[ExI] sports blammisphy

John Grigg possiblepaths2050 at gmail.com
Sat Feb 5 20:53:45 UTC 2011

I have a Canadian friend who somewhat fits into the math whiz
category, and he has his own nearly unbeatable formula for playing
Axis & Allies the popular boardgame, and taking on the role of the
Allies to stomp the Axis.  And of course long range strategic bombers
are a key element...  Nukes as far as I know are no longer elements of
the game, they were considered too much of an imbalancing factor. lol


On 2/5/11, Mr Jones <mrjones2020 at gmail.com> wrote:
> This reminds me of a Numb3rs episode in which a kid came up with a formula
> that could determine which baseball players were using steroids,based off of
> their stats and such.
> Cool stuff.
> On Feb 5, 2011 1:31 PM, "spike" <spike66 at att.net> wrote:
> Hey since we are talking sports, I have one which you might be able to help
> solve.
> Recently the French chess federation has accused three of its own players of
> cheating in last September's Chess Olympiad:
> http://gambit.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/01/22/french-chess-federation-accuses-i
> ts-own-players-of-cheating/
> About ten years ago, as chess software was just getting to the point where
> it could compete with top rated humans in money tournaments, we discussed on
> ExI all the tricky ways cheaters could rig up some manner of I/O device to
> communicate with a computer with one's hands in plain sight: use sensors on
> the toes for instance.  To input a move, one would need to communicate four
> numbers between 1 and 8 inclusive, so it would be row and column from the
> starting square, and row and column from the ending square.  That scheme
> might work for the human to computer data channel.  Then the computer could
> send moves back with a speech generator, transmitting signals via radio to
> an earpiece disguised as a hearing aid, or perhaps some contraption rigged
> to the toes that would generate a number of pressure pulses.  For musically
> inclined chess players, it might even be a tone generator glued to a tooth,
> so that the wearer could hear it but no one else.
> We recognized at the time that a good instrumentation engineer could do
> something like this singlehandedly.  I think I could do it.
> Next keep in mind that modern top chess tournaments now have significant
> prize money.  The recent Tata Steel tournament gave out 10k euros (to an
> American of all oddball things!)  Of course it is obviously nowhere near
> golf-ish or tennis-ish prizes, enough to motivate cheaters.
> Chess software has steadily improved, such that any one of a dozen
> commercially available chess software packages running on a laptop can
> defeat all humans regularly.  In fall of 2009, a strong South American
> tournament with at least two grandmasters was won by a cell phone.  I mean
> it wasn't calling a friend; it was completely self contained, playing
> grandmaster strength chess.  Human grandmasters were losing at chess to a
> goddam telephone!  Had I been there I would hurl the bastard to the floor
> and stomp on it.
> In any case, I thought of a way to look at the games after the fact, using
> just the game scores, and figuring out a way to determine if the players had
> somehow consulted a computer with some tricky I/O device.  The method I
> thought of is computationally intensive and statistical, but I think it
> would work.  I will post the idea later today or tomorrow, so you can have a
> chance to think about it.  That way I can see if this idea is as cool and
> tricky as I believed when I thought of it.  We could theoretically take the
> game scores of all the games, see if any others among the several hundred
> players in the Olympiad cheated.
> spike
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