lichess.org

Can we please clarify the rules regarding the use of books in correspondence chess?

> This used to be the case, but it is not anymore. We were tired of tracking down whether consent was given, when it was given in close to zero percent of cases anyway.

Really? Was this change in policy announced anywhere? It'd be pretty crappy for someone to get banned for cheating because they were not informed of the change...

This policy change affected an incredibly small minority of players. So small, that since the policy change was made about a year ago, I am not aware of a single case of someone getting banned after cheating in casual games despite getting consent. I am sorry to say that I do not think that it warranted an announcement.

I would imagine something becoming a bannable offense always warrants an announcement, even if nobody has actually gotten banned for it. I don't think the rules should be secret, especially when we're talking about something as serious as bans.

The rules are not secret. As far as I am aware, the terms of service were changed when the policy changed. It just did not happen with a big announcement of that specific change. And you were asking about an announcement.

My apologies-- opening books outside of lichess ARE allowed

@FlamoToolz - Yes, but what exactly is an "opening book"? What is included in that definition?

Just explorable tables of different opening lines similar to lichess' opening explorer? What about published chess books that analyze specific openings and their strategies? What if someone previously used an engine to generate their own opening book table and they use that book? Are the books allowed to have position evaluations? What about a youtube video by a GM explaining how they play certain openings?

The phrase "opening book" appears to be interpreted in a myraid of different ways in this thread. It would be good to have a clearer definition.

I inquired about this on chess.com recently - and actually got an answer! So I can tell you what their rules are, and I'd assume it's the same here. Endgame table bases are a different story.

You can use any resource that's "fixed." So you can look at any books, you can go on youtube and watch videos, you can look at the games in the masters database or the online database and follow along. You just can't have the engine running while you do it. If you're using a book/video/course that "tells you the engine evaluation" that's also fine, you just can't run it yourself.

You also can't consult with other players in real time once the game is started. That's the only part that's a bit nebulous; for example, you end up transposing into a Benoni or Gruenfeld and you don't play those positions, so is it ok to ask for general advice on candidate lines? I think the answer is no. You can consult any static source, but it's "one player per hand" just like in poker.

> The rules are not secret. As far as I am aware, the terms of service were changed when the policy changed. It just did not happen with a big announcement of that specific change. And you were asking about an announcement.

When rules change and there's no documentation anywhere of the change, that's pretty much a secret rule even if it's not intended to be. Apparently the policy may have changed as long as three years ago and I was unaware of it. That's three years I could have possibly unwittingly committed a bannable offense. (I don't believe I did, but the point is, I could have.) You see why this doesn't sit right with me?

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