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Neil's errors in OLM play

Posted By: Timothy Chow
Date: Wednesday, 11 February 2015, at 1:39 a.m.

In Response To: Neil's errors in OLM play (Jason Lee)

Let me first say that I don't believe that Neil cheated. Some might recall that back during the "Stick cheats" hullabaloo, I said that I didn't believe that Stick cheated either. I think that people generally underestimate the effect that playing conditions can have on error rate.

I would, however, like to ask for some clarification about the way the OLM is conducted, because I think it's good to have all the facts on the table.

I've been assuming, like most people, that consulting a bot is off-limits to both sides of the match. But there are a few questions I have:

1. Was the no-bot policy explicitly stated or just tacitly assumed?

2. Is it acceptable to look at bot info about a play that has already been made (and hence obviously cannot be changed) but before the game has concluded? What about looking at a game that has concluded before the match has concluded?

3. What happens if, sometime during the course of the OLM, I happen to run across bot information about a position that is similar to the position I am facing in the OLM? Maybe I see a third-roll position on BGOnline or I'm engaged in my usual daily backgammon study routine. Do I have to recuse myself?

I'm also wondering about what kinds of non-bot investigations I'm allowed to do.

4. May I look up reference material? Either a book or some reference material that I've created for myself? This is somewhat related to #3 above.

5. May I pull out a backgammon board and examine any position on the board that I want, perhaps doing pencil-and-paper calculations as well?

6. May I perform a hand rollout of a position and tabulate the results with a pencil and paper?

Some of the above might not be considered cheating yet would make a big difference compared to, say, Denmark vs. the World.

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