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Thread: CFC Executive rules on an Appeal of Decision for online tournament

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    Default CFC Executive rules on an Appeal of Decision for online tournament

    An alarming amount of Executive and presidential time has gone into scrutinizing the results of online tournaments and dealing with the results of platform suspensions.

    Many online accounts have been suspended lately with unclear charges of violating the site rules.

    The CFC interim policy is that suspensions by a platform result in suspensions from CFC online play between 4 months and a year depending on the age of the player. We do not have any clear rules in place aside from the interim policy. Where there are no rules in place, appeals can only be directed to the CFC board of directors (AKA executive). A player played a tournament. After the tournament the player had their chess.com account suspended. The player's games were stricken from the tournament.

    We have an online committee looking at proposing rules for online play but they are only just struck and there have been several changes to the committee already so while we have the preliminary guidelines, there is no firm policy proposed.

    Fred McKim, Bob Gillanders and I looked at the situation and quite a bit of evidence that was provided to us by the parent of the player. There was one game that allegedly was suspicious. Chess.com through their analysis tool indicated that the winning player played at 99.6% accuracy while the opponent played at 99.1% accuracy. I looked at the game and saw quite a few opportunities for improvement for both sides and so was skeptical of the accuracy claims. I ran it through Komodo 13 which gave the accuracy scores of 74% for the player and 52% for the opponent. The opponent while lower rated on chess.com was a 2100 rated FIDE player. The game followed an opening that I had studied before before settling into an isolated queen pawn opening. At the first opportunity, facilitated by the opponent's play, the isolated pawn was liquidated and an equal position was reached where the opponent blundered a piece and resigned on move 26 (going by memory). We all agreed that the player should not be suspended over that game but we could not agree on whether the games should be rated.

    We thought about sending the decision to the NAC but after consultations with the chair of that committee Aris Marghetis, we concluded that it really wasn't a matter for the National Appeals Committee. That left the executive as the only avenue for appeal.

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    One bit of information in the case of a similar controversy in the USCF found that a different player's games should be rated where there was no due process from the chess.com server provider.

    Monday, February 14, 2019

    Mr. Xueyi Chen
    9801 West 115th Terrace
    Overland Park, KS 66210


    Dear Mr. Chen:On the evening of Jan 31, 2019, the US Chess Executive Board (EB) considered the formal Appeal of Mr. Kele Perkins.
    As you are aware, the US Chess Rules Committee (RC) had issued a decision that would allow the games played by your son, Eddison,
    in Rounds 1, 2, 3 and 5 of the “7th ChessKid.com Nationals” held in June 2018, to be rated as wins for Eddison. The EB has decided
    to uphold the decision of the RC—the games shall be rated as wins for Eddison.The EB believes the central issue in this matter is
    one of appropriate due process when a claim is made against a player alleged to have violated the Rules of Chess. The EB strongly
    feels that US Chess Members whose results in an on-line event are being rated as over-the-board games should have access to the
    same due process they have when actually playing over-the-board. Accordingly, the EB supports the Rules Committee’s position that
    “players in US Chess regular rated tournaments must be able to see whatever evidence is used to determine the player has cheated.


    ”Respectfully,

    Allen Priest
    President,

    US Chess Federation

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    The parent of the player in question gave letters of support from several grandmasters and provided evidence that the player had participated in several intense chess camps done by grandmasters Lenderman and Aagaard. The player was also taking one on one lessons over the internet with grandmaster Larry Christiansen who testified in a letter that they had studied the positions played prior to the game in some depth.

    We received independent conclusions from two FIDE masters who looked at the game, that they saw nothing unusual about the level of play based on a player in the mid-1800s. It should be noted that the player was actually in the mid-1900s at the time making the result even less remarkable.

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    Chess.com hinted that there were issues that were behind their decision to suspend the player's account but required the CFC to sign a non-disclosure agreement which would have precluded acting on their information. In effect, Chess.com provided no usable information to come to a conclusion so we were left to looking at the "suspicious" game ourselves and the expert GM and FM impressions of the game.

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    Some of the discussion centered on the play being very quick and very accurate. The play was very quick but our own analysis showed that the play was not particularly accurate. Quick play is a normal feature of young players play. It is quite conceivable that a player, playing a pawn structure that he has studied with a grandmaster would be capable of quickly playing the moves that were played.

    I have studied these positions in depth with at least two grandmasters, studied several videos and books dealing with these pawn structures including GM Baburin's book on isolated pawn structures. I have taught these pawn structures to some of my more advanced students.
    Last edited by Vladimir Drkulec; 09-10-2020 at 02:59 PM.

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    The executive concluded that the games should be rated. We did not find any indication that the player had acted incorrectly within the confines of the CFC rated tournament. We cannot provide any conclusions about the chess.com suspension as we don't know what the suspension was based on. The player actually lost rating points as a result of these games being rated because their quick rating was still provisional and they had lost a game to a lower rated player in the tournament. The allegedly suspicious game was with a player who had a lower chess.com rating than the appellant.

    We directed that the $100 deposit for the appeal be returned to the player's parent.
    Last edited by Vladimir Drkulec; 09-10-2020 at 02:56 PM.

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