In official tournaments, are the two players allowed to talk (before or at the start) of a match to compromise on openings, eg.

If white is good at the Sicilian but bad at the Caro-Kann and black is good at the Caro-Kann but bad at the Sicilian; could the two compromise to alternate playing the Caro-Kann and the Sicilian, to balance things?

I understand why this might be frowned upon, but are there any official rules (in FIDE or elsewhere) that explicitly prohibit this?

1 Answer 1


For a general case of match-fixing:

According to FIDE,

Appendix I, A.8.i. The deliberate use of external assistance by one player to gain an advantage over the opponent (such as using a computer or another player). Cheating also refers to the purposeful manipulation of chess competitions such as, but not limited to, sandbagging, match-fixing, rating fraud, and participation in fictitious competitions or games.

FIDE Laws of Chess:

11.1 "The players shall take no action that will bring the game of chess into disrepute."

The arbiters are given the power to take the required action(s) if some players are found guilty of purposefully manipulating chess competitions for their advantage. For eg, in the World Blitz Championship 2023, the game between Nepo-Dubov from Round 11 was nullified because they were found guilty of a pre-arranged draw that is mentioned in Rule 12.9.5 "reducing the points scored in the game by the offending player."

  • 8
    I think this answer is wrong in practical terms. The kind of match-fixing which is outlawed is a player agreeing to lose a game. It's really quite common at high levels of chess for players to agree, tacitly or otherwise, to draw a game. See for example reddit.com/r/chess/comments/13gs36a/husband_vs_wife . You can see that in that game both players knew before the start what line they were going to follow. Agreeing to play particular standard opening moves because they're drawish, or non-drawish, or because you both feel like it that day, would be similarly tolerated. Oct 16, 2023 at 22:11

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