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Great article!

What's to stop a spectator from using a laser pointing device (or similar) to point to a square on the board? Would players then be forced to replay the game?

@desertbuj That would definitely be possible. Or coughing when the opponent makes a blunder. Or using hand signals.

The game wouldn't be replayed unless it was obvious there was cheating or interference in the game. Most likely pointing to a square on the board wouldn't help them. Plus this can happen at any tournament as the spectators are usually very close to the players. At every tournament there are anti-cheating measures, and preventing audience interference would most likely have some precautions. But this is an issue at every tournament and not particularly one here more than other tournaments. The players concerns are mostly to do with how enjoyable + easy to play the games are in the environment.

As far as I know, cheating is pretty rare in super-tournaments.

Very nice writeup. TBH, it sounds like brewing a nice cup of coffee and watching it on is better than attending it live.

@desertbuj This unfortunately is always an issue. Even if all the spectators are silent and no monitors are visible, you could imagine someone devising a system where they look at the spectators and certain hand signals (touching your ear/nose) mean it's +- for white. Let your imagination run wild with the possibilities.

At some point though, you have to recognize that the main deterrent from this happening is the integrity of the players and the huge amount of prestige they would lose if caught in such a scheme.

Personally, I think what is most troubling is how distracting the audience/venue has been to the players' concentration. If you have multiple players complaining multiple times, something seriously needs to be changed. Great write-up.

@PeteyPeteRepeatPete1 @NoseKnowsAll The elevated spectator area is why I began to think of a laser pointer rather than hand signals, etc. Anyone could point to the best move and help a player even if the player did not want to cheat. But yes after a few seconds of thinking, it is clear that the situation would be handled exactly the same as a spectator simply shouting out a move

I really like lichess doing chess journalism! It's super awesome!