NCFP cracks down on cheaters

Dante Navarro (The Philippine Star) - March 31, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Chess players have flocked to online tournaments to beat the COVID-19 pandemic, only to find a different kind of adversary.

Cheaters, using computer engines, have been unmasked in several online tournaments, including the recent second leg of the Philippine National Bullet Championship.

Jerome Aragones, a 16-year-old vying in the international age-group circuit, ruled the 20-round tournament that drew 200 participants.

But not after a player using an unverified account defeated highly-touted rivals like US-based GM Mark Paragua and IM Joel Banawa and stormed to the solo lead after 12 rounds despite a low ELO rating of 1400-1500.

When asked of his true identity, the player did not respond and quit the tournament, forfeiting his remaining games.

The National Chess Federation of the Philippines has banned the player from future NCFP tourneys.

Another alledged cheat was caught after winning an online event of the Chesstropilis IQ Chess Club. His identity was withheld.

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