Monday, December 26, 2005

Cheating.... what is it?

We are told to never cheat. Chess is no exception. However, internet chess players often complain loudly about how bad cheating is. The problem seems to be rampant!

However, I have always noted that there does not seem to be any major consensus about what exactly is cheating. Sure, some online chess sites will tell you that given behavior is acceptable or not, but without the internet site overseers making such rules, there does not appear to be any real real uniformity about what exactly is cheating.

And even then, the internet chess sites often seem to have conflicting rules. For example, note the rules for www. (a very reputable site) see

Q21: What is considered cheating? How to report cheaters?

A: It's quite simple -- you can not use anything besides your own brain, and you can not consult anyone besides yourself. That includes chess programs, chess engines or chess computers, your friends, colleagues etc. etc. Chess books and game/move databases are allowed (as they are permitted in correspondence chess too).

I just don't see much distinction about using a computer and a chess book. (Both seem to be incorporating ideas, themes, and stategies that are not yours). Do you agree?

I have published a brief survey below of disputable behavior I have noticed in my brief chess career. THE SURVEY IS NOW CLOSED. Here are the official results:

The question is whether the following behavior is unfair or cheating:


At 1:05 PM, Blogger DreadPirateJosh said...

interesting results... I didn't know if you were asking about places like FICS or correspondence (or play by email) so I left some questions out.

At 3:30 PM, Blogger Tempow said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 3:49 PM, Blogger Tempow said...

I like that picture :D - I wouldn't mind her cheating! Hehe

I agree with pretty much everything you said in your blog.
I did the survey and was surprised at the results. For example, for the question “Using a book or computer source to play an opening (i.e., playing the first couple moves based on a book or computer's program)”, 50% so far consider it fair, and only 36% consider it cheating. The result is puzzling since a key skill in chess is understanding/memorising openings. If you are too lazy to develop your opening repertoire then that’s your fault – you guys who voted it fair could turn to Fischer random instead.

The two trickiest questions for me were these 2…

1A. Using a spare board to analyze various lines, moves or positions (i.e., duplicating the given game on a second board and then testing various moves on it) (Note: this “extra board(s)" can be a computer board).
2A. Strategically forgoing a move and waiting until time runs nearly out in the off chance your opponent grows frustrated and abandons the game.

For 2A I voted fair because both players agreed to the time rules, and they have to abide by the rules even if one’s opponent is a dick.
For 1A – I think this is cheating. Chess should be just you, your opponent and 1 board. It’s a skill having to imagine various combinations, often 3 or 4 moves ahead. I don’t want to see this skill ignored in any position during a match; it would be a big advantage to give up for a player who has strength in imagining and calculation positions over his opponent.


At 4:25 PM, Blogger DreadPirateJosh said...

using a book for the opening and using an "analysis board" is done with correspondence chess and its within the rules,
doing either of these things at a normal game is cheating. these are the questions I left out.

At 12:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

forget cheating, lets talk about you exposing your bra

At 9:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"However, I have always noted that there does not seem to be any major consensus about what exactly is cheating"

It's black and white,

Cheating is getting assistance from
other players to help you win or using a 2989 rated chess program opponent has no chance in hell of beating to play the entire game.

Internet Players have no ethics or moral code all they care about is there rating and winning at all

At 2:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Many online players who rely on databases and books pretend they do not,which in my opinion is tantamount to cheating.[they are only kidding themselves with regard to ratings] If they are upfront about their reliance on them then I think that it is fairish, [debatable morally maybe] but as the rules on a lot of chess sites allow it because they are unable to prevent it who can complain.
Databases/engines certainly do not make for fair games.
I have played many engine and database users OTB and there is a marked difference in their skill level compared with their online play.

At 10:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is non-debatable. There are rules of chess, and rules of correspondence chess. If you play by that rules, you aren't cheating. Period.

At 7:08 PM, Anonymous Kowl said...

How about this scenario:

Mirroring moves. You play a move in 1 of 2 games you have with your opponent. He then makes the same move as white. He waits for you ro reply to his white move and then does the same back to your white move. You are then in effect playing against yourself.

If you are playing somebody a lot lower rated than yourself you can drop a lot of points. You will either get 2 draws or 1win and 1 loss.

At 10:11 AM, Anonymous ohknan said...

You con I thought you were talking about chi ting no saving sence I thought it was trick play on words well it was worth a look lol
I was in a mind game of my own and this is where I thought i was heading
back to the bank realling only trying to make some cents in savings time over time!over but while I'm hear I thought i wood deposit this little loaf four you two make sum crumbs with. ps light and flacky crust trust me eh.

At 6:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Talking to players about a given position. Would that include publically posting a game in progress for comment?


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