New FIDE anti-cheating rules

9/17/2014 – FIDE has just modified section 11.3 of its Laws of Chess, reacting to a request of its Anti Cheating Committee. In future players will not be permitted to have any device capable of suggesting chess moves on their person in the playing venue, only in a bag and completely switched off, with the permission of the arbiter. In addition: spot searches may be conducted.

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Changes of the article 11.3.b.of the Laws of Chess

Wednesday, 17 September 2014 09:12

During the 2014 Tromso FIDE Congress the Rules Commission, in order to reflect to the Anti Cheating Committee’s request, altered the wording of the article 11.3.b. The following was included in the Minutes of the Tromso Anti Cheating Committee Meeting of the 8 August 2014. The Rules Commission reported that they have altered Law 11.3b in the Laws of Chess to reflect the request of the ACC. The new text reads:

During a game, a player is forbidden to have a mobile phone, electronic means of communication or any device capable of suggesting chess moves on their person in the playing venue.

However, the rules of the competition may allow such devices to be stored in a player’s bag, as long as the device is completely switched off. A player is forbidden to carry a bag holding such a device, without permission of the arbiter.

If it is evident that a player has such a device on their person in the playing venue, the player shall lose the game. The opponent shall win. The rules of a competition may specify a different, less severe, penalty.

The arbiter may require the player to allow his/her clothes, bags or other items to be inspected, in private. The arbiter or a person authorized by the arbiter shall inspect the player and shall be of the same gender as the player. If a player refuses to cooperate with these obligations, the arbiter shall take measures in accordance with Article 12.9. The final decision to make this change to the Laws of Chess shall be made by the 2014 FIDE General Assembly.

The above change was not possible to be approved by the Tromso FIDE General Assembly because of lack of quorum and it is going to be approved by the next FIDE General Assembly.

As the change is very significant and as the period until the next FIDE General Assembly will take place is too long, FIDE suggested that the Arbiters shall apply the above change of the article 11.3.b of the Laws of Chess during all their tournaments that will be held from now on. Therefore arbiters and organisers are instructed to apply the above wording of the article 11.3.b. of the Laws of Chess in all their tournaments, starting from 1 October 2014.

The interpretation of this change is as follows:

In minor chess tournaments, where the players is not possible to leave their mobiles out of the playing hall and the organizers cannot provide an area for collecting the mobiles of all the players during the rounds, the Arbiters have the possibility to apply the new wording of the article 11.3.b., allowing the players to have their mobile phones in their bags, but completely switched off.

The player shall inform the Arbiter before the start of the round, in case that a completely switched off mobile phone, or any electronic mean of communication, or any other device capable of suggesting chess moves is in his/her bag.

All the above shall be included in the rules of competition (tournament regulations) of the specific event in advance. The Chief Arbiter may make an announcement before the start of the round. This possibility will not be valid for the World and Continental FIDE events.

Topics: Cheating, FIDE
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sharpnova sharpnova 10/7/2014 05:08
chess was a better game before engines got so strong
YeOldeWildman YeOldeWildman 9/19/2014 06:41
FIDE is a train wreck on the best of days. It seems really simple to me: just don't allow anyone to bring their electronics, chess books, magazines, or anything else that might possibly be used to cheat into the playing hall. Period! Leave them in their home, hotel room, car trunk or wherever. How hard can it be? This phone-in-the-bag-but-completely-off idea is just plain dumb because it gives cheats a whole new angle to work. Duh!

Add a rule (if there isn't one already) that if someone refuses to submit to a search under the rules, then they're banned from all future events for something like three years. Second offense, ban them for life. That would solve the problem of trying to figure out how folks like Ivanov are doing it: they simply won't be doing it any more because they won't be playing.

Of course, doing something that would make themselves credible is something FIDE is simply incapable of.
KWRegan KWRegan 9/19/2014 05:33
@jaykuppur,@algorithmy2: The "Occam hypothesis" to refute is that B.I. had a hidden camera that decodes the position visually to a FEN and transmits that wiredly to a Bifferboard, which outputs to a muscle signaller. RF jamming not a factor, and minimal EM flow to detect. You don't need the sophistication of Alexandra Kosteniuk's father's visual robot to make this work---a Lego mock-up by college kids (running the free Houdini 1.5a for 6 seconds per move on an old laptop) did fine against me:
jaykuppur jaykuppur 9/18/2014 05:12
@algorithmy2, what you suggest holds the key to tackle cheating. I am at my wits end trying to guess how Ivanov managed to cheat in spite of intense watch and scrutiny. He ran away with his shoes in tact, when asked to remove, indicates that he must have had managed hide a device inside his shoes and probably pricks at different parts of the foot were linked to moves! I am yet to read an explanation of his modus operandi!
I share your opinion that Communicable frequency jamming and hidden electronic devices detection can only put an end to sophisticated electronic cheating. Whether it's possible technically and financially is not clear to me.
algorithmy2 algorithmy2 9/18/2014 01:18
that's not even close to solve the problem!.. come on, the real problem is using high tech devices attached to glasses or clothes, so the only solution is to find any way to cut any transimison from the playing hall and also to be able to detect any electronic device with the player not only mobile phones.
although this may look expenisve , it's not necessary to be applied to all tournametns, just the big tournaments, while in small tournaments such system is not needed as its not logical that players will use such advanced tech to cheat.
cheating using a mobile phone is not that big problem and it can be detected easily by arbiters. it's the inbuilt devices running chess engines or transimiting moves is the real danger and the hardest one to detect. and for big tournaments there must be a way to detect such devices or at least disabling it electronicaly. again i think it's not that hard to apply at all, so i don't know what's the problem with fide!!
jaykuppur jaykuppur 9/18/2014 07:36
Long over due. Most welcome step. Explosion in technology makes it possible to cheat in a sophisticated way. Difficult to detect at lower levels as help can be fine tuned to any ELO rating level, hard to spot at higher levels as it can be explained away as home preparation made using Computer. All possible electronic device possibilities must be excluded from playing area however cumbersome and intrusive those steps look like. There is no other easy and decent way to provide clean playing environment.
jhoravi jhoravi 9/18/2014 06:27
In the future chess will be all Blitz. Don't worry its fun!
Peter B Peter B 9/18/2014 02:39
There's no drug testing at the local fun run, even though it's a competition. It's all about the level of competition. The old wording began, "Without the permission of the arbiter...", allowing discretion (i.e. common sense) for minor tournaments. That wording should have stayed. I'd be pretty annoyed if I had to bring a bag for my phone at Tuesday night interclub, when my pocket is just fine.
Najdork Najdork 9/18/2014 12:41
Actually this change makes it less strict: before this you could not bring cell phones in the playing are period, no matter if in a bag and switched off.

It is unfortunate but cheating has become a big concern one cannot ignore.

Alas this will not solve the problem in the long run:

Its just a matter of time before a young player uses the same interface/technique Borislav Ivanov used but
1) Starts young, so no suspicious jump in rating
2) Slightly modifies an open source engine such as Stockfish to make natural yet strong moves (I believe one simple way of doing this is selecting moves that are highly rated both at high search depth and low depth)

The cat is out of the bag.
Rama Rama 9/17/2014 11:18
I don't know any serious sport that doesn't have anti-doping controls. Similarly, mind sports must have anti-cheating controls. If someone doesn't want to comply for privacy (foot odor) or religious reasons, no problem they can find a different sport.
SkipsPa SkipsPa 9/17/2014 07:31
Perhaps a slight over reaction Bertman. At local interclub matches I'm content to remove the battery from my phone and leave it on the table. Admittedly some players may carry 2 phones. :)
Bertman Bertman 9/17/2014 07:12
Great new law, continuing the new trend by FIDE. No longer are they content to instruct how one will play the game, but now they tell us how to dress (no hats or be thrown out), what to drink (three coffees and you're out), who to touch (shake hands or forfeit) and will gladly do body searches. Don't worry, FIDE reassures me that only a male arbiter will be handling my family jewels.

Personally, I plan to strip at the first tournament I see, running around in my underwear, screaming I am innocent.