04. Online Chess Regulations
FIDE ONLINE CHESS REGULATIONS
The FIDE Online Chess Regulations are intended to cover all competitions where players transmit moves via the internet whether they play them using a virtual chess board broadcast by the online playing site or using an electronic chess board (eBoard) connected to the playing site through the internet.
Wherever possible, these Regulations are intended to be identical to the FIDE Laws of Chess and related FIDE competition regulations. They are intended for use by players and arbiters in official FIDE online competitions, and as a technical specification for online chess platforms hosting these competitions. Throughout these online chess regulations, the term “eBoard” applies to any FIDE-approved electronic chess board provided by the organiser for use in an online competition.
These Regulations cannot cover all possible situations that may arise during a competition, but it should be possible for an arbiter with the necessary competence, sound judgment, and objectivity, to arrive at the correct decision based on their understanding of these Regulations.
Part I: Basic Rules of Play
1. Application of the FIDE Laws of Chess
1.1 Articles 1 – 3 of the Basic rules of play from the FIDE Laws of Chess are fully applied, , except for what is provided in the following article 1.2.
1.2 When a tournament is played using a virtual chessboard, article 2.1 of the Basic rules of play from the FIDE Laws of Chess is superseded by Article 3.1 of these Regulations.
1.3 Articles 4 and 5 of the Basic rules of play from the FIDE Laws of Chess are superseded by Articles 3 and 5 of these Regulations respectively.
Part II: Online Chess Rules
2. Playing Zone
2.1 Online chess games are played using one of two formats: on a virtual chessboard broadcast by the online chess platform and displayed on each player’s screen displayed, or through the internet using eBoards provided to all players by the organiser.
2.2 The playing board, whether it is a virtual chessboard or an eBoard, shall be hosted by an online playing zone, usually an application or a website.
2.3 When a tournament is played with eBoards, these shall be endorsed by the FIDE Technical Commission.
2.4 The competition regulations must state in advance that either both players must (a) use a virtual chessboard; or (b) use an eBoard with the clock times for both players kept using clocks connected to the eBoards or (c) clock times provided by the playing zone. This ensures that both players in a game compete
2.5 The players are responsible for familiarising themselves with the features and functionality of the virtual chess board or eBoard.
2.6 When a virtual chessboard is used, the list of moves, clock times of the players, as well as information indicating draw agreements, mandatory draws, resignation, and indications when a player calls for arbiter assistance, shall be visible on the screen to the arbiter and both players throughout the game.
2.7 When eBoards are used, the arbiter and players shall have access to a screen displaying the moves of the game and the clock times of the players, as well as information indicating draw agreements, mandatory draws, resignation, and indications when a player calls for arbiter assistance.
3. Moving the Pieces on the Virtual Chessboard or eBoard
3.1 When virtual chessboards are used:
3.1.1 The chessboard is composed of an 8 x 8 grid of 64 equal squares alternately light (the ‘white’ squares) and dark (the ‘black’ squares). The chessboard’s right lower corner square is white.
3.1.2 The playing zone shall only accept legal moves.
3.1.3 The player having the move shall be allowed to use any technical means available the playing zone to make the moves.
3.1.4 As a minimum, the playing zone must offer the player having the move the possibility to select the source and target squares for the move.
3.1.5 The following additional options listed below may be activated and used by the player:
3.1.6 All moves and clock times after each move are automatically recorded by the playing zone and visible to both players.
3.1.7 If a player is unable to move the pieces, an assistant, who shall be acceptable to the arbiter, may be provided by the player to perform this operation.
3.2 When eBoards are used:
3.2.1 Moves are made on the eBoard in the same way as on a regular chess board.
3.2.2 The playing zone shall only accept legal moves. When a player on move makes an illegal move the eBoard shall display an appropriate warning message and the move shall not be transmitted to the platform. The player shall then have the option to make any legal move using any piece. The illegal move notification shall not be broadcast to the opponent.
3.2.3 A move is considered completed after a specific time has passed since a piece has been collocated onto a square. The time after the piece has been placed and the move is considered complete shall be programmable from the eBoard software.
3.2.4 All moves and the clock times after each move are automatically recorded by the playing zone. The clock times shall always be visible to the players and arbiter.
3.2.5 If a player is unable to move the pieces, an assistant, who shall be acceptable to the arbiter, may be provided by the player to perform this operation.
3.2.6 The eBoard or the playing zone must offer a feature which can be used to verify which piece the eBoard believes is on each square.
4. Virtual Chessclock
4.1 ‘Virtual chessclock’ means the individual clock time of both players as displayed by the playing zone.
4.2 Each player must complete a minimum number of moves or all moves in an allotted period of time, including any additional amount of time with each move. The competition regulations will specify these in advance.
4.3 If a player does not complete the prescribed number of moves in the allotted time, the Playing Zone will automatically award the win to the opponent. However, if the position is such that the opponent cannot checkmate the player’s king by any possible series of legal moves, then the playing zone will automatically rule the game as drawn.
4.4 When a player has made their move on a virtual chessboard, their clock will automatically stop, and the opponent’s clock will start.
4.5 When playing with an eBoard, once a move is considered completed, the eBoard stops the player’s clock time and starts the opponent’s clock time.
4.6 When playing with an eBoard, the playing zone shall allow the arbiter to adjust the clock time of one or both players in a game as stipulated in Articles 10.5, 10.9.2, 10.9.3, 18.4.2, 18.4.3 and 18.9.
5. Completing the Game
5.1 The game is won by the player who has checkmated their opponent’s king.
5.2 The game is won by the player whose opponent resigns by pressing the “resign” button or by another method available on the playing zone.
5.3 The player can offer a draw in accordance with any method provided by the playing zone. The offer cannot be withdrawn and remains valid until the opponent accepts it, rejects it by playing a move, or the game is concluded in some other way.
5.4 The playing zone shall automatically declare the game as drawn when:
5.4.1 the same position appeared for the third time (as described in Article 9.2.2 of the FIDE Laws of Chess);
5.4.2 the player to move has no legal move and their king is not in check. The game is said to end in ‘stalemate’;
5.4.3 a position has arisen in which neither player can checkmate the opponent’s king with any series of legal moves;
5.4.4 the last 50 moves by each player have been completed without the movement of any pawn and without any capture.
Part III: Regulations for Online Competitions
6. Competition Types
6.1 Online competitions may be played under the following formats:
6.1.1 An “Online chess competition” event without specific player supervision, possibly automated by a playing zone without the supervision of an arbiter. “Online chess” is the most generic term for Internet chess games. The regulations of this kind of competitions are specified by the playing zones.
6.1.2 “Online Chess with supervision” competition is an event where players are remotely supervised by an arbiter (see Part III a).
6.1.3 “Hybrid chess” competition is an event where all players are physically supervised by an arbiter, while they play online (see Part III b)
6.2 The competition regulations shall specify the kind of competition listed in Article 6.1.
7. Scoring System
7.1 Unless the competition regulations specify otherwise, a player who wins a game, or wins by forfeit, scores one point (1), a player who loses a game, or forfeits, scores no points (0), and a player who draws a game scores a half point (½).
7.2 The total score of any game can never exceed the maximum score normally given for that game. Scores given to an individual player must be those normally associated with the game, for example a score of ¾ - ¼ is not allowed.
Part III a: Regulations for Online Competitions with Supervision
8. General Provisions
8.1 The ‘playing venue’ is defined as the ‘playing area’, and toilets or restrooms. The playing area is defined as the room where the player plays their moves. The competition regulations may require the playing area should be monitored by cameras.
8.2 No one except the player are allowed to be in the playing area without the permission of the Arbiter.
8.3 The time control and method of implementation shall be specified in competition regulations.
8.4 If the playing zone allows players to move pieces in contradiction with Article 3.3 (illegal moves), the competition regulations must specify how to deal with such irregularities.
8.5 The competition regulations shall specify a default time in advance. If the default time is not specified, then it is zero. If the competition regulations specify that the default time is not zero and if neither player is present initially, White shall lose all the time that elapses before the player’s arrival, unless the competition regulations specify, or the arbiter decides otherwise.
8.6 The playing zone must record the offer of a draw next to the player’s move when the draw is offered.
9. Players’ Conduct
9.1 The players shall take no action that will bring the game of chess into disrepute including the way that a player behaves in front of the cameras.
9.2 Each player shall connect to the playing zone with an authorised device, to access their games.
9.3 Each player shall use their personal account when playing competition games on the playing zone. A player may not conceal their identity in any way, for example pretending to be a different player.
9.4 Players must wear appropriate clothing when visible on camera and follow the dress code of the competition, if any.
9.5 During a game a player may leave the playing area or the playing venue only with the permission of the arbiter.
9.6 During play the players are forbidden from using any electronic device, notes, sources of information or advice, or to analyse any game on another chessboard.
9.7 Players are not allowed to have headphones in or over their ears during play.
9.8 During a game, a player is forbidden from having in the playing venue any electronic device which is not specifically approved by the arbiter. However, the competition regulations may allow such devices to be stored very near to the playing area only as a help to provide backup internet.
9.8.1 If it becomes evident that a player has a forbidden device in the playing venue, the player shall lose the game. The opponent shall win. The competition regulations may specify a different, less severe, penalty. The Chief Arbiter can also decide to exclude the player from the competition.
9.8.2 The arbiter may require the player to show their clothes, bags, contents of drawers, cupboards, or other items. A player’s body, including ears, may also be inspected. These inspections will be by camera. Where the player’s body is searched, other than just the ears, then it must be done in private by a person of the same gender. This search must not be recorded.
9.9 Smoking, including e-cigarettes, is not permitted when visible on camera.
9.10 It is forbidden to distract or annoy the opponent in any manner whatsoever. This includes unreasonable claims, unreasonable offers of a draw, sending inappropriate messages or the introduction of a source of noise into the playing area.
9.11 Infraction of any part of Articles 9.1 – 9.10 shall lead to penalties in accordance with Article 10.9.
9.12 Players who have finished their games shall be considered to be spectators and must comply with the instructions of the Arbiter and the competition regulations. For example: mute their microphones, switch off their cameras and/or stop screen sharing.
9.13 A player shall have the right to request from the arbiter an explanation of particular points in the FIDE Online Chess Regulations.
9.14 Unless the competition regulations specify otherwise, a player may appeal against the decision of the arbiter. This includes appeals against the result of a game, even if the result was set by the playing zone and approved by the arbiter. The competition regulations may establish a reasonable appeal fee, to be forfeited in case the appeal is rejected.
9.15 Players may observe other games from their current competition, provided they respect instructions on allowed behaviour during a game and only display the current position, time and/or result. Players are forbidden from accessing any kind of game analysis during play.
10. The Arbiter’s Role
10.1 The arbiter shall see that the Laws of Chess and FIDE Online Chess Regulations are observed.
10.2 The arbiter shall:
10.2.1 ensure fair play,
10.2.2 act in the best interest of the competition,
10.2.3 ensure that a good playing environment is maintained,
10.2.4 ensure that the players are not disturbed,
10.2.5 supervise the progress of the competition,
10.2.6 take special measures in the interests of disabled players and those who need medical attention,
10.2.7 follow the FIDE Anti-Cheating Regulations and FIDE Anti-Cheating Protection Measures (see Appendix I).
10.3 The arbiters shall observe the games, especially when the players are short of time, enforce decisions they have made, and impose penalties on players where appropriate.
10.3.1 The arbiter may appoint assistants to observe games and players.
10.4 The arbiter shall inspect the playing area as appropriate before the start of a game and arrange any required change to ensure the best setup before the start of a game.
10.4.1 When the games take place in a physical space, the arbiter shall arrive not less than 90 minutes before the scheduled start time, and in any case in sufficient time to make the necessary preparations, including those specified in Articles 18.5 and 18.6. The arbiter should instruct the players to arrive in the playing area 20 minutes before the start of a game in order to verify the preparations, or at such other time as the arbiter shall decide.
10.5 The arbiter may award either or both players additional time in the event of external disturbance of the game.
10.6 The arbiter must not intervene in a game except in cases described by the FIDE Online Chess Regulations.
10.7 Players in other games must not speak about or otherwise interfere in a game. Spectators are not allowed to interfere in a game. The arbiter may expel offenders from the playing venue.
10.8 Unless authorised by the arbiter, it is forbidden for anybody to use a mobile phone or any kind of communication device in the playing venue or any contiguous area designated by the arbiter.
10.9 Options available to the arbiter concerning penalties:
10.9.2 increasing the remaining time of the opponent,
10.9.3 reducing the remaining time of the offending player,
10.9.4 increasing the points scored in the game by the opponent to the maximum available for that game,
10.9.5 reducing the points scored in the game by the offending person,
10.9.6 declaring the game to be lost by the offending player (the arbiter shall also decide the opponent’s score),
10.9.7 a fine announced in advance,
10.9.8 exclusion from one or more rounds,
10.9.9 expulsion from the competition.
11.1 It is the player’s responsibility to be connected to the playing zone. This includes providing a stable internet connection and a working playing device.
11.1.1 The player may maintain their connection via a mobile device, only with the prior permission of the Arbiter.
11.2 The player shall follow the instructions given by the arbiter concerning their presence in the playing zone.
11.3 The competition regulations shall state the consequences and potential sanctions in the case of a disconnection from the playing zone during a playing session.
11.4 During a game, if a player disconnects from the playing zone, the clock shall continue running.
11.4.1 If the player can reconnect to the game before their remaining thinking time has elapsed, the game shall continue with the thinking time remaining on the player’s clock. The arbiter shall decide whether further sanctions are appropriate.
11.4.2 If the player cannot reconnect to the game before their remaining thinking time elapses, then that player shall lose the game unless the competition regulations specify otherwise (including the amount of time that a disconnected player must reconnect within). However, the game is drawn in the situation described in Article 4.3.
11.5 During a disconnection both players must not leave their places without the permission of the Arbiter.
12. Playing Device
12.1 During a game the player shall play with a single screen and share it with the Arbiter, unless specified otherwise in the competition regulations.
12.2 During a playing session, the arbiter shall have access upon request to the open applications on the player’s device.
12.3 The rules for the competition shall specify what applications are required to participate and are allowed to be open during games. Players are not allowed to have open or otherwise use any applications other than those approved by the rules for the competition.
12.4 When an eBoard is in use, the playing zone must allow a player to offer a draw, resign or call for arbiter assistance, preferably with the press of a single button or by a similarly simple method.
13. Video Conferencing System
13.1 When games are to be played under video supervision, the organiser shall provide a Video Conferencing System (VCS) for use by the players and arbiters. The system shall have the following features:
13.1.1 A full view of the player displaying at least their face, and if required, their playing area;
13.1.2 Audio of the player and surrounding area (via a microphone);
13.1.3 Support for screen sharing by the player (under the control of the player and Arbiter).
13.2 Each player is required to connect to the VCS at a time specified by the arbiter and must remain connected during the entire session.
13.3 If a player disconnects from the VCS, but is still connected to the playing zone, then the player is forbidden from moving a piece on the chess board, before reconnecting to the VCS.
13.4 The competition regulations may specify that a system of yellow (warning) and red (loss) cards is implemented to support the handling of sanctions due to disconnections from the VCS.
14. Cameras and Microphones
14.1 When playing under video supervision, the player shall use a webcam that shows their complete face during the game. The picture displayed shall not hide the surroundings of the player; a virtual background is not allowed.
14.2 The room lighting must be sufficient to allow broadcasting and the movement of a player’s eyes to be monitored by the Arbiter.
14.3 A player’s microphone must remain “On” throughout the game so that the microphone transmits any sounds near the player to the Arbiter. A player is not allowed to “Mute” or turn off the microphone.
14.4 The competition regulations may specify and require the use and positioning of additional monitoring technologies.
15.1 Each player is entitled to ask for an arbiter’s assistance. If a player calls the Arbiter in order to seek the arbiter’s assistance, the arbiter shall determine whether the player has a valid reason for doing so. If there is no valid reason for doing so, the player may be penalised in accordance with Article 10.9.
15.2 If a game has started with colours reversed then, if less than 10 moves have been made by both players, it shall be discontinued, and a new game played with the correct colours. After 10 moves or more, the game shall continue.
15.3 If a game is not drawn automatically when one of the situations described in Article 5.4 (automatically drawn situations) has occurred, the arbiter will declare the game drawn.
15.4 If a playing zone automatically declares a draw in contradiction with Article 4.3 (mate possibilities still exist), the arbiter is entitled to modify the automatic result.
15.5 If during a game it is found that the setting of either or both clocks is incorrect, the arbiter shall adjust the chessclock immediately. The arbiter shall install the correct setting and adjust the times, if necessary. The arbiter shall use their best judgement when determining the clock settings.
15.6 If the game needs to be interrupted for any reason, the arbiter shall pause the chessclock if possible. If it is not possible, the arbiter may add additional time to either or both players.
Part III b: Regulations for Hybrid Chess Competitions
16. General Provisions
16.1 The Chief Organiser designates the playing venues for the competition. Each playing venue is under the control of a Local Organiser.
16.2 Each Local Organiser is required to provide a playing venue suitable to host a hybrid chess competition. The ‘playing venue’ is defined as the ‘playing area’, rest rooms, toilets, refreshment area, area set aside for smoking and other places as designated by the arbiter. The playing area is defined as the place where the games of a competition are played. Only players and arbiter are allowed access to the playing area.
16.3 Each playing venue must be monitored by cameras.
16.4 In each playing venue, the fair play measures should be applied in accordance with the FIDE Anti- Cheating Regulations and FIDE Anti-Cheating Protection Measures. Unless authorised by the arbiter, it is forbidden for anybody to use a mobile phone or any kind of communication device in the playing venue or any contiguous area designated by the arbiter.
16.5 Each Local Organiser is responsible for providing an Internet connection in the playing venue. Players are not responsible for their connections to HIP and to a communication system (if required by the competition regulations), unless the competition regulations say otherwise.
16.6 In each venue, electronic devices used for conducting online games (playing devices) are provided by the Local Organiser, unless the competition regulations say otherwise.
16.7 During the game, each player shall have access to any software required for the purpose of connecting to the Internet from their playing device or an eBoard. No other website, application or software can be accessible to the player on the playing device or eBoard. The only exception may be a (video-) communication system, if required by competition regulations.
16.8 At least two arbiters will be appointed for each playing venue: a Local Chief Arbiter (LCA) and a Local Technical Assistant (LTA).
16.9 The total number of arbiters required in each playing venue will vary depending on the kind of competition, on the system of the games, on the number of participants and on the importance of the event.
16.10 If the playing zone allows players to move pieces in contradiction with Article 3.3 (illegal moves), the competition regulations must specify how to deal with such irregularities.
16.11 The competition regulations shall specify a default time in advance. If the default time is not specified, then it is zero. If the competition regulations specify that the default time is not zero and if neither player is present initially, White shall lose all the time that elapses before their arrival, unless the competition regulations specify, or the arbiter decides otherwise.
16.12 The playing zone must record the offer of a draw next to the player’s move when the draw is offered.
16.13 When an eBoard is used, there must be a screen available to an arbiter or a player where a draw offer can be seen next to the offering player’s move. If an eBoard player is not using such a screen the playing zone or the eBoard must indicate to that player, in some other way, when a draw offer is made by the opponent. These requirements also apply when a player asks for the intervention of an arbiter.
16.14 The competition regulations may impose the mandatory use of a scoresheet.
17. Players’ Conduct
17.1 The players shall take no action that will bring the game of chess into disrepute.
17.2 The players are not allowed to use their own playing devices in the playing venue, unless the competition regulations say otherwise.
17.3 During the game, the players are forbidden to have any electronic device not specifically approved by the arbiter. The arbiter may require the player to allow their clothes, bags, other items or body to be inspected, in private. The arbiter or person authorised by the arbiter shall inspect the player and shall be of the same gender as the player. If it becomes evident that a player has a forbidden device in the playing venue, the player shall lose the game. The opponent shall win. The competition regulations may specify a different, less severe, penalty. The Chief Arbiter can also decide to exclude the player from the competition.
17.4 The competition regulations may allow personal electronic devices to be stored in a player’s bag, provided the device is completely switched off. This bag must be placed as agreed with LCA.
17.5 During the game, the players are forbidden to use any notes, sources of information or receive advice.
17.6 It is forbidden to distract or annoy the opponent in any manner whatsoever. This includes unreasonable claims, unreasonable offers of a draw, sending inappropriate messages or the introduction of a source of noise into the playing area.
17.7 During a game a player may leave the playing area or the playing venue only with the permission of the arbiter.
17.8 The players shall follow the dress code of the competition, if any.
17.9 Infraction of any part of Articles 17.1 – 17.8 shall lead to penalties in accordance with Article 18.4.
17.10 A player shall have the right to request from the arbiter an explanation of particular points in the FIDE Online Chess Regulations.
17.11 Unless the competition regulations specify otherwise, a player may appeal against the decision of the arbiter. This includes appeals against the result of a game, even if the result was set by the playing zone and approved by the arbiter. The competition regulations may establish a reasonable appeal fee, to be forfeited in case the appeal is rejected.
18. The Arbiter’s Role
18.1 The arbiter shall see that the Laws of Chess and FIDE Online Chess Regulations are observed.
18.2 The arbiter shall:
18.2.1 ensure fair play,
18.2.2 act in the best interest of the competition,
18.2.3 ensure that a good playing environment is maintained,
18.2.4 ensure that the players are not disturbed,
18.2.5 supervise the progress of the competition,
18.2.6 take special measures in the interests of disabled players and those who need medical attention,
18.2.7 follow the FIDE Anti-Cheating Regulations and FIDE Anti-Cheating Protection Measures (see appendix I).
18.3 The arbiters shall observe the games, especially when the players are short of time, enforce decisions they have made, and impose penalties on players where appropriate.
18.4 Options available to the arbiter concerning penalties:
18.4.2 increasing the remaining time of the opponent,
18.4.3 reducing the remaining time of the offending player,
18.4.4 increasing the points scored in the game by the opponent to the maximum available for that game,
18.4.5 reducing the points scored in the game by the offending person,
18.4.6 declaring the game to be lost by the offending player (the arbiter shall also decide the opponent’s score),
18.4.7 a fine announced in advance,
18.4.8 exclusion from one or more rounds,
18.4.9 expulsion from the competition.
18.5 Before the beginning of each game, each LCA is responsible for checking that all the playing devices are in compliance with the requirement of Article 16.7.
18.6 Before the beginning of each game, each LCA is responsible for conducting the fair-play check of all the players.
18.7 Each LCA is responsible for monitoring the venue’s camera recordings.
18.8 Each LTA is responsible for monitoring each player’s connection to HIP and to a communication system (if required by the competition regulations) before and during each game.
18.9 Each LTA shall immediately report to the Chief Arbiter about each disconnection case. Once the connection is reset, relying on specific circumstances, the Chief Arbiter takes a decision including but not limited to:
18.9.1 resumption of the game from the adjourned position,
18.9.2 reducing remaining time of the disconnected player,
18.9.3 restarting the game from the initial position with the same time limit,
18.9.4 restarting the game from the initial position with a shorter time control.
19.1 Each player is entitled to ask for an arbiter’s assistance. If a player calls the Arbiter in order to seek the arbiter’s assistance, the arbiter shall determine whether the player has a valid reason for doing so. If there is no valid reason for doing so, the player may be penalised in accordance with Article 18.4.
19.2 If a game has started with colours reversed then, if less than 10 moves have been made by both players, it shall be discontinued, and a new game played with the correct colours. After 10 moves or more, the game shall continue.
19.3 If a game is not drawn automatically when one of the situations described in Article 5.4 (automatically drawn situations) has occurred, the arbiter will declare the game drawn.
19.4 If a playing zone automatically declares a draw in contradiction with Article 4.5 (mate possibilities still exist), the arbiter is entitled to modify the automatic result.
19.5 If during a game it is found that the setting of either or both clocks is incorrect, the arbiter shall adjust the chessclock immediately. The arbiter shall install the correct setting and adjust the times, if necessary. The arbiter shall use their best judgement when determining the clock settings.
19.6 If the game needs to be interrupted for any reason, the arbiter shall pause the chessclock if possible. If it is not possible, the arbiter may add additional time to either or both players.
20. Use of Traditional Chess Sets at Hybrid Competitions
20.1 If the time control used for the competition has an increment of at least 30 seconds per move starting from move 1, the competition regulations may specify that players are allowed to use traditional chess sets (boards and pieces) for their convenience during the games. Players can’t use any additional boards if the competition is played on eBoards.
20.2 In the case the use of a traditional chess set is allowed, the following provisions apply:
20.2.1 The virtual chessboard and virtual chessclock remain the definitive record of the game.
20.2.2 The specific competition regulations must specify the necessary number of arbiters.
20.2.3 Moves played on the virtual chessboard may be accompanied by a clearly audible sound signal (click) so that each player could be aware, without any delay, of the last move played by their opponent. This shall be implemented in a way which doesn’t disturb other games.
20.2.4 Each player is responsible for moving pieces on their traditional board. The only allowed action on the traditional board is reproducing the moves played on the virtual board made by each side. Once a game is started with a traditional chess set, it must be played with it till the end of the game.
20.2.5 Players are not allowed to make their move on the virtual board before they have reproduced their own previous move on the traditional board. The position on the traditional chessboard must always remain the same as on the virtual one; the only allowed difference is the last move’s delay.
20.2.6 In case of violation of Articles 20.2.4 and 20.2.5, the arbiter is entitled to intervene and the penalties described in Article 18.4 applies.
20.2.7 The specific competition regulations may impose mandatory use of scoresheets by the players.
APPENDIX I. FIDE Fair Play Rules for Online Competitions with Supervision
The following rules deal with Online Chess. They shall apply to all official FIDE competitions. For national competitions and private competitions, it is strongly recommended to adopt these rules, amended where appropriate.
1. General Provisions
1.1 All games of a competition must be supervised by a monitoring software (Fair Play software) during and/or after the games are played.
1.2 The only Fair Play software authorised by FIDE is the FIDE Game Screening Tool. Other software requires explicit approval by the FIDE Fair Play Commission (FPL).
1.3 Most platforms will automatically process the games of a competition through their own anti- cheating procedures. These procedures in FIDE competitions are not final, but the Chief Arbiter or the panel of experts may consider them enough to impose a penalty.
1.4 Players must play with their real names.
1.5 Players may be required to be visible on camera, using a video conferencing platform (between rounds players may be allowed to turn the camera off). The images of the video conferencing platform may be recorded by the organiser. It must be ensured that only the Chief Arbiter, the panel of experts, if any, and the members of EDC and FPL may access it if necessary and that the recording is deleted one year after the official announcement of the results, unless proceedings against participants of the namely competition have been opened before by FPL or EDC
1.6 Players may be required to show their surroundings and their computer Task Manager, and this can be requested at any time. Players may be instructed by the arbiter to share their screen and to turn off the chat function during play. In case the competition regulations provide so, the organiser should ensure that appropriate legal information about privacy and child safeguarding are written in the invitation or regulations. If needed, the organiser may consult FIDE data protection team.
1.7 Other competitions must be conducted in accordance with the principles above and/or with the Online Fair Play policies of National Federations. When in such a case a competition is conducted on a platform which applies its own Fair Play policies, players must be made aware that arbiters cannot intervene in decisions made by the platform.
1.8 Arbiters must be familiar with the platform’s procedures:
1.8.1 For dealing with cheating allegations,
1.8.2 For the flagging or closure of accounts,
1.8.3 For handling appeals.
1.9 In cases where the official results are determined by the Chief Arbiter rather than by the platform, the competition regulations should specify whether or not points won by players subsequently barred or disqualified are awarded to their opponents.
1.10 Prizes should not be awarded to players until the Fair Play checks undertaken by the platform and with the FIDE Game Screening Tool have been completed.
1.11 In some competitions, particularly official FIDE competitions, the competition regulations may specify disqualification and other penalties being imposed without any determination that cheating has been proved. In such a case sanction would not be extended to OTB play in the absence of more evidence.
1.12 The competition regulations cannot provide that the decision of the Chief Arbiter or of a panel of experts, designated for that purpose, on loss of the game or exclusion from the competition on suspicion of cheating is final. The appropriate body to appeal is the Appeals Committee of the competition. Therefore, it is strongly recommended to appoint in advance at least one fair play expert in the Appeals Committee. The competition regulations shall provide in advance an appropriate procedure to appeal against Fair Play decisions, and a timing for the decisions, considering the tournament schedule and the final ranking announcement. The competition regulations may establish a reasonable appeal fee, to be forfeited in case the appeal is rejected.
1.13 FPL may create a sub-commission or task force dedicated only to online chess.
1.14 The competition regulations cannot provide that all fair play matters for the competition are the sole responsibility of the platform.
2. Online Cheating Offences
2.1 Conceptually, cheating in online chess is defined as any behaviour that a player uses to gain an advantage over their peer player or achieve a target in an online game if, according to the game rules, the advantage or the target is not supposed to have achieved.
2.2 Specifically, ‘Cheating’ means:
2.2.1 the deliberate use of electronic devices or other sources of information or advice during a game; or
2.2.2 the manipulation of chess competitions which means an intentional arrangement, act or omission aimed at an improper alteration of the result or the course of a chess competition in order to remove all or part of the unpredictable nature of the aforementioned chess competition with a view to obtaining an undue advantage for oneself or for others.
2.2.3 The manipulation of chess competitions includes but is not limited to result manipulation, sandbagging, match fixing, rating fraud, and deliberate participation in fictitious competitions or games.
2.3 The cheating-related offences specific to online chess are hacking and identity theft – i.e. when somebody else is playing for the player. The ways in which offences of this type are dealt with are analogous to the treatment of cheating offences, including application of FIDE’s internal disciplinary measures.
2.4 Statistical evidence may lead to the assumption that a cheating offence has been committed. The player has always the right to appeal and present arguments to the Appeals Committee.
2.5 Technical violations connected with the video conference system used to supervise the competition, for example disconnections, playing without camera on, playing without shared screen with a task bar, playing without a microphone on (if it is required by regulation of competition) and so on, per se does not lead to the assumption that a cheating offence has been committed, but the player can still be penalised accordingly.
3. Burdens and Standards of Proof
3.1 FPL shall have the burden of establishing that an online cheating offence has occurred. The standard of proof shall be whether FPL has established an online cheating offence to the comfortable satisfaction of the hearing panel bearing in mind the seriousness of the allegation which is made. This standard of proof in all cases is greater than a mere balance of probability but less than proof beyond a reasonable doubt. Article 2.4 remains unaffected.
3.2 Where these Fair Play Rules place the burden of proof upon the Player or other Person alleged to have committed an assumed online cheating offence to rebut a presumption or establish specified facts or circumstances, the standard of proof shall be by a balance of probability.
4. False Accusation
4.1 False accusation is an abuse of freedom of expression. False accusation in chess as in any other area might damage reputation. The right to protection of reputation is protected as a part of the right to respect for private life. While deciding whether accusation is manifestly unfounded and thus it can be considered as the abuse of the freedom of expression, the following criteria are taken into account:
4.1.1 the sufficiency of the factual basis of the accusation;
4.1.2 the level of the competition;
4.1.3 the title and rating of the player who is alleged of online cheating;
4.1.4 the final result of the player in the competition in question;
4.1.5 the way and the scale of spreading the accusation (social media, public interview, blogpost, etc.) The list of the criteria is not exhaustive.
4.2 False accusation in online chess is dealt mutatis mutandis as in over the board chess.
5.1 Sanctions imposed for an online cheating offence may be extended to OTB chess. A sanction specified in the FIDE Code of Ethics as a one year-ban may be reduced to 6 months for OTB chess.
5.2 Other aspects of sanctioning are mutatis mutandis applied to online chess as they are applied in over the board chess: the age of the player, the frequency and nature of the offence, the nature of the competition and other circumstances are comprehensively taken into account.
6.1 The Fair Play Commission (FPL) has jurisdiction in all cheating-related matters, including false accusations in all FIDE official events. People subject to FPL jurisdiction include players, supporting persons and team captains. Supporting persons include, but are not limited to, heads of delegations, seconds, trainers, managers, psychologists, organisers, spectators, relatives, journalists, chess officials, arbiters when involved in cheating incidents.
7. Complaints and Investigations
7.1 Triggering an investigation:
7.1.1 Investigations can be initiated based on a post-competition complaint.
7.1.2 Investigations can also be triggered by:
7.2.1 The right to complain belongs to the participants (players, captains and officials) with FIDE ID Number of the competition concerned. Protest deadline is 24 hours after the end of the last round.
7.2.2 All Complaints must be submitted in writing and addressed to the FPL through Fide Office. The complainant shall provide all the information required in the Complaint Form and must detail the reasons why the Complaint is being made, listing all basis available at the time of filing.
7.2.3 Oral or informal Complaints are not accepted.
7.2.4 All Complaints based solely on the assumption that a person is playing stronger than expected due to their rating will not be considered.
7.2.5 FPL may initiate an investigation based on any piece of information that may come into its knowledge regarding a possible cheating incident, including false accusation.
7.2.6 All information about complaints and investigations shall remain confidential until an investigation is completed by the FPL. In case of breach of confidentiality requirements by complainants or the Chief Arbiter or any other person with knowledge of the complaint or the investigation before the investigation is completed, the FPL can refer all offenders to the EDC.
8. Investigation Procedure
8.1 FPL has the right to perform preliminary investigations with respect to an alleged or possible case of online cheating-related violation.
8.2 If a complaint is inadmissible or manifestly unfounded, the FPL may reject it by a majority vote.
8.3 One member of the FPL (Investigating Person – IP), nominated by the FPL Chairperson, based on rotation system will be appointed to investigate the complaint. The Investigating Person is an independent body and is not subject to directions from any other party.
8.4 The IP shall consider the presented statistical evidence. It will also consider physical and observational gathered as part of the investigation, if there are any. It can also gather additional evidence in the course of its investigation.
8.5 Players, organisers, arbiters, national federations, host of the online platform where the games are played, and other parties are all required to cooperate with the IP. Failure to do so may result in referral to EDC.
8.6 The IP will investigate each case within a reasonable time, usually not longer than two weeks.
8.7 At the end of the investigation the IP shall prepare a report to FPL for consideration indicating: the action that triggered the investigation, the factual circumstances of the incident, the findings of the investigation and a proposed sanction. The report may cover any other breach of FIDE regulations found by the IP. FPL may ask the IP to consider additional facts and/or carry out further investigations.
8.8 Once a report is deemed final by the IP, FPL decides by a majority vote if the case is to be forwarded to EDC for judgement. If the case is not forwarded to EDC, it is considered to be dismissed. The FPL shall forward its findings to the complainant and the accused person. If the National Federation of the accused person was involved, it will be informed as well.
9. Procedural Rules
9.1 The statute of limitation is one year after the last round of the online competition in question.
9.2 The working language of the IP is English. The IP may, at the request of any party, authorise a language other than English to be used by the parties involved. In that occurrence, the IP may order any or all of the parties to bear all or part of the translation and interpreting costs. The IP may order that all documents submitted in languages other than English shall be filed together with a certified translation in the language of the procedure.
9.3 When the IP does not dismiss a case, the accused person must have been informed in writing (whether by letter, e-mail or otherwise) of the pending case and given the right to present to the IP any statements and documents in support of their position.
9.4 The complainant and the accused person have the right to be represented or assisted by persons of their choice.
9.5 Documents pertaining to the proceedings must be submitted in writing, preferably by e-mail.
9.6 Each party involved in an investigation is responsible for its own costs directly or indirectly associated with the case.
9.7 When a person subject to the disciplinary jurisdiction of another FIDE Commission is a party to an investigation, FPL may provide the relevant information to that FIDE Commission.
10. Condition of Entry in an Online Sports Competition
10.1 By entering the competition each player accepts the above-mentioned measures as a condition of entry and agrees that their participation is subject to these measures. Specifically, players agree to be screened by an online screening tool and agrees that they might face disciplinary sanctions.
APPENDIX II. Rules for Significantly or totally Blind and Unable to Move Disabled Chess Players for Online Competitions with Supervision
1. All onlin2e platforms organising chess competitions should provide full accessibility to significantly or totally blind and unable to move chess players.
1.1 If this is not possible, the organisers must provide online assistants, one per player, trained and approved by FIDE DIS commission.
2. Significantly or totally blind and unable to move chess players can use their own chessboard in addition to the virtual chessboard used by the online assistant.
3. At least five (5) days before the start of the competition, significantly or totally blind and unable to move disabled chess players must send their medical documents to the organisers for approval and must either be registered at the time of the start of the competition with the FIDE disabled chess players list: https://dis.fide.com/wr0 or must be registered with their National Chess Federation. According to the provided documents, organisers will decide if the player belongs to the category “Significantly or totally blind and unable to move disabled chess players” and needs an assistant.
4. Online assistants are responsible to invite and connect to the VCS with their players 15 min. before the start of the game. The assistant must have a full view of the player and the player’s face.
5. Players that using assistants must have their own chessboard fully visible to their assistant.
6. When the game start and during the full period of the game, only the assistant is responsible to connect in the platform, play the announced moves and announce the opponent’s moves to their player.
7. The player must be sure to be able to hear the assistant loud and clear.
8. The announcement of the moves must be in full spelling (for example: pawn from e2 to e4) and in English, or in any other mutually agreed language between the player and the assistant.
9 The assistant can use either:
9.1 A new account in the platform specifically for this tournament, or
9.2 The existing account of the player, with the player’s permission
10. The player has the right to ask for the number of moves played and the remaining time on their clock plus the time of their opponent at any moment during the game.
11. The player trough the assistant has the right to ask for a draw or accept a draw offer from their opponent at any time. No further communication is allowed between the assistant and the player, in any unforeseen situation the assistant receive instructions from the chief arbiter.
12. During a game a player may leave the playing area or the playing venue only with the permission of the arbiter.
13. All articles of the FIDE Online Chess Regulations are valid for significantly or totally blind and unable to move players by replacing the word “player” with the word “online assistant”.
Appendix III. Regulations for Significantly or totally Blind and Unable to Move Chess Players for Hybrid Competitions
1. The Local Organiser is advised to provide an assistant to significantly or totally blind players. The assistant’s duties are:
1.1 Play online the moves announced by their player.
1.2 Announce the moves of the opponent.
1.3 Inform the significantly or totally blind players player only at their request of the clock times.
1.4 Inform the player of draw offers from their opponent and make draw offers communicated by the player.
1.5 No further communication between the assistant and the player is allowed.
1.6 Assistants are supervised by the Local Chief Arbiter and the other arbiters.
2. All other regulations are applying only by changing the word “player” with the word “assistant”.
Glossary of Terms in the FIDE Online Chess Regulations
This glossary provides definitions only for terms that are unique to online chess. The number after each term refers to the place where it first appears in this document.
A pawn promotes automatically to a Queen or another piece according to the settings selected by the player in the playing zone software.
The deliberate use of external assistance by one player to gain an advantage over the opponent (such as using a computer or another player). Cheating also refers to the purposeful manipulation of chess competitions such as, but not limited to, sandbagging, match fixing, rating fraud, and participation in fictitious competitions or games.
The person responsible for designating and approving all playing venues for a hybrid competition.
Competitions with Supervision
An event where players are remotely supervised by one or more arbiters.
Occurs when the internet connection or electronic signal between a player’s authorised playing device and the playing zone is lost for any reason.
Any FIDE-approved electronic chess board that can be connected to a website to input and output moves throughout the internet for use in an online competition
FIDE Fair Play Commission
Fair Play software
Software tools used by game service providers and FIDE to monitor all players’ games move-by-move. FIDE’s approved Fair Play software is the FIDE Game Screening Tool.
Occurs when another person is playing on behalf of the actual player whose name is assumed to be playing a game.
Hosting Internet Platform
A type of competition where all players are physically supervised by an arbiter, while they play online.
Investigating Person (IP)
Refers to the member of the FIDE Fair Play Commission charged with responsibility to investigate a case where cheating is alleged to have occurred.
Local Chief Arbiter
The person responsible for overseeing a single online venue. The Local Organiser reports directly to the Chief Organiser.
Local Technical Assistant
Arranging the results of a competition before the games are played.
Online chess competition
An event without specific player supervision, possibly automated by a playing zone without the supervision of an arbiter.
Refers to the computer, laptop, desktop, eBoard or other authorized equipment the player uses to make their moves in the playing zone.
Refers to the host system or playing environment for an online game of chess.
Deliberately playing below one’s true playing strength.
Video Conferencing System
Refers to the representation of the chessboard and pieces generated by the playing zone on the player’s screen and as customized by the player using the playing zone software.
Show the game time remaining for each player as generated by the playing zone and shown on each player’s computer screen or game display.