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!