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Old September 21st 08, 05:23 PM posted to rec.games.chess.analysis,rec.games.chess.computer,rec.games.chess.misc
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First recorded activity by ChessBanter: Aug 2006
Posts: 9
Default crazy admin at FICS

I am writing this not to critize FICS, but in an attempt to find a
solution to a perplexing problem. Today, as White, I played a guest (as
a guest)and found myself quickly on the defensive. My opponent seemed to
'know' the Opening well, and I was being pushed back. I fought on, and
played a move which gave up two pieces for a rook. I hoped to break up
my opponent's attack and give me a little relief. However, he played a
nice in between move and left the rook hang for a forced mate in about 6
or 7 moves. At this point, I felt he may have been using a computer, but
he could have simply been a strong player. I resigned, and my 'message'
window filled up with lines and lines of "HAHAHAHAHA"s. Then stuff like
"IDIOT", "LOSER", and the like. Earlier today, I chanced to read about
characters like this and they are called "Cyber-bullies".

This is not the first time I have run into this character. He
automatically 'censors' you, so you cannot 'say' anything back to him.
Even if you log in as another player, you will get a message saying he
does not receive messages from unregistered players. The reason I
believe him to be an admin, gone wrong, is the fact that he can keep the
time ticking off his clock for minutes (I have left it go for over 15
minutes once,)but yet not get flagged for overstepping the time control.
Today I 'followed' him, and he did just that to his next opponent, who
had a won game. His opponent was forced to resign after a couple of
minutes. This has happened too many times to be a mere coincidence.

Does anyone know of a possible way to handle this situation? I
complained to FICS on their site, but received an answer that all their
admins were good guys, and would never do such a thing. Perhaps if
everyone who this happened to would write, there might be steps taken.
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Old September 21st 08, 05:54 PM posted to rec.games.chess.analysis,rec.games.chess.computer,rec.games.chess.misc
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First recorded activity by ChessBanter: Apr 2005
Posts: 35
Default crazy admin at FICS

"nospam" wrote in message
...
I am writing this not to critize FICS, but in an attempt to find a solution
to a perplexing problem. Today, as White, I played a guest (as a guest)and
found myself quickly on the defensive. My opponent seemed to 'know' the
Opening well, and I was being pushed back. I fought on, and played a move
which gave up two pieces for a rook. I hoped to break up my opponent's
attack and give me a little relief. However, he played a nice in between
move and left the rook hang for a forced mate in about 6 or 7 moves. At
this point, I felt he may have been using a computer, but he could have
simply been a strong player. I resigned, and my 'message' window filled up
with lines and lines of "HAHAHAHAHA"s. Then stuff like "IDIOT", "LOSER",
and the like. Earlier today, I chanced to read about characters like this
and they are called "Cyber-bullies".

This is not the first time I have run into this character. He
automatically 'censors' you, so you cannot 'say' anything back to him.
Even if you log in as another player, you will get a message saying he
does not receive messages from unregistered players. The reason I believe
him to be an admin, gone wrong, is the fact that he can keep the time
ticking off his clock for minutes (I have left it go for over 15 minutes
once,)but yet not get flagged for overstepping the time control. Today I
'followed' him, and he did just that to his next opponent, who had a won
game. His opponent was forced to resign after a couple of minutes. This
has happened too many times to be a mere coincidence.

Does anyone know of a possible way to handle this situation? I complained
to FICS on their site, but received an answer that all their admins were
good guys, and would never do such a thing. Perhaps if everyone who this
happened to would write, there might be steps taken.


I'm not sure it necessarily means that it's an admin doing it - I'm no
expert in this area but I believe that some people have managed to somehow
skew the computer timers to fool the server into thinking that their time
has not been exceeded.

Sometimes I run into such characters (I've had that time skew thing a few
times) and I'm not sure there's much you can do except move on to the next
game. It happens more on FICS than on paid servers such as ICC and
playchess.com.

Regards,
Arfur


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Old September 22nd 08, 01:09 PM posted to rec.games.chess.computer
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First recorded activity by ChessBanter: Apr 2005
Posts: 2,598
Default crazy admin at FICS

[Cross-post trimmed]

nospam wrote:
This is not the first time I have run into this character. [...]
The reason I believe him to be an admin, gone wrong, is the fact
that he can keep the time ticking off his clock for minutes (I have
left it go for over 15 minutes once,)but yet not get flagged for
overstepping the time control. Today I 'followed' him, and he did
just that to his next opponent, who had a won game.


The first thing to ask is did your opponent's clock actually go
negative and, if so, did you try to claim the game on time? As I
recall, the default on FICS is that you have to explicitly claim the
game.

It's very unlikely to be an admin. People become admins on servers
such as FICS because they want to help people, not because they want
to be abusive to unregistered users. In any case, the only kind of
cheating that could only be done by the admins is the sort that
involves changes to the server software -- but I would imagine that
any changes to the software are reviewed by other people, which would
make it hard to slip any significant amount of malicious code in
there. Any other kind of cheating could be done by essentially
anyone.

A more likely cause is this. If you're on a slow network, it can take
several seconds for your move to reach the server, and several seconds
for your opponent's move to reach you. This would put you at a
serious disadvantage against an opponent on a faster network.
Timekeeping on FICS is, to some extent reliant on a piece of software
called timeseal. In effect, it sends a message to the server with
your move, that says, `I promise this move was played at such-and-such
a time.' The mechanism by which it does this is secret (timeseal is
available only as an executable) but there are rumours that some
people have reverse-engineered it. As such, they can write their own
timeseal that says, `I promise that this move took hardly any time at
all.' It's possible that there are other ways to manipulate the
clocks.

Does anyone know of a possible way to handle this situation? I
complained to FICS on their site, but received an answer that all
their admins were good guys, and would never do such a thing.


Well, you've poisoned your own well, there. It's a pretty extra-
ordinary claim that an admin would be cheating like that, so you need
really good evidence before you even start to ask the question of
them.

All I can suggest is that you apologise for accusing the admins of
cheating and give them the full details of what happened, sticking to
the facts and avoiding speculating about what the cause might be.


Dave.

--
David Richerby Devil Tool (TM): it's like a handy
www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~davidr/ household tool that's possessed
by Satan!
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Old September 22nd 08, 09:18 PM posted to rec.games.chess.analysis,rec.games.chess.computer,rec.games.chess.misc
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First recorded activity by ChessBanter: Oct 2006
Posts: 1,305
Default crazy admin at FICS

nospam wrote:
I am writing this not to critize FICS, but in an attempt to find a
solution to a perplexing problem. Today, as White, I played a guest (as
a guest)and found myself quickly on the defensive. My opponent seemed to
'know' the Opening well, and I was being pushed back. I fought on, and
played a move which gave up two pieces for a rook. I hoped to break up
my opponent's attack and give me a little relief. However, he played a
nice in between move and left the rook hang for a forced mate in about 6
or 7 moves. At this point, I felt he may have been using a computer, but
he could have simply been a strong player. I resigned, and my 'message'
window filled up with lines and lines of "HAHAHAHAHA"s. Then stuff like
"IDIOT", "LOSER", and the like. Earlier today, I chanced to read about
characters like this and they are called "Cyber-bullies".

This is not the first time I have run into this character. He
automatically 'censors' you, so you cannot 'say' anything back to him.
Even if you log in as another player, you will get a message saying he
does not receive messages from unregistered players. The reason I
believe him to be an admin, gone wrong, is the fact that he can keep the
time ticking off his clock for minutes (I have left it go for over 15
minutes once,)but yet not get flagged for overstepping the time control.
Today I 'followed' him, and he did just that to his next opponent, who
had a won game. His opponent was forced to resign after a couple of
minutes. This has happened too many times to be a mere coincidence.

Does anyone know of a possible way to handle this situation? I
complained to FICS on their site, but received an answer that all their
admins were good guys, and would never do such a thing. Perhaps if
everyone who this happened to would write, there might be steps taken.


Don't play at FICS - esp. as a "guest"

--
Kenneth Sloan
Computer and Information Sciences +1-205-932-2213
University of Alabama at Birmingham FAX +1-205-934-5473
Birmingham, AL 35294-1170
http://KennethRSloan.com/
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