World Chess To Employ Blockchain for Preventing Fraud in Competitions
Coronavirus has forced the postponement of 2020 Chess Candidates Tournament, which was planned to be held in Ekaterinburg, Russia.
However, the organizing committee is already studying the possibility of promoting the game through the adoption of blockchain technology.
The tournament involves eight grandmasters competing against each other, with the victorious one taking on Magnus Carlsen, the world champion.
However, the tournament was halted after seven rounds after news reports indicated that Russia has decided to halt foreign flights until further announcement.
World Chess informed Cointelegraph that it was studying the feasibility of organizing games online using blockchain technology.
Ilya Merenzon, CEO of World Chess, the organizer of tournament and official business associate of the International Chess Federation (FIDE), informed Cointelegraph that chess is placed better to flourish during pandemic:
“Unlike other sports, chess can be played with equal excitement offline and online. That is something that sets it apart from all the other major sports. In the absence of other major sporting events, the Candidates Tournament received unprecedented press coverage this time around.”
Even though Chess is perceived as a gentleman’s game, there are concerns and allegations of fraud in various manner including strategic restroom breaks, creation of dubious documents of games that never took place or depending on the assistance of specialized computer programs while the game is played online.
Merenzon trusts that blockchain technology can assist in discovery and halting of foul conduct:
“We are working on the anti-cheating engine that may record over one hundred data points for each move — its timestamp, players’ biometrics, chess engine evaluation, etc. Storing this data in the decentralized database would make a lot of sense”
As per Merenzon, Algorand and World Chess have been cooperating for the last few months on the venture which “is expected to launch in a few weeks.”
The 2020 Candidates Tournament will be conducted at a future date once the conditions become stable. Currently, the world title match has been scheduled for November.