Chess Player Strip Searched

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Roger de Coverly
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Re: Chess Player Strip Searched

Post by Roger de Coverly » Tue Jul 01, 2014 9:05 am

Chris Rice wrote: 1) what looks like a withering attack on the work of the anti-cheating commission
At the very least, I think they are pointing out that seeking to sanction players by supposedly identifying that they played better moves than their pre-game rating suggested would meet with legal challenge. Or was it that it wasn't right that the ACC appear to be all of law makers, prosecutors and judges?

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Paolo Casaschi
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Re: Chess Player Strip Searched

Post by Paolo Casaschi » Tue Jul 01, 2014 3:05 pm

Chris Rice wrote:On the FIDE site they have published the FIDE Report that the Ethics Commission will be presenting to the General assembly in Tromso. Some great stuff here:
1) what looks like a withering attack on the work of the anti-cheating commission
2) Decision on cases referred to the Ethics Commssion includes the Kasparov/Leong agreement and the Agon agreement.


http://www.fide.com/images/stories/NEWS ... nex_31.pdf
The details of the decisions are not disclosed, but I wonder how to explain the contradiction between some of the comments to the ACP proposal ("we cannot agree with ACC conclusion that statistics, in some cases, can be considered as sole evidence for a judgment") and the decision about Ivanov's alleged violation of par. 2.2.5 of the FIDE Code of Ethics (par. 2.2.5 = "Cheating or attempts at cheating during games and tournaments. Violent, threatening or other unseemly behavior during or in connection with a chess event."). It would be VERY interesting to read what additional evidence, beside statistical analysis of the games, has been used for the judgement.

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Re: Chess Player Strip Searched

Post by Roger de Coverly » Tue Jul 01, 2014 3:32 pm

Paolo Casaschi wrote:It would be VERY interesting to read what additional evidence, beside statistical analysis of the games, has been used for the judgement.
They had the shoe inspection.
http://en.chessbase.com/post/the-shoe-a ... rad-051013
http://en.chessbase.com/post/ivanov-res ... ess-career

There was the lump near his chest.
http://www.chess.com/news/official-stat ... 152?page=2

Refusal to take a test isn't admission of guilt, except for the WADA precedents.

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Re: Chess Player Strip Searched

Post by David Sedgwick » Wed Jul 02, 2014 12:14 am

Paolo Casaschi wrote:The details of the decisions are not disclosed, but I wonder how to explain the contradiction between some of the comments to the ACP proposal ("we cannot agree with ACC conclusion that statistics, in some cases, can be considered as sole evidence for a judgment") and the decision about Ivanov's alleged violation of par. 2.2.5 of the FIDE Code of Ethics (par. 2.2.5 = "Cheating or attempts at cheating during games and tournaments. Violent, threatening or other unseemly behavior during or in connection with a chess event."). It would be VERY interesting to read what additional evidence, beside statistical analysis of the games, has been used for the judgement.
The FIDE Ethics Commission hasn't reached any decision about Ivanov that I can discern. They've merely ruled that the complaint against him is within their jurisdiction (whereas a number of other complaints were ruled not to be).

shaunpress
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Re: Chess Player Strip Searched

Post by shaunpress » Thu Jul 03, 2014 11:33 am

This is a not so brief reply and comment on a number of things being discussed on this (and at least one other) thread. It might turn out to be quite a long post, so be warned (Note: While I am commenting as a member of both the Rules Commission and the Anti-Cheating Commission, I am not speaking on behalf of either body).

Here is a little background on the now current article 11.3b in the Laws of Chess.
At the Istanbul Congress in 2012, the FIDE Rules Commission proposed the following changes to the Laws of Chess regarding electronic devices. (Under the then section 12.3)

a. During play the players are forbidden to make use of any notes, sources of
information or advice, or “analyse”, on another chessboard, any game.
b. A player is forbidden to have a mobile phone and/or other electronic means of
communication in the playing venue, unless permitted by the arbiter and the device is
completely switched off. If it is evident that such a device is not completely switched
off, the player shall lose the game. The opponent shall win. However, if the opponent
cannot win the game by any series of legal moves, his score shall be a draw.
The rules of a competition may specify a different, less severe, penalty.

This was passed at the RTRC meeting, and as you can see, gives the arbiter discretion in handling the issue of mobile phone possession. This wording was included in the minutes from the meeting. http://www.fide.com/images/stories/NEWS ... _Chess.pdf

But before these minutes were to be ratified by the GA, we were told that the FIDE Presidential Board was not happy with this wording, and we were asked to change it. This is part was due to the fact that the PB felt it was not rigorous enough to deal with potential cheating using hand held devices. As there was not enough time to come up with an alternative, it was deferred until the new year. This had the unfortunate knock on effect of delaying the revision to the Laws of Chess by a whole year (they should have gone into effect on 1 July 2013, as per the FIDE Statutes).
After some discussion between the FIDE PB and the RTRC, the wording that is the now 11.3b was agreed upon. An important part of the new wording was to at least give the arbiter the ability to search a player if that had a reasonable suspicion that the player had an electronic device in their possession. Nonetheless we (as a commission) understood the difficulty with this rule, in both a legal and personal sense, and a number of members expressed the opinion that they would not feel comfortable enforcing it. We also understood the practical problems in enforcing it ( for a lot of the same reasons mentioned on this thread), but felt compelled to accede to the wishes of the PB. Also worth noting that these discussions occurred before the formation of the FIDE Anti-Cheating Commission, and was essentially FIDE's first stab at dealing with computer cheating.
The best we could do was to allow arbiters to specify a lesser penalty in the case of a breach of Article 11.3 (such as a warning). But this is clearly not ideal, as it does not address the issue of what players believe they are allowed and not allowed to do. Do they run the risk of entering an event without a clear indication of what the mobile phone policy is going to be?
Now based on recommendations from the Anti-Cheating Commission, as well as feedback from Federations and other sources (such as this forum) an alternative wording has been proposed (by myself)
===================
During a game, a player is forbidden to have either a mobile phone, electronic means of communication or any device capable of suggesting chess moves on their person in the playing venue. 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.
However, such devices may be stored in a players jacket or bag, as long as the device is completely switched off. A player is forbidden to wear a jacket or carry a bag holding such a device, without permission of the arbiter.
The arbiter may require the player to allow his clothes, bags or other items to be
inspected, in private. The arbiter or a person authorised 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 wording is closer to what the RTRC had proposed in 2012, while also at least giving the arbiter the power to investigate potential cheating incidents.
While this is now being circulated to the RTRC, ACC and some members of the PB, I think Nick Faulks is being a little optimistic on whether it will be changed. The ACC seem generally in favour, but RTRC runs into the problem that the Laws of Chess are only changed every 4 years and require the approval of the General Assembly. Of course it is possible that the GA could approve this change this year, but having just published the current Laws there is some obvious resistance to asking everyone to update their translations etc so quickly. Ironically the bureaucratic manoeuvres that got us into this situation (input from the PB) may be the mechanism to get us out of it, as a push from that direction may improve the chances of it being changed.

In the other thread on this matter, there was a mention of common practice in Australia. The biggest open event in Australia (Doeberl Cup, of which I am the Chief Arbiter) does provide a phone storage service for players, and this has worked without any problems. Of course not all players use this service (and one young IM lost his game at this years event as his phone rang during the game), but no one has lost a phone, had one stolen, and on the odd occasion players have avoided a loss when the phone has rung while in storage. Despite all of what I have read here, it isn't impossible to implement this solution.

Onto the more difficult question of relying on the arbiter to play ball. If, as an organiser, you find the actions of an arbiter responsible for keeping players away, you can always try and find another one. In fact there were a few young Australian arbiters who started off with a 'rules first, players second' attitude, and quickly discovered they weren't getting as many arbiting jobs as they felt their abilities deserved. In fact I feel, based on my own experience, it isn't necessarily the arbiter that can cause difficulty here, but one player insisting that the full force of the law be used against their opponent. But I accept that such situations are caused by the way the rule is currently written.

So as you can hopefully see, the whole mobile phone issue is a balancing act between cheating issues (which do occur in small events just as much as big ones in my experience) and common social norms ("How can I possibly survive without my phone?"). What we have now may just be a case of unfortunate timing, as the wheels of bureaucracy tend to move slowly. Whether some grease can be applied to them to deal with this issue is not clear at this time.

Shaun Press

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Chess Player Strip Searched

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Jul 03, 2014 11:48 am

shaunpress wrote: However, such devices may be stored in a players jacket or bag, as long as the device is completely switched off. A player is forbidden to wear a jacket or carry a bag holding such a device, without permission of the arbiter.
An arbitrary rule that potentially penalises a player for putting a jacket on, or even for not having a jacket at all isn't much of a solution. If a device is completely switched off, why should it matter where it is stored? You would do better to have a rule saying that the device cannot be removed from the playing area. That is where there is an obvious danger and how many of the publicised cases arose. The practicality isn't great because if you run tournaments on the basis that players are cheats unless proved otherwise, you might as well suspect them of being thieves as well.

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Re: Chess Player Strip Searched

Post by David Sedgwick » Thu Jul 03, 2014 12:10 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
shaunpress wrote: However, such devices may be stored in a players jacket or bag, as long as the device is completely switched off. A player is forbidden to wear a jacket or carry a bag holding such a device, without permission of the arbiter.
An arbitrary rule that potentially penalises a player for putting a jacket on, or even for not having a jacket at all isn't much of a solution. If a device is completely switched off, why should it matter where it is stored? You would do better to have a rule saying that the device cannot be removed from the playing area. That is where there is an obvious danger and how many of the publicised cases arose. The practicality isn't great because if you run tournaments on the basis that players are cheats unless proved otherwise, you might as well suspect them of being thieves as well.
Whilst still not ideal, Shaun's wording strikes me as a considerable improvement.

I take my phone with me, turn it off and put it in my bag. If I wish to take my bag with me when I go out to the toilet or to buy a coffee, then I have to ask the arbiter's permission. If I fail to do that. I get appropriately penalised, but the penalty is not necessarily the loss of the game.

Events where no arbiter is present will have to decide how to apply the Law, but that's nothing new.

My understanding is that the Laws are not supposed to be changed within the normal four year cycle unless an emergency situation arises. Not everyone will agree, but I consider it pretty much an emergency that a number of leading European arbiters consider Law 11.3 as currently worded not to be fit for purpose.

I shall be urging the English Chess Federation to support a change along these lines.

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Re: Chess Player Strip Searched

Post by NickFaulks » Thu Jul 03, 2014 1:19 pm

shaunpress wrote:
The best we could do was to allow arbiters to specify a lesser penalty in the case of a breach of Article 11.3 (such as a warning). But this is clearly not ideal, as it does not address the issue of what players believe they are allowed and not allowed to do.
I thought it was ideal, because it allowed organisers to specify well in advance, in their tournament regulations, how this rule would be applied. There need be no uncertainty at all. The problem is that arbiters seem reluctant to make or announce such a decision.
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Roger de Coverly
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Re: Chess Player Strip Searched

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Jul 03, 2014 1:31 pm

NickFaulks wrote: The problem is that arbiters seem reluctant to make or announce such a decision.
The uncertainty, as indicated in the other thread, is to whether they or the organisers can simply announce that there are no penalties for having a mobile phone or other electronic device in the player's possession provided it is switched off and remains switched off.

Actually if you take an objective look at the risks, events like the 4NCL and e2e4 are more vulnerable, not less, because of their hotel based nature. A prospective cheat, wishing to consult a device, could just as easily slip out to their hotel room and look things up etc. on their laptop. Marginally less danger of being detected as well with little chance of an irate opponent peering over the door and forcing the lock.

Richard Bates
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Re: Chess Player Strip Searched

Post by Richard Bates » Thu Jul 03, 2014 1:39 pm

It was not ideal because by any sensible interpretation of English, a warning is not a penalty, whatever FIDE regulations state about penalties. And certainly not if it is not a precursor to a genuine penalty if the "offence" is repeated. When this was discussed before on here it seemed to be suggested that the formulation of the rule had been produced because many objected to the idea that it would be possible for organizers to allow mobile phones to be permitted, which ruled out the simple wording along the lines of what David suggested. So the idea of a "no penalty" penalty had been dreamed up, with the implication that transgressors will be repeatedly "warned" ad infinitum. Unsurprisingly most people can see this is a nonsense, regardless of their views on mobile phones in the playing venue.

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Re: Chess Player Strip Searched

Post by David Sedgwick » Thu Jul 03, 2014 3:34 pm

NickFaulks wrote:
shaunpress wrote: The best we could do was to allow arbiters to specify a lesser penalty in the case of a breach of Article 11.3 (such as a warning). But this is clearly not ideal, as it does not address the issue of what players believe they are allowed and not allowed to do.
I thought it was ideal, because it allowed organisers to specify well in advance, in their tournament regulations, how this rule would be applied. There need be no uncertainty at all. The problem is that arbiters seem reluctant to make or announce such a decision.
All right then, Nick.

Let us take the London League. That is a competition which you clearly like the way it has been run hitherto, to the extent that you have stated that you would be prepared to pay not to have an arbiter present.

What do you think the penalties for breaches of new Law 11.3 should be?

If your answer depends on the fact that the League is not FIDE rated, please say what your answer would be for a League which is FIDE rated?

Do you think that you are justified in asking League AGMs throughout the country (indeed throughout the world) to make the necessary changes to their Playing Rules?

Finally, please answer my earlier question? If new Law 11.3 is so ideal, why is it unlikely to survive Tromso? (Your words, not mine)

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Re: Chess Player Strip Searched

Post by NickFaulks » Thu Jul 03, 2014 5:11 pm

David Sedgwick wrote:
NickFaulks wrote:
shaunpress wrote: The best we could do was to allow arbiters to specify a lesser penalty in the case of a breach of Article 11.3 (such as a warning). But this is clearly not ideal, as it does not address the issue of what players believe they are allowed and not allowed to do.
I thought it was ideal, because it allowed organisers to specify well in advance, in their tournament regulations, how this rule would be applied. There need be no uncertainty at all. The problem is that arbiters seem reluctant to make or announce such a decision.
All right then, Nick.

Let us take the London League. That is a competition which you clearly like the way it has been run hitherto, to the extent that you have stated that you would be prepared to pay not to have an arbiter present.

What do you think the penalties for breaches of new Law 11.3 should be?

If your answer depends on the fact that the League is not FIDE rated, please say what your answer would be for a League which is FIDE rated?

Do you think that you are justified in asking League AGMs throughout the country (indeed throughout the world) to make the necessary changes to their Playing Rules?

Finally, please answer my earlier question? If new Law 11.3 is so ideal, why is it unlikely to survive Tromso? (Your words, not mine)
To answer your final question first, I think it will be changed because of the expressed intention of some arbiters to put their full efforts into ensuring that it doesn't work. The trouble is that they will probably do that whatever the wording.

The question of how to handle events with no arbiter onsite is, as you have said, tricky. It depends largely on peer pressure, and here I think sense would prevail, at least in the London League. I'm worried that all this nonsense will only strengthen the attempt by the AC to make it compulsory for one of their paid-up members to be present whenever a FIDE rated game is played.

I am not an expert on the LL's complaints procedure, and have no wish to become one, but I'll have a go.

The tournament rules would clearly have to state that cellphones must be kept out of view at all times ( that should be the case anyway ). If one inadvertantly announces itself ( NOT because it goes off, a different and more serious offence, but say by falling out of someone's pocket ), the opponent or opposing captain could store up a complaint for the relevant Committee, but would be unlikely to bother. It would only lead to a warning that the offence should not be repeated. If a player is clearly fiddling with his cellphone, and cannot be persuaded to stop, then I hope a formal complaint would be made. The LL procedure would then take over.
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David Gilbert
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Re: Chess Player Strip Searched

Post by David Gilbert » Thu Jul 03, 2014 10:10 pm

There is no notice of any proposals, either by the Committee or the Clubs, to amend the two rings and you’re out rule at next week’s London League AGM. Unless the ECF issues a Direction to Leagues it seems unlikely there’ll be any change to existing practice at least for the coming season. The get-out clause “The rules of a competition may specify a different, less severe, penalty” seems to me to give leagues ample scope to exercise autonomy.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Chess Player Strip Searched

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Jul 03, 2014 11:05 pm

David Gilbert wrote: The get-out clause “The rules of a competition may specify a different, less severe, penalty” seems to me to give leagues ample scope to exercise autonomy.
I think the issue should be raised at every AGM to make it clear that the League rules and practice allow the possession of a switched off mobile phone to remain legal. If not you might get someone brandishing a copy of the new Laws demanding a win by default as soon as someone puts their phone on the table or demonstrably switches it off.

The ECF haven't commented, the CAA on the other hand have issued guidance that is somewhat incoherent.

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Re: Chess Player Strip Searched

Post by David Sedgwick » Thu Jul 03, 2014 11:09 pm

NickFaulks wrote:To answer your final question first, I think it will be changed because of the expressed intention of some arbiters to put their full efforts into ensuring that it doesn't work. The trouble is that they will probably do that whatever the wording.
Thank you for your detailed reply.

I am one of the many arbiters at whom the strictures in your first sentence are presumably addressed. I regard the present wording as totally unworkable and whatever efforts I do or do not make doesn't come into it. Your second sentence has no justification in my case. I've already made it clear that I would be prepared to work with Shaun Press's wording.

On David G's point, events such as the London League which have derogated from the old Law are probably adequately covered. Those which may have a problem are those which enforced the old Law (if your mobile sounds, you lose) with full rigour, but wouldn't wish to extend that to mere possession of a mobile. The ECF have attempted to deal with this by specifying that the penalty shall not exceed a warning or a fine unless the event regulations so state, thus reversing the presumption. (On Roger's point, the ECF have informed their arbiters that the CAA statement on this, coherent or not, is to be taken as ECF policy.)

ECF reaction has been slow in coming as we hoped that FIDE would see the error of their ways. That does seem to be happening, albeit more slowly than we might have wished.

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