So, if I get it correctly, if a player challenged on the ladder times out before his first move, the game is cancelled hence not counted for the rating, but he is kicked from the ladder altogether, and the challenger takes his place. Correct?
Correct, unless of course the challenger had already overtaken them, then only the kick happens.
Actually this jumping really far up the ladder from a timeout kind of annoyed me. I kind of wanted a win to propel me up half the ladder not a timeout with 0 moves. So I’ve stubbornly been challenging pretty much everyone one space above me cleaning out the inactive players.
I still get the odd game, and one also gets games where the opponent just cancels rather than plays. It doesn’t count for rating and it doesn’t drop them out of the ladder, but you do move to their spot in the ladder, similar to a win/timeout would.
I might just drop out and start again properly from the bottom at some point, and try to get to top with wins. I guess though timeouts are inevitable in correspondence though.
If you’re sad not to be able to be in the top 100, and don’t mind playing reasonably quickly, please join the Fast Correspondence 19x19 Ladder !