From chess to college exams: hi-tech cheating has arrived


Chess and higher education united for an unlikely reason. From the case of the world champion to the exams in Portugal: “We have been teaching for 30 years and we have never seen this”.

Chess is under check. Don’t kill, but close to it.

The Sinquefield Cup, a tournament in the United States of America, made the news in different parts of the world because there are suspicions of cheating.

Hans Niemanna young man from 19 years oldalmost unknown, defeated the best player in the world, Magnus Carlsen – who has not lost in 53 duels and has led chess worldwide for more than a decade.

After that third round match, Magnus Carlsen announced that he would to give up of the tournament.

No justification.

just remembered Jose Mourinhoin a sentence by the Portuguese coach in 2014: “I would rather not talk. If I say what I feel, I’m in trouble.” – at the time, Mourinho was complaining about the refereeing team at a Chelsea game.

On the other side, winner Hans Niemann commented: “It must be embarrassing for a world champion to lose to an idiot like me.”

It’s the “idiot” can even be an idiot – in the sense of having “out of the box” ideas.

Is that Hans Niemann has already been expelled of an online chess game portal, by video call, for having used a computer to analyze the opponent’s movements.

Hikaru Nakamura, sixth best player on the planet according to the table most recent, was direct: “I think the Magnus Carlsen believes that Hans Niemann cheated. But there is no evidence“.

Hans Niemann himself reacted to these suggestions, after the game of the next round, rejecting any illegal trick: “I focus on chess for years, study. I made risky plays, they turned out“.

The portal Big Think it also wards off suspicions of cheating. Because computers don’t “think” like humans. Because Niemann “deserves the benefit of the doubt” and was simply better in this duel.

And he presents a hypothesis that he considers more likely: someone on the world champion’s team was a “spy”. Every top chess player has teams that prepare him for each game – and someone from Magnus Carlsen’s team may have passed information, strategies to the opponent.

Because, asks Big Think, “if a player used a computer to help him in a chess tournament, how would i receive the instructions liveduring the game, in front of your opponent?”

There are students in Portugal who answer this question.

Hear answers during exam

It’s just that “technological cheating” doesn’t stop at chess. Not for sport.

Got to teaching. And he has already arrived in Portugal, at least at universities portuguese.

The first peculiar moment reported to the ZAP by a university professor – who preferred to remain anonymous – took place a few years ago.

The debutant was a student who “I felt like I was praying” during an exam. was at talk to yourself and at a very low volume.

“We started looking at each other”, says the teacher. She later received the (very likely) indication that the student would be listening to the exam answers during the exam itself.

As? had a very small device placed in the ear, which only came out with a magnet. That is, I would have a MIC connected to a cell phone – both hidden – said the questions and listened to the answers through the headset tiny, also connected to mobile phone via bluetooth.

(Here is an answer to the Big Think question.)

“But we couldn’t prove anything. He could claim that he was reading the statement to himself, there are students who do that”, recalled the teacher.

Last academic year, the degree of sophistication has increased. Again during an exam.

One student started to rise The leaf of utterance vertically, as if making the movement of a scanner. His sweater was helping him.


“I started to think it was strange, I got the feeling that I had a chest camera, which was filming the questions. It’s just that I’ve been told that there are Google glasses or pens that can film. now have a device on t-shirt…it is more complicated to decipher”, he says.

The teacher became more attentive to the student, also for another reason: she found it “very strange” that the student started to answer several questions multiple choice in a few seconds.

In other words, the first moments of the exam will have served for the student to show all the questions to someone abroad, through the tiny camera.

There was, in fact, someone whispering answers in the ear: “In moments of greater silence, we realize that there was a voice inside his head (laughs). The answer was transmitted by someone, in the ear. And we started to be always close to him”.

Result: “In the first 20 questions, you got 19 right. From there, as we were close to him, he missed more. He couldn’t get through because we detected it. Otherwise, he would have passed.”

The problem for teachers – and copying is even a kind of pet hate for many teachers – is that they hardly avoid these technological systems. There is rules that prevent a brake to these news.

“We don’t know how to fight this. we have already fought the pens, which now have to be provided by us at the time of the exam. deliver the cell phone when they enter the room – but they can take two cell phones. AND there can be no magazine. We can’t even touch the pocket, or touch the student. Also can’t block signal, network access. It’s illegal”, enumerated the teacher.

Faced with rules that make this fight difficult, the teacher herself tries to fight, in the way she can: “Students are forced to completely turn off their cell phones. If there was a cell phone on, there was a way to detect it. Myself I walked with my cell phone, walking around the room, to see if it detected any network. I didn’t detect anything”.

When the time comes for correct the exams, then it is easy to see if there was a schema: “If several students write exactly the same sentence, we notice. It’s just that we’ve reached the point where there is one person abroad responding to six people at the same time. We saw six very similar exams, the same correct answers and the same wrong answers. Right answers are the result of those who study. Wrong answers being the same…it’s weird“.

However, it is (even) more complicated to stop these cheats when there is a site who sells these devices to communicate, virtually invisible headset. and the website explains how the scheme works and makes it clear: “This device is the best for copying in exams”.

“We’ve been teaching for 30 years and we’ve never seen anything like this,” laments the teacher.

abandonment on reunion

The day after the victory over Carlsen, Niemann was searched in detail before starting to play. Cell phones, earphones, radio transmitters… The entire body was searched. Nothing was found.

This Monday there was reunion between Magnus Carlsen and Hans Niemann. this time in a game onlineat the Julius Baer Generation Cup

The best of the world made a move…and give up. Turned off the camcorder and did not come back.

Carlsen returned to play the same day, in the same tournament. And he appeared. No word on what he’d done.

Nuno Teixeira da Silva, ZAP //

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