I’ve not been playing chess that long, but I do not understand why chess.com and lichess have this thing called the book. This allows people to cheat in my ‘book”.

I used it for a while on lichess until it dawned on me I was learning nothing and became reliant on it.

Some people I play against use it and the book is useless whenever it can’t find a match for your position. Are there any tips to disrupt somebody using the book?

  • I don't think the book option is there for a player vs player game. – SmallChess Feb 12 '18 at 10:39
  • it must certainly is – dagda1 Feb 12 '18 at 10:45
  • Lichess only offers its own opening book for correspondence games. But since the international correspondence rules allow you to use physical books and notes anyways, there's not much gained (you still may not use any live engine analysis). Idk about chess.com, but I guess it's the same there. – Annatar Feb 12 '18 at 11:10
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    @dagda1 It does not require more effort at all with a good (real) opening book, which will contain (well-indexed) example games for any variation one could encounter in that opening, plus explanations that an online opening book does not offer. – Annatar Feb 12 '18 at 12:33
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    Why is there a "stockfish" tag ? – Evargalo Feb 12 '18 at 14:04

The rules set by chess.com and lichess are basically the same (see this and this):

Use of computer programs or chess engines is not allowed for any kind of games. Use of (paper/e-book) opening books and games databases is allowed for correspondence/DailyChess games only.

So you cannot prevent your opponent from using an opening book. If you are uncomfortable with your opponent using help for the opening, there are a few things you can do:

  • ask them not to use opening books
  • try to play unrated games where players might be more eager to experiment (i.e. play without opening books)
  • don't play correspondence games, but longer standard time controls
  • go for sidelines that are not in the book (though that will not be good for improving your chess)

However IMO, correspondence chess is a special form of chess and the whole point there is that players get plenty of time in order to analyze the game on a board, in order to consult books, or even to use engines in some of the correspondence chess tournaments. Trying to restrict this seems kind of artificial to me. I mean, if you considered correspondence chess as just a regular game with extended time control (i.e. no external help whatsoever allowed), there is not much you gain from say having an hour per move or having a week for a move.

  • Getting moves suggested is not analysis. You click a button and have the best moves possible suggested. You don't do research, you don't analyze, you lazily press a button and so it goes on. What happens if both players just use the book? An awful game. I do seem to be in a minority and thank you for your detailed answer. – dagda1 Feb 12 '18 at 13:53
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    @dagda1 in high-level correspondance chess, what you get from pressing the button would just be the strating point of your analysis. – Evargalo Feb 12 '18 at 14:07
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    @dagda1: Did you ever use a games database/opening book? To use it properly requires more than just pressing a button. – user1583209 Feb 12 '18 at 14:09
  • I'm an experienced beginner, it seems to suggest extremely good moves for both sides. Very little research in just following what it suggests and very little thought which equals very little learning. – dagda1 Feb 12 '18 at 16:54
  • @dagda1 All the book does is show the most commonly played moves in a given position, not necessarily the best. – ericw31415 Feb 15 '18 at 21:34

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