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Ethical cheating in online chess

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Old February 2nd 04, 04:51 PM
J Kazinski
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Default Ethical cheating in online chess

When asked if using computers in online chess is "inherently
unethical" many consider it so. Users of computers are labeled
"cheaters." Many competitors mention that they would personally gain
no satisfaction from winning if they used computer assistance. Many
also equated using computers to letting the computer totally generate
the moves without any involvement from the player. Using computers has
been labeled by many as unethical and unsatisfying without any further
thought about more subtle and creative uses of using analyzing
computers as tools.

When assistance of computers to analyze positions is forbidden by the
rules of play some difficulties arise. First of all is done properly
computer aided play in online chess cannot be detected. Additionally
there are all sorts of minor infractions that can occur with computer
use. How about using a computer to study openings, say by using it as
a practice opponent or allowing it to suggest lines of play for you to
consider, when would you have to stop playing these lines ? If you
consider this example trivial allow me to point out that such
considerations have led to lengthy and heated debate already.

Here are my personal opinions on this subject. I see nothing
"inherently" unethical about using computers. They are just one
additional tool we can use to determine the move we wish to make. I
wouldn't obtain personal satisfaction from plugging my positions into
a computer and just accepting the generated moves but I'll allow that
it is possible that some competitors would find this a fun way to play
chess. There will always be competitors who want to play without
computer assistance. I have no problem with that as long as they
respect my perception too !

Chess is a magnificent activity. The art/sport/science of chess is
great enough to encompass all competitors, whether they pursue
correspondence, OTB, problem solving/composing, chess set collecting,
chess-on-stamps collecting, chess forms designing, chess journalism,
tournament directing, organizing, or the many other forms of chess
activities. It would be grossly unfair for one set of chess
enthusiasts to prohibit others from pursuing their preferred forms of
the game. I would specifically propose chess competitions be made
available for using computers to analyze or generate moves. I see no
reason to satisfy those who are opposed to these ideas : I refuse to
accept the tyranny of those who would force others to play only by
their preferred rules.


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