I notice a few questions that ask for help on puzzles. I think some of those questions can be easily answered with a computer. If not, then I think the askers should show what they've already tried with computers and in what the computers were not helpful. Otherwise, it seems like every single puzzle ever conceived will just end up here. And then 99% will be easy to answer by just pulling up a computer.

Movies se i think has a policy possibly related to this 'Unimportant trivia that does not add to the understanding or appreciation of the title'.

And just basically requiring askers to show effort. It's like maths se requiring its askers to show what they've tried. Otherwise, maths se is just gonna do everyone's homework.

Update: See here. It appears featuring computer analysis will give you unsolicited, although helpful for n00bs I guess, advice from Brian Towers♦. lol.

So, even though the intent is to make things easier for the answerers, who would not necessarily need to check engines themselves and thus hopefully show effort instead of expecting to be spoon-fed, it will actually appear like I'm not showing effort! (Well actually not necessarily effort in asking the question. I guess could be effort in improving in chess.)

If, however, your main goal is to improve your chess then switching on the engine should always be the last thing you do, never the first. The point being that you will experience very little improvement unless you exercise your brain and if you rely exclusively on the engine and other people's brains then your brain is not going to get any exercise and your improvement is going to be held back.

You should always engage your brain first and struggle and try and solve the problem on your own.

But still, thanks again I guess Brian Towers♦. lol.

Edit: anyway i don't quite brian towers' answer. there seems to be a contradiction. you said they should and i can downvote if they don't have computer analysis whenever relevant. but why did you say they don't have to? lol. (note: i edit this into the post because brian towers is extremely relentless and inconsiderate in deleting comments.)

  • The answer is pretty clear: people posting the questions are free to choose if they want to have computer analysis. You're in your own right to downvote them for that reason, but it's not enough to get it closed.
    – David
    Jun 10, 2021 at 15:00

1 Answer 1


Should questions feature computer analysis whenever relevant?

Yes, they should.

Do they have to?

No. We welcome beginners who may not have got as far as computer analysis.

I don't like such poor questions. How should I react if closing isn't an option?

If you hover your mouse over the downvote arrow you see the tooltip:

This question does not show any research effort; it is unclear or not useful

If you think the lack of associated computer analysis shows a lack of research effort then downvote.

  • 1
    My 50c to "Computers": A computer may be of no use to a beginner as it shows which move is best, but not necessarily why. Even if it is a #3: the learning effect is not "wham, bam, mate, got it" but (say) "oh, this is an example for annihilating a defender". So it depends on the scope of the question whether I prefer the asker to consider a computer analysis. Cf. eg. chess.stackexchange.com/questions/35037/… - engines have an opinion whether Qxd4 or Nxd4 and databases which scores best, but thats rather irrelevant. May 13, 2021 at 9:25
  • may you please clarify the difference between should and have to? it is like the difference between positive and normative? or factual and argumentative? i mean for a non-moderator sure, but you are actually a moderator. i actually don't see the difference between should and have to for a moderator. ah wait, is it like those politicians who are pro-life but they are in favour of laws that allow abortion? Like morally they don't believe women should have abortions, but legally they give women the choice?
    – BCLC
    Sep 14, 2021 at 3:40

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