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Changing match scores due to cheating

  • #1

    Our team is about to lose a match by less than two points. The other team had one of its players accounts removed due to cheating. The frustrating part is that the game score for our player as been left at 0-2 going to the cheating team. My suggestion is for chess.com come to alter their code for match scores where an account has been removed due to cheating. With this seemingly simple change, our team would justly be rewarded with a win instead of a loss. Below is my appeal to the world league which I believe would also be able to handle this issue if nothing can be done by chess.com.


    Dear World League Staff,

    I strongly appeal the decision of the WL administrators to leave the points as is if chess.com detects cheating and removes the players account. In our team's situation, we are playing a very close round 1 match where the two points in question will change the result of the match score from a loss to a win. With only 8 matches per year, this is going to significantly alter the final standings for our team. Obviously this is a topic that many of the world league members feel strongly about since a forum thread had to be created due to the large number of posts on the main page. Please reconsider your position on this.


    Billy Willson

  • #2


  • #3

    Matches with cheaters that are complete/ over would be difficult to reverse, especially months after completion.  But, the world league should have the authority to alter scores, reflecting cheater involvement on a round to round basis. 

    The World League checks on each match progress before it is complete.  It doesn't seem difficult for them to dock/add points when they look through them anyway when they come across a cheater w/ a match in progress. 

    This is not a lot of work for the admins of world league.  The admins have links to every match going on, and when they do a inter-round update, they can make an easy adjustment.

  • #4

    make the rules yourself? if people know they exist and agree to them then the final standings can be manually modified without chess.com approval

  • #5

    Please see the related thread in the World League group:


    I would fully support chess.com adjusted team match scores that reverse the points gained from cheating.

  • #6

    I think that is a fair way to organize it. Or as a more severe approach to stop cheating, the team with the cheating player should be disqualified.

  • #7
    PatriotScout wrote:

    I think that is a fair way to organize it. Or as a more severe approach to stop cheating, the team with the cheating player should be disqualified.

    Bad idea as I doubt there will be many teams left at the end of a season. It isn't as if the admins have control over their players and with such a rule in place I am sure it won't take long until a team gets sabotaged by a player that has a grudge against a particular country or region.

  • #8
    Dietmar wrote:
    PatriotScout wrote:

    I think that is a fair way to organize it. Or as a more severe approach to stop cheating, the team with the cheating player should be disqualified.

    Bad idea as I doubt there will be many teams left at the end of a season. It isn't as if the admins have control over their players and with such a rule in place I am sure it won't take long until a team gets sabotaged by a player that has a grudge against a particular country or region.

    I agree, I just know that if it were a real OTB tournament the whole team would be expelled. I do think that in this instance the team that benefited from the cheater should lose the points that the cheater won. Or the tournament/team match should be started over (though that would take a lot more time).

  • #9

    Fully supporting the suggested change.
    AFAIK, WL admins don't have the power to check why exactly was the account closed (cheating, bad words, any other options?), thus adjusting it on chess.com side would IMHO be much mor appropriate.

    Thanks for making chess.com even better place,


  • #10

    I definitely understand why there is the drive to change the scores after a player is found cheating. However, I find the practical hurdles daunting. How far back do you change scores? Are the WL admins expected to check every match score as long as the season is underway? Or only if a team admin complains? Also, as there is no longer a reason given why an account is closed the admins would have to verify the reason. Considering that admins are volunteers I don't think this is practical as it adds even more work. Being admin myself I would estimate that less than 10% of a team truly care about the overall match outcome. There are plenty of folks, however, that never check match scores. Personally, I think the way to go is to report things that look fishy and be done with it. That may not be ideal but I don't see much value to chase perfection which cannot be reasonably attained.

  • #11

    When I originally posted this thread I didn't realize that a closed account could mean things other than cheating. With this realization I can see how WL administrators can not easily find out if the account was closed due to cheating or some other reason. Therefore, I now believe that the only way this can be addressed is if chess.com changes the match score automatically if the account is closed for cheating.

  • #12

    I suspect that after getting some legal advice chess.com decided to no longer give a reason. But yes, a closed account could mean also things like rude language. But aside from that I would be curious what your opinion is how far back match scores should be changed. In the match you referenced, there is at this point only one player with a closed account. Let's assume the WL changes the score. A couple of months later an account gets closed on our side. That means the score would have to be changed again. Confusion would reign and scores would become rather meaningless.

    I would compare it to those cases in athletics, where an athlet was found doping years after the event. It simply isn't the same if you get awarded a medal (or a win) a long time after the competition.

    As I mentioned before I think the price for trying to find the true result of a team match is simply too high. I think the way to go is to pay attention to your opponents play and look for unusual signs. That includes unreal winning streaks, a sudden jump in rating after a member stayed for years in a narrow rating range, a huge disparity compared to Live Chess ratings, or ridiculously low time per move averages while playing many games and winning.

    A few examples for it: There was one players starting out with 62 wins in 63 games. Then there was a case of an older player who stayed for three years within a 200 points range in order to take off in July last year and add almost 600 points. Another case was the 2300 player who never managed to beat anyone above 1500 in Live Chess despite playing slow Live Chess. Finally, I had one opponent who's average move time was less than 30 minutes per move who steadily moved up the rating list while playing some 30 games. I don't know too many people who can play instantaneous moves and never miss anything. Needless to say, I submitted tickets for those cases. In every one of them, the member's account was closed with 48 hours. While there is no need to be paranoid the more blatant cases aren't that difficult to spot. I would rather go this route than attempting to correct match scores after the match is long over.

  • #13

    Dietmar, you make great points and I agree with your assessment.

  • #14


    First of all, as I understand, this thread is not about WL admins doing something, rather about asking chess.com to do that. And chess.com really has the knowledge due to what has the account been closed.

    You ask how far back should the matches be udpated? I think there could be found some reasonable time... For example any team match games finished within 6 months from the date of report could be updated. For sure WL or EL or any other league would fix the final results whenever they finalize the season.
    My 2 cents,

  • #15

    Arsen, I understand this is about the ability of chess.com rather than WL admins. Yes, chess.com knows why it closed an account. Yes, chess.com could pick a time frame (let's say your suggested 6 months) and update all results.

    Let's look at the practical side of this and let me throw out some questions that come to my mind. If those results change (would they only be changed for certain competitions or for all team matches?) then chess.com would have to notify the admins of the affected teams so they can update their results tables. There is no automatic update of results in any of the crosstables, the respective admins have to do it themselves which is fine as long as the competition is going on. But I doubt many admins will find it worth their volunteer time to update results half a year after a match is over even if it means that Team A won now. I just don't see the benefit of doing this nor a deterring effect on anyone willing to cheat.

    The way I see you can pick between two choices: Either you update the scores when the outcome is still on most people's mind (but leaving open the possibility that an account may be closed after that impacting the score again) or you update it a safe time from when the match is over (but virtually no one will care at the result at that point). I simply don't have an answer how to solve this dilemma.

  • #16

    if chess.com finally manage this it can be only one way, they automatically updating result of the match until it's not finished. After match has finished no update is possible. In this case there is no need to notify admins etc. etc., you just looking the score of ongoing match. Very easy and don't burn your mind too much guys... Life is simple Smile

  • #17

    I have suggested this to chess.com and they have not replied to my post. Maybe if enough people request the change they might be more willing to look into it. I just don't think this issue is very high on their priority list.

  • #18

    adriano81's suggestion at least would draw a definite line. I concur with 64squareCanvas guess that this isn't likely to be high up on chess.com's priority list.

  • #19

    Well, I'm not sure how many other more important things they have in their "to do" lists, but keeping the community happy is THE ONLY important thing for them to continue making money. :)
    If the thing bothers many people, I think they should be willing to do that, unless it's technically awfully hard. I think here it comes more to the legal side... They don't publish the reason why the account was closed, since they cannot guarantee that someone cheated. They just have very strong facts showing that, but no power to say that to someone's face.
    I would agree to Adriano81's suggestion to update the matches in progress, as a solution that is MUCH better than what we have now. :)

  • #20

    I am experiencing a similar software error or cheating attempt now that, if not corrected, will keep me from advancing in a tournament.

    Check it out



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