1. Standard membernonnymoose
    Average Guy
    Chicago, IL
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    06 Jan '05 04:55
    I've decided to get more serious about my chess play. I'm currently around 1300 and I desire to be around 1600 (as my next goal). Mind you, I'm not worried about my rating but my chess playing. This is why I don't take games that time out when I'm losing them...cuz I'm playing for the joy of playing, not to boost my rating.

    That said, I'm wondering about what is ok to use during a game. I currently do not use any book or software to help me with a live game. I'd NEVER dream of using software to tell me what my next move should be -- what's the fun in that?

    But I would like to learn more as I'm playing....looking up in books or databases and trying to figure out what a good move is. Not to win, but to improve my play.

    Is this cheating? I'm asking ahead of time so that I don't cheat.

    How does one learn more? Should I just play against the computer, using the books and databases etc. to learn instead of online games?

    What's the best way to analyze the games you've already played? Is there software that will analyze your games and suggest areas of study?

    TIA,

    Nonny
  2. Illinois, USA
    Joined
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    06 Jan '05 05:363 edits
    Originally posted by nonnymoose
    That said, I'm wondering about what is ok to use during a game. I currently do not use any book or software to help me with a live game. I'd NEVER dream of using software to tell me what my next move should be -- what's the fun in t ...[text shortened]... ove is. Not to win, but to improve my play.

    Is this cheating?
    My humble opinion:

    Any time you're playing chess with another person and you solicit input about "what move would be a good move here?" from any source other than "your own brain", you are cheating.

    Question: if you were playing a game in real life, would you ask bystanders what move would be a good move? Would you even be ALLOWED to do that?

    Answer: No to both.

    Asking a book, or software, what move would be a "good move" amounts to the same thing as asking bystanders what would be a "good move". IMO.

    I don't understand what kind of semantic waffle you're indulging in here: "I would like to learn more as I'm playing....looking up in books or databases and trying to figure out what a good move is. Not to win, but to improve my play."

    The only reason to "figure out what a good move is" in the middle of a game is to WIN. You can dress it up as "Hey, I'm just trying to improve", but let's face it, when you're playing another person, you're playing to WIN.

    And realistically, you're not going to look up "what would be a good move here" AFTER you've already moved your piece, because then you're looking up "what move I should have made". You're going to look it up BEFORE you move your piece. And if you then take the book or software's advice and move your piece the way it said--you have just cheated.

    So I don't see the point of consulting books or software while a game is in progress, and trying to rationalize it by saying "I'm just trying to understand the game better". In real time, while you're playing a game against someone, is not the time to be educating yourself. When Olympic swimmers go up against each other, they're not out there doing the 150 meter freestyle thinking, "Ah, excellent, now I am educating myself, now I am improving my understanding of this". They're thinking, "WIN."

    Improving your game, and understanding more about it, is what's called "studying". You sit down with records of other games people have played, and you get your chess pieces out, and you sit there and work through the game, and hopefully there's commentary, like with those books of Famous Chess Games, or Chess Life magazine with the tournament games, and you try to understand why this or that was a bad move or a good move. Then you take those principles and apply them to your real-life chess games. But during a real-life chess game is not the time to be doing that.

    If you want to improve your game, the best thing you can do is buy either Fritz 8 or Fritz Grandmaster Challenge and play computer chess with it. There are all kinds of ways you can set it up to analyze your game, practically an infinite number of ways you can set your Opponent to help you work on your weaknesses.

    And there's a database that will analyze your moves for soundness, etc.

    Another thing you can do, if you have a RHP game, is to post the game and let everybody look at it and make comments. Those threads can be extremely educational.

    Or you can simply Copy and Paste any other of your games in notation, and folks will comment.
  3. Standard membernonnymoose
    Average Guy
    Chicago, IL
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    06 Jan '05 05:50
    Thanks for the reply. I was asking based on having read another thread where it appeared that there was a distinction between having a computer tell you the next move (definately bad) and say, looking at an openings book.

    Certainly your pov makes sense for OTB play -- but isn't correspondence chess a different animal -- allowing much more time and study?

    After all, even an openings book won't win a game for you.

    Winning isn't the point I'm getting at. Playing better is. I don't understand those who use chess software to play for them so that they can get a THUS meaningless high rating.

    If this is a bad idea, it's a bad idea. Perhaps I misunderstood the other thread.

    Nonny
  4. Standard memberSirLoseALot
    Shut Gorohoviy!
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    06 Jan '05 05:53
    Actually,using books(or cd-roms) or databases is NOT cheating.This is allowed in corr chess,and this is what we play here.
    Getting advise from any other source,is considered cheating,by terms of the TOS.
  5. Standard membernonnymoose
    Average Guy
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    06 Jan '05 05:58
    Ok...other than the "cheating" issue, what is the best manner in which to use those tools to improve your game. Not just the current game you are playing -- but your game play in general.

    Even if the TOS allow such tools, I'm not suggesting that I'll use them, I'm just trying to come up to speed on the issues at hand. I have Chessmaster 10th, and while Fritz seems to be more highly regarded, I can certainly just play my computer instead of folks here for those games where I want to avail myself of the other learning tools.

    Nonny
  6. Standard memberXanthosNZ
    Cancerous Bus Crash
    p^2.sin(phi)
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    06 Jan '05 09:28
    Originally posted by nonnymoose
    Ok...other than the "cheating" issue, what is the best manner in which to use those tools to improve your game. Not just the current game you are playing -- but your game play in general.

    Even if the TOS allow such tools, I'm not suggesting that I'll use them, I'm just trying to come up to speed on the issues at hand. I have Chessmaster 10th, an ...[text shortened]... of folks here for those games where I want to avail myself of the other learning tools.

    Nonny
    You can use an engine to analyse your games after they finish to help you understand where you went wrong and where you need to spend time.
    The main way to use databases is as an opening resource. You can check them to see what GM's have played in a postion you are in. Of course you can only do that until you reach untravelled ground.
    At the moment that's all I use my sizable database for. To ensure it helps your chess playing in general you have to be sure to not rely on it as a crutch but as an aid. Learn the openings so you can play them without the database as well. Also you can use the database to find games in a similar opening to the ones you play and see the plans in them. For instance the exchange sac on c3 in some Sicilian Dragon openings. That way you can find the patterns and right squares when you reach similar but not identical positions.
  7. Illinois, USA
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    06 Jan '05 13:011 edit
    Originally posted by SirLoseALot
    Actually,using books(or cd-roms) or databases is NOT cheating.This is allowed in corr chess,and this is what we play here.
    ???

    Excuse me?? You're saying that it's officially okay with RHP for people to be playing their RHP games simultaneously on, say, their Palm with Chess Tiger, and to be moving according to how Chess Tiger would move?

    Because both Chess Tiger and Fritz constitute "databases", don't they? And you can *say* that you're only looking up openings, but I'd think that once it was known that you even had Fritz running on your laptop while you were playing, all your moves would become suspect.

    I would be really amazed to have that confirmed by an Admin.

    And it goes against what I thought I understood the other "cheating" threads to be saying. I thought they were unanimous that if you've got Fritz going on your *other* computer, and you're playing according to how Fritz would, then that's cheating.
    '
  8. Joined
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    06 Jan '05 13:07
    it would be cheating if you used the chess engines of those programs, not the database of played games
  9. Standard memberExy
    Damn fine Clan!
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    06 Jan '05 13:242 edits
    Originally posted by nonnymoose
    How does one learn more? Should I just play against the computer, using the books and databases etc. to learn instead of online games?

    What's the best way to analyze the games you've already played? Is there software that will analyze your games and suggest areas of study? Nonny
    The best way to learn is to play a lot of games here. Join a clan and enter tournaments. In your first tournament play every game differently to try out various openings and defenses until you find the ones that you're comfortable with and then in your next tournament focus on these.

    Don't be afraid to play higher rated players, you'll probably going to lose a lot of games but you'll learn more losing to a 1800+ player than you will beating a 1200. Also, when playing much higher rated players ask them if they're happy to discuss the game during or after - most will be happy to give you pointers.
  10. Standard memberRagnorak
    For RHP addons...
    tinyurl.com/yssp6g
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    06 Jan '05 13:321 edit
    Originally posted by ChessMom
    ???

    Excuse me?? You're saying that it's officially okay with RHP for people to be playing their RHP games simultaneously on, say, their Palm with Chess Tiger, and to be moving according to how Chess Tiger would move?

    Because both ...[text shortened]... e playing according to how Fritz would, then that's cheating.
    '
    A database is a searchable list of games in pgn form. Nothing more and nothing less. It is perfectly legal in correspondence to search your database for what move a GM makes next after the same opening moves as has happened in your games.

    Reading books is also perfectly legal in CC, as games go on for weeks/months. If you weren't allowed to read a book while playing, then you would never be able to read.

    Chess Tiger and Fritz aren't databases. They are engines. Big difference. And while they may have opening databases that they refer to, a cognitive process is involved whereby they decide on the next best move. A database has no such cognitive process.

    D
  11. Illinois, USA
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    06 Jan '05 14:51
    Okay, Ragnarok, thanks for clarifying that.

    But maybe I'm old-fashioned: it still seems to me, personally, that while you're in the actual process of a game with another person, even if it's correspondence chess, that if you're seeking help from another source, no matter if it's a "database" or a "book" or "your uncle sitting there in the kitchen", that that constitutes "cheating". I thought it was supposed to be one-on-one, mano a mano. If somebody's helping *you*, then it's not. And it doesn't seem fair to your opponent, unless you both agree upfront that the ground rules will include using books and databases. I thought the ground rule for chess, like for backgammon and parcheesi and Go Fish, was that you're supposed to play out of your own brain, not somebody else's brain. When you're playing backgammon, you don't excuse yourself in the middle of the game to go look up percentages and recommendations on a backgammon Internet website.

    So why does chess get a "free pass" on this?

    And also, when you're sitting across a table from a real person playing real life chess, you aren't allowed to consult books or databases, so why the "free pass" for correspondence and online chess?

    I don't get it.

    But that's just me.

    But, this information certainly changes whether I'm ever going to get up enough nerve to play chess with anybody online, like here. Because if they're all at their end consulting books and databases, then there's really no way of knowing whether I got beat by "them" or by "their assistant", is there? And apparently chances would be excellent that my opponents would all be using books and databases, so personally I guess I don't see the point, then. If my opponent is going to wipe the floor with me (which is a statistical certainty, given how bad I am at chess), it would mean more to me if he had done it out of his own brain. "Well, he's just better at chess than I am," I'd say to myself. But if he had been using a book or a database to advise him, and he wipes the floor with me, well, to me, that would have been a meaningless game, a pointless encounter, like setting Fritz on "assassin" and playing anyway. It wouldn't be *fun*.


  12. Joined
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    06 Jan '05 15:04
    Originally posted by ChessMom
    Okay, Ragnarok, thanks for clarifying that.

    But maybe I'm old-fashioned: it still seems to me, personally, that while you're in the actual process of a game with another person, even if it's correspondence chess, that if you're seeking help from another source, no matter if it's a "database" or a "book" or "your uncle sitting there in the kitch ...[text shortened]... encounter, like setting Fritz on "assassin" and playing anyway. It wouldn't be *fun*.


    I also use chess books (ok, one and very old book 😀 ) for openings and sometimes for best endgame strategy hints, and I don't consider it cheating, because
    a) when you use a book on opening, there are always multiple variations of the same opening, so you just choose the most interesting one - the one you "feel" the best. so the choice is always yours, and if you don't think along what you're doing, you'll might very well blow everything up in the midgame, because you haven't understood the plan in the opening,
    b) when you use a book in the endgame, there will never be identical positions from which to start, so you will have to grasp the concept of winning that endgame and play it in your situation.

    I think cheating begins when you stop thinking and stop choosing the moves by yourself.
  13. Internet
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    06 Jan '05 15:11
    What Exy says: Play a bunch of games and ask you opponent if he wants to give you a quick analysis. If you have an experienced friend, have him go over some of the more interesting games with you. Also, pick up a book on middle game strategy if you haven't done so already.

    I've managed to go from ~1000 to 1550+ in less than a year by flipping some pages in 'How to reassess your chess', looking up a few openings and playing a lot of games.

    I'd be happy to play an instructional game with you, unrated if you prefer, and give you some pointers afterwards.
  14. Standard memberExy
    Damn fine Clan!
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    06 Jan '05 15:155 edits
    Originally posted by ChessMom
    Okay, Ragnarok, thanks for clarifying that.

    But maybe I'm old-fashioned: it still seems to me, personally, that while you're in the actual process of a game with another person, even if it's correspondence chess, that if you're seek ...[text shortened]... on "assassin" and playing anyway. It wouldn't be *fun*.


    Do you think that all GMs have instinctively come to know the game as well as they do without tuition, without studying databases of past games, without immersing themselves totally in the history of the game?

    I used to think the same way, and only play games on the fly (I still do blitz like that often to keep up in my games and I often blunder) but my knowledge of openings wasn't strong enough, I needed to develop my understanding of the structure of the game.

    I did this by looking at what the good players here were doing, what openings they played against me and others. I've looked up positions that feel similar in games that I've played before. I've looked at books, I've taken advice from top 20 players here whenever I've been lucky enough to play them. I've looked up game positions on the online version of Chessbase. I haven't got an offline database of all of my games here yet cos I don't have the time to work on it but it would be something I'd like to sort out this year.

    I don't see this as cheating, I see it as studying - I certainly don't approve of people letting their engines play for them and that is cheating in my mind, plain and simple - it's also mindless and I can't see the fun in it at all.
  15. Standard memberAThousandYoung
    Hispanic not Catalan
    tinyurl.com/122ayzu1
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    06 Jan '05 15:332 edits
    Interesting thread. I wish I had more time atm to comment in depth. My short response is:

    Referring to databases is not cheating, as it's within the rules. Using an engine that thinks about a game you are currently playing is cheating.

    I do not refer to databases while playing. I almost never use the analyze board feature except to replay the previous moves. I don't use a side chessboard. If I move a piece and take it back or even click on it before I have decided for sure what to move I kick myself mentally. In short I try to play according to OTB rules as much as possible. I do all this because these are the rules I want to improve by. Different rules are a different game, and I am not interested in being good at a variation of chess where I'm using databases and other crutches.

    It doesn't really matter whether your opponent is using databases or a computer or not. The moves are still the moves, and if your opponent is consistent in his method then his rating will reflect the success of his method. It only really matters if you're like me and like to engage in smack talking exchanges and flame wars on the forums, as I am handicapping my rating and people who might otherwise be my inferior might have a higher rating.

    Kind of a longer post than I expected. Gotta go...I will probably come back to this later.

    EDIT - svin, what the [heck] is that thing in your picture?
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