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Draft FIDE/ACP Anti-Cheating Proposal

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15 May 2014

The Anti Cheating Committee is glad to announce the result of almost one year of hard work: the onofficial FIDE/ACP Anti-Cheating Proposal. The official proposal is the one that will be published on the FIDE website.
The draft proposal can be downloaded here, while the introduction to the proposal can be found below.
 

Introduction
 
In the past few years, the rapid development of information and communication technology has resulted in a limited number of well-identified instances of computer assisted cheating, and also in an increased perception by the general public of the vulnerability of chess. 
FIDE and the Association of Chess Professionals jointly identified this as a major cause of concern for the credibility of chess. To put it in simple terms, no one wants to be associated with a sport whose results can easily be affected by computer-assisted cheating. Accordingly in mid-2013 FIDE and the ACP set up the joint “FIDE/ACP Anti-Cheating Committee”.
 
While the Committee was also asked to look at more traditional areas of malfeasance (such as rating fraud, fictitious tournaments and result manipulation), it was soon agreed to focus on fighting computer-assisted play as the most important perceived threat to the integrity of chess. Of course, the Committee retains jurisdiction on the above-mentioned areas as well, but it will deal with them at a second stage of its development, since the current Rules of Chess are deemed to be sufficient to fight these frauds. Computer-assisted cheating has priority both in its threat, and in needed additions to the Laws of Chess and competition policies. Both FIDE and the ACP recognize the importance and urgency of this work.
 
This document contains the first set of recommendations from the Committee. The first and most important recommendation is that FIDE establish a permanent Anti-Cheating Commission (ACC). The Commission shall operate with a view to prevent instances of cheating and to avoid the spreading of the related plague of false accusations. In order to achieve this result, it shall:
 
  1. monitor and constantly improve the anti-cheating system and regulations;
  2. perform sample checks on players and tournaments both on-site and remotely;
  3. receive complaints;
  4. investigate and decide on open cases;
  5. make recommendations to other FIDE Commissions and propose changes to the Laws of Chess, Tournament Regulations, Rating Regulations and Title Regulations.
 
The Committee also recommends new procedures for the reporting and investigation of suspected cheating incidents. These recommendations have been developed by involving other FIDE Commissions where needed, such as WCOC, Rules and Tournament Regulations, Qualifications, Ethics, Events and Arbiters. In some cases action has already been taken by these Commissions in the area of anti-cheating, and these changes have been noted in this report.
 
The Committee recommends the implementation of a FIDE Internet-based Game Screening Tool for pre-scanning games and identifying potential instances of cheating, together with the adoption of a full-testing procedure in cases of complaints. Together they shall meet the highest academic and judicial standards, in that they have been subject to publication and peer review, have a limited and documented error rate, have undergone vast empirical testing, are continuously maintained, and are generally accepted by the scientific community. Once in place, the Internet-based Game Screening Tool will be accessible to arbiters and chess officials and will be a useful instrument to prevent fraud, while the full test procedure will adhere to greater privacy as managed by FIDE and ACC.
 
The document will also present a set of recommendations for arbiters and for the Arbiters Commission, the most important of which is recourse to Continuous Training. The intended purpose of the recommendations is to prepare arbiters to adapt to the changes introduced by the new Anti-Cheating framework.
 
Lastly, the Committee wishes to share with the General Assembly and FIDE Officers the notion that the task it has been assigned is very sensitive and extremely complicated, and one where no previous skill has been acquired by FIDE – or indeed any other party. While the Committee feel that the proposed regulation will contribute to tackle cheating and reinforce confidence in all interested parties, it also understands that future adjustments will be needed to fine-tune the system in the light of the experience of the first period of operation. Also, the changing environment in which the Anti-Cheating Committee will be operating calls for necessary prudence. Thus, the outcomes of the present proposal shall need constant monitoring and possibly a thorough revision in the course of the next few years.
 
Hopefully, the Committee has provided FIDE with a carefully balanced starting point for developing a comprehensive anti-cheating framework that will prove increasingly successful in assuring long lasting confidence to the game of chess.