Cheating in Daily Games on Chess.com (Here’s the Truth)

The luxury of time in Daily games on Chess.com allows players to deeply ponder their next move and truly level up their chess game.

However, it also lends itself to cheating as there is plenty of time to consult a chess engine.

Is using external help allowed in Daily Chess?
If so, what exactly would be classified as cheating?
Is cheating a regular occurrence in this time format?

In this article, I provide a complete answer to these questions.

The General Cheating Problem on Chess.com

Before we consider Daily games in particular, it’ll be helpful to have a brief overview of the cheating problem on Chess.com in general.

Cheating is not just a suspicion; it’s an act that occurs. Thousands upon thousands of accounts have been closed (and are being closed) on grounds of unsportsmanlike conduct.

Chess.com has a rigorous fair-play system that collects and analyzes different types of data pulled from their database of games.

Their system relies on a statistical tool that calculates the probability that a certain player is playing honestly or with the help of a computer.

Due to legal considerations, they cannot disclose exactly how they catch cheaters.

However, what we do know is that before any action is taken, all cases are run by a team of experienced specialists who manually review the incidents and finalize the decision.

Chess.com takes cheating in chess very seriously, and we monitor all players, including the best players in the world. When clear evidence exists, we act. In October of 2023 our Fair Play team made 54,398 account closures, including 6 titled players. We have closed hundreds of titled players, dozens of grandmasters, and 4 players in the top 100.

The Chess.com team

If you’d like to read more about their fair-play system, have a look at their article where they discuss fair play and cheat detection.

Cheating in Daily Chess

Detecting cheaters in Daily Chess is particularly tricky.

The generous timeline means that strong players will find the best moves, and as a result, they may very well achieve exceptionally high, yet genuine, accuracy scores.

This is especially true since external help is actually somewhat allowed in Daily games. I’ll talk about this in more detail in the upcoming section.

In the lightning-fast realm of blitz and bullet games, it is extremely unlikely for players to consistently get very high accuracy scores — even top grandmasters.

Therefore, it is much much easier to detect cheating in these fast time controls.

Having said that, Chess.com puts Daily Chess, too, under scrutiny. Cheating does not fly under the radar just because a game can go on for days and days.

I have checked for myself, and I can tell you that there are indeed many accounts that have been closed for fair play violations in Daily games.

Here’s how I verified that:

I went to the Daily Chess leaderboards and found the profile of the number one Daily player, FM Rob Schoorl.

Then, I loaded up his Daily game losses.

Since he’s the highest-ranked Daily player, it’s likely that he encountered cheaters in many of the games he lost.

And indeed, I found many accounts closed for fair play. Here are a few examples.

An example of an account closed for cheating in Daily Chess.
An example of an account closed for cheating in Daily Chess.
More account closure examples.
More account closure examples.

This shows us that the prospect of playing at a much higher level due to the extensive time is not an alibi — if you cheat, you will most likely be caught.

The Type of Cheating That is Allowed in Daily Chess

Many may not know this, but external help is actually allowed in Daily Chess — as long as it doesn’t involve the use of an engine.

Here are a few examples of acceptable forms of help:

Books and Videos

It’s allowed to resort to chess books or video lessons to find inspiration for what a good move may be in your position.

Since these resources don’t rely on an engine evaluation that directly tells you what move to play, it’s okay to use them.

For example, if your opponent plays a London System against you, you may very well watch GM Igor Smirnov’s video on how to punish the London System.

In other words, nothing is stopping you from studying chess while your Daily games are ongoing.

In-game Self-Analysis Tool

When you play a Daily game on Chess.com, there’s an in-game analysis tool that you wouldn’t see in Live Chess.

This tool allows you to play through possible variations and consider different options depending on what your opponent chooses to do.

In-game self-analysis tool in Daily games.
In-game self-analysis tool in Daily games.

Using this tool is absolutely fine. Of course it is — otherwise it wouldn’t be a built-in feature in Daily games.

The difference between this tool and the standalone Analysis tab on Chess.com is that no engine suggestions are involved.

You can get an engine evaluation and recommended moves in the standalone Analysis tab, but these features are obviously not accessible from the built-in analysis tool in Daily Games.

Engine evaluation and recommended moves are only visible in the standalone Analysis tab.
Engine evaluation and recommended moves are only visible in the standalone Analysis tab.

The forms of help that are NOT allowed are tablebases, help from another person, and anything that involves a chess engine.

Therefore, using the standalone Analysis tab would definitely be cheating.

Final Thoughts and Advice

The luxury of time in Daily Chess opens wonderful doors for deep strategic thinking, but the door for cheating is also wide open.

The unfortunate reality is that the peaceful days you have to reflect on your Daily game can tempt some people to seek an unfair advantage by consulting a chess engine.

However, it helps to know that cheating does not go unnoticed on Chess.com — even in Daily Chess where people are naturally expected to play with higher accuracy.

My advice is to only play Daily games against people you know and trust. This way, you can get the benefits of Daily Chess without having to entertain the possibility of your opponent cheating.

That’s what I personally prefer to do. Otherwise, I stick mainly to Live chess.

If you have any questions or insights you’d like to share, go ahead and leave me a comment down below. I’d be more than happy to have a chat with you.


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