Minimum number of moves for a valid game

It often happens to me that a game that I started is accepted, but after my first move as black my opponent does not submit any moves. I have to wait very long before the game eventually times out. I would like to cancel such a game after say 24 hours, since I don’t expect any move from my opponent.

I find it really annoying that these games are shown in my game history. So a filter would be appreciated very much to only show the games that were not canceled.

I also would like to know if there is a minimum number of moves that have to be played in order for this game to effect your ranking. It would also be nice if this is explained in the section dealing with ranking.


I am pretty sure, that it will auto annul the game if less than two moves have been played(basically if white doesn’t show up, or if black doesn’t show up). After each player has played at least one move, the game counts towards ranking unless there is a valid reason(game scored incorrectly, site problem, etc.) to change this and you have contacted a moderator(usually through the call moderator button in the game) to get the game annulled.

//Note that not all games are able to be annulled(one reason is from rank update batches, I don’t know other reasons but there is bound to be another reason), so don’t blame me if a game you reported for a valid reason is not able to be//

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Note that this documentation doesn’t appear to answer the OP’s question…

… I think that the answer is ‘2’.

After 2 moves have been played, the game must be played out.

As the documentation does say - if the “Cancel” button is showing, then the game does not affect ranking.

There is currently no way to filter out any sort of game from our game histories - “cancelled” are only one of a few types it might be preferrable not to see.

I think there is some work lined up to improve this, though it is a big job, not sure when we’ll see it.


it will auto annul the game if less than two moves have been played

Wasn’t it like nineteen moves at one point? Or is that a false memory?


Yes, it used to be N moves for board size N x N. We changed that because some players resigned ranked games at move 18 when they didn’t like an opening.


I think purpose-wise, the idea of cancellation available only until two moves have been played is solely to make sure that both players are actually at the board.

It could be argued that three moves is fairer, because White gets to cancel if he dislikes Black’s move but Black doesn’t get the same “advantage”. Nineteen moves was definitely way too much.


The main purpose of cancellation is to give the game creator an opportunity to vet the opponent. The opponent already has the opportunity to vet the game creator.

Most players wait only about 1 or 2 minutes. Two minutes seems to me a reasonable time to wait. Players are expected to cancel, rather than not show up at all, and players who do not cancel when they should may be reported.


players who do not cancel when they should may be reported.

What’s the point? The Cancel button is obvious, their opponent can just annul the game, no?

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Failing to cancel is considered the same as an escape, and is therefore rude and wastes the opponent’s time. Although experienced players may not wait long, others do. The annoyance it generates can be seen in the OP’s post. Frankly, it’s hard to think of anything more lazy than failing to cancel.

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Failing to cancel to is considered the same as an escape

I totally disagree. If a player escapes midgame, their opponent has to either wait out the remaining time or call a mod. If a player just “doesn’t cancel”, their opponent has the option to end the game instantly by clicking a very visible button. They’re not the same thing at all; imo there is nothing rude about not cancelling a game.

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To me I feel bad to cancel a game because in some way I can’t wait him to come and play so I agree with Conrad, this player is making me losing my time and having to take the weird decision to cancel the game myself.
It’s not about the size of the button


The maximum time lost by an escape is 5 minutes. As can be seen in the OP’s post, and reinforced by my experience, a significant number of beginners wait that long as well. Obviously an escape has a greater odor of retaliation and childishness, but many beginners do bitterly resent an opponent who fails to cancel, and they complain about it in reports. Cancellation can even be worse than an escape when it is done by the occasional cancellation troll.


Well, I think I’m never going to understand what your issue is. To me, if you don’t want to play a game and there’s a button saying “Cancel Game”, you press it and cancel the game. I’ll leave it there.

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It’s not Conrad’s issue, it’s a general issue. There are indeed a lot of players reporting others for not showing up. It is genuinely something that irritates players. There are seemingly many players who don’t know that games will be cancelled if they resign before the first two moves.

On the other hand, there are equally many players who report others for cancelling games in the first place.