I'd like to suggest that RHP allow computer players under certain restrictions:
1) Special application. The computer account is declared as such - either a (C) in the name, or something special.
2) Play must be automated - generally some sort of always on, instant response. Perhaps on during fixed hours.
3) Some way to restrict the number of games that a given player has against the computer (i.e. one at a time, max of 10 in a month). This could also be done on the client side - refuse games if the player exceed this.
4) Preference given to people who write their own engine. Using commercial engines may need permission, so should be restricted. We don't need 20 people running different versions of Fritz.
5) Profile should give some information about hard and software.
6) The idea is not to have the strongest possible engine, but rather something which people can play against. Ideally there should be a bunch of engines, rated from 700 to say 2200 (there are only 35 people above this, so I would not expect any demand) at 100 point intervals.
7) Probably exclude from tourneys. Probably the engines should accept challenges, and be able to issue open invites, but not issue challenges.
8) Possibly only available to people who have played here as a person for some time - they have showed interest, and may be more likely to stay around.
The use of engines outside these special accounts would remain strictly forbidden.
Something similar has been suggested before, Thread 16815
, though the guy making the suggestion appeared more interested in strong engines. It was also some time ago, so different people were active, and opinions may have changed.
Benefits I see:
- It is clear that if I want to play a computer, I can select a computer account; anyone cheating by using a computer is just being rude.
- There is something against which new players can judge themselves. Can I beat the Computer1600? What about Computer1800?
- Existing players can judge progress too; if the computer hardware and software are constant, then the computer should always play at the same level.
- Quick games would be guaranteed by point 2.
- If point 2 is applied, there is no temptation to use the computer in your own games.
So what do you think? Is there a benefit in having this?
If you think it is a bad idea, why? What are the disadvantages?