Is it REALLY cheating?

For the past few days, I've been reviewing my thoughts ever since I have come to this site. I wish to bring up a few genuine thoughts and brainstorms that have occured to me, in hopes of being productive.

Reasons why using assistance here may be considered cheating:

1- Because lichess wants their brainchild to be taken seriously. Understandable, but not really a reason, at least as far the players are concerned.

2- Because the ratings are used for categories and tournament entries with real prize money. (please someone verify this)

3- Because people come here to play against other people, not engines. Imagine what would happen if everyone started using engines extensively.

Reasons why it shouldn't be considered cheating:

1- Because you can create your custom time settings, and choose to play with random colors or not. You also get to choose your opponents to some extent. This suggests it is still a casual environment, not to be taken too seriously.

2- Because players resort to the internet for practice and training purposes. We might want to practice a particular opening for instance, and we could use some help. Similar to how you would use a kick board to practice kicking in swimming. We could do without the hassle of being called a cheater.

3- Because it is always possible to use minor assistance without going noticed. You could ask another player for help, for instance.

What do you think? Any other reasons for either argument?

You cheaters cheat on everyone including your cheating yourself. I am pissed off reading and discussing any cheater confessions.

I basically agree with Sarg0n, but I will add this caveat: if the person you are playing against knows you are using something for assistance and has agreed to play in those conditions, it's ok.
For example: if they're a friend and they've agreed to play with you to help you learn an opening, you could use something while playing to help you learn the opening.

If you've started a matchmaking game and it's a random stranger who thinks they're going into a fair game and you're using anything that isn't allowed, then you're a scumbag.

Cheating is still cheating even if it's a "casual environment" and even if it is possible to cheat without getting noticed. I don't really see how either of those points are meant to argue anything, if I'm honest. This doesn't just apply to chess, either: using an aimbot in a casual game of Counter Strike is still cheating. Using a word finder when playing a casual game of scrabble is still cheating.

@ahotbanana I get what you're saying about being a cheater in games. I think you mean like those kids who would always cheat in games, leaving you puzzled why the hell they have such behaviour.

What you say could also apply to chess. It's a game, and some people will be cheaters. But there is also a different scenario that could occur in games such as chess, which is drastically different from using cheat codes in counter strike (not sure what an aimbot is)

You wish to practice certain aspects of the game against humans and you turn to the internet. Back in the days there was Yahoo games. Your goal is to practice so that you can get better next time. You've already made up your mind what you want to practice. It's not like you're suddenly deciding in the midst of a game " Oh no, I'm losing, time to cheat!"

You're practicing so you can get better next time. Your opponent might as well be playing a stronger player, or a future version of you who knows that opening, etc. You're not trying to cheat to win the game. The intentions are totally different from those cheating kids or grown ups.


I don't want to turn this into personal debates. I don't blame you for reading it the way you are. I didn't create this topic to discuss about me. I will state this just one time, although I have no way to prove it to you: It doesn't even OCCUR to my mind to cheat in real games, even if no one is looking. You wouldn't even need moderators if everyone was like me.

In fact, when the arbiters shout "no cellphones!", I naturally get a bit pissed off, because I know I won't be using my phone for anything chess related.

In an ideal world, you'd want to take the cellphones away from the cheaters, not everyone.

Again, what it comes down to is whether or not your opponent knows and is ok with you doing whatever you're doing. If they don't know you're doing it and you're playing in an environment where it's not allowed, that is cheating. Plain and simple. If they know you are doing it and aren't ok with it, doing it would be cheating.

Really, though, it's actually kind of irrelevant whether it would be cheating or not. If you're cheating for the sake of learning, you are, as sarg0n said, cheating yourself. You're not going to learn by being told what move to make by your engine or a book. You're going to learn by making mistakes and having people refute them and then analysing your games to come up with ways you could have played better.

I appreciate it is completely irrelevant, but I feel the need to tell you that an aimbot is something that will automatically aim for you in a shooter, generally getting headshots (instant kills in a lot of games) the instant your opponent is visible on your screen.

@ahotbanana I am familiar with concept of cheating (or fooling) yourself.

Of course blindly following an engine is pointless. That's not how I meant, that's not how it's done. That's not training. You already mentioned this type of behavior when you brought up the gamer example. I proposed that there is an alternative scenario as well. I've already used it to conquer various aptitudes. Forget about the fact that I'm flagged for a moment. I wish I had brought this up before being flagged, so people could focus on the topic. Think about using a kickboard in swimming. Or emerging yourself in an environment to learn a new language. Now draw some similarities to how you could train smarter in chess.

Imho this is a pointless subject. All this sound and fury over something that does not exist.
Unless there is a real reward - maybe cash or a rating that would allow you to claim professional privileges (ie cash again) the notion of cheating is spurious. I play to improve, or at least not to get worse. How can someone cheat me of this? If they use an engine then I'm playing an engine, just like I used to do before the internet. If they are 'cheating' me of points, so what? Points aren't worth anything at all, they just help you match an opponent of a similar level. I don't imagine that I'm the only one who loses points to players who use unapproved advantages so the playing field is levelled and my matches are still appropriate to my level. Maybe they win games that their skill level alone would not allow them to. Again, so what? I'm playing a game. I don't have to put my ego on the board.

If you can't play nice, don't play, and if you still do, don't complain if you get banned. If other people don't play nice - well, welcome to the internet; don't cry about it because they've gained nothing and you've lost nothing as long as you keep a sense of proportion. The only victory you can give them is to get annoyed about it. Block them and move on.