Can Online Chess Tournaments Lead To Cheating?

Can Online Chess Tournaments Lead To Cheating?
Can online chess tournaments lead to cheating?

With the pandemic hitting the world, everything is being organized online. After Magnus Carlsen started conducting his chess tournaments online, many started following a similar procedure. Platforms such as Chess2U, Chess.com, and more can help you to conduct various events giving a similar experience to that of a live event. However, when virtual events come into the picture, cheating or hacking is no surprise. Many universities had to conduct their exams online as they could not gather all students at a place for the exam but could not even postpone their exams. They found out that cheating and doping was easy with no trace found. Many even give others access to give exam on their behalf. After receiving a lot of videos, they found out how the player can cheat along with an appropriate testing activity. Even well-developed test takers could not overcome this obstacle and sports were no exception.

Recently, during a chess tournament around 5 out of 6 contestants were disqualified for cheating. Many opponents have also seen to be accusing each other of weird activities. All of this is happening because of digital mediums. After being quarantined, many people started playing chess. As a result, the game has seen a large increase in its number of users. However, many people are seeing the digital medium as a crisis for the game. Nowadays, people have also developed many chess calculators. They are so powerful that they can predict every possibility. It also allows you to know the winner in advance.

Can Online Chess Tournaments Lead To Cheating?
Professor Kenneth Regan, an International Chess Master and the scientist of FIDE.

What did FIDE say regarding the cheating in online chess tournaments?

Professor Kenneth Regan, an International Chess Master and the scientist of FIDE stated that his workload has increased a lot due to the pandemic. FIDE, the International Chess Federation is a sport governing body. It carries out various competitions on international levels and makes decisions for the same. If FIDE detects any suspicious behavior or anyone trying to dope the computer, they immediately disqualify them. Emil Sutovsky, the Director-General of FIDE stated that he has to work numerous hours on computer doping to ensure fair gameplay activities.

an International Chess Master and the scientist of FIDE
Emil Sutovsky, the Director-General of FIDE.

FIDE is currently working on monitoring eye-tracking programs to find out how frequently the person’s eyes are moving. Hence, they can figure out any suspicious activity if necessary. They are also planning to record the games on zoom or other video apps. After the game, they will review the videos before taking the final decision. Chess.com has seen the number jump from 6.5 million to 13 million this pandemic. Last month, chess.com caught around 17,000 players cheating as compared to the previous 6,000. The topic came to light after a player from Armenia Eagles beat St. Louis Bishops which consisted of top players. Chess.com has not revealed any activities regarding its interface. People have reported similar issues with other online games such as Bridge, Poker, and Backgammon.