Player disqualified from German Championships

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Roger de Coverly
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Re: Player disqualified from German Championships

Post by Roger de Coverly » Tue Oct 23, 2012 2:02 am

David Robertson wrote: They've already reduced CC at every level to a redundant discipline. Only a matter of time before OTB faces its critical moment.
Our local theory hacker is quite prepared to play CC, probably at email pace, in full knowledge that both he and the opposition are using computer engines to evaluate or blunder check moves. He would treat it as a training exercise and a search for truth rather than a competition in its own right.

In OTB, it's simple enough. You just have to make sure that games take place under circumstances where players are unable to seek external advice. Unlike physical sports, you cannot prevent players "taking computers" before the game, but during the game shouldn't be that difficult. At the top level you do run into the problem that spectators, seconds and trainers have to be segregated from computers or chess engines because of the risks of non-verbal communication.

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Carl Hibbard
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Re: Player disqualified from German Championships

Post by Carl Hibbard » Tue Oct 23, 2012 6:29 am

A classy post and totally out of order, please keep to the point or say nothing otherwise moderation is unavoidable on this one
Cheers
Carl Hibbard

Jonathan Bryant
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Re: Player disqualified from German Championships

Post by Jonathan Bryant » Tue Oct 23, 2012 8:05 am

Carl Hibbard wrote: ... otherwise moderation is unavoidable on this one
"Gotcha" ?


For the record I can confirm DR as a CCer. I've played him myself (no engines)

Paul Buswell
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Re: Player disqualified from German Championships

Post by Paul Buswell » Tue Oct 23, 2012 8:21 am

David Robertson wrote:
Tim Spanton wrote:
David Robertson wrote:All pretty depressing though, isn't it - the insidious advance of computers into the game. They've already reduced CC at every level to a redundant discipline
Untrue (but a statement frequently made by people who don't play corr chess)!
Oh, it must be my birthday & Xmas rolled into one. :lol:

Tim Spanton? Sun journalist. Yes? Telling me what's true and untrue. Yes? Well, have I got The Truth for you. Remember: in Liverpool, we have a word for people like you.

Fact 1

Take yourself over to the ICCF server. I know you're registered there - because, alas for you, I am too :D Now, punch my name in, and read what it says. You'll be astonished, and I hope, humiliated to find, that I have an ICCF rating from ten years back of 2201. That is a long way down, thanks to defeats by engines, from my 1992 rating of 2329. And that in turn, is a long way down from my rating in 1982 when I was 2400+ - pre-engine days, please note!

So much for your ill-informed mouthing off about not playing CC

Fact 2

You may hope that's all I have to say. Alas, there is worse to come. I have just played through your game: Spanton-Pheby from some tournament on the ICCF server. For those who don't know this Pheby bloke, he's just been crowned British Veterans Champion at CC. He has a CC rating of 2418; and a title of SIM (Senior IM), just below GM. Both he & Tim Spanton enjoy long-term OTB grades no higher than 160s. So for Mr Pheby, a near-GM CC title is...well, pretty 'impressive' :lol: To add to the general gaiety, Tim Spanton achieved a very creditable draw with the remarkable Mr Pheby.

The game is in the public domain. I could publish it here. But I'm a really kind and courteous person. So I need an invitation from Tim Spanton before I'll publish the game. I need Tim Spanton to be sure he's ready for people to inspect this game. I need him to get his explanations ready. Above all, I need Tim Spanton, who claims I don't tell The Truth, to be ready to answer the following question:

Why is it, when I play through Spanton-Pheby after the first nine moves, every single move thereafter, by both players, is a Houdini 1st choice? (If there is ever a rare departure, it's because Houdini gives 0.00 to all options).

Coincidence? I'm lying? Well, let Tim Spanton invite me to publish the game. Come ahead, Tim. Don't be shy. Untrue, you said, of my claim about CC. So let's hear it from you. I'll publish your game, and let people run it through their own engines. Or you can apologise! Even Kelvin MacKenzie managed that :lol:
A defamatory post against a member of my club. I suggest severe moderation.

PB
Last edited by Carl Hibbard on Tue Oct 23, 2012 1:41 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Reason: Some minor quote corrections due to other post moderation

David Robertson
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Re: Player disqualified from German Championships

Post by David Robertson » Tue Oct 23, 2012 11:40 am

Paul Buswell wrote:A defamatory post against a member of my club. I suggest severe moderation
Witless bluster. What would you "severely moderate"? The inconvenient, and doubtless embarrassing, facts I publish about Tim Spanton's record and my own? Or Tim Spanton's initial defamation of me? A period of severe silence from Paul Buswell on the matter would be a wiser course of action. Meanwhile I await Tim Spanton's response to my question.
Carl Hibbard wrote:A classy post and totally out of order, please keep to the point or say nothing
"Totally out of order"? You mean I have no right to defend myself against lies; that The Truth plays no part in my reply? That everything I've said is "out of order"? And what is the point I'm asked to keep to? I've kept exactly to the point as I see it, discussing cheating in chess and defending my initial statement, with facts, against claims from Tim Spanton that I'm lying.

I've plenty more evidence too. Try me. Or silence me.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Player disqualified from German Championships

Post by Roger de Coverly » Tue Oct 23, 2012 11:51 am

David Robertson wrote: Spanton-Pheby from some tournament on the ICCF server.
This one perhaps

http://www.iccf-webchess.com/MakeAMove.aspx?id=357417

White appears to leave a pawn en prise early in the opening, but I imagine it's a well known trap.
(edit) Having just looked it up, it's a lesser known gambit. Apparently you can take it, but will suffer for it. So most people don't play .. Nxe4.(/edit)


I have played through it, but it's not especially interesting, never seeming to deviate much from equality.

As regards computer use, what are the ICCF rules on this? All I found on a quick search was
ICCF wrote:It is expected that players will decide the moves for themselves. It is unacceptable behaviour to have someone else play your games. The whole ICCF ratings and titles system relies on the assumption that games are played by the players named in the starting lists (or approved
substitutes).
It says someone else rather than something else and doesn't appear to preclude deciding moves for yourself after consulting a computer engine for tactical assistance. I'd suspect unless you were very good at interpreting engine opinions, that using an engine's positional opinions in correspondence play could be disaster.
Last edited by Roger de Coverly on Tue Oct 23, 2012 11:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

Jonathan Bryant
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Re: Player disqualified from German Championships

Post by Jonathan Bryant » Tue Oct 23, 2012 11:56 am

Paul Buswell wrote:I suggest severe moderation.
"Bonkers Robertson Locked Up"?

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Carl Hibbard
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Re: Player disqualified from German Championships

Post by Carl Hibbard » Tue Oct 23, 2012 12:23 pm

David Robertson wrote:I've plenty more evidence too. Try me. Or silence me.
You could perhaps try to make your point without being just plain rude and name calling?

Note to [SG] your 'several hours' later is overnight if you care about getting your facts right yet again :?:
Cheers
Carl Hibbard

Tim Spanton
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Re: Player disqualified from German Championships

Post by Tim Spanton » Tue Oct 23, 2012 3:57 pm

Tim Spanton wrote:
David Robertson wrote:All pretty depressing though, isn't it - the insidious advance of computers into the game. They've already reduced CC at every level to a redundant discipline. Only a matter of time before OTB faces its critical moment.

Don't believe me? A sizeable number of readers of this thread - indeed, a sizeable number of contributors to it - learned their chess thirty years ago or more. Computer-aided chess was barely imaginable outside the wilder fringes of sci-fi. If someone told me players, thirty years on, would head to the Gents in order to consult their hand-held, I'd have called up a rather different image from that in use today.

Thirty years on from today? By the time Tom Rendle is my age, I'd bet the 4NCL will have introduced cavity searches before each round. This prospect may appeal to some arbiters more than others. :wink:
Untrue (but a statement frequently made by people who don't play corr chess)!
"Untrue" refers to the part I highlighted. "CC at every level" is not "redundant" - it's thriving with large numbers of competitors playing large numbers of games, thanks to the internet.

Neil Graham
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Re: Player disqualified from German Championships

Post by Neil Graham » Tue Oct 23, 2012 3:59 pm

I am party to some e-mail correspondence at the moment relating to the use of computers in correspondence chess.

Neil Limbert of the BFCC has written the following:-

USING COMPUTERS

Players new to correspondence chess often wonder whether it is OK to use a computer. Computers are wonderful tools: the software available for the storing and recording of games, database game collections, electronic transmission of moves and the internet webserver have all had a massive positive effect on correspondence chess. The use of a computer for these reasons is totally acceptable.

The use of a computer to assist with analysis is much more controversial, and is a tricky subject to give guidance on. Some BFCC member organisations have a rule banning the use of computers to assist with analysis. But such a rule is totally unenforceable. As a result, the ICCF have taken a different approach of tacit acceptance and realism.

Analysis by computers has not yet conquered the world of chess! They continue to make mistakes and are weak in various areas. In the ICCF, the strong correspondence player is one who understands the position and knows when to ignore the computer evaluation and go his own way. If two players use the same computer, the stronger player will invariably win and there is every reason to believe this state of affairs will continue.

At the end of the day, players must play correspondence chess for their own enjoyment, so the level of computer-assisted analysis must remain a very personal thing. Experience has shown that a player who simply switches on the computer and plays the move recommended, will drift away from correspondence chess after a couple of seasons at the most. Why spend time, effort and money on a hobby if you have no input? The players who stick around year after year are the heart and soul of correspondence chess. So, obey the rules and enjoy the game! ***********>>

I would also add that most over-the-board players (who play little or no CC) have a completely exaggerated understanding on the strength of computers. They see computers beating the best OTB players & make assumptions from that. However, all a computer does is wait for a human to make a tactical mistake because it doesn't make many, and the human will make mistakes because he/she has a ticking clock at the side of them. It doesn't "outplay" the human and has no strategic understanding. All computer programmes are still designed using the "brute force" method; ever larger processors looking for tactics. They still don't "think" at all, so the human player in CC still has much to offer.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Player disqualified from German Championships

Post by Roger de Coverly » Tue Oct 23, 2012 4:11 pm

BFCC wrote: All computer programmes are still designed using the "brute force" method; ever larger processors looking for tactics. They still don't "think" at all, so the human player in CC still has much to offer
That's not really as true as it used to be. The "Fruit" family of engines (Rybka, Stockfish, Houdini etc.) have added some sophisticated positional evaluations. Whether these evaluations are completely trustworthy remains to be seen. Anand, for one, has expressed caution about relying on them. His point is that, over time, the evaluations change, whether by improved hardware or changes to the software.

John Moore
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Re: Player disqualified from German Championships

Post by John Moore » Tue Oct 23, 2012 5:07 pm

Are there any strong OTB players who still play Correspondence. The last time I looked at the list of the top English correspondence players on the Telechess bit of ChessBase Magazine, there were a lot of players I didn't recognise as playing OTB. People like Maurice Johnstone, Mike Brooks etc etc

John Moore
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Re: Player disqualified from German Championships

Post by John Moore » Tue Oct 23, 2012 5:14 pm

Oh and Nigel Robson and Tom Knight - all these guys are over 2500!

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Player disqualified from German Championships

Post by Roger de Coverly » Tue Oct 23, 2012 5:19 pm

John Moore wrote:Are there any strong OTB players who still play Correspondence.
from http://www.iccf.com/RatingList.aspx

Code: Select all

210773 	ENG 	GM 	Hall, Richard V. M.	231	2642	M 	 
211303 	ENG 	GM 	Coleman, Peter L.	237	2623	M 	 
211305 	ENG 	GM 	Robson, Nigel	71	2570	M 	 
210408 	ENG 	GM 	Brooks, Dr. Ian S.	231	2569	M 	 
210425 	ENG 	GM 	Brookes, John G.	125	2527	M 	 
210217 	ENG 	SIM 	Timson, Paul F.	132	2508	M 	 
211500 	ENG 	SIM 	Burne, Nigel G.	226	2506	M 	 
210168 	ENG 	IM 	Shephard, Chris C. W.	74	2492	M 	 
210405 	ENG 	SIM 	Donnelly, Dr. Mike J.	208	2486	M 	 
210153 	ENG 	SIM 	Nicholson, Mike L.	188	2485	M 	 
211431 	ENG 	GM 	Pugh, John	271	2481	M 	 
211655 	ENG 	SIM 	Williamson, Harvey D.	176	2481	M 	 
210139 	ENG 	GM 	Barnsley, Tony	541	2470	M 	 
210300 	ENG 	SIM 	Pegg, Russell M.	130	2467	M 	 
210265 	ENG 	SIM 	Williams, Christopher C.	152	2467	M 	 
210701 	ENG 	SIM 	Rhodes, John D.	334	2433	M 	 
211450 	ENG 	IM 	Suto, Janos I.	316	2426	M 	 
210219 	ENG 	SIM 	Conroy, Mike J.	93	2423	M 	 
211452 	ENG 		Grayland, Stan J.	332	2419	M 	 
211062 	ENG 	SIM 	Asquith, Dr. Jerry E. C.	169	2418	M 	
Some familiar names there, but only a handful you might expect to see scoring 50% in the British Championships.

David Robertson
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Re: Player disqualified from German Championships

Post by David Robertson » Tue Oct 23, 2012 5:24 pm

Maurice W Johnson (of Luton?) has long interested me. Assuming all data is related to the same person, he achieved a CC Elo of 2618 in 1998; and was awarded his GM title. A year earlier, he achieved his highest OTB grade of 169, falling back to 154 by 1999. I can say no more. He no longer seems active in either OTB or CC as far as I can establish

I've looked closely at much of this, running the ICCF title list for GM & SIM through the ECF grading site. The results are, to say the very least, eyebrow-raising. I've done the same exercise for the Warwicks Ward-Higgs team this year (I'm playing Bd 1 in the Sinclair). I've shared the results with SIM John Carleton, my club captain. He's Bd 6 in the WH; CC (2289); OTB (209). Although a veteran CC player, he has now had certain scales removed from his eyes.
Last edited by David Robertson on Tue Oct 23, 2012 6:06 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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