Monday, September 27, 2010

The polemics about very common opinions - Part 1

Following the controversy about cheating of Yelena Dembo, many users on started even to dispute the sense of computer-free correspondence/online chess.

An unknown user Ezzy wrote quite long and inflammatory post there, so let me adress it.

Correspondence chess without computers is asking for trouble. It's near impossible to regulate whether someone has used or checked lines with a computer.
To single out individuals for cheating is pointless and stupid. While there is internet chess, this problem will exist forever.
The same problem already exists in athletics, it is called drugs. Yep, we still don't have drugs-allowed competitions, championships and Olympiads. Or maybe we have casual ones, without any credibility. Chess under ICCF rules is quite exceptional, most appreciated correspondence chess sites ban computers. The necessary thing is that ICCF must either vanish or adress computer use. It is improper to organize prize events or so-called championships and award titles to computerized trash. Today's computer monkeys really AREN'T successors of past correspondence chess giants.
Chess on the internet should be for fun.
Yes, whole chess should be for fun, because it is a game. What isn't fun: dealing with cheaters and talkative idiots.
If some 1600 Elo rated player wants to start an account with an internet chess site, and they decide to use Rybka at the start and get a rating of 3200, then he's stuck with having to play computer chess for his duration on the site. They will soon realise there's no fun in that.
But if a person changes and decides to be honest, then there's always someone to replace them who's just as dishonest. Round in a circle we go.
This is the reason, why dealing with cheaters should be the same as with drug abusers in athletics: long ban and lifetime dishonour.
Would you play correspondence chess for money if the rules say 'no computers.' I definately wouldn't.
Honestly, i will in the future, when there will be better detection methods in place. You can't prevent cheating, but you can detect it post-mortem.
The site owners are kidding themselfs that they can find and control the cheats.
Cheating detection methods are underdeveloped today. Compared to drugs: we are in test-tube + magnifier era now. We can catch the blatant ones.
Some cheat by picking computer best moves, some cheat by mixing the best move with the 4th best move, some don't pick computer moves but check their analysis with a computer.
All these cheating ways will be easy to spot. (They are detectable even today.)
Some may not cheat at all and then suddenly they have to go to a relatives wedding and they don't have time to analyse, so on just this one occasion they let the computer show them the way.
One single advice usually can't affect the outcome of a game. The problem is that cheating is addictive.
How do you control who's doing what. If you ban Yelena, then there must be hundreds more who at some level have had a snidy look to see what the computer says.
There are thousands of such despicable idiots. Getting rid of them, shaming them and slapping them around (in the case of real meeting), is necessary and beneficial.
Too much controversy. Allow computers in correspondence chess and be done with the flame wars and character assassinations.
Never take internet chess seriously, it could damage your health. You never know when it's a true game or not.
Accept it, and play for fun, NOT for money or prestige.

The opposite is true: casual chess is the computer-assisted one. It is allowed on ICCF, IECG and FICGS. Monkeys still have the opportunity to play it fairly and choose the 'unrated' option. There is no controversy: public dishonour is a necessary part of punishment.

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