Annulled Games in Ladders

Sometimes I’ll challenge someone to a ladder game, and the game is annulled. I think this is because my opponent didn’t take any turns. But s/he remains in the ladder to frustrate the next challenger.

—deleted the rest as it reflected a lack of understanding …

From the perspective of the ladder it is treated as a lost game, if you win and it’s annulled (they cancel or didn’t move) then you take their spot on the ladder.

I don’t remember if there is or used to be a mechanism for withdrawing players that are inactive from the ladder

Oh right. I confused lost game versus withdrawing from ladder. I thought there was a way to get withdrawn from ladder. There SHOULD be. @anoek?

I think at some point it was supposed to be the case that timing out of a game removed you from the ladder

From an older thread

Is that still what happens?

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Maybe … failure to respond to a challenge N times drops a person from the ladder? N could be 1 or more.

I thought I was doing a public service by challenging/eliminating some non-players in the ladders. But it doesn’t work how I thought.

Hmm, yes they should be removed from the ladder upon timeout. If that’s not working anymore… well I wonder when that broke? :sweat:

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I thought I remembered it working that way. @anoek, can we look forward to a return to this system?


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Yep for sure


I like to dwell at the bottom of the ladder to “catch” inactive players. As far as I know, they still get dropped as intended.


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if they make zero moves, they stay in the ladder, at least in my recent experience. maybe they are also resigning? i dunno

Could you share an example? One of the links I shared was exactly this case (zero moves)

If they resign or cancel, it’s entirely different than a Timeout

Another example, the most recent game in your game history:

Your opponent timed out, and is no longer on the ladder.

So by resigning without making a move, the game gets annulled and they get to stay in the ladder? Uncool. It’s worse than timing out, IMHO.

Tagging @anoek in case this is what’s happening.

He never made a move, and he is right below me on the ladder. Game annulled. Did he time out? I’m not sure, but probably.

The game finished 28h after it started. He probably canceled the game (or resigned).

So … it’s a loophole. One can stay in the ladder and still not play when challenged.

You can see on the gamepage that it says Black wins by cancellation, same in the history, and it’s crossed out because it’s annulled.

More or less. My guess is that it’s a way for people to take a break from the ladder and not lose their place by too much. They do lose their place in the usual sense, anyone that challenges gets the win from cancellation, anyone normally jumping over them jumps over them.

But when they want to play again they don’t have to start from scratch. I guess it gives people a chance to go on vacation, or if another round of some correspondence tournament starts out of the blue, as tends to be the case, they can reject any more ladder games without too much penalty etc.

But they can literally reject every single game forever? And waste other people’s time waiting for a game that will never happen? Doesn’t seem right.

That’s true. At the same time, it’s not so difficult to find active players who will play their games.

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Agreed. There’s not much incentive to stay in the ladder and not play games.

This mechanism has benefits for the challengers and the challenged.

Them cancelling the game at the start saves the challenger time, allowing the challenger to climb the ladder more quickly (not having to play a full game that could take many weeks/months to earn that higher spot on the ladder).

Also, it quickly frees up a challenge slot of the challenger, much more quickly than if the challenged player plays half a game and then resigns/times out.

Also, when the challenger is much stronger or much weaker than the challenged player, the challenged player may cancel to opt out of playing a very lopsided game, without dropping out of the ladder and without potentially messing up their own rating or the rating of the challenger.

And if someone cancels all their ladder challenges, their place in the ladder gradually drops lower and lower, more quickly than if they kept playing long games and lose those in the end. So it’s not entirely with impunity.

So in my opinion, this ladder game cancelling mechanism is well thought out and reasonable, and beneficial to the large majority of ladder players.