FIDE rule change: no phones in playing venue AT ALL

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Roger de Coverly
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Re: FIDE rule change: no phones in playing venue AT ALL

Post by Roger de Coverly » Mon Nov 19, 2012 9:21 am

Ian Kingston wrote: I'm waiting for someone with a hearing aid to be accused of cheating.
http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=3605

in which
Bill Goichberg, president of the US Chess Federation and a leading organizer, announced new cheating prevention measures for his four biggest events. These specify that players may not use headphones, earphones, cell phones or hearing aids;
It doesn't say how he would deal with a player who wore a hearing aid for genuine reasons. His issue is rather more to ensure that big money events for lower rated players aren't distorted by someone hardly able to play chess being fed moves. GM level, as we may have seen with Feller and the German cases is more about getting some assistance at critical periods of the game.

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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: FIDE rule change: no phones in playing venue AT ALL

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Mon Nov 19, 2012 11:11 am

Ian Kingston wrote:
Roger de Coverly wrote:So if an event is going to ban the possession of smart phones because of the cheating risk, should this not also apply to tablets and laptops?
The law refers to 'other electronic means of communication', so those are already dealt with.

I'm waiting for someone with a hearing aid to be accused of cheating.
That depends on the hearing aid really. Up until recently (on the NHS in this country at least), hearing aids were not really capable of receiving and transmitting wirelessly without rather obvious adaptors, though induction loops are technically one such method:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audio_induction_loop

But Bluetooth-enabled hearing aids are now becoming more common.

This article is from 2010 and from the US perspective:

http://accperspectives.asha.org/content/6/1/4.full

My (NHS) hearing aids are digital (used to be analogue not too many years ago), but are not Bluetooth-enabled. Though the company (Oticon) do make such models and a friend of mine recently had his hearing aids upgraded to this technology (also on the NHS). It will be interesting to see what approach is taken at various levels on this technology.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: FIDE rule change: no phones in playing venue AT ALL

Post by Roger de Coverly » Mon Nov 19, 2012 11:27 am

Christopher Kreuzer wrote: But Bluetooth-enabled hearing aids are now becoming more common.
Are the International Committee of Silent Chess taking this up with FIDE?

There would seem to be at least two issues:-
that players with Bluetooth enabled devices can continue to participate in rated chess and
that organisers and opponents can be satisfied that the communication features are switched off for the duration of a game.

A couple of recent ChessBase articles about ICSC.

http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=8624
http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=8627

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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: FIDE rule change: no phones in playing venue AT ALL

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Mon Nov 19, 2012 11:54 am

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Christopher Kreuzer wrote: But Bluetooth-enabled hearing aids are now becoming more common.
Are the International Committee of Silent Chess taking this up with FIDE?

There would seem to be at least two issues:-
that players with Bluetooth enabled devices can continue to participate in rated chess and
that organisers and opponents can be satisfied that the communication features are switched off for the duration of a game.

A couple of recent ChessBase articles about ICSC.

http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=8624
http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=8627
Er, yeah, thanks for pointing those out, Roger. :)
Really, those links should go in the thread about that event.

I'm not involved in any administrative level with the ICCD (the organisation has changed its name, so that is the right name to use now), but the rule for those events is that all hearing aids and cochlear implants are removed before play starts. This is to ensure those using aids are on a level playing field with those who don't use them. But this is getting a bit off the topic of mobile phones.

Paul Buswell
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Re: FIDE rule change: no phones in playing venue AT ALL

Post by Paul Buswell » Mon Nov 19, 2012 1:03 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=3605

in which
Bill Goichberg, president of the US Chess Federation and a leading organizer, announced new cheating prevention measures for his four biggest events. These specify that players may not use headphones, earphones, cell phones or hearing aids;
It doesn't say how he would deal with a player who wore a hearing aid for genuine reasons. His issue is rather more to ensure that big money events for lower rated players aren't distorted by someone hardly able to play chess being fed moves. GM level, as we may have seen with Feller and the German cases is more about getting some assistance at critical periods of the game.
That would seem to raise Health & Safety issues if a player who had been required to switch off their hearing aid could not hear the venue's fire alarms.

PB

Graham Borrowdale

Re: FIDE rule change: no phones in playing venue AT ALL

Post by Graham Borrowdale » Mon Nov 19, 2012 1:16 pm

On the general point about mobiles phones, it is obvious to me that the rule is intended for 'professional' events, which are much closer to the sports analogy, and it might not be unreasonable for players to leave their phones at their hotel, or with the organisers. I would not expect the players to have mobile phones in their jacket pockets at the London Classic, for example.
At the amateur level, while I try to leave my mobile in the car, or not take it at all, that is not always possible, but I would expect my local league to adopt a more common-sense rule when this comes into force.
Where the biggest problems are likely to occur is in the middle, for example at large FIDE rated opens, 4NCL, etc, where players arrive from all directions and the organisers might not be able or willing to baby-sit loads of mobile phones. Putting them all in a box with a post-it note round each one could result in some interesting 'swapping' at pick up time.
What really irks is this assumption that because someone goes to the toilet and they have a mobile device they must be cheating. They are as likley to be having a conversation with their team-mate about the position, which is just as much cheating. Perhaps we should put sticky tape across our mouths as well.

David Robertson
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Re: FIDE rule change: no phones in playing venue AT ALL

Post by David Robertson » Mon Nov 19, 2012 1:17 pm

Banning hearing aids? Would likely leave someone open to prosecution under the Equality Act (2010).

But then quite a lot of what goes on in chess breaches the law.

Mick Norris
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Re: FIDE rule change: no phones in playing venue AT ALL

Post by Mick Norris » Mon Nov 19, 2012 2:09 pm

Graham Borrowdale wrote:What really irks is this assumption that because someone goes to the toilet and they have a mobile device they must be cheating. They are as likley to be having a conversation with their team-mate about the position, which is just as much cheating. Perhaps we should put sticky tape across our mouths as well.
No, computers are much stronger than humans, and therefore consulting one is much worse than talking to a team mate

See
http://www.thechessmind.net/blog/2012/1 ... o-bad.html
Any postings on here represent my personal views and should not be taken as representative of the Manchester Chess Federation www.manchesterchess.co.uk

Alex McFarlane
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Re: FIDE rule change: no phones in playing venue AT ALL

Post by Alex McFarlane » Mon Nov 19, 2012 2:21 pm

The proposed change (subject to Presidential Board ratification next month) should be seen as a reflection on what is currently happening.
Many leagues currently have a local rule regarding mobile phones which breaks the FIDE Laws. The change will legalise these local rules. Many major tournaments already have arrangements for preventing phones coming into the playing area (and for the players leaving it!).

It is partially correct that cheating by using your phone has overtaken the annoyance of their ringing. I think it would be more correct to say that it is not so much the actual cheating which I believe to be very rare but instead it is a players concerns that an opponent may be getting 'outside' help. An analogy would be to the situation where a player believes that his opponent's conversations with other players is to get advice. This is a distraction whether the claim has merit or not.

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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: FIDE rule change: no phones in playing venue AT ALL

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Mon Nov 19, 2012 2:48 pm

David Robertson wrote:Banning hearing aids? Would likely leave someone open to prosecution under the Equality Act (2010).
Heh, maybe.

I've found some old Chessbase articles from 2006 that give an interesting perspective:

http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=3280
http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=3307

The first link describes a cheating scandal involving use of a wireless device. The second link is the one that contains the really pertinent information. It is the second response, the one from a Dr Michael Vidler. In that letter he says:

"Hearing aids can have two modes: microphone mode, and radio mode. Some can have both working concurrently. Microphone mode allows sounds around you – people's speech, environmental noise – to enter the hearing aids. Radio mode allows the aid to receive input from a remote place from someone elsewhere using a microphone and transmitter."

The key is to be able to demonstrate to an arbiter that the hearing aids are locked in microphone mode. This may require arbiters to become more familiar with such technology, as stated in Vidler's point 3 (loop versus clip-on receivers). The fourth point (about radio aids in school) reminds me of the radio aids I used in lessons.

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: FIDE rule change: no phones in playing venue AT ALL

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Tue Nov 20, 2012 8:13 am

"I think it would be more correct to say that it is not so much the actual cheating which I believe to be very rare but instead it is a players concerns that an opponent may be getting 'outside' help. "

This is a good point. A player last weekend was agitated as his opponent left the board whilst on the move, so I followed the (ungraded) opponent the next time it happened and he was just having a smoke, never talked to anybody, didn't take anything except cigarette and lighter out of his pockets. When I told him he couldn't leave the board like that (and why - it makes the opponent think you're cheating) he apologised (and stopped doing it).

FIDE Laws are written for events for very few players, and that take place in a hotel. Applying the Laws to ordinary chess is sometimes difficult, which is why you get local variations.
"Kevin was the arbiter and was very patient. " Nick Grey

Malcolm Clarke
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Re: FIDE rule change: no phones in playing venue AT ALL

Post by Malcolm Clarke » Wed Nov 21, 2012 10:55 pm

When I was a match captain I used to be very determined to have a full team and when a player was late in arriving I would often phone the player at home using a public telephone box which was in the building in which the match was played or go to the entrance of the building to check the player was on their way.

As a result of this I had very few defaults, but I expect that a lot of what I did then would not now be permitted.

Peter Rhodes
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Re: FIDE rule change: no phones in playing venue AT ALL

Post by Peter Rhodes » Thu Nov 22, 2012 12:56 pm

Wouldn't it be marvellous if someone could devise and produce a small sealable plastic wrapper.
Perhaps it would be made along the lines of the seals that lorry drivers use to seal their goods pallets,
wheeled cages and side curtains ? ... and could have imprinted a unique serial number just like lottery
books do.

The sealable wrapper would somehow obscure access to the mobile phone display, but could be broken
by the player at anytime in the event of an emergency. Perhaps he could break the seal in front of an
arbiter if he needed to access his phone urgently and be provided with another - at cost charge maybe ?

Would such a device produced in bulk and made from plastic cost more than 50p per unit ?

I could do something even cheaper consisting of a Tesco carrier bag, some sellotape, and a raffle ticket !!
Chess Amateur.

Sean Hewitt
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Re: FIDE rule change: no phones in playing venue AT ALL

Post by Sean Hewitt » Thu Nov 22, 2012 1:30 pm

Tournaments might require players to put mobile phones next to their board, but switched off. The penalty for it making a noise could be a time penalty (as we've minimised the risk of cheating, this is clearly just an error) but the penalty for having a phone on your person (instead of on the table) is a loss - whether the phone is on or off.

Alex McFarlane
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Re: FIDE rule change: no phones in playing venue AT ALL

Post by Alex McFarlane » Thu Nov 22, 2012 1:52 pm

Sean Hewitt wrote:Tournaments might require players to put mobile phones next to their board, but switched off. The penalty for it making a noise could be a time penalty (as we've minimised the risk of cheating, this is clearly just an error) but the penalty for having a phone on your person (instead of on the table) is a loss - whether the phone is on or off.
I am aware several players do this but it is their own idea and at their own risk. I would not like to insist that players left their phones unattended at their boards. If one was stolen then the congress would have to accept some responsibility. I have known items to be stolen at events (in all cases it was believed to be by outsiders).

Imagine the effect of a player not wanting to leave his phone unattended when he went to the toilet picking it up and exiting the hall. That is worse than having it in his pocket the entire time in my opinion. The opponent would certainly have grounds to be concerned.

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