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Version vom 21:55, 8. Aug. 2010

Hin und wieder versuchen Cheater sich auf die Weltrangliste zu schmuggeln. Diese Seite beschäftigt sich mit einigen der bekanntesten Cheater. Sie sind eine ganz eigene Kategorie: Nicht alle Scores, die den Regeln widersprechen, sich absichtlich entstanden und nicht alle Cheater werden so bekannt, wie diese hier! Nennen wir diesen Artikel die Hall of Shame.


[bearbeiten] João Livramento

João Livramento wurde dem Authoritative Minesweeper mit den Zeiten 3-12-55 am 2. Februar 2001 hinzugefügt. Damit war er der zweitschnellste Spieler der Welt. (Lasse Nyholm hatte 3-16-47). João schickte Screenshots und seine Zeiten wurden akzeptiert. Die einzige Überraschung war, wie ein so guter Spieler so lange brauchen konnte, die Seite zu finden.

[bearbeiten] Fake? Strike One

João Livramento behauptete eine 12 geschafft zu haben, nur einen Monat nach seiner ersten 28
João Livramento behauptete eine 12 geschafft zu haben, nur einen Monat nach seiner ersten 28

Die Begeisterung brach ab als Matt McGinley am 11. Februar 2001 im Guestbook schrieb:

Okay, Ive been looking over Joao's 12 second board and Ive come to the conclusion that there is no possible way that anyone can complete that board in 12 seconds. At the fastest, maybe 17 or 18, but surely not 12!!!! I was wrong about Sriram's 2 sec. board and I might be wrong about this one, so respond to this if you disagree with me. But there's just no way!

Lance Votroubek antwortete:

It looks like his 12 second board is doable in 12 seconds... coming from a person who can't even break 20 in intermediate. But if you are saying that he is faking it (I'm not accusing or anything), it wouldn't be so intelligent of him to claim to have a world record, ya know?

Joe Nuss hielt die 12 auch für echt:

for what its worth, i think joao did it. a lot of the board openened with that one click, and i think if he played a near flawless game he could have done it. however, that would raise the question that if he got a 12 on that kind of crappy board, how did he not get even better on a really good board? [...] i mean, ive gotten better boards than that before.

Die Situation beruhigte sich für einige Tage. Es ist leicht jemanden, der schneller als man selbst ist, als Cheater zu bezeichnen. Vielleich hatte João seine Zeiten schon früher erreicht und mittlerweile wieder aufgehört zu spielen, bevor er die Seite fand. Das würde das plötzliche auftreten eines Weltklassespielers erklären

[bearbeiten] Fake? Strike Two

Dieses Szenario wurde unwahrscheinlich, als Lance Votroubek am 14. Februar 2001im Guestbook schrieb:

Has anybody else noticed that Joao was already in the record books... with an intermediate 28????

João had earlier submitted a record of 28 seconds made 27 Dec 2000, but his 12 had been made in January! Damien Moore failed to note this because the site did not yet use a database to prevent duplicates. Matt relaunched his attack, claiming that it was impossible to "go from 28 to 12 in a matter of months". However, Joe retorted that Matt was hypocritical: "you of all people should know [...] didnt you go from like 30's to 18 in a few months?"

Matt replied swiftly and sharply:

Joe, I went from 32 in September to 18 on Nov. 21. A considerable jump in a short amount of time, yes, but listen here. I got 17 on Jan 2. I havent been close since. Yes you can go quickly thorugh the 20's, but once you get into the teens, breaking your records every month (or less in this case) is nearly impossible. Yes, you can get very lucky and get a great board and take off three or four seconds off your PR, but Joao's board is not great. A sweeper with an expert time of 38 would have a hard time playing through that board in under 15 seconds. Yes I may sound harsh, but there is no way, ANYBODY can get through that board in 12 seconds!

Joe admitted that his friend once had tricked him by editing screenshots in Photoshop, so the screenshots could have been easily doctored. This led to a brief debate about whether Camtasia videos should be required for rankings. It was quickly realised that many computers could not handle the program, and Lance declared that the only way to discover fakes was to continue scrutinising games.

[bearbeiten] Fake? Strike Three

The case against João took an amusing turn 16 Feb 2001 when Philip Culp observed:

Not to be a dork or anything but [...] I also doubt it because on the screen shot of his beginner the board was 9x9 and all the others are 8x8 which makes it hard to believe the 12 and his other scores.

This new information finally convinced Joe:

ok, joao=fake. that 9x9 beginner proves it. thats pretty funny, too :). take him off the lists, damien, you're second fastest sweeper in the world now, man! good job! :)

Damien immediately wrote João for an explanation. However, Khor Eng Tat posted in the Guestbook on 19 Feb 2001, shocked that his beginner records were also on a 9x9 grid! This led to the discovery that Windows ME had been released 14 Sep 2000 with the 9x9 grid as standard.

[bearbeiten] Struck Out

The João scandal became less important when both Damien and Sriram Sridharan passed him in the rankings that weekend. As Damien wrote in the Guestbook about his new 53 on Expert:

That feels good...I finally beat Joao and by two seconds! Too bad that Sriram had to get a 51's getting hot (Lasse 66 Sriram 67 Myself 68 total).

Matt and Joe then demanded the removal of João from the rankings. Unfortunately, João remained on the rankings until April 2001 because Damien had been banned from the internet by his parents. Matt wrote a rant about João at the Intermediate Hall of Fame to vent his frustration, but ultimately João was reduced to his earlier scores.

[bearbeiten] Next Batter

João was the first cheater to be temporarily accepted into the world rankings. His debacle increased usage of video by the sweeping community, although the only program available was of limited usefulness and had been discovered only two months earlier. Estimated board difficulty was proven to vary wildly according to the skill of the player involved.

In the end, João was caught due to the contrast with his earlier submissions and his lack of response to inquiries. (3BV had not yet been invented, but his 12 (47) and 55 (168) both require exceptional skill, especially from someone with 3-28-XXX from a month earlier). A consequence of this was Damien Moore being denied the 2nd world rank for three weeks. By the time João was reduced to his earlier scores, Sriram had passed Damien on the ranking. This demonstrated that an accurate ranking would need better methods of detecting cheats.

[bearbeiten] James Shannon

Lasse Nyholm had recently set a new world record of 42 in Expert mode when this email arrived at the Authoritative Minesweeper on 08 Nov 2002:

A friend of mine told me I should consider looking up the minesweeper records and submitting my times. I was downloading some software on his machine for him and was sweeping while I was waiting. He watched me get a 63 on expert and got very excited. I promised him I would look into it.

I have attached a video of my most recent expert game--tied for my best time (38s). If you are interested, a bit about my minesweeping history follows.

I first learned to play minesweeper when I was seven, but I didn't really play much until I was 11 or 12. I stopped playing on beginner and intermediate about two and a half years ago (personal best of 1s and 19s respectively). In those days I played maybe an hour a week and had an expert time of 119s. Around July of 2000, I developed a bad case of insomnia. I slept on average 3 hours a week for 7 months. It was not that long at all before I was completely bored with staring at the ceiling night after night and I would sweep to pass the time. By the time I started sleeping healthily again, my expert time was down to 44s. I only play about an hour a day now, just to keep my speed up.

James Shannon Vancouver, Canada Born: March 10, 1982

[bearbeiten] A Perfect Video

The video is amazingly fast and is on a 137 3BV board. However, Dion Tiu proved in 2005 that sub40 was possible on a sup130 board. The video prevents the game from simply being a doctored screenshot. The timer in the video is accurate when compared to a stopwatch. The game is played on Windows 98 but the Timer Jump bug does not occur; however, this bug does not occur in all games. It could be possible that game speed was increased and a correct timer added, but the level of play is very advanced and would require someone already very skilled. Although he claimed an Expert world record he did not also claim an Intermediate record. As a result, he would not have been ranked 1st in the world (the usual aim of cheaters). He could have used a solver, but the mouse cursor does not move in robotic straight lines. Most solvers completely solve each area but James occasionally misses a solveable area and returns later. Also, most solvers do not use a mixed style of flagging and NF play. Unless he made his own clone, he could not UPK the game. In short, it was the perfect video.

[bearbeiten] A Perfect Crime

Damien Moore sent the video to Lasse Nyholm and Dan Cerveny. Both were uncomfortable with the lack of mistakes and the lack of hesitation when guessing. There was not one wasted click in the entire video. Damien wrote James for more evidence and prompted for a better Intermediate score but did not receive a response. The scores were rejected due to suspicion.

It was not until a few years later that Damien spotted a mistake while watching the video for fun. You may want to spot it first yourself:

The mistake? There is an incorrect number in the bottom right corner.

There was one other, less obvious mistake as well. Minesweeper was released with WEP 8 Oct 1990 when James was eight and a half, more than a year after he started playing! The game did not come with Windows until 6 Apr 1992, when he was ten.

[bearbeiten] Daniela Weingut

It is difficult to describe the entity known as Daniela. Perhaps it is best to let her do the talking:

28 Oct 2001 in the Guestbook:

WHAT HAVE I DONE??? Yesterday I managed only 7 HOURS of sweeping! I start doing things that have nothing to do with Minesweeper! Today I'll spend 13 hours playing Minesweeper. [...] I still make many mistakes with the new playing technique. When I practice more often, I make less mistakes. My speed has already improved.

1 Nov 2001 in the Guestbook:

I have access to the net only sporadically now, so if you don't hear from me for a long time, don't worry. I'm still going to break my best time because I can still play Minesweeper on my second computer which has no internet access. Only Camtasia doesn't run like a dream there, so I can only record at 5 frames/second. And yes, switching the versions is really better for speed. I tried it out today. I played on a 16*16 board with 39 mines (what if I get the dreamboard and lose it?) and played as fast as possible. I made a 23.

23 Nov 2001 in the Guestbook:

I can tell you how to go below 100. I did it this way: I forced myself to play slowly for about one month (after I got 136). At least a couple of times in a day I really wanted to go fast, but I didn't do it. After some time I couldn't stand it any more, I just couldn't hold myself back, played fast and went from 136 to 96 and after a few minutes to 85. Between the 96 and the 85 I got a 35 on int and a 6 on beg. This may sound silly, but it works. BTW, you can see a 57 no marking video in about 3 days.

24 Nov 2001 in Minesweeper Addicts:

I just got a 77 [...] and finally a 57! It feels so good. I only have the 57 on video, it's in the files section. Oh dear, I'm so happy!

Matt McGinley replied to Addicts congratulating Daniela for her fake Expert video. Owen Fox wrote a strongly worded reply in the Guestbook and accused her of cheating. However, it was impossible for her to have cheated...because someone had watched her play!

[bearbeiten] Daniela and Andrea

Andrea wrote the Guestbook and announced that Daniela was her sister. The game had to be real, because she watched Daniela play. Several people continued to attack the video as a fake, which led to an amusing exchange of letters. Andrea claimed that Daniela was honest and did not know how to cheat, and that strange behaviour in the video was due to errors from running Camtasia on an old computer.

Her persistant arguments convinced David Barry and Owen Fox to that Andrea and Daniela were the same person. Andrea had strong arguments against this:

I'm really her sister and not her. She hates Linkin Park, it's my favourite group; she hates loud music and dancing; she has never tried to drink alcoholic drinks, because she thinks it affects her sweeping. she's my opposite, because I like all these things and you see, she hates MTV.

Perhaps Andrea was telling the truth? A month earlier, Daniela apologised for a post in the Guestbook by claiming her sister had written it.

[bearbeiten] Cheater or a Joker?

Matt McGinley and Owen Fox were convinced Daniela was a cheater. Roelof Smit and David Barry believed the video had to be a joke, because it was so badly made. Admitting that the game was a joke would have saved Daniela. However, she insisted that it was real:

If I really wanted to cheat, I would've... ...written a Visual Basic application that gives me the dream board. ...made a better intermediate time. ...used the League version and I would have written an application that makes the timer go three times slower. ...made a new world record. ...done it a long time before.

[bearbeiten] We Have a Cheater

Several mistakes in the video, such as flags appearing after the cursor had left squares, could be attributed to a very slow frame rate in the video. One obvious mistake is when Chording occurs in one part of the board while she is solving elsewhere. Although some of the solving is brilliant, much of it is horribly innefficient. The worst mistake is that the timer stays at 0 for the entire game!

Others factors to consider: Daniela claimed to play more than 12 hours every day; Daniela knew how to cheat and could program; Daniela claimed a jump from 136 to 85 in a single day; Daniela scored 85 and then claimed she would provide a 57 second video in three days using her new technique!

Players started getting really annoyed with Daniela. Things finally calmed down when Joe Nuss posted the final comment on the topic:

why doesnt everyone cool out? it's obvious damien won't except daniela's scores; if everyone is so hard core anti-her, why dont you just not give her the satisfaction of attention? duh and im assuming the "obvious flaw" that someone mentioned before is the fact that the timer doesnt move and stays at 0, yes? why anyone is even looking beyond that to minute points such as when the smiley face changes to sunglasses and her style of play and the jerkiness of the animation? rest easy fellas; daniela won't be on the records list next time it's updated.

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