My opponent left, I waited 29 min

IMHO the part about making a judgement call about when one call something a lost game is where it should be judged by the rules of the game. If the player does not call a mod and lets the game play out it is a win by time. There should be no outside judge beyond that unless the mod wants to speed up the process. By adding in the “outside judge” it opens up so much complications.

(Just adding to what you said).


In this case, I think a mod was called by OP, correct?

That’s the problem right there, if it needs too much interpretation and mental process and what someone thinks/ feels/ imagines/ considers/ wishes/ hopes to explain things, maybe it shouldn’t be a rule. Just sayin’.
Anyway, mods are gonna mod, even if they sometimes let their personal opinions get in the way of things being impersonal and practical and across the board.

You lose by time and you’re not a sandbagger, you lose the game, no hard feelings, life goes on. Simple and fair but I guess we are going for something else here.

Not much more I can add, so I won’t add anything else.

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And I think it’s timely for me to add that despite my views in this thread, I very much appreciate the work our mods volunteer to do for us.
I don’t mean to diminish their efforts at all and I’m persuaded that the decision in this case was correct from the point of view of established processes and properties.

I hope my comments are contributing to a reassessment of those processes and priorities. Even if the decision is made to continue as before, having this perception considered is enough for me.


I do too.
I meant it as business as usual will go on, the site keeps running.

And I think in this case they should reconsider having to add so many if and buts and imagined (as in let’s imagine this and that, probably there’s a better word for this that eludes me atm) reasons for annulling games. A simpler and clearer solution is obviously requested by people and it warranties consideration.


Maybe the issue here is that it is too prominent that annulment “undoes” a win. I thought that would be a good idea because I had a situation where I lost a game that didn’t really make sense to me, and mods basically said “doesn’t matter it was annulled anyway”, so I sent a PR to make it clear that win/loss is irrelevant after annulment (Loss by disconnection when opponent hasn't played - #11 by jonesbe). But I didn’t realize it goes the other way as well. Maybe annulment should act more silently again. However, if that happens, I’d ask that disconnection losses don’t happen unless it is the disconnecter’s turn!

I appreciate all the posts here. I like to think that discussing hard cases openly like this can help us improve our policies and be better moderators.

As @AdamR and others have mentioned, annulling this game involved many competing concerns. I don’t want to reward leaving an ongoing game, and I don’t want to discourage reporting these issues. On the other hand, the rating is intended to provide equally matched and exciting games, as mentioned in the site documentation. This latter policy sometimes requires mod action. For example, we annul games when a player intentionally throws a game (sandbagging). We also annul games when a player who, while winning, times out of a game through no fault of their own and asks for an annulment. The annulment is a compromise: we don’t allocate the rating points properly; we just count it as if the game was never played. Neither side can be satisfied completely, but not counting the game reflects the uncertainty involved in these situations.

This game involved similar concerns. Although the opponent here stopped playing moves, it wasn’t clear why they stopped playing. They were apparently winning, and it was equally apparent that nothing on the board led them to rage quit (for example, they lost no stones or groups) as sometimes happens with escapers. Since this was the case, I was facing an inequitable rank decrease to the player more likely to win, an inequitable rank increase to the player more likely to lose, and a penalty to a player whose inability to continue may not have been their fault. Annulment seemed the right thing to do under the circumstances, and it was in line with our policy in similar situations.

To be clear about the timeline, I first offered to judge the game a draw. When the timer elapsed, it was then a separate decision whether to annul it.


There was a post just now about a player saying they got a win by resignation but the game was annulled, but it was deleted before I got to read the whole thing.

Since we can’t get a clear picture from a post we can’t see, theoretically why would a mod annul a game won by resignation? We can’t even resign now?

Thank you for your calm and insightful comments as always @mark5000

This changes things significantly for me frankly.
The initial issue was “I had to wait a long time” and given the alternative is to resign and take a loss, the offer of a draw seems like a great compromise. Take half the points and no more waiting, why not.

After that, if the thought was “I can wait a bit longer and claim a win” my sympathy is running out!


I think this is covered above isn’t it? If a game is resigned from a winning position it’s probably sandbagging. I can see why that would be annulled.


Because that player was a sandbagger.


Does… this mean the system supports draws? :flushed:

There’s a long-standing jigo bug that made me believe otherwise!

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Since we’re so far OT…

I had understood that moderator decision draws are actual draws and displayed as such. Only jigo situations on the board are buggy.


Yes, sort of. A moderator can declare a tie by moderator decision during the scoring phase (or earlier). You’d need to report it and get a moderator there without exiting the scoring phase.

Once the game exits scoring phase with a declared result, it can’t be turned into a tie; it can only be annulled (which I’m sure you know is not the same for ranking purposes).

The bug is that games with integer komi can’t end in ties on their own. The tie result is only accessible through mod action.


Considering everything that has been said up to this point, I see this as moderators meddling with game results by annulling based on what they personally think “would probably happen” to maintain some idealized “rank system” that can never be perfect. Unless the game had ended, it can go absolutely any way and not even the best pro player can say with 100% what the result will be.
I understand the principle but this is wrong and shouldn’t happen.

Unless it’s sandbagging, and unless you can verify that absolutely zero games go unattended (thus actually providing that coveted rank accuracy), this is just meddling to give some imagined “benefit of doubt” to someone who timed out.

Technical issues are part of life and we are making it seem like it’s some disaster. It’s just a lost game because the power went out, big deal.

I take it there is an explanation put in the game chat that that what’s happened?
“Game annulled because resigned opponent is sandbagging”.
And then the other player wouldn’t need to post a thread to find out.


@teapoweredrobot @mark5000

Sorry for the OT comment, but that is good to know! It gives me hope because I thought it wasn’t supported at all, so there’d be all sorts of plumbing involved to get the Jigo bug. Makes more sense why Ties are supported on the front end as well.



This seems like a good idea.


Yes, the game was about to expire and had few seconds when i asked the mod to speak to the opponent. He offered to cancel it. I declined and stated the reason why to which he agreed. But then he goes and cancels it.

When we annul a sandbagger’s games, it’s not uncommon for us to have tens and in some cases even hundreds of games to go through. It’s not reasonable to expect us to post an explanation in the game chat of each game. Also, a forum post is not necessary since there’s a happy little “call moderator” button in the game where they could ask anything they want.

I unlisted that post since it was basically naming and shaming. There was no need for the community to be able to read it.


I didn’t get to the whole thing, but I support this in any case.

I understand that, but maybe it’s not unreasonable for people to expect some explanation for what happened with their games? Not everyone knows about the “call moderator” thing (and imagine if those hundreds of opponents created “mod signals” for all those games), people come to ask here in the forums sometimes even.
I don’t know if it’s technically easy to have a different text option for sandbagging annulments, or a checkmark or sth, that will mark that game as “annulled because of sandbagging”.