I’m relatively new to the server, and I host almost exclusively absolute blitz games. I’ve only seen a couple other people do it, and I’m kinda curious what people think of it.
The thing I love the most about absolute is the importance of time management. Any quick moves you can make save you time to think when you need to. The more complex the board, the more time you have to budget for finishing it.
Secondarily, it’s nice to be able to schedule a quick game and know at least the maximum time it could possibly take at a glance.
I get quite a few people sitting in a game with me, not understanding the format, and getting mad. They accuse me of “cheating” or “fooling them,” which is ridiculous on its face. The rules are set and clear and apply to both equally.
The hitch is, in a 10 minute game, you can’t spend the first 8 minutes making 50 moves to create an unbeatable position and then expect the other person to resign. I can’t tell you the number of people who have told me that they are ahead, and I should resign, and then they find out that they are not as good as they thought at defending their positions (particularly under time pressure) and I win on points. Then they complain. Often that same thing happens and they lose on time, having poor time management, and complain even more loudly. They were legitimately ahead on points, but failed to leave time enough to finish the game (which begs the question of whether they would still have been ahead if they had used less time to develop their position).
On many occasions, my opponent will be ahead by more than enough points to win, but then fight a meaningless ko, or try to make some other gain that won’t impact the outcome, and then lose on time. And if they enjoy the fight more than the win, more power to them, but often they still complain to me about it.
Clearly – that aspect is a little frustrating. And it’s all the more so because absolute is my favorite format by a mile, and it doesn’t have many fans.
My philosophy on the format is simple: you have to leave yourself enough time to finish the game to a complete count. Else, you lose. If there are unsettled areas, I will contest them, but I never make silly moves as time-stealing tesuji. I face that from opponents from time to time, and while I don’t like or respect it, I do acknowledge that it’s my responsibility to protect myself by managing my time. More often than now, when I’m ahead on points and an opponent starts time-stealing, they end up losing on time after I’ve secured all my positions. I do resign when behind sometimes if the board is boring and we both have more than enough time, and I often lose on time myself (both ahead and behind on points).
I assume everyone knows what “absolute” means. Usually, when someone is using too much time I will remind them of the clock and lack of byo (particularly if they’ve been polite). What else can I do here to get more people into the format I love?