Sick of Captchas? How About Chess Puzzles?

The Wooster

King Snap
Jul 15, 2008
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Sick of Captchas? How About Chess Puzzles?


Because it's not like computers are really good at chess or anything.

If you want to comment on this article - and you really do - chances are you'll have to translate a jumbled combination of skewed letters into something resembling English to prove you're not an unfeeling automaton posing as a human being. Captchas (Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart) are, of course, one of the most irritating things on the planet, but they are infinitely preferable to an army of remorseless spam bots filling every thread with offers of free iPads, prescription medicine and phallic enhancement.

The people behind chess forum, lichess.org, have found a less-irritating yet thematically-sound alternative; chess puzzles. To sign in to the forum, you need to enter your username and password, then cast your eye over a chess puzzle and make the correct move to put the white player in checkmate.

It's a cute system, and far more entertaining than entering nonsense phrases, or worse, advertisement slogans, but how effective is it? Well, the first hurdle is that not every person trying to access a site is going to know the rules of chess. That's fine on a site that is literally about chess. In fact, you could argue that the system keeps out undesirables, but I'm willing to bet a relatively small percentage of YouTube users know their rooks from their pawns. There's also the rather huge caveat that computers are actually very good at chess, and it would be trivial to program a bot that can answer simple chess puzzles.

Still, it's a fun little system. I've been refreshing the site's login page every few minutes for the past hour, and I'm not even a member.

Source: lichess.org [http://en.lichess.org/signup] via The Register [http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/03/14/chess_based_captcha/]



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scienceguy8

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Sep 1, 2008
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You think that's fun? Adafruit Industries, a New York based open-source hardware company focusing primarily on electronics gear, uses resistor color code Captchas for posts to their blog. Check it out: http://www.adafruit.com/blog/2013/03/14/new-products-stepper-motor-mount-with-hardware-nema-17-sized/#postcomment (if you are viewing this a week later, they probably closed the comment section for this article, and thus the Captcha is gone)
 

cjbos81

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Apr 8, 2009
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They should require you to describe the meaning of "love".

That's something a robot can never do.
 

RandV80

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Oct 1, 2009
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Who the hell sold out captcha to advertisements anyways... isn't that kind of counterproductive since a bot can likely type in a number of generic terms to get past it? The only thing I've ever typed into this is "**** off" then reloaded until I got another add-free one, but now they actually accept you typing that in.
 

Proverbial Jon

Not evil, just mildly malevolent
Nov 10, 2009
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Just make every Captcha ask the question: Do you have a soul?

That oughta stump 'em.
 

Formica Archonis

Anonymous Source
Nov 13, 2009
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Gods, I can't do those "Mate in two." puzzles, this could be bad.

scienceguy8 said:
You think that's fun? Adafruit Industries, a New York based open-source hardware company focusing primarily on electronics gear, uses resistor color code Captchas for posts to their blog. Check it out: http://www.adafruit.com/blog/2013/03/14/new-products-stepper-motor-mount-with-hardware-nema-17-sized/#postcomment (if you are viewing this a week later, they probably closed the comment section for this article, and thus the Captcha is gone)
Cute! Though it's little more than a dolled-up color-matching game, and only as secure as it is obscure.
 

RJ 17

The Sound of Silence
Nov 27, 2011
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Gotta say that is a pretty neat little system they've got there. Obviously yeah, it likely wouldn't work anywhere else besides a site devoted to chess which proceeds under the assumption that you at least have a working knowledge of the sport game. Still, I'd imagine it would be preferable to having to type in damn advertising slogans.

That said, however, a wide-spread use of this would do away with the mysterious, imfamous "psychic Captcha" which can predict the mood or theme of your post before you've even typed it out! Think I'd grow to miss that.
 

Kinitawowi

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Nov 21, 2012
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I'd far rather figure out a chess problem than type in some fucking plug for some gambling website that I'm sure will eventually be used to target advertising at me. Fuck that shit.
 

thesilentman

What this
Jun 14, 2012
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I LOVE CHESS. MUST GET SOME PUZZLES. :-D

I see no problem with this, but I don't know about the rest of the Escapist. I think that we should have the choice to see if we want to do chess puzzles or just skip and enter the advertising thing anyway. BUT I WANT THESE SO BAD. IT WOULD MAKE MY DAY. ALL OF THEM. :)
 

Epona

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Jul 29, 2020
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The Captchas on this site are such bullshit. I should only have had to prove I am human one time, I shouldn't have to keep doing it every few posts or every time I post a thread. I am sure it's more about pushing ads than it is about keeping spammers away.
 

AngryMongoose

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Jan 18, 2010
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New a website that required you to recognise cats from a list of different pets (users could send in their own photos). Unfortunately the computers have learned...
 

evilneko

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Jun 16, 2011
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Crono1973 said:
The Captchas on this site are such bullshit. I should only have had to prove I am human one time, I shouldn't have to keep doing it every few posts or every time I post a thread. I am sure it's more about pushing ads than it is about keeping spammers away.
It is. That it keeps a few crappy bots away is just a side effect. If it were really about keeping bots away, they'd use stronger ones.
 

Epona

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Jul 29, 2020
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evilneko said:
Crono1973 said:
The Captchas on this site are such bullshit. I should only have had to prove I am human one time, I shouldn't have to keep doing it every few posts or every time I post a thread. I am sure it's more about pushing ads than it is about keeping spammers away.
It is. That it keeps a few crappy bots away is just a side effect. If it were really about keeping bots away, they'd use stronger ones.
Also, if it were really about keeping bots away each account would only need to be verified once.
 

Darth_Payn

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Aug 5, 2009
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DVS BSTrD said:
As long as I'll only have to do it once when I sign in. Seriously The ad based captchas are counter productive: all they do is help memorize the companies I won't be buying anything from. Fuck-off Hopper!
Same for ShinglesInfo.com. Stop reminding me I could die at any moment! You're ruining my time that I'm wasting on the Web! As soon as I read "chess puzzles", I instantly thought of Subject 16's Rift puzzles from Assassin's Creed:Brotherhood.
 

Something Amyss

Aswyng and Amyss
Dec 3, 2008
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It's preferable to crap we never see? Yes. Well, a kick in the groin is preferable to being mauled by a zombie, while we're at it.

DVS BSTrD said:
As long as I'll only have to do it once when I sign in. Seriously The ad based captchas are counter productive: all they do is help memorize the companies I won't be buying anything from. Fuck-off Hopper!
Naybe that's the plan. Maybe those ads are sponsored by Comcast or TWC.

Those FIENDS!
 

Denamic

New member
Aug 19, 2009
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Why not turn off captchas for people with over 1000 posts? I mean, I think they've proven not to be bots by that point.
 

Something Amyss

Aswyng and Amyss
Dec 3, 2008
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Denamic said:
Why not turn off captchas for people with over 1000 posts? I mean, I think they've proven not to be bots by that point.
Because ad money, I'd assume.

I mean, they have captchas with a yes/no pull down and ones where any gibberish will do, Fer cryin' out loud. What about that deters spam bots?