Accidentally resigning while winning

It turns out that I often resign correspondence games where I am ahead, sometimes winning by more than 20 points. This has a few what I believe to be non-destructive reasons:

  • I dislike the endgame and counting. I resign early when behind, and my very rough score estimates are often wrong, making me think I’m behind when I’m not.
  • Because I’m playing 30 correspondence games at a time, I sometimes forget that large enemy groups are dead and completely misjudge the position.
  • I tend to assume peaceful games are mostly even. When a fight breaks out in the middle game and I lose it, I assume I must be behind now, when sometimes that’s not the case.
  • I judge a fight to be lost but missed a move that saves it. Sometimes these are AI moves that I can’t be expected to find.

This habit has resulted in me being underranked (5k, my real strength is around 2k). I’m aware of this and it’s reflected in my challenges which are minimum rank 4k. Obviously I lose far more games than I win, some of them being not really lost.

OGS has twice accused me of “sandbagging” and is threatening a ban. Sandbagging is the practice of purposely lowering one’s rank in order to play against easier opponents. I can see why it looks that way, however I am clearly not doing that considering I don’t even play against players below 4k, unless they directly challenge me which is rare.

I think this would’ve never been an issue if it wasn’t for that pesky AI analysis going “actually, you were ahead!”. Sure I look silly now, but can I be expected to have AI level positional judgment?

I do agree it’s less than ideal, but I’d like to be able to play the game the way I enjoy it most.


Is OGS misunderstanding the meaning of sandbagging? Am I?

Should I be forced to play out every game, even though I want to move on?

Do we have a moral responsibility to play at our best every game?

Should OGS be policing their already small user base so strictly?

Your thoughts?


Hard to answer without some more detail!

How did the moderators react when you explained what was going on? Do you have a solid OGS rating for normal or blitz games? Were you threatened with a ban by a moderator or an automatic system?

But you do seem to want to play in a rather niche way.

That’s easy to fix: write reminders in Malkovich or personal notes.

Also, before resigning, perhaps indicate in the chat your score estimate with some details, to justify that you are resigning for good reasons.


Go servers need “safe resign” button which instantly works if you are behind and ask for confirmation if you are ahead.

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Maybe OGS is not the right go server for you.


I’d love this. But you’d have to do an AI analysis everytime someone presses the button, which may be a bit expensive.

they already do it on every move of every completed game and each time you click score estimate while it’s not your ongoing game

They seemed okay with it when I explained after the first warning. I did say I would try to improve and did for a while, but slowly reverted to old habits.

The 2nd warning was from “system”, and may have been automatic I guess.

suspicious, there was troll named like this


Do you mean “Safe resign”?

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Would it help to play the majority of your games unranked? Then you would clearly not be sandbagging, and there would be less sense of being obliged to play your best game.

I think the idea of getting crushed by a (genuine) sandbagger is rather unpleasant, and they do mess up the rating system as well, so I think it is fine for OGS to try to prevent it.


No. I think any accusations should take this into account.

I think you have a valid understanding of sandbagging. HOWEVER, you should also consider why sandbagging is disallowed in the first place.

  • It throws the rank system off
  • In automatched/autohandicap, you will have uneven games. This is not a good experience for your opponent’s (and may not even be a very good experience for you)
  • …other reasons?

My point is that unintentional sandbagging has roughly the same effect as intentional sandbagging. One wrong resignation every now and then is acceptable, but resigning enough to tank your rank 3 stones is not good.


I always thought sandbagging is a problem when you can crush your much weaker opponent.

Is a 2k-5k such a crushing gap? This seems extreme and hardly newsworthy, I mean I would laugh if I had to call the mods because a 15k beat me.

Also, we’ve had people before who had very volatile ranks because of their playing style, I remember it being allowed and well.


Says who. What is an “acceptable” resignation? Who will be the judge of what a person’s weaknesses are? Even high ranking players are known to have blind spots, not everyone improves the same in all aspects of Go.


Not crushing but the level difference is large enough to be noticeable.

A few days ago, after a few bad games I got demoted to 2k on KGS, down from 1d. My 2k opponent asked me “what is your real rank? 3d ?” And after a few dozen moves he resigned and accused me again to be a sandbagger.


Idk 3 stones is pretty far. On 19x19 it’s very unlikely I can beat a 3k.

But I can see your point that the line is arbitrary. Would you agree that there is a limit (perhaps not 3 stones) to how much someone should be able to deflate before it’s considered unacceptable? Or do you think we should simply believe players when they say incorrect resignation was unintentional?

So it’s very realistic for someone to drop/gain a few ranks is what I understand. :woman_shrugging:t2:

Unless we are now going to argue how many bad games is someone allowed to have.


To be fair, while my real strength may be 2k, I think most of my games I play more around 3k-4k level because of lacking focus and general carelessness.


I for some reason hadn’t thought of this, but yes, this is the obvious solution that I will immediately implement. Hopefully OGS won’t care when it’s unranked.

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Momentarily yes, but dropping 2-3 ranks permanently is a bit too much.

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