A fair point, but I don't think it is unreasonable to display them online.
I've honestly never looked at the value nor the pieces aside the board to base any decision in a game upon it, so I'm pretty indifferent, but if people think it's cheat I don't object removing it.
#10 FIDE Online Arena shows the pieces (not value) for comparison.
The material value sum is basically an evaluation. It's a ridiculously primitive evaluation algorithm, but it is an evaluation. It should not be displayed.
Counting material is just adding single-digit numbers. Who has trouble with that? Answer: No one.
This feature is a convenience, since it saves you a few seconds of tedious addition, but it doesn't help anyone's chess. Or does anyone seriously think that their rating would be affected in the slightest by having or not having this feature?
It's clearly better for training purposes to not display it, or even the pieces next to the board. You should know the count or at least see it on the board, as that would be ideal when playing OTB. We could make a similar argument for not displaying coordinates.
However, the site may lose popularity if it takes away "features" that many people may want and may find on other sites.
Consider these groups of people:
1. The people lost if we don't have these features (big)
2. The people lost if if we allow users to turn off these features, but people don't want to play here because their opponents might using them (incredibly small group I imagine--what's the alternative? And how many players really care if their opponent gets to know the count a little easier?)
3. The people lost if we don't optimize the site for max learning. Only this consideration is complicated. You might argue that in the long term having a clever, daring, pro-training attitude in the design could ultimately win people over, educate them, and make the site more attractive. On the contrary, the site is already dominating in its niche and doesn't need to take such bold short term risks for long term gains at this point.
Conclusion: Morally right but impractical at this time.
#15 You are right since I think FIDE Online Arena adopted both premove and smartmove probably for commercial reasons. They have an economical interest in earning movey from all these bullet psychos that wanna win all time trouble duels on time.
lichess has no economical reason to introduce these "features" though.
When it comes to coordinates I don't agree they shouldn't be shown since they are not part of the game in more sense than making it easier to record a game in a scoresheet. They are also shown on every OTB chessboard.
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