The engine which has emerged victorious from the past four World Computer Chess Championships, Rybka, has been banned for cheating. But, uh, how can a computer cheat unless it's programmed to?
The answer lies not in its programming, but in its construction. The International Computer Games Association, which has both an awesome name and which runs the computer chess championships, has found that Rybka's creator, Vasik Rajlich, essentially plagiarised the work of other existing chess engines in creating his software, and has been stripped of all his titles and ordered to return all his prize money.
Funnily enough, the ICGA didn't take the action because Rybka had stolen code. They took it because Rybka had used other people's code and not given credit.
It's of course, bizarrely, not the first time scandal has hit the world of computerised chess. In 1997, chess superstar Gary Kasparov was defeated by IBM supercomputer Deep Blue, only for the Russian to accuse the computer (well, its technicians) of cheating, claims that were never proven.