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PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2012 11:21 pm 
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Location: Kingston-under-Thames
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,…, 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 “at” 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

Attachment:
EncodingChessDOBs.png
EncodingChessDOBs.png [ 79.93 KiB | Viewed 1710 times ]


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2012 11:36 pm 
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I love the diagram, but I'm not sure if the idea will catch on. Would be good if it did. I'm Black king on b6!


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 2:04 pm 
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This is great.

It gave me the idea that one could map each move of a chess game onto the ascii character set. If a1=0 and h8=63 then a full move can become a 128 bit number. For example e2 is 4+1*8 and e4 is 4+3*8 which add up to 40 which is a (. My attempts to find hidden messages in chess games has not gone too well so far though. For example, this is Karparov - Kramnik first world championship match:

(X c&k I&GK]?P>w m f u&Z Y b V L$P F _5k7f t k*b Y


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 2:11 pm 
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Malcolm Peacock wrote:
Karparov


Always an amusing typo, that :)

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 2:15 pm 
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John,

Eric Teichmann (chastised many years ago for having too many initials at the Surrey Congress) records moves using International Postal Notation (IPN) then converted to binary.

Suggestions for further obfuscation are most welcome! :lol:

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 3:06 pm 
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John Upham wrote:
John,

Eric Teichmann (chastised many years ago for having too many initials at the Surrey Congress) records moves using International Postal Notation (IPN) then converted to binary.

Suggestions for further obfuscation are most welcome! :lol:


Actually, this would be forbidden by FIDE.
Also the descriptive notation, still used by quite a few people, is forbidden by FIDE (and by all federations that apply FIDE rules, unless stated otherwise).
Only the algebraic notation is allowed by FIDE, see Laws of Chess:

    art 8.1: In the course of play each player is required to record his own moves and those of his opponent in the correct manner, move after move, as clearly and legibily as possible, in the algebraic notation (See Appendix C), on the scoresheet prescribed for the competition.
    appendix C. Algebraic notation: FIDE recognizes for its own tournaments and matches only one system of notation, the Algebraic System, and recommends the use of this uniform chess notation also for chess literature and periodicals. Scoresheets using a notation system other than algebraic may not be used as evidence in cases where normally the scoresheet of a player is used for that purpose. An arbiter who observes that a player is using a notation system other than the algebraic should warn the player about of this requirement.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 4:11 pm 
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Paolo Casaschi wrote:
Actually, this would be forbidden by FIDE.

I'll let Eric know.

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