Resources / Databases


I would like to begin by apologizing for asking the same questions that I see so many new members have asked throughout the forums. I would like to ask specific to my situation though as some of the user answers are a little vague to me. When playing a game of online chess, may I open up Chessmaster, and explore the game database for similar positions to gather possible ideas for moves? From what I have read I believe that this is permitted but if I choose to search for certain games I would like to be sure that I am playing fairly and respectfully by the rules. I do understand that I may not ever use the "mentor lines" that Chessmaster features or have an analysis run of a current game. I also understand that all "resources" are not permitted in live chess. Additionally, if using databases as described is permitted, how far into a game may I follow the lines? If a game were to by some incredible odds play out identical to a historic game could I follow it throughout? I appreciate the help!  Thank you!


I think this is down to the honour system, I use the opening explorer to check lines I'm not sure about in turn based games. Whether this is more or less 'cheating' than consulting a database is open to debate. I recently asked the webmaster of a correspondence chess site what the difference is between consulting a database of human generated master moves in a game (which is allowed by the rules) and using a master level chess engine to generate moves for you (which is not permitted). He basically admitted it amounted to the same thing (you didn't find the move yourself) but many old school players like to believe theres a difference so they have that rule.

In high level correspondence tournaments its basically a battle of computer hardware 'assisted' by the human player, the skill is in recognising faulty assessments and lines of analysis (which happens, despite the 3000+ elo ratings) and pointing the engine down the right paths to analyse.

To answer your question, nobody will know if you pull the moves from a database unless you miraculously follow all the moves from some obscure game in a junior team event in Macedonia or something, its how much you consider that to be 'playing' chess that matters...

Vease wrote:

its how much you consider that to be 'playing' chess that matters...

Which is a very good point that I have read a number of people making.  Though an argument can surely be made for using the databases during games to learn new strategies or to consider options in certain positions that I might not have typically played, perhaps it is better to just make my moves, analyze them afterwards, and improve the next game.  Thanks Vease!

Any other thoughts out there?