Internet Chess Club (ICC) Fair Play Endorsement by US Chess


August 7, 2020: In our ongoing initiatives to make online rated play more available and to provide more certainty about the integrity of online games, the US Chess Executive Board worked with the US Chess Ratings Committee to review the Internet Chess Club's  (ICC) fair play methodology. A subcommittee of the Ratings Committee, composed of experts in statistics and other quantitative fields, examined ICC's approach and concluded, "The ICC’s system has a multi-level review process that uses computer analysis, their very experienced internal staff, and external high-level players. This multilevel review results in a very low rate (no known instances) of false positive detections.”

US Chess has invited other chess server vendors to follow a similar course, noting that there are experts who would be willing to sign Nondisclosure Agreements, as was done with ICC, to review the details of their fair play methodologies. The review of other platforms are at varying stages and there could be vendors who decline to participate.

So, what does this mean in practical terms?

The letter of endorsement from the US Chess Executive Board for ICC's fair play methodology should give confidence to US Chess members that online-rated events will have a high degree of integrity of play on the ICC platform. The letter also emphasizes that the endorsement does not abrogate the rights of a US Chess member to due process if accused of cheating in a formal complaint to the US Chess Ethics Committee. Evidence of supposed cheating detected by the fair play method may or may not be adequate to support a charge that a player has violated the US Chess Code of Ethics.

To read the full letter of endorsement from the Executive Board, click here.


I play lot of chess online. Cheating is a biggest issue and O don't think it is easy to catch them. There are some smart ass cheaters who use different methods to cheat and not getting caught.. like using slightly lower strength engines, using engine only during mid-game or end game... Missing checkmate on purpose, make blunder move when they know they are clearly winning....etc..
So it will hard to implement fair play for online chess. I would not pay for a online tournament (at least longer time control). I would just play for free...etc . only think that can be fair in online chess is may be blitz that is 1 or 3 minutes.

You could just do it the way MLB The Show held their 1 million dollar perfect game challenge on Playstation and make all of the players record themselves with a video camera or something while their playing, with other stipulations as well it can work...not a perfect solution but it could help...

I mostly agree with "Joe." I don't play on-line these days, but I used to. When things change for me I am thinking that I will have time for chess again. I am not going to be "in the money" in any tournament so cheating will only be an annoyance to me then. Still, I used to dislike it when I'd be winning, or at least holding my own, when the opponent suddenly started playing like an IGM at a much faster pace. I am of the opinion that there are ways of detecting cheating in on-line chess, but I wonder if the cost of doing it might be more than can be afforded. PS - when I get the time to play again I will probably only play on FICS, partly because it's less galling to play a cheater if you're not paying for the service.

Add new comment

Restricted HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a href hreflang> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote cite> <code> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <h2 id> <h3 id> <h4 id> <h5 id> <h6 id>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.

Plain Text Comments