What is technological doping and why you have to be very careful if you play chess online (and not only)

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What is technological doping and why you have to be very careful if you play chess online (and not only)


What did you do, closed at home during the months of the lockdown (past and – not to be excluded – future?). Many around the world have dedicated themselves to online games. In particular, online chess has been very successful. Chess.com, the world’s largest online gaming site, said it had seen 12 million new users this year, up from 6.5 million last year. A success that – second Guardian – has been directly proportional to the spread of ‘technological doping’, ie the use of powerful calculators that suggest the best move, so much so that always Chess.com has banned 17,000 players from its site, compared to 5,000 that were generally banned in the past.


Chess in Stockholm during the coronavirus - JONATHAN NACKSTRAND / AFP via Getty Images


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Chess in Stockholm during the coronavirus – JONATHAN NACKSTRAND / AFP via Getty Images


The problems, however, always second Guardian, are not limited to chess, but also poker, bridge and backgammon. To counter the problem, the best idea that has come to the referees is to impose on the players to be filmed, live, during matches, by multiple cameras, be available on Zoom or WhatsApp at any time and grant remote access to their computers. It looks a bit cumbersome and, above all, it seems like a path that can only be followed by professional players. What about us Sunday chess players? How will we know that we are not fooled?

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