on sportsmanship & analyzing games in progress Hex, Havannah

28 replies. Last post: 2020-07-28

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on sportsmanship & analyzing games in progress
  • add3993 ★ at 2020-07-22

    How do you feel about playing around with the board position of an ongoing rated game on trmph.com, given that the option is provided?  I have not done so under the thought that it would not be allowed in tournament play (and since I try to develop my reading skills).  However, I wanted to raise the issue.

  • lazyplayer at 2020-07-22

    It depends on the players, some take these tournaments seriously, some (like me) do not.

  • lazyplayer at 2020-07-22

    Basically ask permission to both players before doing this. I give you my permission for all my games. ;)

  • _syLph_ at 2020-07-22

    i’m confused that this is even brought up. do people have a problem with using a pencil and paper to help thinking about the game? cause this is the modern equivalent and i have always done it.

  • Arek Kulczycki at 2020-07-23

    Soon enough people will use computer aid. I think using trmph is explicitly permitted by the site creator and the embedded link next to the board

  • kspttw at 2020-07-23

    In most servers and games it’s permitted in daily games (like here). In online games, like 10 minutes per player, usually is forbidden.

  • Force majeure at 2020-07-23

    I agree with Arek. I’m afraid more about people using computers – using trmp is still own analysis. Best scenario would be to play real-time games without any help, however there are not enough players to facilitate that.

  • lazyplayer at 2020-07-23

    There is an ambiguity here, my remark is about publicly discussing games. Of course trmph for private use is allowed. :)

  • _syLph_ at 2020-07-23

    @lazyplayer publicly discussing an ongoing game should clearly not be allowed. asking others for input that are potentially better at the game than you is about as bad as asking a computer for help.

    @Arek the site creator (richard) hasnt set any rules at all, it’s pretty much left up to our common sense to decide what’s okay and what isn’t.

    The trmph link being right there when you make a move obviously indicates that its completely fine though and my common sense tells me the same given that this site does turn based play with multiple days of time to think. That being said I’m not generally convinced that using trmph should be banned in real time play either, imo that is something that needs to be explicity stated by those who hold the tournament if it isn’t an established standard. An online real time game to me is absolutely not the same situation as a irl grandmaster match with a strict ruleset.

  • lazyplayer at 2020-07-23

    syLph, if rules aren’t enforced or enforceable then what’s point? At best we should write some document, and publish it somewhere on this website, where we describes what is considered ethically acceptable by the community here. Who is the community anyway? You see it’s all very vague..

  • _syLph_ at 2020-07-23

    I think some document could be nice that explicity states stuff like trmph being fine to use, just to get us all on the same page. But yeah, I don’t think we need rules and their enforcement, I just pointed out that there is none listed anywhere. Imo this site is pretty chill because of the lack of moderation drama among other things and I wouldn’t want it any other way. 

  • lazyplayer at 2020-07-23

    Tbh, I’m bothered by the fact that, for example, in the chess section the top players are using engines. I think they shouldn’t be allowed to mix up with human players but I understand it’s a difficult job to detect and kick them out. But this is an extreme case really. For more “moderate” support, like asking your friends for opinions, they’re not likely to make the game unplayable.

  • lazyplayer at 2020-07-23

    Perhaps there should be 3 distinguishable account types, humans, humans with computers, and human teams.

  • add3993 ★ at 2020-07-23

    So far no one has voiced an objection to the practice of using trmph.com (or pen & paper) to privately analyze one’s own games, without any use of AI or advice from other players.

    This is the practice whose validity I originally meant to raise.  If anyone does object, it would be good to hear.

    I am personally glad there are strong bots on the site, indeed I think bots are vital to Hex’s future.  Once there is an easy-to-use offline superhuman bot, I believe it will raise the level of play and the player-base, more than compensating for any additional risk of cheating.  Similarly to lazyplayer, I think there is a continuing role at LG for bots AND bot-assisted or multi-human collaborative accounts, as long as they are designated as such.

  • _syLph_ at 2020-07-23

    Cheating is an issue for sure, but I think that’s just a problem of people being immature and not something you can combat effectively with moderation. It will always be an issue whether there is a ruleset or not. Personally, I expect to play the person that I’m playing and not their friend who they ask for help, that’s more the issue I have with that than the game becoming unplayable. There is also a lot of bot accounts which identify themselfes as such and people seem to be generally okay with that and so am I. The important part about it is making it publicly known who/what you are, I think.

  • Arek Kulczycki at 2020-07-25

    To follow the subject of both this and the MSO threads:

    I am strongly against prohibiting tools like trmph. IMO, without an analysis tool, all board games become a competition on memory. Hex knowledge becomes worth very little when I cannot look 3 moves into the future on a couple of branches (for which I need either great memory or a tool)

  • kspttw at 2020-07-25

    Arek, the prohibition of analysing is a standard rule for all live games – like chess, go, gomoku, shogi etc. And most chess/go sites allow analysing in a daily tournament (there is extra board for that) and doesn’t for live games.

    It’s kind of memory (but not exactly – more like visualize position), but it’s part of game. I guess you usually don’t do that, so it will be some novelty for you. Of course no one check it – but it is a silent agreement that we are playing as if we are playing live.

  • Arek Kulczycki at 2020-07-25

    Playing games live is like a sacred ritual and then indeed we don’t use additional aids, also that is natural because we don’t bring additional board for each participant ;)

    Playing online is different though, we have infinite number of boards at our disposal. Natural is to use them.

  • vstjrt at 2020-07-25

    Maybe I am naive, but I analyze games only in my mind, and consider analyzing on additional board as sort of cheating. This could artificially improve strength of playing especially in games where position changes drastically in every move like in game of Reversi. I’m weak Hex player, but I am little surprised that this could help much in placement game. I don’t need additional board when I play GO, because I can usually can read variants.

  • kspttw at 2020-07-25

    If you think about an online game like replacement live game it is not natural. It depends on the point of view. Another one can say that using some books, consulting with someone or any other help is natural.

    Enabling analysis (or any other help) can lead to emphasize other skills than usual. I saw it in some exams, however not in chess. I’m not against it in general, sometimes it could be interesting.

    MSO is not only for us and I don’t think we can change the rules. If you have doubts – ask the organizers. I am convinced that most professional games don’t allow that, as I mentioned – some chess/go sites have an extra board for analysis, but only for daily games.

    I believe that until we decide that for some reason the hex will have different rules, we should adopt the same.

  • Arek Kulczycki at 2020-07-25

    Like I said, on MSO I will follow MSO rules.

    But in general, I think using commonly available material (like books that you have mentioned) is fair and therefore should not be banned. Using help of another player is unfair (because human may favour one player over another) and using AI makes competition uninteresting (because it’s basically AI vs AI then).

    I don’t see any reason to ban other help. To me this would be the same as banning preparation – therefore burning all opening books etc.

  • kspttw at 2020-07-26

    Opening books would make chess less interesting – more than 20 moves will be played from both sides (so 40-50 in total), which is a significant number. Moreover, there would be more draws.It’s like taking it from a game and simplifying it. Similarly, when you use books for chess endgames (or even endgame tablebases). Analysing seems less help, but still, it’s part of chess. You mentioned that also preparation before should be banned – it’s much less helpful that during the game, and I’m not sure how you want to achieve – learning openings, with further plans in the middlegame, is part of the training. But there are some people who accuse openings to make this game boring (so what if it will be just available during the game?) - and they claim that the future is chess 960 (chess with random initialization figures in the first line, maintaining only two colours Bishops and modified castle possibility.

    So it depends, and analysing, reading in chess – calculating, is part of the game. There are so many books to train that. Allowing that change the game.

    I also met people that claims in the exams should be allowed access the internet, or any notes, similarly to you. And sometimes it is done, I see that the word changes. But not all, memory is important.

    Of course, hex can be different :-). I see even some reasons – the game is shorter, seems harder for people, and single moves
    more responsibility. However, hex is not so popular, and it’s hard to say how it will change the game.

  • Florian Jamain at 2020-07-26

    On LG we are playing “long” games, without any “clock”, of course it is allowed to analyze the games during it, it is even the reason we are playing here, to play good games with strong understanding of positions and deep learning.

  • Paul Wiselius at 2020-07-26

    I agree with Florian. When I was playing Havannah I used trmph.com a lot. As we are playing long games, it is allowed to try something on your board at home.

    When playing chess I mostly played chess960, as a human you might be able to make a difference against people using engines... 

  • add3993 ★ at 2020-07-27

    Another consideration is that when games are as slow as LG allows, it’s quite possible to forget one’s own analyses, so using trmph to record variations for later is a natural way to protect the value of thinking. 

    OK, I’m changing my default stance to “I may explore variations on paper or trmph”, and adding a note about this on my profile.  Of course I already expected that opponents might do this, which is fine.

  • vieuxsac at 2020-07-28

    trmph.com is down, is that a coincidence or related to this discussion?

  • Arek Kulczycki at 2020-07-28

    Now I will start losing all my games :)

  • vieuxsac at 2020-07-28

    :) seems to be an issue with the Google service that hosted it.

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