Fair Play for Evanston Scholastic Online Tournaments
Most families first meet Evanston Scholastic Chess through our over-the-board tournaments. Children play in a gym or library, supervised and monitored by parents and high school students, and to a certain extent monitored by each other, too.
When COVID arrived, we had to take Evanston Scholastic Chess online. But those of us who have played online know that people who play online sometimes cheat by using the advice of others, books, and most often, chess software. The major online chess sites – Lichess, Chess.com, and Chesskid – all use some form of cheat detection, and they mark or close accounts of players who cheat. This is explicitly stated by each platform. For example the Lichess.org terms of service can be found here: https://lichess.org/terms-of-service. By signing up for Lichess (or having your parent sign you up), you promise to play fair and not use outside assistance.
To ensure fair competition, we had a very well-regarded chess fair play expert analyze the games in the highest section of our Dec. 19, 2020 tournament. Going forward, Evanston Scholastic Chess will have ALL games played in our official tournaments reviewed by this chess fair play expert.
We’d rather not have to forfeit anyone. Here’s what families and players need to know about fair play:
- Do not use outside assistance while playing: No books, advice from others, notes, extra analysis board, or chess software or programs on your phone or computer while you’re playing.
- Turn off your cell phone and put it away while playing.
- When you are playing, you should have no programs running on your computer except your browser, and only two tabs open in the browser: one for Lichess and one for the Zoom chess clinic.
- Do not go to the Zoom chess clinic while you have an active tournament game.
- Do not discuss ongoing games in the tournament chat.
- The tournament director’s decision based on fair play analysis is final.
Adjustments for Fair Play Violations
When a player is found to have violated fair play rules in a tournament, that player’s games are forfeited, and their opponents receive a half-point bye for a loss against that player and a full-point bye for a draw against that player. We are doing this in-line with US Chess rule 28I2. (In general, we conform to US Chess rules, though we do not rate out tournaments with US Chess.) These byes are not rated, but they do count for points in the tournament and for cumulative “honor roll” points.
We cannot make these changes on Lichess, so we make them offline before we recalculate the post-tournament Evanston Scholastic Chess ratings of the players who participated in the tournament.
Official tournament results are posted here: http://eschess.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&id=19&Itemid=32.
We are aware our players are children, and they are still developing in terms of impulse control, sportsmanship, and risk-taking. Everyone wants to win, and some players inevitably will make mistakes around fair play. Our hope is that all players, guided by their families, grow in these areas, and continue participating in this beautiful game.