Fewer people playing moves?

Just wondering if there’s been a cultural shift on the site of something. I haven’t played a ton here since 2014 and coming back I’ve noticed people now just cancelling games early on. If I’ve accepted your challenge, or you’ve accepted mine then I’m expecting to play a game, and it seems pretty antisocial to just go and cancel the game.


One site change since 2014 that might be related: the cancelation window increased from 2 (?) to 6 moves

I assume there is some tradeoff. Allowing people to cancel games, in theory, increases the quality of games that are not canceled. Not sure how one would determine the right balance.




A long time ago, before it was adjusted down to 2 moves, the cancellation window was related to the size of the board, i.e., 19x19 games allowed the game to be cancelled within the first 19 moves, 13x13 within the first 13 moves, 9x9 within the first 9 moves. (I’m not sure how rectangular boards were handled)


Well, games played on a rectangular 19x19 board could be cancelled within 19 moves, games played on a rectangular 13x13 board within the first 13 moves, and games played on a rectangular 9x9 board could be cancelled within the first 9 moves.

As for non-square rectangular boards, I would think no one went out of their way to use the geometric mean of the side lengths, even though that’s obviously the best option.


We really need undo on your turn to make it easier to back up and cancel a long game.


:slight_smile: Thanks for your thoughtful reply anyway.


The reduction in the cancellation period down to 2 moves occurred shortly after I joined OGS in Dec. 2016, therefore it probably occurred in early 2017. The increase to 6 moves is very recent.

OGS policy on cancellations, up until mid- 2021, was that a player could freely cancel for any reason a game they had created. However, players were strictly prohibited from cancelling games created by others that they had accepted. It appear that this policy has changed, but I have been unable so far to get clarification in another thread.

I don’t know what the policy is, but making a button available and forbiding to use it at the same time is absurd. If canceling is strictly prohibited then the button shouldn’t appear.


You have a good point, but the situation is not quite as absurd as it may seem at first. There may be a technical issue involved with removing the button only from people who accept a game. Or it may be left for rare cases in which the opponent opens with the 1-1 point or with a pass. It would also be available for someone who was called away by an emergency, since canceling is preferable to timing out. I suspect that the mods would accept these rare cases as legitimate.

Your point reminds me, however, of the funniest encounter I ever had as a mod. A score cheater argued that his cheating was permitted because the OGS system allowed him to mark his opponent’s live stones as dead. There was no issue of understanding or intention. He argued that anything he could do should be permitted. He got warned.

Note the word “strictly” in my (our) sentence.

Yes, I noted it, which is why I said you had a good point. I am allowed to have second thoughts, right. The policy was strict, but not absolute, as I may have inadvertently implied in my original post.

That actually happens to me surprisingly often. Sometimes they even simply abandon our game.