I fail to see what the benefit of a high rating would be to anyone who goes to such great lengths to cheat. In my book anyone who could find real value in a bogus high rating has much deeper and more disturbing personal issues to deal with than their "status" in our rather small niche of the Internet. Such pathetic and meaningless attempts at self-validation are indicative of very weak character, a mind that is limited to the deviousness necessary to play well but blind to the beauty of the game, and an exceptionally low-class soul. --chessnut64
Cheating will not be tolerated on this site. If you are found to be cheating:
1. Your account will be terminated, and all remaining time left on your membership will be forfeited.
2. Your ratings will be dropped considerably if allowed to continue using your account.
3. You will forfeit your chances of winning any further contests or prizes in tournaments, games or additional contests and promotions.
Pretty simple, no?
What constitutes cheating?
Very loosely, we will say that cheating involves dishonestly representing your ability in a game. Specific forms of cheating include, but are not limited to:
- Using more than one nick name on this site in order to manipulate the ratings.
- Resigning or drawing games to give someone else an unwarranted win or move up to the next level.
- Using a computer program to dictate moves for you.
- Deliberately prolonging tournament, ladder and club challenge games in an effort to discourage, out wait, disrupt or even anger your opponent enough to resign.
- Having someone else decide your moves for you or playing your games.
- Sharing contest, trivia or quiz answers before the game is concluded.
- Having a club tournament with a planned outcome for the sole purposes of boosting ratings or Platinum tokens. IE: Three people in a club by themselves for the purpose of competing just against each other repeatedly because they can collect more tokens faster that way instead of playing honestly with random players selected by the database.
- Colluding with someone to draw a game to advance in a ladder or tournament.
What is acceptable?
Since this site is best classified as "correspondence gaming," you are allowed to consult with books, and databases to evaluate your position and decide upon your best move. Using a computer gaming "engine" for games in progress is strictly prohibited. However, after the game is over, you can feel free to use the assistance of a computer to analyze the game play.
How do you view the difference between a database and a computer engine/program?
Regarding the use of a database to play: Whether you use a book or a computerized database, there is little difference, except the computerized database is likely to be much faster, more complete, and in general, more accurate. However, in principle it is the same thing: you are looking something up, not having an evaluation calculated based on a given position.
We distinguish the difference between the use of computer engines --- a no-no for sure --- and the use of computer databases --- perfectly fair game, which in essence uses the computer as a passive look up device, not as an active calculator or evaluator. Any online database, (again, consulted in a passive look up fashion), is fair game and fair play.
Deliberately delaying games is not acceptable. Prolonging tournaments, ladders or club challenge games in an effort to discourage, out wait, disrupt or even anger your opponent enough to resign, is classified as a form of cheating. This also includes manipulating your days off, or vacations days in a manner to circumvent playing the game properly.
It stands to reason, that if you are delaying game play on your current tournament, ladder or club games in bad faith, then you won't be allowed to accept or fulfill new tournament, ladder, club or friendly games. Players found guilty of purposely delaying games in the manner that is mentioned above, will find those games and any new games that they have started, ended with a loss result in the game on their behalf.
Games based on memory:
Creating notes to remember what has been played in past moves on our memory style games, are not encouraged. Many players feel that notes for keeping track as to what cards have been played down already, is a form of cheating. However, whether or not it is, or if it ruins the game, is a player's own personal opinion.
Using notes to remember what has been played on past moves will certainly change the nature of the game somewhat, but that is inevitable with almost any game. There is always a different feel, often different tactics required, and sometimes different rules needed for turn-based play. Whether these differences make the game better or worse will depend on the preferences and opinions of each individual player.
Most good card players will have a near perfect memory, they will certainly know which important cards have been played, and how many of each suit have been played. For such people, note taking in an OTB or Head-To-Head live game would not be necessary, but in order to be able to play to the same level and ability in a turn-based game, players cannot be expected to retain all this information in their head for hours or days at a time, especially when they may be playing a number of games at once.
Making notes therefore doesn't give them any additional advantage, but it does help to negate the disadvantages that are imposed on them by the turn-based format. In other words, when they return to a game, they can refresh their memory from their notes and pick up from where they left off.
For weak players who cannot remember the cards played even in a single fast game, note taking would obviously give them a bit of an advantage that they wouldn't otherwise have, but all it does is bring them a little closer to the better players, and may actually give them a better feel for what play at the higher levels is like, and give the better players more of a challenge.
How do you catch the cheaters?
To be honest, we don't have enough time to examine every move in every game on this site. Much of the gaming here is done on the honor system. So if you feel compelled to stoop to cheating in order to give others a false sense of what a bright and wonderful individual you are, chances are that you may not get caught. However, if your cheating ends up being successful enough to place you near the top of one of the best players lists, your games may suddenly come under more intense scrutiny. It is easy to determine if you play daily with the exception of your tournament, ladder or club games, even delaying such games while taking on new ones. All the more reason not to do it.
In other words, ineffective cheating is unlikely to be caught, but then, if it is ineffective, why bother? Effective cheating is more likely to be caught, resulting in your rating being dropped, banned from playing tournaments, your membership forfeited or your account being summarily dismissed from this site. Again, why bother, but if you want to take the risk, consider yourself warned.
GoldToken has a team that you can contact regarding suspected cheating, by messaging GoldToken Support