[blind-chess] Re: Revising Help Rules

what good does it do to have a rule if you can't enforce it.
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: R Dinger 
  To: chess 
  Sent: Sunday, July 04, 2010 1:37 PM
  Subject: [blind-chess] Revising Help Rules


  Hi All,

  Because of the correspondence chess tradition of using print reference 
materials, this could be a difficult rule change.

  For many years correspondence chess players used books and their own past 
games as references when playing.  I think this was used mostly to get the 
first few moves of a specific opening correct, but studying your own previous 
games could sometimes help avoid common pitfalls as well.  The whole notion of 
references was not much of an issue, though, because manually searching through 
piles of written material took too much time.

  Now with the introduction of personal computers and the availability of low 
cost databases of literally millions of games, the problem landscape has 
changed dramatically.  As Johannes correctly points out, the better researcher 
has an advantage over his opponent no matter the opponent's chess skill.

  Some chess game databases allow you to just enter your FEN position and the 
software tells you what the best next move is based on the millions of master 
level games in the database.  You don't even need to enter the moves, just the 
current position.  And someone told me recently that some databases don't even 
need the exact FEN they will find the closest ones.  But is that really playing 
chess or just running some software.  To me it seems a little like entering a 
marathon race and showing up to compete on a bicycle.

  So where do we on the blind chess list want to draw the line?

  Clearly using a chess engine or discussing your game with the local chess 
Grand Master that is giving you chess lessons is out.  And maybe looking up 
your first few moves in the ECO in order to find the name and number of the 
opening could probably be allowed.  But what about the rest of it?

  Nothing is really enforceable, though, and we must rely on the honor system.  
I will make the rule whatever appears to be the general consensus of the blind 
chess members.  So far I think the idea of absolutely no help seems to be 
winning.

  Some more ideas you might consider:
  * Keeping the current rules.
  * Limit to written articles and books only, like ECo or articles on a 
specific opening.
  * You must inform your opponent of any reference you use and furnish your 
opponent a copy.
  * No game databases or any published historical games.
  * No chess software at all, like engines or databases like chess base.
  * No opening advisor sites or automated opening software.
  * Absolutely nothing but your own memory.

  Any more ideas or additional comments?

  Richard

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