US Chess announced on January 12, 2022 that the executive board is officially endorsing online tournament manager Tornelo.
It’s no secret that cheating is a big problem in online chess. One only need to glance at the monthy stats sent out by Chess.com to see how many player accounts (including titled players) are closed for fair play violations. It’s one reason that many chess federations are reluctant to fully embrace online tournaments.
In an odd twist of fate, online tournaments have gone “viral” in the past few years and more governing bodies are growing to accept them. The United States Chess Federation (USCF) has sanctioned online tournaments via Chess.com for several years now, but they recently took a step to improve the integrity of these events and to consolidate tournament management across the federation.
I have to admit that I’ve never heard of Tornelo, so I had to do a little bit of research to fully understand what this means for chess. In a nutshell, Tornelo is an online tournament managing system built for both in-person and online play. It has some robust anti-cheat elements embedded in their management system that will make it easier for players to report potential cheaters early in a tournament. This in turn will help to alleviate much of the headdache associated with redistributing points and voiding games when a cheater is identified later in a game.
Is this really going to change things? I honestly don’t know. I do appreciate US Chess‘s continued embrace of rated online activities and hope that this system proves valuable for TDs across the country.