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4 Signs your Opponent is Cheating in Online Chess

Since the beginning of chess, players have been finding ways to gain an advantage during matches unfairly. The introductions of superhuman chess engines and internet games have progressed unethical play far beyond simply illegally moving pieces. Today, there are far too many players who use computers to assist their matches behind the cover of their screen. While chess websites have systems to catch fraudulent play, it may seem impossible for the average player to differentiate between good play and computer assistance. However this is not the case - there are several telltale signs of cheating in online chess.

1. They take 4-7 seconds for every move

One of the most obvious signs is when your opponent always takes a few seconds to make any move - no matter how obvious or difficult. This delay comes from the time it takes for a player to input the previous move into another software and for the software to produce the best counterplay. In contrast, non-cheating players typically have a few moves every game that they take a bit more time on.

2. They make seemingly strange moves consistently

Another sign of a cheater is if the player makes seemingly useless moves, repeats the position, or moves pieces back and forth. While every player will have their moments of brilliance, consistently finding moves that go against chess principles is a sign of superhuman play. Usually, you will realize the engine’s logic after a few more moves.

3. The moves they made match up with top engine moves

After every round of chess, it is good practice to review the game. Not only can you improve your chess skill, but you can also detect if someone might be assisted by a computer. If all of your opponent's moves are one of the top engine moves, that is a red flag that something fishy is happening - even the best players will make inaccuracies throughout the game.

4. Their games are consistently played with 90%+ accuracy

On sites like, it is possible to see the game history of yellow players. You can also review their games to see how accurate they were throughout each of their games. Computer-assisted players will always play at above 90% accuracy - such consistency is an impossible feat for humans.

How can you report online cheating?

If you have a good reason to suspect someone of cheating in online matches, you can send a report to the website. If a player is found guilty of using an unfair advantage, they will be banned.

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