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Fair Play On Chess.com

Fair Play On Chess.com

CHESScom
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Chess.com is committed to growing chess and protecting the integrity of the game. On this page, you’ll find information and resources that our Fair Play team has created for you to remain up to date about the work we do.


Our Fair Play Policy

Chess.com's Fair Play Policy supports our mission to maintain a clean and fair platform for chess players around the world. In light of this mission, we reserve the right and discretion to monitor all chess games played on our platform. To play on our website, all players must agree to:

  • Play only their own moves.
  • Do not cheat in any way.
  • Do not get help from any other person, including parents, friends, coaches, or another player.
  • Do not use chess engines, software of any kind, bots, plugins, browser extensions, or any tools that analyze positions during play. We can detect if you are using any of these programs.
  • Do not use tablebases or any other resources that show the best move (in both Online and Daily chess).
  • Use Opening Explorer or other books in only Daily chess (not in Online / Live play).
  • Do not perform any automated analysis or "blunder checking" of your games in progress.
  • Do not allow anyone else to use your account.
  • Do not use anyone else's account.
  • Do not artificially manipulate ratings, matches, or game outcomes.
  • Do not interfere with the gameplay of other members.
  • Suspecting your opponent of using outside help is not an excuse to do the same. If there is suspicion someone is cheating, they should be reported to Chess.com.

To read our Fair Play policy in full, click here.

Fair Play Team

The Fair Play Team consists of dedicated researchers, statisticians, analysts, event proctors, engineers, and chess enthusiasts! Together, we’re a team of more than 30 members (including three GMs and 10 titled players) who work hard to protect the integrity of the game. The Fair Play Team is led by the Director of Fair Play, FM Dan Rozovsky, and is comprised of four critical divisions: Research and Development, Investigation and Detection, Operations, and Communications.
Dan Rozovsky, Director of Fair Play at Chess.com
FM Dan Rozovsky.

Research and Development (led by Roland Walker)

The research and development team makes use of the detailed data that exists in chess to identify players who are cheating. We:

  • Develop and implement algorithms to detect overperformance.
  • Conduct rigorous tests and experiments to identify conclusive cheat detection signals across hundreds of gameplay factors.
  • Run large-scale simulations (on millions of moves and chess games) to shine a light on the variance, possibilities, and limitations of human play.
  • Carefully study historical data to maximize the number of cheaters caught while minimizing the false positive rate.
Roland Walker, Director of Research and Developement at Chess.com
Roland Walker.

Investigation and Detection (led by Gerard Le-Marechal)

The investigation and detection team handles the day-to-day of Chess.com Fair Play. We:

  • Review fair play cases.
  • Adjudicate fair play appeals.
  • Validate tournament results.
  • Conduct in-depth analyses of players competing in prize money events.
Gerard Le-Marechal Head of Cheat Detection at Chess.com
Gerard Le-Marechal.

Operations (led by Sean Arn)

The operations team works to protect all events that are run on Chess.com. We:

  • Share event-specific information to players prior to prize money events.
  • Carry out Fair Play checks during fair play calls.
  • Adjudicate issues that arise during events.
  • Uphold and enforce Fair Play protocols.
Sean Arn, Head of Operations at Chess.com
Sean Arn.

Communications (led by IM Kassa Korley)

The communications team disseminates important information to titled players and the broader Chess.com community. We:

  • Share Fair Play policy and guidelines.
  • Field titled player questions and concerns.
  • Solicit feedback and input from the world’s best players to improve our systems.
  • Address matters of public interest to the community.
  • Administer event rules and streaming regulations.
Kassa Korley, Head of Communications
IM Kassa Korley.

Fair Play By The Numbers

  • 2.5 million games are analyzed per day.
  • Over 1 million account closures in 2023.
    • Approximately 3,000 account closures per day.
    • Approximately 90,000 account closures per month.
    • Total account closures are equivalent to approximately 0.6% accounts on Chess.com.
  • 165 titled player closures in 2023.
Title Account Closures
CM 29
NM 31
FM 47
IM 29
GM 20
WCM 2
WFM 5
WIM 2
WGM 0
  • Approximately 14 titled player closures per month.
  • Reviewed approximately 39,000 account closure appeals. Granted 0.3% of appeals.
  • 450+ titled players played on camera in 2023.
  • The strongest players in the world are checked the most.

Fair Play Checks

For various prize events, you may need to join a Fair Play call. In the event that you are asked to join, it is your responsibility to be ready! While the following video outlines fair play expectations for an event in which you’d need to set up two cameras, it is still applicable even if you need only one camera, and we strongly advise you to watch it! *

In addition to what’s been outlined in the video, players must: 

  • Have at least one mic open during the event.
    • Fair play proctors (and other players in the call) can hear you! As a result, you must comport yourself in the same manner you would for a game in an over-the-board tournament. Loud and/or disruptive players may be removed from an event.
  • Be ready for the possibility of a room sweep.
    • In some instances, a Fair Play proctor will ask you to get up and move your camera around to show your playing environment.
  • Be ready to show your display settings.
    • In some instances, a Fair Play proctor will ask to see your display settings to see if you have monitors connected to your computer.

* We are currently exploring solutions to improve our monitoring practices for prize events—as such, these requirements are subject to change!

Fair Play Streamer Requirements

The following table outlines our expectations for players who wish to stream events. Please pay close attention to the stream delay requirements below! Note that parts of the table may be hidden depending on your device, so please scroll through it to read all the information

Event Time
Control
Viewer
Delay*
Streamer -
Stream delay*
Monitoring /
Inspections
Headphones
Allowed?
Streamer -
Chat Restrictions* ★
Titled Tuesdays 3+1 10 10 1 camera
on request
Yes, if not in FP Zoom call.
In Zoom call, no headphones
Emote only
Pro Chess League 10+2 30 30 2 cameras No Emote only
CCT Qualifiers 10+2 60 60 1 camera on request No Emote only
CCT Events 10+2 60 60 2 cameras No Emote only
SCC Qualifiers
(Swiss)
3+1 20 20 1 camera on request Yes, if not in FP Zoom call.
In Zoom call, no headphones
Emote only
SCC Qualifiers
(Bracket)
5+1
3+1
1+1
20 20 2 cameras No Emote only
SCC Main 5+1
3+1
1+1
20 20 2 cameras No Emote only
Bullet Brawl 1+0 0 0 No cameras Yes None
Bullet Chess
Championship
1+0 0 0 2 cameras Yes None
BCC Qualifiers
Arena
1+0 0 0 No cameras Yes None
BCC Qualifiers
Bracket
1+0 0 0 2 cameras Yes None
Arena Kings 3+0 0 0 No cameras Yes None
Variants Community
Series (Weekly)
3+2 0 0 No cameras Yes None
Variants Community
Series (Championship)
3+2 0 0 2 cameras No None

If you're streaming on YouTube, read the following documentation to meet the streaming requirements. 

An exception for "Emote only" is allowed under the following conditions:

1- A formal request is made in a staff-observed (Zoom) call, and an exception is granted by Chess.com staff
2- The streamer has two cameras, and Chess.com staff can clearly verify the streamer is not looking at their chat. (Please note that the streamer must volunteer to add a second camera to events that require only one camera)

Official Fair Play/Event Rulebooks

The following documents outline our fair play expectations across various events:

Frequently Asked Questions (Titled Players)

Titled Tuesday Questions

When I play Titled Tuesday, do I need to join a fair play call?

In most instances, you won’t need to join a fair play call, but all players need to be ready to do so if contacted by a member of the Fair Play Team.

Can I play Titled Tuesday on my phone?

Players are strongly advised to play Titled Tuesday from a laptop or a desktop. In the event you are asked to join a fair play call during the event, you may no longer play from your phone—so you may start Titled Tuesday on your phone at your own risk!

If I’m asked to join a Titled Tuesday fair play call, do I need two cameras?

No, only one working camera is needed for Titled Tuesday. This camera needs to capture both yourself and the environment around you.

Why do I have to join? I promise I’m not cheating.

All levels of titled players (including super GMs!) are asked into fair play calls, and it’s one of the ways we protect the integrity of the game. When asked to join, you must do so!

If I’m not playing the next scheduled Titled Tuesday, do I still have to join a fair play call the next time I participate?

If the Fair Play team asks you to join a fair play call, it is mandatory you join that call before the start of your next Titled Tuesday, whether it’s a week later or months later.

If I’m streaming Titled Tuesday and I am asked to join a fair play call, do I have to join?

If you’re streaming Titled Tuesday and are asked to join a fair play call, you must join that call.

Can I stream in a fair play call?

You can stream in a fair play call! Please review the table above to see our requirements for streamers.

Other Event Questions

What happens if I can’t connect a second camera when asked?

There are some events (you can see which ones in the table above!) where two cameras are mandatory to participate. It is your responsibility to be able to successfully set up a second camera (some people utilize their phone as a second camera, and this is ok). If you’re unable to do so, you won’t be able to continue with the remainder of the event.

Once in a while, I hear noises from other players in Zoom. How can I deal with this?

You can mute Zoom entirely while you're in a fair play call! To do so, follow the instructions here. If you choose to mute Zoom, it is your responsibility to intermittently check the chat to ensure you haven’t missed any communication from a Fair Play proctor. 

What happens if I lose connection to the fair play Zoom call?

If you lose connection during a fair play Zoom call, it is your responsibility to reconnect as soon as possible or face removal from the event.

What points of contact are there for the Fair Play team and related events?

  • accountreview@chess.com: The Fair Play team uses this address to contact you regarding any account-related issues. This address is also used to inform players that they've been selected to participate in fair play checks for Titled Tuesday ahead of the event.
  • titled@chess.com: All events-related inquiries (prizes/info/etc.) are handled here, so you don’t have to be titled to reach out!

General Questions

How does Chess.com catch cheaters?

Chess.com invests heavily in a continuously evolving algorithm to review millions of games every day. The majority of the accounts closed for Fair Play violations are done so automatically due to the strength of evidence. For the cases that are less clear or where titled players are involved, our Fair Play analysts personally review each report to look deeper into the data and account factors. For titled players, a panel made up of highly experienced titled chess players and senior analysts determine Fair Play violations by carefully reviewing all of the data, including manual review of games and moves.

If I suspect that someone is cheating, how can I report them?

You can report someone by hovering over their username and clicking the (!) icon. This will open a new window where you can select the reason for your report. You can find more details here.

Is someone cheating if they have high accuracy scores (CAPS)?

Accuracy (formerly known as CAPS or Computer Aggregated Precision Score) is not cheat detection. Accuracy calculations were invented to give newcomers to chess a guideline for their performance. A player may achieve a high accuracy score in a single game for many reasons that have nothing to do with cheating. Fair Play detection methods are far more effective at separating cheaters and honest players.

Who reviews Fair Play Reports?

Fair Play analysts review reports. Our analyst team, which includes titled players and GMs, has years of experience reviewing thousands of reports. They consult and review each other’s work regularly.

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