Tuesday, February 9, 2010


The iPhone has an app for entering chess moves and offering help to those who seem to "need" help. PocketFritz 4 has just been released.

I have seen the iPhone in action at one of my recent Chess Clinics. Tell me, how can one sit there and enter moves and listen with attention to a workshop? I see little if no evidence. Given that some people must be busy every second of every day doing meaningless stuff how do they learn anything?

Then there is the "cheating" aspect. Whether innocent (stupid) or not (also stupid), I wouldn't advise carrying an "on" cell phone to a chess event (esp. a tournament or match). I can't believe how easy it is to create a new addiction. Just this morning I saw a guy walking down a sidewalk, about 1 mile per hour, texting. No hat on his head, or hood, snowing, coat open (and not a kid)... but he was sending a message or checking his phone for messages. How productive is that? How can everyone who pleads "I have no money" afford this?

What I am after today is commentary from readers on the use of cell phones or software devices as it pertains to chess. For example, I would get annoyed if I sat playing someone who after every move, had to leave and make a call, take a call, check messages, and horrors, use it against me. I have a cell phone, but no apps on it, and I don't call or receive calls during an event, of any kind. (The answer is simple: what did we do before we had a cell phone? Nothing. It wasn't important and still isn't. What I hear is, "I'm expecting a phone call from A." Well them them call back!)

What is your thinking on this? Chess is supposed to be a thinking game, what about the cheating aspects? How much thinking is going into that? Some people only want to be concerned about "battery life" because they want to keep their phone always on! That could be very detrimental at a chess tournament.

If you've had any experiences, please comment. If you have worries/concerns, please comment. Don't tell me you have no opinion because I've found when it comes to cell phones/cheating, EVERYONE has an opinion!

1 comment:

  1. I have a cell phone, but no apps and tend to use it only when I am job hunting so I can be reached at work or to call my wife from the road.
    As a tournament director, I make it very clear that cell phone usage is not tolerated. If it rings once, you lose half your time, twice it is a forfeit. I also make it clear that the opponent does not have to make the claim.