Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Online Cheating: I Don't Get It.

Yesterday I wrote about some of my observations about Chess Tactics Server, and perhaps my biggest gripe was the 3 second time limit to get full credit. In the comments Scirius mentioned online cheating. I also noticed that CTS had a lot of information about different types of cheating. I know that on different chess servers like ICC or FICS cheating has been a problem.

Why in earth do people cheat on a site like CTS? Who cares what you rating is on a tactics server? Right now mine sucks. Hopefully it will improve as I get better at finding moves, and recognizing patterns in the various positions. I thought the idea of using sites like CTS was to improve your ability and knowledge of chess, not pump up a fake number. I guess there are pathetic losers out there who need to cheat so they can can validate their so called chess prowess by having a high CTS rating.

I guess they're the same people who try to get a high rating on ICC or FICS by having Fritz or a stronger player give them moves. I suppose having a high rating on one of the chess servers might get you better games. What's the point if you get crushed by these better players without using the computer? I can play high rated players in a live tournament and get some input after the game is done.

I suppose I'm preaching to the choir here. All of you in this part of the chess blogsphere are trying to get better at chess. I'd rather lose a bunch of games because I was outplayed or overlooked something, then win because I cheated. Whether I'm playing chess or some other game, I'm doing it because I relish the challenge of trying to do the best I can. It would be nice if the best I can always led to a win but chess, like life doesn't work that way. More often the not, best I can means not getting crushed and humiliated by a stronger player. Then there are those days where I get crushed and humiliated by someone lower rated then me. Those days suck! But like the rodeo rider who gets tossed immediately, I'll get up, brush off the dirt, and get back on the damn horse again.

It's not just online chess where people feel the need to cheat. I don't play a lot of online chess, but I love playing hearts online. The issues with the flat board in chess don't impact me when playing cards online. I've seen a lot of cheating at hearts. These games are not for money. I play in tournaments or in a card room where the only thing at stake is your hearts rating for that particular site. There are no prizes in the tournaments. One earns points each tournament and at the end of the month the top 16 players get to play in the end of the month championship. Winner of that tournament gets a tee-shirt. Woo hoo!

There have been cases where a player and his buddy would playing in the same game, and would IM each other information about their hands. Sometimes one player would be playing in the same game on two computers with two different handles. This way he had control of two hands each round. Though it's not really cheating, I see players constantly resetting their rating and starting over, or creating a new name. I'm not sure what the point is except some higher rated players will set minimum rating requirements for their table. I have found that for myself any time I've created a new name and have gotten an established rating with the new name that the rating is always within 25 to 50 points of my old rating.

End of the sermon. I think it's time to post another game!


Temposchlucker said...

I guess there are cheaters just "out of principle". Guys you don't want among your friends.

Sciurus said...

The reasons why people cheat in amateur sports are beyond my understanding. There are even people who pay good runners to run a marathon in their name. It seems to me that many humans somehow feel better by creating an illusion about their self (or feel pressured to do so) That illusion can be a bigger than deserved online chess rating in case of a chess geek or buying an expensive car to show off even if they cannot afford it for the more "normal" minded.

LoLo said...

I totally agree with you.
Cheating on the web doesn't make you better, and doesn't help you in real games.

"But like the rodeo rider who gets tossed immediately, I'll get up, brush off the dirt, and get back on the damn horse again."
I like this quote :)

Wahrheit said...

Wow, I knew about cheating on chess severs but the idea of cheating at CTS??? I know there's a community and message boards and people who scan the lists constantly over there, but MY G-D, talk about a big fish, small pond situation!

Anyway, excellent points and post!

Blue Devil Knight said...

Big fish in small pond syndrome is perfect description!

If there is someone I personally dislike, who is really cocky about how great he is, it might be fun to mess with his head by destroying him with Fritz. I have never given into this temptation at ICC, but I have been tempted a couple of times. It is much more satisfying to just play my best against such people: and hey, if they are cocky and better than me, who am I to say anything other than good game, you are good at chess but suck at life. I'm sorry about how your parents raised you such that you turned out this way.

And I bide my time, slowly improving....My pathology is that I think I'm actually doing something when I beat people like that.

Liquid Egg Product said...

People have pride, and some will go to extreme lengths to protect it. Pride has probably been the biggest driver of evil since the dawn of human history. The best we can do is get a chuckle or two out of it with the sane world.

Cheating at CTS...that's really funny.

Polly said...

I knew I was preaching to the choir here, but I just had to get that off my chest. It laughable that people cheat on CTS, but then again I thought it was laughable when people cheated my online hearts games. Hey this isn't big time poker with mucho denario on the line. I guess ome people will stoop to all kinds of lows.

Hell if I had any pride at all I wouldn't keep writing about my butt ugly losses. However my butt ugly losses are more entertaining then my boring wins.

Anonymous said...

It's young players who are the source behind cheating they are destroying Human Chess and the good spirit of the game and replacing it with Fritz. You have to understand the culture of today's young Players they just don't care about the importance of the art and science of the game they have a gimme gimme attitude about points,ratings,money that's what drives them and it's an extremely unhealthy obsession online and offline.

Polly said...

Anon: I won't blame in all on the youth. Many of the cheats that I've encountered in hearts are adults. These days there just seems to be a culture of cheating not just in games. Look at the crap in corporate America. Money, power and prestige are the 3 kings. What's happening online is a reflection of society in general.

Now I'm going to get off my soap box, before I start talking politics and religion. Those are two topics I have promised myself that won't come up on this blog.

Quix said...

"I won't blame it all on the youth. Many of the cheats that I've encountered in hearts are adults"


I don't disagree with you many adults do it too they have huge egos worse than kids a simple
truth every player has to accept is somebody is
always better skilled than they are at Chess but cheaters don't accept this reality so they use programs to live a lie that they are alot better
than they really are just like cyclists who cheat,
and baseball Players who use steroids to break
home run records they didn't really earn with out
the juice.

Polly said...

Quix: Amen! I'm an avid cyclist and baseball fan, and the drug crap makes me ill. I find myself asking to myself when I see a good cyclist or athlete, "Is he clean or not?"

All I know is that I can look at myself in the mirror and say that who am I, and what I've accomplished comes from playing by the rules.