Online chess is what you make it. It can be as enjoyable as OTB chess or it can be quite different. You against your unseen opponent. Is cheating involved? Are ethics neccesarily involved?
What is "cheating"? What are the "rules"? Who decides them? What are the "ethics" as related to our sport in its online version?
Cheating =To practice fraud or trickery or to violate rules dishonestly.
Rule = a prescribed guide for conduct or action or an accepted procedure custom or habit.
Ethics = A set of moral principles
.....blah,blah,blah .....what does it really matter?
In its simplest form chess is a game between two opponents, each bringing their own experiences, wits, resources, their own bag of tricks ... (my bag contained donuts this morning .... just crumbs now).
Here are a few of the tricks that may be in your opponents bag that some may not be aware of;
1. The Book & the Engines
Believe it or not, some "players" have been known to use chess programs to make their decisions ...you are essentially playing aginst a computer (where's the sport in that!?).
On another note, some opponents study "book openings" to aid in their decisions, many have access to libraries of thousands of games. (perhaps they should put down the book after the first couple of moves?)
2. The Book on You!
Why are so many people surprised by this one? As with any on-line activity, we all leave a trail..... dozens, hundreds, or thousands of your games can be accessed on-line and statistically analysed.
Just as in on-line poker, opponents can access your statistics and play them against you. They can see what openings you are weak against, what traps you fall for, do you castle queen side, do you en passant....
(everyone knows my middle name is "Pawntokingfour" ..... open pawn to queen four against me and I've lost....)
3. Playing with Time
An oldie but a goodie ...... some "less than ethical" opponents might "disappear" during a timed game. You might think they have lost their connection or run off to cover an urgent family matter .... often these players will reappear with one minute left , make their move, and win on time as you have dropped your guard and assumed they won't be returning. (per a previous blog, I usually have a novel handy to help pass the time while I keep one eye on the game in progress ....Clive Cussler on one occasion)
Chess should be fun, play by your own "rules"and remember what Zazu said in the Lion King "Cheetahs never prosper!"