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Old December 29th 06, 05:15 PM posted to
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First recorded activity by ChessBanter: Dec 2006
Posts: 2
Default Old topic, more discussion

The issue of what constitutes assistance in correspondence or e-mail
chess remains one I have had to deal with for the last forty years.
The problem is that some of us study openings in a group or like to
play certain lines against our computers and those tend to be lines we

A case and point before there were chess programs. In a correspondence
game we got to a position in the Najdorf where my opponent left the
book line. I used to play the Najdorf all the time in speed chess
against a friend, and knew I could get into that position taking my
opponent's side. Would that have been ethical? How about doing it
over several games? What if we had had an analysis group in my chess
club, could I have asked "What about ...?"

I recently got a book on a particular opening. I often used the book
as I play against a computer. What are my obligations if I am playing
a game following the book? Should I stop playing that opening with my
computer altogether if I play in a thematic?

Clearly having my computer choose my moves is no fun and I would not
want to do it, but if one uses the computer to study an opening or
plays that line against a computer, is that assistance? It is OK by
most rules to use a book on an opening, but how about attending a
lecture and then asking a question? I know there are extreme views on
both sides, but are there guidelines that are in-between?

These issues have been with correspondence players longer than e-mail
or chess playing programs. I am wondering if any (obviously
unenforceable) more precise rules would make sense. One example would
be a prohibition against discussing the opening or playing the line
when it is your turn to move, but allowing it in anticipation of your
opponent's response.Another would prohibit settng the position beyond
where you have a book line, but allows one to try to entice the
computer or opponent to play that line. I like to abide by the rules,
but the rules have always carried some ambiguity for me since the days
when I played

Has anybody found a good discussion of these issues, or am I the only
old timer who obsesses about them?

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