: A chess wiz has developed a program to catch you. Potential cheating has become a noted problem in chess, the New York Times reports. Alleged text messaging prompted a five-year ban on a trio of players in 2010; in 2006, a player was accused of using a computer in the bathroom in an incident dubbed Toiletgate. The controversy inspired an international chess master and University of Buffalo professor to develop a computer program to investigate cheating.

Kenneth Regan reviewed some 200,000 chess matches dating back to the 19th century, building a database of the moves played. His work compares human players' moves to the ones a computer would make. When a player's honesty is in doubt, Regan's program analyzes the player with reference to his or her skill ranking. At this point, the program is only robust enough to function as supporting evidence following a cheating allegation. But his work matters to more than chess, says a computer science professor: He's "trying to model how people make decisions." (Read more computer stories.)

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