17 January 2019

FIDE's 'Anti-Cheating' / 'Fair Play' Commission 2018

Let's go back to last month's post on Spectating the 89th FIDE Congress, which took place in Batumi, Georgia, October 2018. One of the most important FIDE commissions guiding chess in the 21st century is undoubtedly the group responsible for overseeing the increasing use of computers to cheat. We last looked at the group's activities in FIDE's Anti-Cheating Commission 2017 (January 2018). The minutes of the General Assembly (GA; follow the 'Spectating' post for links to all source material) inform that the group's name has changed:-

Fair Play Commission – formerly Anti-Cheating Commission

The minutes also inform that the commission released three documents during the Congress:-

7.19. Fair Play Commission.
Annex 24 is Anti-Cheating Protection Measures.
Annex 25 is Anti-Cheating Regulations.
Annex 53 is Commission’s minutes from Batumi.

The most logical way of examining those documents is by taking them in reverse order. First here are the key points from the commission’s report of its meeting:-

Annex 53; Anti-Cheating Commission; Minutes of the ACC Meeting; Batumi, 29 September 2018

In attendance for ACC: Israel Gelfer (Chair), Yuri Garrett (Secretary) [...] The Chair opened the meeting at 9.10 am and briefly illustrated the history and work of the Commission. He also illustrated the reasons behind the proposed change of name of the Commission. Upon ending his prolusion [introduction] he gave the floor to the Secretary.

The Secretary presented to the audience the two documents that are put to the attention of the GA, i.e. the AC [Anti-Cheating] Regulations and the AC Protection Measures. He also stressed that the anti-cheating effort is not, primarily, a regulatory effort but rather a cultural shift: cheating should not only be prosecuted but rather prevented. [...]

Finally, the Secretary stressed, yet again and in the name of ACC, that
i) ACC is lacking proper financial support from Fide;
ii) three key tools still need to be implemented: the Commission Web Site, the On-line repository and the Screening Tool; and
iii) the number of the members of the ACC should be increased to 15, with 5 Councillors (in addition to Chair and Secretary). The two extra Councillors are justified in the light of the heavy duty that is entrusted to the Commission.

We already saw the first two of those last bullets ('i' & 'ii') in the post on 'FIDE's ACC 2017', so it's easy to conclude that FIDE doesn't give the commission a high priority. This is confirmed by the composition of the commission, which was included in the recent announcement, FIDE Commissions (fide.com), and which, besides a new chairperson, shows 5 councillors and 10 members, the same as any other commission.

The next document released in Batumi covered 'Regulations'. Here is an outline of its structure:-

Annex 25; Anti-Cheating Regulations; Draft: Version 27/06/2018

I. Purpose, Guiding principles, Definitions
1. These regulations deal with the investigation of suspected cheating incidents.
2. “Cheating” in these regulations means:
i) the deliberate use of electronic devices (Art. 11.3.2 FIDE Laws of Chess) or other sources of information or advice (Art. 11.3.1 FIDE Laws of Chess) during a game; or
ii) the manipulation of chess competitions such as, including but not limited to, result manipulation, sandbagging, match fixing, rating fraud, false identity, and deliberate participation in fictitious tournaments or games.

II. Jurisdiction
1. The Anti-Cheating Commission (ACC) has jurisdiction in all cheating-related matters, including false accusations. People subject to ACC jurisdiction include players, supporting persons and team captains. [...]
2. All FIDE-rated over the board games are subject to ACC jurisdiction. [...]

III. Complaints and Investigations
A. Triggering an investigation
B. Complaints

IV. Investigation Procedure
V. Manifestly Unfounded Accusations
VI. Procedural Rules
VII. Sanctions

The last released document covered 'Measures'. Here is its outline:-

Annex 24; Anti-Cheating Protection Measures

Section 1 – Levels of protection (A) Events that require maximum levels of protection: FIDE Level 1 events
(B) Events that require increased levels of protection: FIDE Level 2 events
(C) Events for which standard levels of protection may suffice: FIDE Level 3 events

Section 2 – Prevention
Tournament organizers shall adopt one of the three levels of the AC Protection Measures: standard protection, increased protection, or maximum protection. These levels of protection are to correspond with the three types of tournaments identified in Section 1.

Section 3 – Different standards of AC Protection Measures
1) Standard protection - to apply to tournaments identified in Section 1 (C).
2) Increased protection - to apply to tournaments identified in Section 1 (B).
3) Maximum protection - to apply to tournaments identified in Section 1 (A).

Annex A
The following technical equipment is recommended for cheating prevention, according to the level of the tournament and to local laws:

This outline omits most of the detail, like definitions for event levels. For example, 'FIDE Level 1 events' are defined as:-

Official FIDE events as defined by the FIDE Events Commission or FIDE World Championship and Olympiad Commission; Round-robins with an average rating of 2600 or more (2400 for Women’s events); Events with prize funds in excess of EUR 100,000.

How does all of this work in practice? One example would be 2018 Batumi Chess Olympiad: Anti cheating Measures and Procedures (fide.com; September 2018).


Later: I forgot to mention that the articles of the 'FIDE Laws of Chess' mentioned in 'Annex 25; Anti-Cheating Regulations' can be found in Fide Laws of Chess (fide.com; 'taking effect from 1 January 2018'). The relevant section is 'Article 11: The conduct of the players'.

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