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***** SPEEDTRAP *****

The ICC is committed to the principle that an ICC member has the 
right to know if he/she is playing against a computer program or 
someone who is using computer assistance in their ICC games. All 
such accounts must be listed on the computer list unless you are 
logged in with the anonymous feature ("help anonymous").  To 
fulfill this goal, the ICC spends hundreds of hours analyzing, 
issuing warnings, and assigning accounts to the computer list 
each month. 

Speedtrap is the account used by the group of ICC experts that 
detects computer cheating on ICC to issue warnings and to assign 
accounts to the computer list. Computer cheating is the use of any 
chess software such as chess databases (e.g. Chessbase) or chess 
programs (e.g. Crafty, Fritz, Chessmaster) to help you decide on 
any of the moves during any game played on ICC, if you are playing 
on an account that is not labeled as a computer with the (C) label 
or logged in with the anonymous feature "help anonymous". 

The ICC group of computer detectives has years of experience and
has developed many methods to detect the use of programs during
ICC games.  Hundreds of accounts have been assigned the computer
label (C) as a result of the work of this group.  Due to our efforts,
the chance of playing against an unlabelled computer is significantly
smaller than on other chess sites.


Questions and Answers:

1) How do you decide if someone is using computer assistance?

The methods we use are confidential, because describing them in detail
would allow cheaters to cheat more intelligently.  However, we can
clear up some common misconceptions by listing some things that do NOT
cause us to put someone on the computer list:

- You will never be labelled a computer just because someone complains.
- Beating an IM or GM will not get you labelled a computer.
- Circumstantial evidence such as a high rating, or "smooth" move
  times, or good tactical skill, or longer time controls will not
  get you labelled a computer.

These items may make us suspicious and cause us to investigate, but
they are NEVER used by themselves to make a decision on a case.

The ICC never labels someone as a computer unless there is overwhelming
evidence of computer assistance.  And never without first giving a
private warning and a chance to stop.  It would not make any sense for
ICC to offend members and damage its reputation by harassing members
with little or no reason.

2) I want to use computer assistance in my ICC games.  What do I do?
Is that cheating?

No, it is not cheating if your account is on the computer list or if you
are logged in with the anonymous feature.  To be put on the list, 
   --> "message Speedtrap I am using a computer"
To use the anonymous feature, see "help anonymous".

3) What if I suspect someone is using a computer?

Send a message to the Speedtrap account giving the username that you
suspect, and the reasons you suspect computer use.

4) What do you guys do after someone messages you?

The computer detection team will investigate the situation, using
a number of confidential methods to determine if the person has been
using computer assistance.  Due to the number of messages we receive
this may take days or even weeks in some cases.  If the investigation
suggests no computer-use, or is inconclusive, the suspect will not
be bothered.  If the investigation reveals computer use, the suspect
will be warned privately and given a chance to stop.  More details
in #6.

5) I sent a message about a suspect weeks ago.  Has anything been

We can't send personal replies about the results of an investigation
(we get a lot of messages!)  But we will do the investigation and
if the person is found to have used computer assistance, they will
either stop cheating or they will be put on the computer list.  We
prioritize the investigations based on how much "damage" the person
may be doing, such as winning prizes in tournaments, etc.

6) What if I am accused of cheating?

First of all check who is accusing you.  If it is not an ICC
administrator, you can ignore it.

For first-time cheaters, you will be officially warned,
and you will get an email letter from ICC describing the
warning, and an ICC message alerting you that you have email.
If you respond to the warning by saying you understand the policy,
and won't use computer assistance in the future, you won't be
bothered again (unless you continue to use assistance).

If you still continue to use assistance after the official warning
has been issued, you will be placed on the computer list.  You will
be sent an email letter from ICC describing your options, and an
ICC message alerting you that the email has been sent.  Your options
include living with the (C) on your account, getting the (C)
removed by placing an apology note in your finger notes, or leaving
the ICC for good with a refund.  Note that nobody is forced to
put up the apology note.  It is one of three choices.

People who cheat again after putting up an apology note, or by
creating another account and cheating on that account, will be
banned from ICC with no refund.

See also: computers, abuse, agreement, anonymous