Annulment of Consecutive Timeouts in Correspondence Games

Hi i was just wondering if anybody could tell me why / how this game was annulled?


Because it is part of a string of consecutive correspondence timeouts by your opponent. In such cases only the first one counts, and the subsequent ones are annulled. There are others threads that have discussed this policy.

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Okay, so apologies if I’m being dumb here, but this game was also annulled. 19 19 but looking at their profile, their previous game was a resignation. Not a timeout so the consecutive timemout shouldn’t apply. What am I missing?

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That previous resignation was a live game not a correspondence one. I wonder does this consecutive timeout annulled rule only consider correspondence games and ignore any interspersed live games.

It is not supposed to, and it never did in the past. Indeed, having a completed live game breaking the string is one of the diagnostic characteristics of someone who is abusing the rule.

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You should file a report with the mods (report your opponent under the category of “Other”) and ask why that game was annulled.

Pop quiz: can anyone name the player whose timeouts lead to the introduction of this rule?

Not me, It was already in place when I started moderating. 5 years ago, and I suspect it goes back much farther.

The rule ignores interspersed live games. See previous examples Rating points - #6 by jlt

If that is the rule then fair enough but it seems strange to me. If someone has the time to come and play a few live games I think its only fair that their subsequent correspondence timeout should be considered as a timeout, and not annulled.

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I’d say that regular live game endings interspersing a sequence of correspondence timeouts raises some suspicion of correspondence escaping as well as rank manipulation.

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As I have said before, if that is the way it is working today, it is either a bug, or someone has made a nonsensical change in how it works. The entire purpose, the only purpose, of the rule is to accommodate the extraordinary situation in which someone is unable to play because of an incapacitating emergency. Obviously if someone plays a live game in the midst of the string, then that disproves the existence of such an emergency.

That is why I said, in an earlier post here, that such an interruption is “one of the diagnostic characteristics of someone who is abusing the rule.”

The rule is a very bad one. Its proper use is too rare, and its value in such cases is too small, to justify the theft of wins from its victims, particularly those victimized by the abusers of the rule. Unfortunately, escapes from correspondence games are no longer reportable, which means it is now nearly impossible to find abusers of the rule. In another thread, I made a call that I will repeat: ABOLISH THE SERIAL TIMEOUT RULE!

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Abolishing the serial timeout rule completely could lead to rank manipulation (sandbagging). A 1d player who timeouts 200 games could become 20k after that. It would be more reasonable to consider that a series of timeouts starts at the 5th or 10th game, or once the rank drop exceeds 2 stones.


On the other hand, the serial correspondence timeout rule as it is allows for rank manipulation in the other direction (airbagging).

I’d say that these problems signify that serial correspondence timeouts are in itself problematic and they should perhaps be considered a reportable offence, similar to repeated escaping from live games.


In my opinion, timeout isn’t a valid result for correspondence games. In correspondence games, the user should always have enough time to decide on a move.

I’d like if, instead of timing out of correspondence games, the vacation mode is automatically activated for the user. This should mitigate the “I had a busy week and forgot to activate the vacation mode” problem.

If the user still times out many games, they need some special handling in any case:

  • if they just let time out the games instead of resigning, they should receive a warning and the losses should count.
  • if they time out because they have more active games as they can handle, they should make sure to not have so many active games at the same time (warning) (¿losses should count?)
  • if they time out because they were away (big shit happens), they/we should make sure this isn’t a repeating pattern. (annulment is ok)

I completely understand that sometimes life gets in the way (thats what vacation mode is for right). But when playing a correspondence game you are investing potentially weeks into a game and are asking a similar commitment from your opponent. If for whatever reason you couldn’t complete a bunch of games, and also didn’t activate vacation mode, it seems disrespectful that your opponent who has also played for weeks, believing their game to be ranked, should find that its as if the game had bever happened at all.

I do understand the need to try and prevent sand/air bagging but I do feel like the current system dosent work very well either.
The mass tineout function is just far to easy to take advantage of.

I wonder, is there any specific reason why points cannot be awarded to just the one player? Then the player who tines out loads could stay the same to prevent air/sand bagging, but the other player would still recieve the points?

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I don’t think it would prevent airbagging, because they could still let their lost games timeout to avoid rating losses.


Your example is very far-fetched in my opinion. First, dans rarely sandbag; they prefer to bot. Second, they have available a better, easier means of sandbagging if they want to do that.

Escaping was a reportable offense in correspondence when I was moderating, and it was the principal means for discovering cases of abuse of the serial timeout rule.

Since my previous post expressed the same sentiment, I obvious agree. However, escaping from a correspondence game is no longer a reportable offence. I have that on the authority of BHydden, who told me that when I reported a correspondence escape.

I really like your alternative solution. However, concerning your third bullet: this was the circumstance that engendered the rule in the first place. Unfortunately, repeated episodes don’t seem to count for much today. When I reported the worst case I ever saw—in which five groups of serial timeouts occurred in four months—two mods dismissed it. My guess is that they were unfamiliar with the issue and so could not judge the case. Not surprising, because I think Eugene and I were the only ones who dealt with abuse of the rule when I was moderating.

Something needs to be done, one way or the other, because the rule is a bad one that does more harm than good, as I already detailed. And if it is buggy now, with live game interruptions not stopping the rule’s function, then the rule has been reduced to utter nonsense.

OK then a 5k who times out 100 games could easily become 10k. That would be a perfectly legal way of sandbagging, a mod couldn’t do anything against it.

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