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Friday, 23 September 2011

Accused of Cheating


Let me start off with a transcription of the chat window which took place after I won the game:

"Anonymous: resigns
Unrated game, no ratings changed
Anonymous: proggy 
latmat: Proggy? Sorry, don’t know that one 
Anonymous: chess engine
Anonymous: cheater/abuser of system
latmat: No just lucky on that
Anonymous: no
latmat: I screwed up bad and you did too 
latmat requests another game
Anonymous: too long
Your opponent has left"

I have been accused of cheating while playing on Chess Cube few times now and every time it is quite unsettling. Let be clear I do not cheat. I do however study (memorize or learn) opening lines and a bit of end game theory from chess books, videos and my own computer assisted analysis.

Grandmaster opening preparation goes deep; up till even the 30th move! Now this preparation is done with computer assisted analysis in our day and age. Are they cheating? No they are simply using their gifted and developed memories. Now just because I am not a grandmaster does not preclude myself from preparation. So if a player plays lines I know well, I will give them a strong performance.

Now it is also possible to be taken out of the "book" so to speak when less common moves are made. This is an example of what happened in my game posted here. I made a mistake, taking us both out of the main lines.  Now just because I play a strange line and end up being able to win the game does not mean I am cheating!

In this instance my opponent forgets that he too also makes mistakes! Going out of the "book" creates an atmosphere where creativity and not memory is key, mistakes are more likely to occur. The more creative player with a stronger intuition and tactical eye will often have the advantage in such a position!

So in this instance I was more creative and had a sharper tactical eye. I found myself a chance to win which he did not see. In another game the outcome may be different but in this instance I won. If you look at the computer annotation included in the pgn above, my opponent was far better off than I. His blunder on move twelve gave the advantage back to me! There was no cheating here, only a bruised ego who couldn't believe he could have lost such a position!

Chess Players have good and bad days, have different knowledge; needless to say the reasons one player wins and the other loses is very complex. Let's please keep the accusations of cheating to an intelligent minimum!

Sunday, 4 September 2011

The Open A File



My opponent (white) did not like my Bishop and decided he was going to trade off his knight. This is a very common practice as many players favour the Bishop over a Knight and consider the trade an advantage. I kindly obliged, instead of retreating to another square I decided it might be useful to open up my A File. As you can see from the game, this allowed opportunity for a massive attack following a Rook lift.

Moving his king, on move 25 was a huge blunder essentially just losing, as White would have had to give up his Queen to stop the mate. The position would have been much better for White, had he played 12. h4 instead of h3, as h3 was hanging due to the pin. White could have then locked up the position playing 13. g3. In fact the computer seems to slightly favour White in this position.

However we are not Computers! I believe the open A file can provide interesting avenues for attacks, getting the Rook into the game early on. A strategy that I will have to look at closer.

In any case it was a really fun game!