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According to the latest FIDE Laws of Chess a FIDE certified ‘electronic scoresheet’ may be used instead of a regular old fashioned paper scoresheet.

8.1.1 In the course of play each player is required to record his/her own moves and those of his/her opponent in the correct manner, move after move, as clearly and legibly as possible, in one of the following ways:

8.1.1.1 by writing in the algebraic notation (Appendix C), on the paper ‘scoresheet’ prescribed for the competition.

8.1.1.2 by entering moves on the FIDE certified ‘electronic scoresheet’ prescribed for the competition.

Is there any more information on these electronic scoresheets?

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According to this press release from FIDE:

The International Chess Federation has approved allowing the use of Clono electronic scoresheet to record the moves of the games at official chess competitions, in replacement of traditional, paper-based scoresheets.

The Clono scoresheet app runs on a tablet, and the input is done on a graphical chess board where the scoresheet is presented in standard algebraic format.

The system offers smooth integration with other existing tools. For instance, it can automatically create a tournament profile with tournament info, time control, groups and players, simply importing the tournament xml-file directly from the tournament management service. It can receive the player’s and game info, pushed directly from the pairing program. Likewise, Clono can send the PGN live feed to its own broadcast server and multigame viewer, as well as to third party websites.

FIDE have also published a document called call TESTING REPORT – ELECTRONIC SCORESHEETS which presumably indicates the tests which the Clono device has passed which are FIDE requirements.

There is more information on the Clono website.

Currently traditional scoresheets are "the property of the organizer" and appear next to the board for the players' use during the game. The new electronic scoresheets, which are tablets running an app, will be also provided by the organizer and set up in conjunction with the pairing program, if it is the right one. For now only TournamentService, no Swiss Manager as far as I can see!

DGT Killers

Their ability to broadcast the game in the same way as a much more expensive DGT board is going to introduce serious competition for DGT. Currently I know of only two clubs and one organizer who have invested in DGT boards. This is going to open up this technology for lots more small organizations.

This is spelled out on the Clono site:

Clono combines electronic chess notation with live broadcast of chess tournaments in an easy, affordable and secure way. It is easy to use and set up, and there is no need for electronic chess boards, cabling or an on-site engineer.

Pre-Covid the ECF (English Chess Federation) ran occasional courses on setting up and using DGT boards for broadcast. This was a complicated process involving wiring up the boards, attaching them to a laptop with the right software set up, configuring the software to get it to collect the data from the boards and to broadcast it. Finally the laptop had to be monitored for errors (user and internet drop out, etc.) and manual intervention done to keep it all working. This new device could make all that obsolete.

Costs

Two killer lines from Clono:

Clono is approved by FIDE for use in official chess tournaments.

Clono is free to use.

It looks like the only cost for the moment is a cheap (or at least not too expensive) Android tablet. Let's see how long that lasts.

Here's what they say about hardware requirements:

For best user experience for the players, we recommend using the app on 10-inch tablets. The app is thoroughly tested on Lenovo Tab 10 and Tab4 10 tablets, which are in the lower price range with a price around 120 Euro. Clono Scoresheet can also be used on 7-inch tablets and is thoroughly tested on Lenovo Tab 7 with Android 7.0 and 7.1.

Update 2022: Lenovo Tab M10 HD Plus (2nd Gen) is a new model in the lower price range. It has good battery performance with Clono, and it is tested thoroughly in many tournaments.

The app is only available for Android, not iOS (iPad) as iOS devices are much more expensive and considered less relevant for tournament use

Information for organisers

The tablets should have an administrative lock to prevent any malicious software from being installed on the tablets. In our Help center, you will find articles on how to easily lock down the tablets.

The WiFi for Clono tablets should be protected with WPA-encryption or better (not WEP).

Clono has very low power consumption, and on most tablets, it is no problem running a double round before recharging the tablets.

An administrator can easily monitor the battery status in the Admin Panel. In case of low battery, a warning will appear in the Admin Panel.

In case of a malfunction, a tablet ca be quickly replaced with a spare tablet. The replacement procedure takes approximately one minute, and the new tablet will resume to the latest game state (no need for manual recreation of the game).

When needed, it is possible to define a custom delay of the live feed in the Admin Panel. A logged in administrator can still watch the games without delay.

If the network breaks during the games, the only consequence is that the live transmission is delayed. The scoresheet used by the players will work regardless of network status.

Information for arbiters

It is recommended to do a short intro of Clono to the players before round 1.

Additionally, a paper printout with user instructions can be put on the tables (download paper printout).

It is recommended to let players opt out and use pen and paper scoresheet if they feel uncomfortable using Clono electronic scoresheet (e.g because of age or disabilities).

In case a player wants to bring a paper copy of the game home, a standard scoresheet with the algebraic notation can be printed from clono.no.

In case of game investigation, a copy of all game states is saved on the tablet and available under the recovery menu.

If the players sign for the result in a result protocol, it is recommended to add a remark to the protocol that in case of a dispute of the signed result, the electronic game documentation prevails.

Tournament and Tablet Set Up

For tournament use of Clono, a user account on Clono Admin Panel is required. If you do not have an account, register here. Please note that the account is subject to manual approval.

In the Admin Panel the tournament is set up with tournament details, groups, players and games. If you are using TournamentService for tournament management and pairing, the data can be imported directly to Clono. If you use other tournament management software, the tournament creation and pairing can be configured manually in Clono Admin Panel.

The tournament is automatically given a pin code in the Admin Panel, and this pin code is used for connecting the tablets running Clono to the server. Each tablet is allocated to a fixed table or a player, and when everything is ready set up, the game details are transmitted to the tablets.

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