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  1. #1
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    COVIDSafe and mobile phones at tournaments

    I have had a query from a prospective tournament entrant regarding the COVIDSafe app and the mobile phone rule.

    The sensitivity of the COVIDSafe app (if it makes sense to talk about this as a property of COVIDSafe) relies on individuals keeping their phones both (i) switched on and (ii) on their person.

    I would be interested to know others' thoughts on this.
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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Hardegen View Post
    I have had a query from a prospective tournament entrant regarding the COVIDSafe app and the mobile phone rule. The sensitivity of the COVIDSafe app (if it makes sense to talk about this as a property of COVIDSafe) relies on individuals keeping their phones both (i) switched on and (ii) on their person.

    I would be interested to know others' thoughts on this.
    I understand that the point of the app is to identify possible contacts to facilitate tracing (at a shopping centre, for example). I would assume that the contact details of everyone playing in or even visiting the tournament would have already been collected, so I'm not sure that the app would be a problem in applying the usual mobile phone rules.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Byrom View Post
    I understand that the point of the app is to identify possible contacts to facilitate tracing (at a shopping centre, for example). I would assume that the contact details of everyone playing in or even visiting the tournament would have already been collected, so I'm not sure that the app would be a problem in applying the usual mobile phone rules.
    Thanks for the response. As I see it, the issue is that information is lost to COVIDSafe while phones are switched off. The COVIDSafe app is supposed to be much better at tracing than anyone else.

    Suppose that players A, B, C, D meet on Sunday to play a round of a tournament. Player A then tests positive to COVID-19 on Monday. The fact that Players B, C, D have been in close contact with A is lost to COVIDSafe. Hence any information pertaining to future contacts of B, C, D is also lost to COVIDSafe.

    Suppose all of the players' phones are switched off. Then even with a complete attendance register, Players B, C, D are relying on Player A coming forward to the organiser and identifying that they have returned a positive test.
    Last edited by Andrew Hardegen; 12-07-2020 at 04:55 PM.
    FA Andrew Hardegen
    Southern Suburbs Chess Club (Perth)
    www.southernsuburbschessclub.org.au

  4. #4
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    As far as I'm aware the app hasn't actually detected any contacts that weren't detected by manual tracing - although that may have changed since the outbreak in Victoria. But if there is a concern about the unavailability of the app, the Laws of Chess do allow a player to retain their mobile phone if permitted by the arbiter.

  5. #5
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    If it's a legal requirement, the law overrides the FIDE Laws of Chess, so arbiters will have to give permission for phones to remain on. Players should still turn the sound off, and keep them in a bag under the table. If it's not a legal requirement but is highly recommended by the government, I would still suggest giving the same permission, subject to the same rules.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Hardegen View Post
    The sensitivity of the COVIDSafe app (if it makes sense to talk about this as a property of COVIDSafe) relies on individuals keeping their phones both (i) switched on and (ii) on their person.
    Is point (ii) actually the case? I thought the app just sent out Bluetooth signals, so one possibility would be to have all COVIDSafe-enabled phones to be placed on a desk under the arbiter's supervision, where all phones would record being in contact with the others (assuming the app is working properly).

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by pappubahry View Post
    Is point (ii) actually the case? I thought the app just sent out Bluetooth signals, so one possibility would be to have all COVIDSafe-enabled phones to be placed on a desk under the arbiter's supervision, where all phones would record being in contact with the others (assuming the app is working properly).
    Some phones need to be unlocked for the app to function as well.
    So what's your excuse? To run like the devil's chasing you.

    See you in another life, brotha.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Hardegen View Post
    I have had a query from a prospective tournament entrant regarding the COVIDSafe app and the mobile phone rule.

    The sensitivity of the COVIDSafe app (if it makes sense to talk about this as a property of COVIDSafe) relies on individuals keeping their phones both (i) switched on and (ii) on their person.

    I would be interested to know others' thoughts on this.
    When players enter the tournament hall, the App can be switched on and switched off when the games are to start.
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  9. #9
    CC Grandmaster Garvinator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Craig_Hall View Post
    If it's a legal requirement, the law overrides the FIDE Laws of Chess, so arbiters will have to give permission for phones to remain on. Players should still turn the sound off, and keep them in a bag under the table. If it's not a legal requirement but is highly recommended by the government, I would still suggest giving the same permission, subject to the same rules.
    The COVIDSafe app is not a legal requirement. The Australian Government has requested that everyone downloads the app so that they can be informed if they have been in the area of someone who has tested positive for Corona Virus.

    Furthermore, so many issues have been raised in regards to the app
    ie needing the home screen to be unlocked,
    it not working as designed: https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/te...65c724c3885c9d

    and also concerns in regards to Government overreach for some.

    Therefore, the mobile phone rule still applies.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garvinator View Post
    The COVIDSafe app is not a legal requirement. The Australian Government has requested that everyone downloads the app so that they can be informed if they have been in the area of someone who has tested positive for Corona Virus. ... Therefore, the mobile phone rule still applies.
    I think Craig is concerned about whether an arbiter can legally require a mobile phone with the app to be switched off if the player objects. I haven't been able to find a precedent, but as the app is designed to protect people's health (leaving aside whether it's actually effective) I don't think the arbiter can.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by pappubahry View Post
    Is point (ii) actually the case? I thought the app just sent out Bluetooth signals, so one possibility would be to have all COVIDSafe-enabled phones to be placed on a desk under the arbiter's supervision, where all phones would record being in contact with the others (assuming the app is working properly).
    I believe you're correct about the Bluetooth still operating in this case. However, the reason for having the phone on your person is to ensure that all contacts are detected. While playing his game a player could (legitimately) have contacts with people whose phones are not in the possession of the arbiter, and these would not be registered.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Byrom View Post
    I think Craig is concerned about whether an arbiter can legally require a mobile phone with the app to be switched off if the player objects. I haven't been able to find a precedent, but as the app is designed to protect people's health (leaving aside whether it's actually effective) I don't think the arbiter can.
    A bit of that, and also your general point of following government health advice whether it's mandatory or just strongly advisory. I'm sure it would be unlikely for a chess tournament to be the cause of transmission, but if it was, it wouldn't be a great look to have it also reported that arbiters have discretion over the mobile phone rule, and opted not to apply the discretion despite it being a pandemic, especially if that also made contact tracing more difficult.
    IA Craig Hall

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