Yorkshire Chess Association


Year Book 2019-20 Contents



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Accuracy of club information &

Yearbook: further copies

Message from the President

Officers 2019-20

YCA Honorary Life Members

Annual Fees (as revised 2019)

County Match Fees (as revised 2019)

YCA League Fixtures 2019-2020

YCA League Match Venues

Match Correspondents ‑ Woodhouse Cup

Match Correspondents ‑ IM Brown

Match Correspondents ‑ Silver Rook

Secretaries of Competing Clubs

Junior Chess Contacts

Contact Details Index

Chess Clubs/Organisations in Yorkshire

ECF Aug 2019 Grading List Extract

Notes on Grading List Extract

List of Clubs in Yorkshire-based Leagues

League Tables & Match Results 2018-19

County Match Results 2018-2019

Correspondence Chess 2018-19

Yorkshire Junior Activity 2018-19

Recent Winners of YCA Events

YCA Constitution

YCA League Rules (as revised 2019)

Index to Rules

Individual Championship Rules

Event Calendar 2019-20

Yorkshire Individual Championship 2020

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On-Line Cheating Accusation Aimed at Chessmates Player


The “Chessmates” team in the 4NCL On-Line Division 4 is a partially Yorkshire-based team formed from players who knew each other from the congress circuit.  Unfortunately, one of their players has been banned for “using assistance” (cheating).  He denies it, and his teammates believe him, feeling they know his character.  He feels it's not worth appealing as “they rarely overturn the verdict.”  Fortunately, for the team at least, a replacement player has been found.


Surbiton Chess Club had three teams in the 4NCL On-Line competitions up to round 9, but have now withdrawn all three teams as one of their players has been similarly banned, though it is reported the player concerned denies the charge and his club accepts his denial.

See http://www.surbitonchessclub.co.uk/news_4NCL%20online_announcement.htm.




Clearly, it is unfair if a player cheats, and one suspects it is bound to be happening, with players using chess-playing programs etc.  Organisers do right in attempting to address the problem, but equally there seem concerns that the policing software they use may not be as reliable as seems to be assumed.  That the software raises a suspicion is one thing, but to treat that as proof is another.  Granted, one has the right of appeal, but then a burden of proof of innocence lies with the accused, rather as in popular (incorrect) perception of French law, and how does one prove ones innocence even if one is in fact innocent?  It seems the ban remains during the appeal process.  (“Guilty until proven innocent.”)


Arguably, you might say clearly, whether cheating has occurred cannot be proven either way.


It may be that policing on-line chess is in its early stages, like identifying with the nature of the Covid-19 pandemic and the best way to deal with it - nobody knows, and you just have to make your best guess and hope you are right most of the time.  Penalising the guilty may be seen as more important than worrying about a certain amount of “co-lateral damage” resulting from penalising the innocent.  The organisers are in an unenviable position.


At the half-way stage of the event, 19 players were on the “barred list”, of whom 7 were aspiring participants who were already flagged on the system as “using computer assistance”, 8 were deemed to have been using a “chess engine” during the tournament, and 4 were deemed to have been “attempting to gain assistance using other methods” during the tournament.

See http://www.4ncl.co.uk/index.htm.


In correspondence chess, which is now carried out online but allows much more time for deliberation, use of books was always permissible in pre-computer days, and these days use of chess computers is allowed.  In that way correspondence chess becomes something of a different game.


Steve Mann