Annulment for unjustly lost games due to opponent cheating is unjust

I have had multiple experiences many years back until now and it’s disappointing that OGS mods/admins still handle game cheating reports the same way i.e., they simply annul the game instead of awarding the win to the rightful winner. To me this is already a win for the cheater. Already losing? Ok. Just mess up scoring until opponent leaves to report and the scoring timer times out or they change score last minute and opponent accidentally agrees to the intentionally wrongly marked dead group.
Easy hack to avoid rating loss!


Repeated score cheating, getting reported, having those games annulled and getting a warning won’t go on indefinitely. After a couple of those they’ll get banned.


Except for the innocent party they wasted time and effort into the match using an account they care about. These cheaters have no problem with simply making new accounts and repeating their behaviour over and over. It’s not exactly groundbreaking. E.g. even with all its widespread cheating problems still reverse rating losses when they ban cheaters.


In that case I suppose they would be provisionally rated, and the game result wouldn’t affect your rating very much even if you were granted a win.

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It’s worth noting that this is not a choice made by the moderators.

OGS simply doesn’t support reversing a win/loss outcome. Moderators can’t do this even if they want to. There’s no “button to press” to do this.

I’m mentioning this to deflect your criticism away from the hardworking moderators.

What you’re asking for is a feature request in OGS, not a policy change of moderation.


I see. I thought it might have been a permission problem that the main guys around do not have to do but I suspected it might have been a technical reason. Thanks for the confirmation.


Yeah, i wish we could reverse the results in some way when the wrong person has been marked as winner, but sadly the system doesnt allow us to “open” sgf’s again once the game has ended :<

With ongoing games we can manually end those and declare them as win for black/white, or as a draw, but after the game has finished we only have the “annull” button for making the game virtually the same as unranked games.


Me no github, just an idea:

Is it different for the system if the game is ranked? If it didn’t have to also give the winning points and the win/loss function was separate, would it be easier to do?

Not what is requested, just in case there’s a path there.

That is completely false.

I do not play provisional accounts in general and I still meet plenty. These people do not cheat every game to get caught so quickly. They only do so when losing and/or in a bad mood.

For me to play them non-provisionally, they’ve already had a solid enough rating for it to affect rating as much as any other account.

By the time they eventually get caught and banned, there’re already multiple victims. Saying “eh it’s only a few people/times/rating” is simply making excuses for an inadequate system and pretending it doesn’t exist.


Score cheaters at the strong SDK and dan levels are very rare. The few who exist at those levels are typically trolls who make new accounts repeatedly.

The mods are currently tweaking procedures to catch manic score cheaters more quickly. They just had a success a little while ago.

A major problem with catching score cheats is that the large majority of cheated games, as least 2/3s and maybe as high as 90%, are never reported.


That’s good to know that something’s being done. As an outsider with no inside knowledge it feels exactly the same (like nothing being done) nearly a decade back.

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Personally, I think it is better to rate as if the cheater never existed (annul) rather than try to fix-up games. This is more work for mods, and frankly, human judgement is imperfect and they have more ability to mess up ratings if they reverse wins-losses rather than annul.

The only case I think it would be generally preferable to change outcomes might be tournaments, where wins and losses affect more than just the rating. Furthermore, the additional work could fall on a TD, who presumably is stretched less thin than a mod and has a vested interest in the outcome of the tournament games.

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I’ve said it elsewhere before: I have an issue with the word ‘annulment’. A cheater should lose the game. If someone times out they should lose the game. No matter if this is the first timeout or number 100 in a series. Now, if the outcome should be used for the ranking system is a different question. I have no problem with not counting some or even all of these for the ranking system.

This is just a wording issue. The way it’s worded now sounds to me like the ranking system is what everything is about. I think playing go, winning and losing, is what it’s about. The ranking system just helps for matchmaking - useful, but not the core.

Random only somewhat related thought: Maybe we should have some reward/badge/whatever system, say a badge for 100 wins, 500 wins etc., so people could relax more about the ranks, because it’s not the only reward anymore. (For those that see it as a reward - not me, but I’d gladly take a badge or something too. :slight_smile: )


If someone score-cheats in order to sandbag, then it would be award to sandbagger-score-cheater.

No, not if the game is ignored by the rating system. Making these 2 different things is exactly my point.

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Game history would become to look realistic - as if someone is truly ddk. When someone only pretends.

Ideally, an account which in which too many game results are reversed should be banned (after checking by a mod).


Yeah I agree, it seems like maybe the right thing in case of cheating is to:

  • De-rank (currently called “annul”)
  • Update win/loss/tie status (but this is not currently possible for mods in today’s system)
    • Potentially “cheater loses” in every case

This sounds like it might have legs.

To double check: this is only a display thing on the game page and in game history?

It’s a much bigger thing if it must include “fixing up tournament results” or any other side-effects…

I’ve never seen a sandbagger score cheat (as distinct from rank manipulation). Not impossible, but bizarre. There are much better ways to sandbag.