Friday 22 January 2021

Criminalising good moves

There is a proposal from the FIDE Fair Play Commission (FPL) that would automatically find a player guilty of breaching fair play regulations if their Z-score (based on computer move matching and centi-pawn loss) is above 4.25.

The full wording is

4. Assumed cheating

i) A player may be assumed to have been cheating if the z-score of his play amounts to 4.25 or higher, unless the player can prove on the balance of probabilities that he/she was playing fairly;

This kind of idea has been around since FIDE started looking at Anti-Cheating methods, and so far has been rejected every time it has been brought up. Most notably, it was explicitly rejected in the first version of the regulations (in 2014), on the grounds that it was a very bad idea (I was one of the members of the committee who wrote those rules). 

Fortunately FIDE have asked for comment on this proposal, and at least two bodies that I am a member of (one a commission, the other a national federation) have spoke out against this proposal. Whether those concerns will see this regulation rejected remains to be seen.

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