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is using my own book of notes in an online tournament considered cheating?

  • #1

    I'm new at online chess tournaments.  I have a book of notes that I take while studying chess openings.  Would it be considered cheating to use my notes when playing online chess tournaments?  

  • #2

    I don't believe there would be a problem with that. I know that we're allowed to use the Game Explorer on here freely throughout online games, so I don't see why using notes on certain openings would be a problem.

  • #3

    Thanks.  I was wondering about the game explorer too.  You can only get so far before you hit uncharted territory, right?  If you don't know what you're doing you will lose anyway, even with a sound opening.

  • #4

    As we're both diamond members, we (fortunately) get complete access to the game explorer (as you probably know). The game explorer has thousands and thousands of grandmaster games, and allows you to enter any number of moves and will find a grandmaster game involving those moves (transpositions included). 

    Unfortunately it has a limit. Pretty much, if a grandmaster in the database hasn't played the move in question, it probably isn't a good one and shouldn't be included in any potential move list. 

  • #5

    If it's a live game, it's not allowed. If it's an "online game" (correspondence game), then it is allowed.

  • #6

    In the correspondence games you can use any reference materials except a computer engine or another person.  Specific current positions and moves of ongoing games can't be discussed with someone or in the forums.  Think of it like an open book test.

    You are allowed to use computers for databases, analysis boards [edit: I mean it's OK to use the computer for keeping track of your own analysis lines], etc.  You just can't have the computer do any sort of analysis or evaluation of the position or calculate potential lines. It would be OK to use something like chessbase to review a collection of games with a particular opening, but any analysis feature would have to be disabled.

    In the live games, you shouldn't be using anything except your brain, just like in an over-the-board game.

  • #7

     Here is a simple presentation of the rules: 

    site-playing-rules-a-guide-for-the-perplexed.

  • #8

    Artfizz, this is the third time I'm seeing that table, and I'll try to make a correction a third time: Game explorer is not an "opening database", it's just a "database". Usage of databases is not limited to opening lines, which is practically not possible anyway.

    So, online or offline databases consisting of full games played by humans is allowed. This includes "opening trees" or "opening databases" or such things whatever they are called, as long as they don't include engine games, which might return extra match ups in the detection system.

  • #9
    philidor_position wrote:

    Artfizz, this is the third time I'm seeing that table, and I'll try to make a correction a third time: Game explorer is not an "opening database", it's just a "database". Usage of databases is not limited to opening lines, which is practically not possible anyway.

    So, online or offline databases consisting of full games played by humans is allowed. This includes "opening trees" or "opening databases" or such things whatever they are called, as long as they don't include engine games, which might return extra match ups in the detection system.


    Databased engine games are certainly allowed, and some players use them (I collected a nice bunch of them and used them in my CC games briefly, until I discovered, quite quickly, that the engine stuff was annoying and got me into trouble -- engines tend to like exactly the sorts of positions I'm worst in! It also takes all the magic out of cc... I mean, I like playing a line thinking, "ohh, carlsen played this against kramnik at corus" ... whereas "rybka 3.1 played this against hiarcs..." just has no poetry whatsoever.

    But all that aside I never had a problem with cheat-detection (my games contain enough inaccuracies once we leave book to take care of that) but it would have been a simple enough matter to defend myself by showing the databased game(s) I'd been relying upon, had any inquisitor's put me on the rack.

  • #10
    JG27Pyth wrote:
    philidor_position wrote:

    Databased engine games are certainly allowed


    Uhm, no they are not, simply because you can create engine databases yourself, starting from any position. You can have thousands of 2800+ level games in a very rare opening line that ocurred in your game in a matter of hours. So in fact your evidence to defend yourself wouldn't mean anything because you could've created them as the games progress. Of course if you don't cheat (and you don't) you won't have any trouble with this, but that's not very relevant here.

    The only type of assistance allowed is human vs human game databases for opening lines in Turn-based Correspondence-style Chess and Vote Chess, Chess.com Opening Explorer, chess books, and an analysis board.

    http://support.chess.com/index.php?_m=knowledgebase&_a=viewarticle&kbarticleid=711

  • #11
    philidor_position wrote:
    JG27Pyth wrote:
    philidor_position wrote:

    Databased engine games are certainly allowed


    Uhm, no they are not, simply because you can create engine databases yourself, starting from any position. You can have thousands of 2800+ level games in a very rare opening line that ocurred in your game in a matter of hours. So in fact your evidence to defend yourself wouldn't mean anything because you could've created them as the games progress. Of course if you don't cheat (and you don't) you won't have any trouble with this, but that's not very relevant here.

    The only type of assistance allowed is human vs human game databases for opening lines in Turn-based Correspondence-style Chess and Vote Chess, Chess.com Opening Explorer, chess books, and an analysis board.

    http://support.chess.com/index.php?_m=knowledgebase&_a=viewarticle&kbarticleid=711


    Question:

    Some time ago, (a few years) I was very interested in a certain line of the Sokolsky.I was using Chess Assistant, and that db showed about 30 games, in all of which White played 12 Qh5+.

    My engine at that time showed that 12 Qg4 was clearly superior, and in fact winning, altough no human up to that point seems to have found it.

    [EDIT: the engine also showed that with best play by black, 12 Qh5+ is actually losing, despite overwhelming stats in its favour]

    Does this mean that I should not include this computer move im my own db, and that it is in fact "illegal" to play it?

    Was I cheating the 2 or 3 times I actually did play this when the opportunity presented itself?

     

  • #12
    rooperi wrote:
     

    Question:

    Some time ago, (a few years) I was very interested in a certain line of the Sokolsky.I was using Chess Assistant, and that db showed about 30 games, in all of which White played 12 Qh5+.

    My engine at that time showed that 12 Qg4 was clearly superior, and in fact winning, altough no human up to that point seems to have found it.

    Does this mean that I should not include this computer move im my own db, and that it is in fact "illegal" to play it?

    Was I cheating the 2 or 3 times I actually did play this when the opportunity presented itself?

     


    I think you certainly weren't cheating because it was your analysis. You're not obliged to playing inferior moves just because GMs haven't caught up with your improvement yet Smile. (no sarcasm.)

    My point was only that, say you're playing a game in a rare traxler line and you're not sure what to do, you don't have any human games. It wouldn't be fair if you start an engine blitz tournament from that starting position and end up having thousands of high level games (even extreme blitz games played by top engines is GM strength). That's why it's usually not allowed to consult engine-engine databases in online correspondence chess sites.

    I realize it's not possible to define everything into strict terms about what is exactly cheating and not, because you could technically argue the above method (creating databases) is also a way of analyzing or studying an opening etc, but common sense should prevail in those situations.

  • #13

    @phildor position --

    Wow, the chess.com rules specifying human v human database is news to me... I never violated the rules in spirit but I it appears I did violate the letter of the rules...

    It seems clear to me that starting at an unclear point in a game, having an engine tournament from that position, and calling the results a database, that's obviously engine cheating.

    It's much less clear to me why one can't reference a Rybka v Hiarcs game played in say 2008 and published on the internet -- why using that should be considered improper in chess.com correspondence chess just baffles me.  

    All serious tournament players are using engines to search for novelties at the bleeding edge of their repertoire lines. So there's engine analysis embedded in strong human v human databases all over the place, and increasingly so each passing day. 

  • #14
    JG27Pyth wrote:

    @phildor position --

    Wow, the chess.com rules specifying human v human database is news to me... I never violated the rules in spirit but I it appears I did violate the letter of the rules...

    It seems clear to me that starting at an unclear point in a game, having an engine tournament from that position, and calling the results a database, that's obviously engine cheating.

    It's much less clear to me why one can't reference a Rybka v Hiarcs game played in say 2008 and published on the internet -- why using that should be considered improper in chess.com correspondence chess just baffles me.  

    All serious tournament players are using engines to search for novelties at the bleeding edge of their repertoire lines. So there's engine analysis embedded in strong human v human databases all over the place, and increasingly so each passing day. 


    The specification was in fact added only several months ago, after an inquiry very similar to this in the forums. I don't remember who, but a user (might be the Grobe or Costelus but not sure) had contacted erik personally about this and then the rule was changed.

    I agree with you about the Rybka-Hiarcs 2008 game, the explanation I could come up with is that it would be difficult to check for match up rates against engine games because they can be created by virtually anyone and posted publicly anywhere on the internet, so it wouldn't be practical to have a large database for the staff to rely upon. For human games though, regularly updating the database with weekly TWIC databases is good enough.

    It wouldn't make sense for the staff to define only several sites that chess com users can "legally" download and use engine games from, so they had to cut them out completely.

  • #15
    rooperi wrote:

    Does this mean that I should not include this computer move im my own db, and that it is in fact "illegal" to play it?

    Was I cheating the 2 or 3 times I actually did play this when the opportunity presented itself?


    I'd say what's relevant is the timing.  When you play a game, you're using knowledge you have learned previously, and in correspondence games, you can also reference other types of information as the game proceeds.  There's certainly nothing wrong with improving your chess by computer analysis and applying whatever you've learned in future games.

    But it's another matter if you're investigating computer lines at the same time you're encountering them in games, and I'd think it's even borderline to be doing much computer analysis in particular openings that were employed in current games you were playing, even if you're not looking at equivalent positions.

    Suppose I'm playing a live game and I don't know how to mate my opponent when I've got a King and Rook, and as a result I only draw instead of winning.  After the game, I sit down with the computer and study, by whatever methods, the technique I should have used.  Two days later in a different live game the same circumstance arises, but this time I know what to do, without the aid of a computer while I'm playing the game.  No problem.  Perfectly legit.

  • #16

    Well no wonder my rating is so low.  I play touch-move and practice like it was an OTB game -- except I occasionally consult a book for an opening.

    I figure if I rely on anything, the analysis board, game explorer, etc. is not going to make me better at chess, just better at using chess tools.

    My rating here now is about 920.  I play Shredder and can beat it set on the 1100 setting.  Now I think I know why.  I will not take my rating here too serious ....

  • #17

    If only human vs. human games database is allowed then, taking help of computer analysis of the game you played earlier should also be illegal. The "perhaps better would have been.." moves are generated by a computer engine...

  • #18

    not sure

  • #19

    Some have a mindless brain full of notes and tictacs and some have notes on paper. Treating this as cheating would be too narrow-minded

  • #20
    i never use the analysis board when i play daily chess, since my goal is to simulate "over the board" chess in preparation for tournaments. but i realize that many players use it, and it's part of the game.

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