UTS Australian Artificial Intelligence Institute (AAII) and VADR Media Collaborate to Combat Cheating in Online Chess

UTS Australian Artificial Intelligence Institute (AAII) and VADR Media Collaborate to Combat Cheating in Online Chess

John McRae

The University of Technology Sydney (UTS) Australian Artificial Intelligence Institute (AAII) and VADR Media are excited to announce a new research and development partnership aimed at combating cheating in online chess.

This collaboration follows VADR Media's recent acquisition of Szuperchess, a renowned European company known for its groundbreaking Computer Vision Anti-Cheat technology for Checkmate.live, The platform has been launched as a stand alone entity to accelerate online speed chess as an esport. with a community-centric ethos.

AAII, a world leader in artificial intelligence research, aims to develop advanced algorithms and theoretical foundations for AI. The institute's expertise spans various areas, including computational intelligence, business intelligence, computer vision, data science, machine learning, brain-computer interface, bioinspired neural networks, and information systems.

Under the leadership of Associate Professor Nabin Sharma, Professor Ling Chen, and Associate Professor Guodong Long, the UTS project team brings together world-class researchers with expertise in Computer Vision, Machine Learning, Deep Learning, and Multi-model expertise.

Professor Sharma, a prominent figure in the chess community for three decades, expressed his enthusiasm about the partnership, stating, "The UTS AAII team is thrilled about this collaboration. Chess and Artificial Intelligence go hand in hand. While chess has historically served as a testbed for AI advancements, it has also played a significant role in driving progress in various areas, from search algorithms to advanced machine learning techniques. What sets this project apart is its specialised multi-model AI approach."

Checkmate Live Fair Play Module

The UTS project team will have access to extensive computing resources provided by Tencent Cloud’s TI Platform and will receive support from Tencent's AI and Anti-cheat experts. This strategic collaboration builds upon Checkmate's existing partnership with Tencent Cloud, the cloud business of global gaming and technology company Tencent.

Chess boasts a staggering 700 million player base, with 420 million engaging in monthly online play, making it the largest esport and sport globally. Among these players, an estimated 420 million also fall within the 18-34 age bracket, mirroring the demographic of esports enthusiasts. However, the rise of online chess, aided by AI technology and chess engines, has also led to an increase in cheating incidents, compromising the integrity of competitive online play.

His Highness Sheikh Sultan Bin Khalifa Al Nahayan, President of The Asian Chess Federation and a member of Abu Dhabi's ruling family, expressed his support for the collaboration, stating: "This is an exciting chapter in the journey of chess. The Asian Chess Federation has always supported innovation with a mission to ensure this global cultural phenomenon has the widest possible access. The online world has enabled incredible reach with the advent of internet coverage and developments in mobile technology; billions have the opportunity to play this glorious game. Online integrity is a considerable challenge, and our partners, Checkmate, have invested considerable resources in AI to address this matter. This latest partnership will enable the appropriate safeguards for competitive chess at every level.”

John McRae, Managing Director of VADR Media, emphasised their commitment to fair play, stating, "We are deeply passionate about Fair Play and have taken proactive measures, implementing integrity protocols with trusted partners and investing in R&D. Our newly formed alliance with the UTS Australian Artificial Intelligence Institute (AAII), along with collaborations with key governing bodies in chess and esports, reflect our dedication to enhancing the community experience and accelerating speed chess as an esport."

In the world of speed chess, the recognition of online speed chess as an esport has been rapidly gaining momentum. This recognition received a notable boost when it was included in the Olympic Virtual Series organised by the International Olympic Committee in June.

Additionally, the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games featured chess as a medal event, further highlighting the significance of speed chess in the intersection of traditional board games and esports. Also, in October, the ICO announced the IOC Esports Commission would study the creation of the Olympic Esports Games.  Overall, the inclusion of speed chess in prestigious events like the Olympic Virtual Series and the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games underscores speed chess's growing prominence and acceptance within the esports and sports communities, offering exciting prospects for players and fans alike.

The newly minted partnership coincides with Checkmate’s invitation-only private sale for its limited edition Collectable Alpha Pack prior to its public sale.

‍Checkmate, a member of the Esports Integrity Commission, is well positioned to be a leader in the space, having secured an exclusive partnership with the Asian Chess Federation and Arab Esports Federation, designating Checkmate as their exclusive tournament platform, data, and broadcast partner. These partnerships encompass 73 national chess and esports federations, effectively covering a significant portion of the global chess and esports community.

Find our more about Checkmate at www.checkmate.live

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