Encoding dates of birth for chess players
As the date of birth issue is growing, I have set up a new thread to propose possible solutions.
The issue is how to uniquely identify chess players for legitimate rating purposes bearing in mind the European principle that personal data must be limited to the minimum necessary in relation to the purposes for which it is processed. Even if adults have given consent for their age-related information to be used, this is not the same as giving consent for the information to be displayed e.g. on the FIDE website. One approach is to disguise the displayed age information to significantly reduce the chance that the information will be captured automatically e.g. by a search bot. This can be achieved by a simple encoding approach.
A suitable way for the chess world is to encode date of birth information (mm/yy) as a single-piece chess position. Under this scheme, years are represented by board co-ordinates and months are represented by pieces. Birth years start from 2000 in a 64-year cycle. a1=2000, b1=2001,â€¦, a2=2009 etc. The previous cycle started from 1936 =a1. Months correspond to the piece sequence of White: King, Queen, Rook, Bishop, Knight, Pawn; Black: King, Queen, Rook, Bishop, Knight, Pawn. White is upper case; black is lower case. Thus January is K and November is n in alphabetical notation. Figurine notation could be used for the international version. The beauty of this approach is that there are 12 piece types corresponding to 12 months and 64 squares corresponding to a long chess career. There may be some coincidence between a 10 year old child and a 74 year old adult who were of the same name born in the same month, but this will be rare - and a small price to pay for a simple encoding scheme.
The positions/codes would be instantly recognisable by chess administrators and chess players would be able to confirm their details were correct. Those unfamiliar with chess notation may be deterred from decoding the detail. Simple encodings are commonly used and appear to be effective e.g. expressing email addresses by spelling out the â€œatâ€ sign. Car registration numbers and drivers' licences also have simple date encodings.
Under this scheme, we may display the dates of birth as follows:
Bobby Fischer Mar 1943 Rh1
Gary Kasparov Apr 1963 Bd4
Magnus Carlsen Nov 1990 ng7