Electronic Cheating Scandal Hits French Chess Federation

The problem of students cheating on exams using electronic devices has been around for awhile, as this 2006 article in the New York Times shows. And with school exam time just around the corner, I am sure there will soon be more than a few articles on the subject appearing in the press.

Alas, it seems that electronic cheating has found its way into chess world once again as well. The London Telegraph reported a few days ago that the French chess federation (Fédération Française des Échecs) has suspended three top federation players for using "mobile text messages, a remote chess computer and coded signals to beat the opposition" at the Chess Olympiad held in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia last September.

According to the French federation, one of the players followed the game via the Internet, inputted the moves into a chess computer, and then sent the suggested moves to another in coded phone numbers who would next relay them to the third by special signals. This other Telegraph article describes the process allegedly used in more detail.

No, the Telegraph article did not specify the chess computer used, if you are curious.

The player receiving the help was said to have won a gold medal at the Olympiad and 5,000 Euros.

Two of the accused players received 5 year bans, while the third - who happened to be the French chess team captain - received a life ban on being a future team captain or coach.

All three deny any wrong doing, and are appealing the federation's ruling.

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