Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Chess With a Non-Friend

Last year, I was using the "Chess With Friends" app, and a random user named "YoungMoneyRepublican" challenged me to a game. After a long gut laugh at the username and a profile pic of a very large head wearing a SF Giants cap slightly tilted, I went ahead and started playing him.

We traded a few standard opening moves. But then, he moved his knight to an unexpected spot, and then followed that with another move that completed a brilliant trap on one of my pieces. It was good...but I felt it was too good. Now, I'm decent at chess, and I recognize when excellent players kick my ass. But this didn't feel right. It was his username, really. Somehow, I didn't think anyone with a stupid name like that could play chess that well. It's assumptive and judgmental, sure. But I was bored, so...I started investigating.

His stats on Chess With Friends were phenomenal. 75 wins, 1 draw, 1 loss, in just 4 months. Average game was 24 moves (he would win moving all of 12 times). Well, that's kind of a red flag. This guy is a prodigy...or he's a cheat. Side Note: if you use the same username on multiple websites, it is unbelievably easy to stalk you. I won't share his name, but I found his Facebook page. All of his status updates, set to Public, were bits of wisdom that I suppose he wanted to put out there to inspire and motivate his friends. The thing is, while he posted everything like he was writing them, they were all lifted quotes from other people or shitty memes. "Nothing irritates me more than someone who constantly complains about a situation they’re in but does absolutely nothing to change it" - this pulls up several memes on Pinterest. Or, "I love Huey Lewis, but not the News, because the News is too depressing" - which is a joke by author Jarod Kintz...and probably about 14 comedians in 1989. What kind of a person passes along "quotable quotes" as his own? The same kind of person that cheats at chess online (and probably every online game).

I searched online and found a couple of free chess engines, which are programs that generate optimal moves for any match. I replayed our game from beginning to present, and he was indeed using the GNU 6 Chess Engine for every move. He was also playing 10 people at the same time on Chess With Friends, probably challenging random players to beef up his stats.

I was going to message him to tell him off and let him know that I knew...but then...I had a better idea. I found a stronger chess engine (Stockfish 5), so I started playing his computer with another computer. Worst case, it would end in a draw. Also, since he was so keen on beefing his stats quickly, I waited 4 or 5 days to move every turn. I figured I could make the game last at least 6 months...or I'd make him resign the game in anger. Because...fuck him.

Anyway, I'm posting about this because tonight, 8 months and 108 moves later, he finally had enough and resigned the game. Had we played it out until the end, it might have lasted a year.

If you play Chess With Friends, and YoungMoneyGOP (his current name) challenges you, either decline the game or play him with Stockfish. I uninstalled it. I'll play you in person, though.