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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Strange Adjudication Policy on LSS

      I have been following a forum discussion at Lechenicher SchachServer about their policy on adjudications which I find rather strange. As you are likely aware, LSS has no policy against engine use (except in ‘No Engine tournaments’) and just about everyone except very low rated players use them.

      The question was asked if it was useful to send in an analysis of a forfeited game when you think you have decent winning chances. The answer surprised me; it was: ‘No, it is not useful.’ It was added that ‘as soon as you refer to an engine analysis, your adjudication is rejected.’ Also Nalimov Table Bases are an exception to the ‘No-Engine-Analysis’ because they are viewed as being equal to an end game book.
      The explanation went on that ‘you need to explain why you think you win. Copy and pasting an engine analysis is not showing that you have understood the position.’ What they expect is that you will explain something like, ‘I will create an outside passed Pawn which will eventually Queen.’ It was also added that the adjudicator will be an LSS player rated over 2200.
      Funny…99 percent of the players use engines on the site but engine analysis is unacceptable to prove a win! Houdini 2 according to their website says, 'The engine evaluations have been carefully recalibrated so that +1.00 pawn advantage gives a 80% chance of winning the game against an equal opponent at blitz time control. At +2.00 the engine will win 95% of the time, and at +3.00 about 99% of the time. If the advantage is +0.50, expect to win nearly 50% of the time.' So if Houdini shows you have a 2.oo Pawn advantage I would assume that even at correspondence time controls your winning chances are quite good, but it is meaningless to submit it as proof you have a winning position. You have to speak in generalities, not actual analysis.
      In many cases engine users don’t know why the engine evaluates a position at a certain score nor can they explain why one side stands better or even the winning process.  Naturally when you are dealing in generalities on the chess board there will be exceptions. That is one thing today’s GMs do NOT rely on…general principles. They rely on what the old Soviets writers liked to call ‘concrete analysis’ but LSS will not accept such.
      Also the fact they use players rated over 2200 (LSS) doesn’t mean much because it is possible that as engine users themselves they won’t understand the position any better than the person submitting the request. It was pointed out that the adjudicator will always try to find the best answer for your opponent. How is he going to do that? Probably with an engine.
      Seems like a rather odd policy that a site that allows engine use won’t accept engine analysis to prove you have a win and thereby gain a few rating points.

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