Originally posted by kopatov
How can one be sure when playing people with phenomenal records that they are playing themselves and they are not mythological beasts i.e. centaurs or engines? If for arguments sake your opponent has a 95% record and they have many, many games in progress, how can you be sure they are not receiving help?
Every so often, someone creates an RHP account and within a few days is spouting off about likely engine use amongst top rated players on this (and other) sites. I don't know why this happens. Perhaps there is nothing on TV, or they would like to provoke a reaction from the (C) players. Perhaps they are a clone account wishing to provoke a storm against the site owners. Perhaps they are engine users themselves trying to goad the site administrators and forum contributors.
The sad fact is that if you play on line chess on any site, at any time control, at any rating level
you will meet "identities" that will consult a computer engine for one, more, or all their moves.
At present on the web I have read that RHP is known as a site with "prevalent" engine use and this situation is likely to worsen given the recent "clear out" at chess.com with "identities" likely to migrate. I hope RHP will respond to this but I know there are many here who doubt their ability to do so.
If you play on line you have to assess how likely at your level you are to meet engine users all or most of the time. At the IECG LSS server, which allows engine use in most tournaments, it is somewhere around the 1000-1200 rating mark. At ICCF from about 1750 upwards. Here? Do some analysis yourself...
I analyzed one game here that interested me because of the opening. Player A who has all but been openly accused on this forum lost to Player B. After the opening B played a move I thought had been regarded as dubious by "theory". The free TOGA/FRUIT engine then listed every one of A's moves to the end of the game as 1st choice after 45 seconds and all but three of B's moves as first choice, until the engine was allowed to run for five minutes when it reassessed the choice. Whilst I can't rule out that the game was the result of deep pre game preparation given the opening involved, I can say that there appears, on the face of it, to have been Silicon involvement. Player A is still here, Player B left the site unbanned and returned, rather obviously under a new ID and carries on playing at around the 1900-2000 level. Players with a published OTB rating lower than mine have ascended blissfully to page one, and then had an army of friends to cry "foul" when they have been booted.
You have to decide if such a site is "worth playing on" for you.
Your integrity and love for the game will dictate your actions thereafter:
1. Can't beat them join them. (as morally bankrupt as it is understandable)
2. Find a site where suspects are booted quickly (you will still encounter cheaters who have not been caught yet and most sites don't live up to their anti cheater claims)
3. Play "advanced chess" on a relatively level playing field like ICCF. (It's a different game but at least it is almost fair)
4. Ignore the issue of computer use which now pervades the game at all levels including the pre game preparation stages at OTB, and chess literature in general and enjoy playing your game, how you want to, on any or all of these sites. (Pragmatic Approach)
5. Play as a human on computer only sites and be banned for blundering (yes, it happens)
6. Give up the on-line/CC chess experience as many have, and join your local OTB club.
If they are like the one's I belong to new members are always welcome because their subs help guarantee survival. One of the ones I belong to would not exist if it was not for the junior section holding up the Adults financially. You can do this anyway even if you choose options 1-5 🙂
Most players realize the risk, and will accept the fact that if they are strong enough to rise through the ranks without computer assistance they will increasingly encounter "users", even if they are the "users" who are trying to keep match up rates below certain thresholds by whatever strategy they have devised for so doing. On sites where computer use breaks the terms of service players will report suspects to Admin. Admin's response or lack thereof will have a marketing effect, and will ripple through the various chess fora on the web. The subsequent "reviews" for want of a better word will guide players as to whether they wish to spend money or time on the site.
Sadly again, you are not pointing out anything new with your innuendo. I really don't think the majority here are that naive as not to realize what goes on. It is unlikely that anyone will see your motives for posting as anything other than mischievous at best.
There is a system here for reporting suspects with evidence. If you are really that new to RHP and don't know look it up or ask for help...