A PLAYER from Cotabato City was slapped with a two-year ban from all National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP)-sanctioned tournaments for allegedly cheating in an online chess tournament.
NCFP executive director lawyer Cliburn Orbe, in a post on NCFP's official Facebook page, announced Wednesday, April 1, that lichess.org has banned the chesser, with lichess name AA7420, for using computer assistance.
"Before we started our online chess tournaments, we made it clear that if you get banned by Lichess or other servers for cheating or using computer assistance, you will also be banned from all NCFP tournaments online or over-the-board for two years," Orbe wrote.
His post, however, was also taken down several hours later.
In a phone interview with SunStar Davao, Orbe said he decided to take down his post as the player was a minor. He said the player's parent also made an appeal.
Orbe also said they need not probe the matter as Lichess, like any other reputable chess service, "know better than we do." He added, "They have the algorithms to ensure whether a player has used computer assistance and resources from computer programs or if the player is cheating."
Meanwhile, local sports patron lawyer Jong Guevarra Jr., for his part, banned the same player from his online tournament via lichess.org.
"Since this player is also a participant in our ongoing Beating the Covid-19 Attack Grand Prix Series, I am also disqualifying him to join our two remaining legs. I would not be mentioning his name but you can go to the NCFP FB page for inquiry," Guevarra posted on his Facebook account.
He said putting minimal prizes for his event was a way to prevent such cheating mechanism in an online chess game.
"Kung ing-ana ang atong attitude then we are just discouraging prospective sponsors apil na ko ana. So ang akong hangyo sa tanan players, fair play lang gyud ta para malingaw og muasenso ta tanan (Incidents like this would discourage prospective sponsors just like me. I appeal to the players to play fair to enjoy the games)," Guevarra added.
It is interesting to note that player AA7420 topped the second leg of the Beating the Covid-19 Attack Grand Prix Series, beating Marlowe Cagula (keinan) and John Gerard Acedo (daboyskired), who grabbed the second and third spots, respectively.
Tournament coordinator Ely Acas, in a Facebook interview, said since the tournament is a grand prix series, it has two remaining legs set on April 3 and 5.
"Dili na namo sya iapil sa tabulation or iapil sa third and fourth legs (We will no longer include him in the overall tabulation or in the third and fourth legs)," Acas said.
Dabawenyo woodpusher Alfred Moulic, who is from Buhangin, commented on Guevarra's post, saying, "Bantug ra sige ko kapildi niya (No wonder I often lose to him)."
In the new standings, Jhong Balisacan led the chessfest after two legs with 38 points followed by Cagulada (37) in second, Raffy Tivar (36) third, Godo Tisocan (34) fourth and Moulic (34) fifth.