03 December 2015

FIDE Anti-Cheating Proposal

I ended a recent post, Ethics in Chess Politics - Stories (November 2015), with a brief discussion of an alleged cheating case from earlier this year:-

'Case 3/2015: Complaint by Michaela Sandu against Natalia Zhukova and 14 other players' [...] A proper look at this case should discuss the evolving relationship between the Ethics Commission and the FIDE Anti-Cheating Committee. I'll save that for another time.

That evolving relationship is not so easy to pin down, at least not for an outsider. In June 2014, the FIDE/ACP Anti-Cheating Committee released a proposal ('Annex 34'; see FIDE > Minutes, '2014 Tromso Commissions Reports' for copies of FIDE working documents) in preparation for the FIDE Congress at Tromso.

The document was discussed during the General Assembly at that Congress (August 2014), where the minutes tell us,

5.5. Anti-Cheating Committee • The Anti-Cheating Commission was formed because FIDE was faced with much criticism about cheating, particularly in youth competitions. We spoke to many Commissions and we agreed with them. There are points that are particularly important: Firstly, there are two organs that undertake these matters, there is an investigation chamber which will take the details and decide whether it should go to the Ethics Commissions for sentencing. [...]

There is Ken Regan’s technical system which finds out cases where the player who usually plays at 2200 rating finds out that the same player suddenly plays at 2900 level. I believe the statistics prove this enough for conviction. Our lawyer and Mr. Rivello did not accept this and said we needed more evidence. [Discussion] On the final day, Mr. Israel Gelfer asked to confirm that the report was approved. Mr. Nigel Freeman replied in the negative as there was no quorum and despite the absence of objections, the vote is needed.

I discussed the lack of a quorum in a post from last year, FIDE General Assembly Derailed (October 2014). After the same Congress, the Anti-Cheating Committee (ACC) released minutes of its own meeting ('Annex 73'; 'FIDE/ACP Anti-Cheating Committee Meeting, - 8 August 2014, Tromso, Norway'), with an attachment containing an updated proposal. FIDE doesn't use a document control system, but this version can be identified by its 'Section 1 - Commission Structure', which was Section 5 in the previous version.

Later FIDE issued a Press Release: 2014 4th quarter FIDE PB, saying

2014 4th quarter FIDE Presidential Board meeting; 8 November 2014; Sochi, Russia [...] The Presidential Board approved the new proposal of the Anti-cheating Commission and accordingly the new permanent Commission is now established and will start working immediately.

In fact, the lack of a quorum prevented FIDE from establishing a new permanent commission, so that action is awaiting final approval. As for the ACC document, it will have a tremendous impact on how high level tournaments are run and deserves a separate look.

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