US Chess Endorses Tornelo Fair Play Methodology

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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 fair play methodology and implementation of Tornelo.

A subcommittee of multi-disciplinary experts carefully examined the approach to fair play monitoring used by Tornelo and concluded, "The Tornelo system provides the 'ability to flag suspicious games after the first round. This is a unique capability and very powerful. By informing the Tournament Director (TD) during the event, the TD is able to increase monitoring [of suspicious play] and potentially prevent future cheating. The platform does not directly make any cheating claims.'"

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 has been done during previous reviews, to examine the details of their fair play methodologies. It should be noted that currently, the reviews of other platforms are at varying stages and there could be vendors who decline, or have declined, to participate.

So, what does this mean in practical terms? The letter of endorsement from the US Chess Executive Board for Tornelo'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 Tornelo platform. The endorsement also paves the way for officially-rated games to take place using Tornelo.

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, please click here.