On a recent forum somebody wrote: I couldn't believe my eyes. A master level player was discussing an opening variation with another player and mentioning that he ultimately prefers OTB games because he can be reasonably sure that his opponent is not using computer assistance. To which the other player replied that using computer assistance is PERFECTLY ACCEPTABLE and that he belongs to a circle of people that have taught him how to "reasonably integrate computer assistance into their games" and for someone to bring up computer assistance as an objection to playing CC was really beyond the pale as there is nothing wrong with using it.
The poster went on to say he was astonished that this master level player didn't take the other fellow to task for his stance because it is totally unreasonable.
He also said that he would like to point out to this person that automatically generated candidates can only weaken a player's actual chess skill because they do not learn to develop candidates for themselves. He also pointed out and computers do not think like live players do and are able to generate an advantage over human play that is terribly unfair.
My reply was:
I saw a discussion a few years ago in which engine use in cc games was called “ethical cheating.” Whatever that means. One strong otb and cc player said he always assumes his opponent is using every “help” that is available.
This is not uncommon at that level. Most players at the upper levels of international cc play feel engine use is justified and they see nothing inherently unethical in their use. Engines are viewed as just an additional tool to be used in determining a move. That said, at that level engine generated moves without the input from a really strong player won’t win any prizes. It won’t get you an international cc title either. If all it took to play at that level was an engine, I’d be playing for the world cc championship.
I’ve played in a few tournaments on a site where engine use is allowed and personally did not find a lot of satisfaction in plugging my games into a computer and just accepting the generated moves. However, I accept the fact that some people find this fun and if they enjoy playing chess that way, it’s OK with me.
Most engine users will be at the upper levels so for most of us the chances of playing them are rare and they will mostly be playing each other.
My feelings may be colored by the fact that I’ve been playing cc since 1959 and haven’t actually studied chess for years because I no am longer interested in things like ratings and improving …just having fun.
I didn’t post it on the site, but what this poster failed to realize is that people who use engines could not care less about improving. They are not playing on these sites with the idea of improving their game; they are motivated by other factors.
As usual this fellow was rather low rated. I don’t know why, but for some reason the lower rated a player is, the more they complain about engine use. Most higher rated players (unless they are using an engine themselves) accept engine use as a fact of life and just go ahead and play the game. I’m not really sure why a 1200 who mostly plays other 1200’s would care what is happening at the master level!?