Engines allowed


Engines allowed?!

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Tom Smith    (2009-01-11)
Engines allowed?!

Hi I have another issue with the rules and conditions here, I came across the following: Computer assistance is authorized, as any other kind of help but in the "no-engines" tournaments. This in itself is confusing, am I to believe that players are allowed to use engines to play for them in the "no engines" tournament?? Unless it is a mistake and means engines are allowed but NOT in the no engines section. If this is true then do most people use enignes here? I really do not want to play on a site where engines use is considered ok!I am far too weak to play engines :) Would somebody please clarify this section of the rules for me please. Thank you Tom

Thibault de Vassal    (2009-01-11 14:27:55)
Engines allowed

Hello Tom, actually there is a "NO ENGINES" tournament category. Well, I'll try to make it clearer. It is not possible to verify if engines are used or not in any correspondence chess place, so chess engines are allowed in all tournaments but this specified category where games are not rated.

If you really want to play "chess" without engines, you may try BIG CHESS here :)

Normajean Yates    (2009-01-12 03:57:26)
to make it very clear.. but=except

Thibault is using very literary english here. When he says 'but', he means it in the sense of 'except'. [Very literary, because he *never* says 'except' ;)]

I think that the 'but' confused Tom Smith. Just remember that one meaning of 'but' is 'except', and all will be clear :)

Tom Smith    (2009-01-12 18:55:18)

Thank you both for your replies.I understand "but" was meant to mean except. This brings me back to my original concern, that being engines are actually allowed, IE cheating is allowed, this has made me very reluctant to begin playing on this site, knowing that anyone is allowed to openly cheat! That seems quite crazy to me, and is the reason that I probably wont start any games, I hope that the site admins or owners see this thread as I am sure that a lot of people will be put off by this bizarre rule. Thank you again for your replies

Marc Lacrosse    (2009-01-12 21:12:03)
to Tom Smith

"...back to my original concern, that being engines are actually allowed, IE cheating is allowed".
I cannot understand your point.
Cheating is when one infringes the rules in a disguised manner.
Where is there cheating here as computer (and books, and databases, and anything...) help is explicitly allowed and encouraged in the site rules?
OK I do understand that you do not _like_ this kind of play.
But then the answer is simple : go away, go on these many sites where computer use is actually forbidden and where there are a lot of cheaters!
Here is a place without cheaters.


Tom Smith    (2009-01-12 21:40:28)
Re: Marc

By allowing engine use, the site is allowing players to have the computer engine make certain moves for them or indeed play an entire game for them, I can play fritz or any engine for the same effect, I wish to play against humans who play moves themselves rather than get an engine to make moves for them, how is that not cheating? If you dont see that as cheating then I dont know what to say, I think this is a fair complaint and does not quite deserve being told "go away if you dont like it", I am simply suprised a site allows it thats all.

Don Groves    (2009-01-12 22:50:39)

Hello, Tom -- It seems to me that "cheating" is defined as doing something that is against the rules of the game. Here, the rules specify that engines may be used, so using them is not cheating.

I understand your concern about players letting an engine play their games for them, but I don't think many here do that. I think the players here generally use engines to do deep analysis of moves they themselves have selected, not to select all the moves via the engine. Otherwise, there is no learning and the player is only harming him- or herself. This is only my opinion, of course.

Another point to consider: all top players in tournaments have advisers that help them prepare lines and analyze games during adjournments. And they all use engines as part of this process. Do you consider this practice to be cheating?

Thibault de Vassal    (2009-01-12 23:54:09)
Engines allowed

Actually many (most, probably) correspondence chess sites allow the use of chess engines, to start with ICCF, the "International Correspondence Chess Federation".

Scott Nichols    (2009-01-13 03:58:19)
Different sites:

Dear Tom, There is a site called Playchess.com that only allows engine play in the engine room. All other areas are closly monitored and players who try to use engine assistance are seriously repremanded, (loss of ratings and on up). It is an excellent site. This site allows engine use in correspondence chess. Alot of players love the system. And it seems also, that even when players have basically the same equipment, the better player usually wins anyway. As Thibault so eloquently put it, they look beyond the "horizon" of computers to make their decisions. I play on both sites and follow both sites rules. Playchess=serious chess. FICGS=fun and theoretical chess and more.

Normajean Yates    (2009-01-13 19:28:13)
ficgs is serious chess!

Sctott Nichols ends his post with "Playchess=serious chess. FICGS=fun and theoretical chess and more."

1. false
2.Doesn't follow from the rest of his post.
3. putting 'theoretical chess' in opposition' to 'serious chess' is so unorthodox a use of the word 'serious' that it borders on the incorrect.

Gino Figlio    (2009-01-14 01:24:15)
the "cheating" agenda

This has nothing to do with Mr. Smith but I know some people that like to push the idea that use of chess engines is "cheating" because they are also involved in the business of selling services that detect "cheaters". I have heard from this first hand and was even offered the "service" when I was involved in ICCF management. They want to sell their product to webmasters and therefore need to create the right atmosphere in the cc community to serve their business interest. It's a good idea to ask for a disclaimer before discussing this issue with new visitors.

Normajean Yates    (2009-01-14 02:12:28)
Gino Figlio - excellent point!

It is Tom Smith, and not us, who is -- well what he calls we are.

Normajean Yates    (2009-01-14 02:14:59)
Engines alllowed !!

'!!' being annotation for 'brilliant', as every chess player - human, engine or jellyfish - knows. ;);)

Normajean Yates    (2009-01-14 02:23:09)
Tom smith, what is your *real* agenda?

Answer my question. Do you realise you have libelled us by calling all of us proper (ie engines-allowed) correspondence chess players cheats? Of couse you do.

Care to confess to the libel under oath in the U.K. and get a taste of the receiving end of libel law?

Rodolfo d Ettorre    (2009-01-14 03:07:43)
Anti Cheating services

I found this link:


But selling that service here is like trying to sell bibles and indulgences to an atheist society.

Anyway, cheating is like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.

Scott Nichols    (2009-01-14 03:43:43)
Not selling anything

It is obvious to any average chessplayer when playing fast time control if an engine is being used against you. And Norma, what I meant by theoretical is the quality of games here could definetly re-write some books. It is the highest quality. The "serious" part is where a player wants to play other players serious games without engines allowed. I was trying to give "Tom" a place to go besides here or hell. :)

Philip Roe    (2009-01-14 05:00:51)
Tom, if you are still with us..

Not everyone here uses engines, even in events where it would be allowed. As proof, some of us occasionally play moves that would disgrace a cell phone (and have long ago learned not to aspire to high honours).

However, the site has many nice features, and the absence of rules, "bizarre" as it may seem at first, does mean that whatever is going on is not actually cheating.

Normajean Yates    (2009-01-14 10:39:24)
Scott Nichols, I misunderstood ..

Scott Nichols, I misunderstood your prev post.. I am sorry. Really.
,br> [grumble] modern life -> forced multitasking -> stress + fatigue + have to read fast -> sometimes misunderstand -> i am not superhuman [grumble grumble mumble mumble] :(

feeling guilty now [re scott, NOT re Tom]

Normajean Yates    (2009-01-14 10:43:14)
rodolfo, thanks for cognisafe link!

bloody thieves - they will create any useless thing and try sell it [cognisafe, tono-bungay*, ..]

*see H.G.Wells's novel 'tono-bungay'

Normajean Yates    (2009-01-14 10:49:59)
and great analogy, rodolfo!

"But selling that service here is like trying to sell bibles and indulgences to an atheist society." - rodolfo d Ettorre.


make it 'evangelist bibles' - I keep King James' authorised version bibles, and apocrypha, for literary reference purposes :)

Tom Smith    (2009-01-14 18:49:58)

Thank you all for your comments. I will reiterate again that I am not pointing the finger at anyone, I just asked about this as I do not wish to play against people who just let a computer play their moves, that is all. I do not think that all people who use engines are cheaters, and I apologize to all those who do not blindly let a computer play their games for them. I am astonished now at normajeans hostility, I dont believe I have been offensive to anyone, if I have then it is unintentional. To Normajean, I can only assume that your hostility is due to someone mentioning about selling some software, I can only say, not only have I not heard of any software of this type, but I am in no way involved at any such goings on. I came on the site to join up for some chess and had one issue I wanted to ask about before I started playing, I am beginning to regret this as I did not expect quite such a response! I can maybe understand some suspicion at a new person asking a question of this nature, and understand that some may not like me asking, so again I am sorry for the offense I have caused those players who play a fair game. "Care to confess to the libel under oath in the U.K. and get a taste of the receiving end of libel law?" This comment is ridiculously over the top and again that particular post was unecessarily hostile imo, if you read my posts to this point normajean and still dont see what I am trying to find out about then I shant try any further to answer you as you and some others have obviously found me guilty of a plot of some form against you. I thank the people who answered me honestly and calmly for their comments and I shall try the site out as I said to give it a fair shot.

Tom Smith    (2009-01-14 18:52:18)
Lack of paragraphs

Sorry for the lack of paragraphs, I actually do write in paragraphs and it looks fine in preview, but for some reason, it turns my posts into a wall of text :)

Tom Smith    (2009-01-14 19:13:17)
Reply again

i also forgot to respond to a couple of points. No I dont consider any engine use cheating, or using opening books etc.I am a average player I think, I dont have a rating or anything and I get whipped by computers, that is why I wondered if it was common practise here to use a computer to play for people as I would just constantly lose in 10 moves if that was the case, this was why I made this thread to see if I can expect to lose every game or whether some people would be like me and just play. In hindsight I couldve made my point a little clearer to have avoided any bad feelings which is why I am now trying to explain more clearly.

Ilmars Cirulis    (2009-01-14 19:44:18)
New line

You must use
for new line.

Thibault de Vassal    (2009-01-14 19:59:00)
New line + Cheating

Heheh, Ilmars has been trapped by himself :)

You must use <br > html tag (see at the top of the page) to begin a new line.

As it seems not to be visible enough, I may change it in a while, finally...

BTW, this discussion on cheating or not cheating will have no end, obviously. This thread is even discussed in other forums...


Normajean Yates    (2009-01-15 04:17:11)
someone will now start thread saying..

.. that all chess, all secular activity, is cheating; only praying is the non-cheating activity!

Tom Smith is, charitably speaking, a troll - and probably worse than that - ; and I for one feel Thibault should lock this thread. It is just noise. Or worse.

Tom Smith    (2009-01-15 07:10:20)

normajean you are one crazy lady. Thibault, I have chosen the wrong site I feel, would you please cancel my membership, I entered a standard 40 day tournament, would you please remove from that too as I wouldnt want to hold that up. Thank you

Normajean Yates    (2009-01-15 07:18:06)
Tom, post your address please

I presume that you are a british citizen / resident <shame>. Please post your address (Broadmoor Hospital, perchance?). So that if I feel so inclined, I instruct my lawyers to sue you for libel.

Thibault de Vassal    (2009-01-15 12:25:46)

No problem, Tom.

Everyone cannot (shouldn't btw) share the same philosophy :)

See you in another place.

Normajean Yates    (2009-01-15 12:30:07)
ok thibault - sorry ...

I won't post in this thread any more - I got too angry - sorry [to thibault only] ... :)

Also, posting in this thread is bad for my blood pressure :/