Fair Play Policy


The scope of this policy is all Warwickshire Chess Association (WCA) tournaments:

  • Warwickshire Championship
  • Warwickshire Junior Championship
  • Warwickshire Youth Grand Prix
  • Any other tournaments organised by WCA



The following sanctions may be applied for players or spectators in breach of the regulations below:


Determined by



Any arbiter


Loss of the game

Any arbiter


Banning from the playing area from that round

Any arbiter


Disqualification from the tournament

Chief Arbiter of the tournament


Forfeit of the match

Chief Arbiter of the tournament


Reporting the incident to the FIDE Fair Play Commission

Chief Arbiter of the tournament


Refusing a player’s registration or declining their entry

WCA Management Board


Playing Venue

During play players are not allowed outside the playing venue without an arbiter’s permission. The playing venue is: the playing area, toilets, food and drink stations, the smoking area and the corridors connecting these. The arbiters will make sure that these areas are clearly designated. The analysis room, bookstall, cars and waiting areas are not classed as part of the playing venue and must not be visited during play.


Sanction for a player who leaves the playing venue during their game – (b), (c)


A player who leaves the playing venue as described above will be scanned to see if they are carrying an electronic device. If a device is found, then the process outlined in the ‘Detection of Electronic Device’ section will be actioned.


Communication with Others

With the exception of arbiters and venue staff, and as permitted in the Laws of Chess and rules of a particular WCA tournament, players must not talk to anyone else during their game about any chess-related matters pertaining to their game, or the game of another player. Arbiters will investigate any conversations between players that concern them. The onus is on the player playing their game to speak to another person in the presence of an arbiter to avoid any potential for allegations to be made against them, and to ensure that the arbiter does not need to investigate.


Sanction – Player (b), (c); Spectator (c)


In addition, the player(s) and/or spectator(s) will be scanned to see if they are carrying an electronic device. If a device is found, then the process outlined in the “Detection of Electronic Device” section will be actioned.


Earwear & Medical Devices

Players who are required to wear hearing aids or carry other electronic medical devices on their person during their game must make the arbiters aware in advance of each game they intend to wear or use them.


Sanction for a player wearing a hearing aid or carrying an electronic medical device without informing the arbiter – Players (a); (b), (c) for subsequent violations in other tournaments in the Championships that tournament



Players who wish to wear earplugs during their game must seek prior approval from an arbiter in advance of each game they wish to wear them.


Sanctions for a player wearing earplugs without prior approval – Players (b), (c)


For the purpose of this section, earplugs are assumed to be items which are usually made from foam, silicon, rubber or plastic. Earplugs with electronic elements are considered ‘Earpieces’, and the section below applies.


Electronic Devices

With the exception of devices covered in the “Earwear & Medical Devices” section, players are forbidden from having electronic devices on their person at any time in the playing area. Players who have finished their games and other spectators who enter the playing area are also expected to comply with this. The following are examples of electronic devices that are prohibited:

  • Mobile phones
  • Smart watches
  • Smart glasses
  • Fit-bits (and other similar devices)
  • Computers or tablet computers)
  • Any other device deemed unacceptable by an arbiter)


The onus is on a player to check with an arbiter in advance of playing their game that a device they have in their possession is not deemed to be an electronic device.


WCA recognises that players may arrive with electronic devices and need some time to store them out of their possession before they start their game. Acceptable ways of storing these devices are:

  • Out of the playing area entirely (e.g. in their car, or left with a parent)
  • In a cloth bag provided by WCA
  • In their own bag, which must not be accessed during the game


For the purpose of this, ‘on their person’ means:

  • In a pocket of an item of clothing they are wearing (e.g. trousers, shirt, coat)
  • Being carried in any way within the playing area
  • Not being stored in one of the three ways described above


Sanctions for having an electronic device on their person – Players (b), (c); Spectators (c)



At least one metal scanner will be present at each WCA tournament. A designated arbiter will select a number of boards for scanning, and both players will be scanned. The arbiter will keep an electronic record of who is scanned throughout the tournament.


The arbiters reserve the right to scan any player or spectator in the playing area at any time.

Sanctions for refusing to be scanned – (b), (c), (d) and (g)


Scanning may take place at various times during the round:


Pre-Game: Pre-game scanning will take place in the playing area.

Sanction for detection of an electronic device – (a); (b), (c) for subsequent violations in that tournament

During the Game: This will not routinely happen, but may be used in cases where thought appropriate by an arbiter.

Sanction for detection of an electronic device – (b), (c)

Post-Game: Post-game scanning will take place in a separate area, normally the tournament office.

Sanction for detection of an electronic device – (b), (c)


Detection of an Electronic Device or Earwear

The arbiter will ask to inspect a device for evidence that there may have been cheating in the following cases:

  • An electronic device has been found ‘on [the player’s] person’
  • An electronic device has been stored in accordance with this policy, but it was found to be switched on for any reason
  • Earwar (including hearing aids, earpices and earplugs) were worn by the player without prior approval


Sanctions for refusing to allow the device to be inspected – (b), (c), (d), (f) and (g)

Sanctions for a device being found to have evidence that there may have been cheating – (b), (c), (d), (f) and (g)


These sanctions will apply regardless of whether or not the device is switched off, or in aeroplane mode, or prevented from receiving or unable to receive a signal.


Players, Parents or Team Captains with Suspicions of Cheating

Someone who is suspicious of cheating should raise the matter immediately with an arbiter. In team events, the player may ask their team captain to do it on their behalf. The matter should not be discussed with anyone else, to enable the team of arbiters to properly deal with the situation.


Sanction for sharing concerns with other parties, whether or not they have been reported to an arbiter:

– A player during their game (a); (b), (c) for subsequent violations in that tournament

– A player in public (e.g. on social media, on forums, in the press) after their game (d), (f) and (g)


A player, parent or a team captain who becomes aware that a team mate, their child, or a member of their team was cheating must report it to an arbiter.

Sanction for not reporting potential cheating case by a member of your team or a team mate – (e), (g)


Arbiter Appointments

In order to assist with scanning and other anti-cheating methods, the WCA will, if at all possible, appoint both male and female arbiters to all WCA tournment. In the absence of an arbiter of the appropriate gender being available, should one be required players may be co-opted to assist in checks.


FIDE Anti-Cheating Screening Tool

WCA will submit PGN files of games played at its events to be examined by the FIDE Anti-Cheating Screening Tool, and publish them on the WCA or Chess-Results websites. Requests for games not to be published by WCA will be declined.


Other Anti-Cheating Systems

WCA reserves the right to trial and implement other anti-cheating systems at its events in addition to the ones described in this policy.


Approved by the Warwickshire Chess Association Management Board

December 2023

Applied to tournaments starting from February 2024

Warwickshire Chess Association