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I thought I'd share with you a conversation I was subjected to a few days after Christmas on the ICC. I'll be very interested in your reactions.
djlogan(*): Hi! Thanks for reading "help computers." Can you promise me you will no longer use a chess program to help you play your games?
aBetterMove: You need to modify what you just said :) That's an express implication that I actually have used a program.
aBetterMove: I'm sure you didn't intend that :)
djlogan(*): Well, the Speedtrap team is pretty sure you were using your Fritz program to help you play
djlogan(*): So I'm asking if you can promise me you will no longer use any chess program to help you play. If you can promise me, I will be happy to restore your account.
aBetterMove: What makes you say that?
djlogan(*): That's just what the SpeedTrap team concluded
aBetterMove: I hear that is the conclusion but I do not understand the basis by which it was arrived at. Furthermore I have not used any computer program here. :)
djlogan(*): Who else uses this account?
aBetterMove: You mean; does anyone else use this account. No :) I am the only user.
djlogan(*): Looks like you also use your chess program a couple of times on your previous trial account
aBetterMove: previous trial account?
djlogan(*): Looks like I will have to let the SpeedTrap team know that this is the third time
aBetterMove: I have never used any computer assistance on ICC. Will you please explain your comment "previous trial account" and explain to me under what basis you are accusing me tonight?
djlogan(*): I was hoping you would just agree to stop using your program, but your instistence is causing me to research your previous history
aBetterMove: I have answered your questions openly and I find it quite disturbing that you continue to speak as though I were guilty of a crime I have not committed; rather than help me understand the actual reason something has come up.
aBetterMove: To repeat; I have never used computer or outside assistance on ICC.
djlogan(*): What chess program do you have on your computer?
aBetterMove: I fail to see why that is relevant. Will you explain under what basis you are accusing me of using assistance tonight? On my computer among other engines, are installed, Fritz 9, Deep Shredder 11, Rybka 2.3.2a, Deep Junior 9 trial version, Houdini 1.5a, to give an example.
djlogan(*): ok, cool. Then the next question is, are you running those engines while you play games here?
aBetterMove: With respect, I have already answered that question proactively; several times. To reiterate again: I have never used computer, or outside assistance, on ICC. I ask again: will you explain under what basis you are accusing me of using assistance tonight?
djlogan(*): That's not the question I asked. I asked if you were running them while playing here. If so, SpeedTrap will notice this, and will make sure somebody talks to you about that.
djlogan(*): Thus, that may be the reason we are talking.
aBetterMove: I think you have misunderstood what I said. When I say, I have never used computer assistance on ICC, it means I have never ran a chess engine while playing here.
djlogan(*): OK, I'm still not sure we are on the same page. If you are running a chess engine at all, and you play a game here, SpeedTrap will notice this
djlogan(*): You don't have to be using the chess engine to be helping you play
aBetterMove: Stop a moment please.
djlogan(*): You just have to be running one. To put it another way, you can't be running a chess engine when you're playing here
djlogan(*): You need to shut them down
aBetterMove: I'm sorry if you don't feel what I've said is clear, but it is. I just said that I have never ran a chess engine while playing any game on ICC.
aBetterMove: I cannot do any more than answer you fully as I have, and simplify any answer as I have if it is not clear to you, but I have confirmed now several times that at no point during any game ever played on ICC have I had any engine running.
djlogan(*): ok. I am talking to members of the SpeedTrap team now to see how I need to proceed
aBetterMove: I'm doing all I can to work with you to establish WHY something has come up, and I don't understand why you haven't been able to answer my question about what might have triggered this, since there's clearly a dead end re engine use.
djlogan(*): Since they know you have (or somebody has) run a chess engine while playing, they need to decide to let you go or to check your games more carefully. Hold on a minute please. Thanks!
aBetterMove: "Since they know you have (or somebody has) run a chess engine while playing..." is in direct contradiction to what I have just said. You are effectively calling me a liar, yes?
aBetterMove: I want to get this point clear, here and now, so I'd appreciate a quick direct response.
djlogan(*): I'm not saying anything of the sort. I am only telling you what SpeedTrap is aware of.
aBetterMove: You are claiming that Speedtrap is aware of engine use on my computer, while playing on ICC. This directly contradicts what I have just told you, and in the absence of your personal opinion this clearly implies that I am hiding information or lying.
aBetterMove: As I have said several times, I am trying to work with you fully to establish what, has triggered this issue.
djlogan(*): Well, the SpeedTrap is very experienced, and people who use chess programs almost always say they don't, so I must say, I am indeed inclined to believe the SpeedTrap team.
aBetterMove: To wit, you indeed are calling me a liar, despite your previous protestation to the contrary. Why are you refusing to work with me by outlining other potential reasons for the hold on my account? I fail to see the benefit from this approach.
aBetterMove: I will also just point out that in my last game I made a horrible blunder and resigned, following several positional inaccuracies. I invite you now while this is being dealt with to look through a few of my games from tonight or any other time, to see if move sequences correlate with any engine. Certainly I've made a few blunders in some of my games here and I've no shame in declaring that.
djlogan(*): That's what I was trying to do. I know full well the program was running. What I was hoping to do was learn why, and if you were running it for some other reason, I could recommend solutions
djlogan(*): But if you continue to claim that you don't even have one running, that leaves little room for me to help
aBetterMove: You are now engaging in defamation. I must ask you to cease immediately. This is neither helpful, nor respectful, because instead of listening to what I am saying, you appear to be presuming me guilty of a crime I have not committed, leaving any conversation in between as rather irrelevant. I'm sure you can imagine that makes me feel wrongly persecuted, harassed, and offended.
djlogan(*): I never said anything about you being guilty nor committing any crime. I am only claiming that you are in fact running a chess program. I am not claiming that are using it to help you play
aBetterMove: The point you are claiming remains in direct contradiction to my earlier testimony. This is defamatory and it is reasonably clear that by declaring me to be running a chess program, where I say I am not and have not, you presume my guilt of being in violation of the ICC rules on such issues. If this were a court of law that would certainly be the impression given I'm sure you agree.
djlogan(*): ok. Well, per the SpeedTrap team, as this is the third time we've spoken to you about using a chess program, I must expire your free trial.
djlogan(*): At this point, you can purchase an account, which would mean that any future violations would cause SpeedTrap to check your games and assign computer labels if necessary.
aBetterMove: You are acting without proof of any infraction past nor present, you are refusing to cooperate with me to find the actual reason this issue has arisen, and you continue defaming me without substance. Why are you being so absolutive and presumptional about issues you are not in possession of the facts on?
djlogan(*): Apologies, but it is actually you doing the refusing to cooperate. At this point, as the account is a trial account, it must be expired. Have a good night, and should you choose to, you may pay for an account to continue to play.
aBetterMove: How in any way have I refused to cooperate?
djlogan(*): Well, as I have said several times, we know you have run a chess program, I was only inquiring as to why.
aBetterMove: But you do not know I have run a chess program. You are declaring me to have used one despite hearing from me several times that I have not. I can do nothing more than be open and honest as I have been about that issue, and when I tried to explore other reasons this might have come up, you have refused to acknowledge nor answer my questions.
djlogan(*): I didn't say "used one", I said "run one"
aBetterMove: I just said run one.
aBetterMove: I think you are perfectly aware that I understand the semantic difference in those sentences.
djlogan(*): Actually, it seems like you are using them interchangably, when in fact they are different
djlogan(*): I know you were running one. What I don't know is whether or not you were using it to help you play.
aBetterMove: as a human it is easy for me to be imprecise with my language. That does not change the facts from what I have told you to be. What basis do you have for claiming I was at any time during play on ICC running a chess engine?
aBetterMove: This situation is equivalent to a man being arrested for a crime and declared guilty without any burden of proof . I find this approach astonishing.
djlogan(*): At this point though, that's immaterial. I was only going to tell you that you can't run one while playing here. However, only people who like to use them tend to say they weren't even running one. People running them for other reasons generally say something like "yes, why?"
djlogan(*): But at any rate, my suspicions are immaterial. At this point, I will expire this account. Thanks for taking the time to speak with me though.