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Chess computers have proved their superiority over the human race long ago, when IBM's Deep Blue beat then World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov. But can man finally beat chess bots and bring back humanity's lost pride?
According to PlayE4 chess software, the answer is yes. The developers of the new, multi-player online chess game, launched at the end of September 2008, claim that their anti-cheating software (developed by Cognisafe), is capable of spotting "cheats and cheaters in real-time…" and it can "provide Gamemetrics for rating and analyze players in game session and after the sessions".
PlayE4 statement has two meanings. First, playing online chess for money becomes an actual alternative to online poker and backgammon gambling, excluding the luck factor. And it seems like PlayE4 is really targeting the same audience as online and poker sites by offering these potato gamblers the same user experience as they are used to, including the good old "welcome" and "tell a friend" bonuses.
The second meaning brings us back to the question asked at the beginning of this article: did man finally found a way to get over computers? Is it possible to play an entirely human dominated chess game on cyber space?
PlayE4 (former) product manager says (in an IM interview) that it is possible; as a prove, he pulls out dozens of announcements sent to skeptical players who've been playing chess on the software supported by their chess buddies, as if the angel wings on PlayE4 homepage have only decorative purposes. By now, none of the players had complained about suspected chess bot users, so, PlayE4 have a reason to believe their system is doing well.
How does PlayE4 Anti-Cheating Program Work?
Based on an advanced behavioral analysis, PlayE4 anti cheating software can recognize whether one or both of the players are using a chess bot while during play. The sophisticated software can also identify the specific type of chess bot and if it has been used by the player (as opposed to just happen to be open on his/her computer); the entire analyzing-concluding process is made within seconds and simultaneously.
Although a game recognized by the system as containing unfair advantage will not be terminated immediately, the cheating player cannot take the money and run. If wins, both sides will get their money back, accompanied by a system message; if loses, the opponent wins the money, after all, he has defeated a chess bot…
The system also collects details of all the software players to create a database of players' profile, purposed to notice every major change in a player's typical behavior and by that recognize cheats (such as running a chess bot on a different computer), and rating manipulators.
So, is it the end of online chess buddies and the beginning of the online chess for money era?