A friend is losing many games by timeout, what should I do?

Maybe I worry too much.

A player with whom I’ve had quite a few pleasant games, including an ongoing ladder challenge, is currently losing game on game by timeout. He’s playing a lot of correspondence games, that is. My guess is that for some reason he cannot connect to OGS, and could not anticipate. He’s serious about the game, not the escaper-whatever kind.
I have put our game on pause, and sent messages to a few of his opponents I know, asking them to do the same, without success before the timeout.
This is sad. I had met this situation with another player, who could not connect in time and lost a lot of games, was kicked off ladder(s) etc.
I wonder what can be done for such situations. It could be fine to be able send a kind of alert to all the player’s opponents in such a case. Of course, some are happy to have an easy win when their opponent times out, but I want to believe that most players would fairly give him/her a chance by putting their game on pause, instead of applying the law of the West.


[Edit April 1st, 8.45 UTC] :
For the record, this is the player https://online-go.com/player/471639/.
Has timed out about all his ladder games by now.

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It’s just life really, if you’re not there to play the game then it times out. It might seem harsh but what’s the alternative? Games that have a time control but don’t actually time out? Games that send out an alert with a day to go? It doesn’t seem practical to me.

What we actually have on OGS is “vacation time.” If you’ve never used any of it up then you have at least two weeks (not sure exactly how it accumulates as I don’t use it.) If you need to essentially pause all your games for a week, you can “go on vacation” and those games will pause. That’s the responsible thing to do.

So you should tell your friend that if he can only occasionally connect to OGS right now for whatever reason, he should burn his vacation time until his situation is more stable.


Yes of course I know vacations, I have used them and this player is using them too in a sensible way. So, if he has not taken a vacation, it’s certainly because he had some real life problem which prevents him to do so. When I say “friend” … he’s from Argentina and I’m from France, and we have never actually met. But we have exchanged quite a bit along the games, enough to call him “friend”. But if he does not show on OGS, I have no way to contact him.
Even if you are responsible, sometimes life takes you by surprise. And that’s the time friends should think about you.:slightly_smiling_face:


I think you answered your own question … “What should I do?”: let everyone who’s playing him know.

I don’t think we’d code up a special feature like “message all the opponents of a person” just for this rare case, if that’s what you’re suggesting?

At first I was also thinking whether a Mod might be able to put the missing person on vacation, but that’s not entirely simple: there are tourneys etc that forbid vacation.

I don’t know if Mods have that power anyhow…

It sounds to me like you are being a good friend already, so job done :slight_smile:



Thanks :slightly_smiling_face:.

I was not thinking about a technical feature, rather a kind of fuzzy rule to add to OGS etiquette. BTW is there a place where this etiquette is written, or is it oral/ambient knowledge?

“Oral” culture :slight_smile:

It could be argued that it is bad etiquette to pause a tournament or ladder game. In the case of tournaments a pause can delay the start of the next round and in the case of ladders, it may be preventing someone else from challenging because the slot is filled by a paused game. However; that is harsh and pausing certainly isn’t against the rules ofc.

I suggest using it sparingly in such cases and remember, if it is a good game it can always be resumed using the ‘Fork game’ function, especially between friends. As it was in this case: https://online-go.com/game/12079915

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This opens the door for a feature request. What if a user could provide a special code to someone that would allow that person to turn on their vacation time for them? Then our kind @omote could turn on his friends vacation time and that would give the friend a bit to clear up his internet/personal problem.

Complicated feature for rare corner case: I’d argue there are a million things to implement before this.

If you have time to give someone a code, you have time to turn on your vacation.

In fact, much simpler to just give Mods the power to do it if ever needed.

I agree with Kosh that we have to trust opponents of the friend who are in tourneys not to pause the game for any substantial amount of time. (And there are some tourneys forbid this anyhow, and will boot people who do it).


The above might be true…

But this is not. I can give a code to a friend through voice phone or even a letter. I can’t turn on vacation using those means.

Yeah I guess that’s true. But that makes it even more corner case :slight_smile:

(In this instance, the OP’s only communication with the mising player has been OGS)

we don’t have power to turn on your vacation, an honestly I do not want it :smiley: It really sounds like such a special case that I doubt it would ever be used again.

I do not think it is so bad. All that happens is he/she will get kicked out of ladders, which is unfortunate, but that’s it. Thanks to our correspondence timeout rule (that everybody loves so much :smiley: ) he will even retain most of his rank.

So while you are being super nice to him, you might even consider the fact that you are taking it worse than he/she will. :slight_smile:

Is there a system in place that would allow the person back into the ladder? Maybe a message to an admin or something?

If you have another game in progress and manage to finish it after timing out of another you get put back into position.

Otherwise you can always start again, but have to climb from the bottom

If that is ever a case, you can maybe consider giving your friend your password… And change it later again. Not that I am against the original idea, but honestly dont see it implemented anytime soon.

i think we have had this discussion a million times over the time-out rule, but I would still like to say it again:

If he is having real life problem that big, the last thing he would worry about is his bloody games.


That makes sense if you consider sane and sensible people. But bear in mind that many (most) Go players are weird. So you really don’t know what their priorities are, and what they worry about.

But good point anyway, which settles the question for me. I’ll let the time flow from now on. It’s only a game.

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Talk about yourself, please :wink:

I’d want to challenge this statement.


No kidding? Would you be able to point to some exception?

–> Hey! right here! <-- :smiley:

If my house were burning I would totally take the teapots first and only then my goban and stones :smiley: JUST LIKE EVERY NORMAL PERSON


@trohde We are far more normal than most others after all :wink:

But seriously @omote, i consider myself averagely weird at best… whatever that means… and im certainly not any weirder because i like go

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