New Correspondence Timeout Rule?

Hey there! Recently I have been picking up some evidence that correspondence games that are timed out no longer count towards the rank. It does not matter if the game isn’t annulled, it still looks as though there is no effect. Does anyone else have this issue or is it just me? Is it a bug? Or is this something that was recently changed that I am not aware of? Thanks for any help!

You may have discovered a controversial rule that has been in place for a long time: the “mass timeout” rule.

If a person times out a series of correspondence games, only the first one that they timeout out counts for rank.

If you search for “mass timeout” you will find most of the previous discussion about this. The summary is that the perceived adverse rank pool effect of genuine mass timeouts when people leave OGS is a strong enough factor that it is worth the perceived injustice of this for the people who got timed out on.



The only thing I would add to GaJ’s summary is that; If you believe someone is actively abusing the rule in a coordinated manner to gain unfair rank advantage then please report them in the usual way. Everything else on this topic is available by searching ‘Timeout rule’ or as GaJ suggested, ‘Mass timeout’.


I don’t recall it ever having been referred to as “mass timeout”.

However, one may find any such discussion easily by searching for “timeout”.

Here’s a lengthy one.

The rule could be tweaked a little. There should be an additional check whether the timing-out player has recently logged in or made any other moves in other games. This would prevent abuse from stalling lost games.

On the other hand, if a game times out with less than 10 (for example) moves played, it should automatically be annulled. I think my rank is inflated from too many such wins against newcomers who do not stay. This would also discourage sandbagging.

A quick search for “mass timeout” shows that many people used that phrase, enough to bring up the relevant threads. “Serial timeout” was another widely used phrase to discuss the issue.

This wouldn’t prevent abuse. It is very easy to prepare the timeouts in advance.

We can start the discussion again :slight_smile:

As I said before, I think that if a person mass-times-out and then recommences play at OGS, they are no longer a “drop out” and all those games should count.

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I have a question. Why these games that are in essence annulled aren’t marked as such?


Bug (not implemented)


because the people who make the rule don’t want you to know.

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Respectfully; I think that’s unfair. The issue lodged by GaJ on Github was then tagged/categorised as a ‘Bug’ report by anoek. However, it is a backend issue and must therefor compete with all the other issues that require the personal attention of the devs. ie. it can’t be fixed by a submitted third-party change. Those ‘other’ backend issues include just continuing to keep the site running alongside the various browsers and OS that the site has to work with which of course are constantly updating.


Have you seen any reference to the topic anywhere in this site except this forum? if they had wanted you to know they could have at least make a q&a, so people don’t have to ask about this once every 2 months.

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As far as I know, the “Documentation and FAQ” is an open wiki. You can add this information to it, unless I am mistaken?


it is, Andysif can.
Nobody will look for it there :slight_smile: GitHub and Forums are both easily searchable and logical options IMHO, if people want to find the answer they can. I doubt adding a third place will magiacally boost transparency… casual user will not read any documentation or FAQ nor search. They will ask, it is the easiest option.

While I can presume it will earn me some negative points I honestly think it is quite a minor issue and thus not that urgent (knowing it does not really help much) and while I am all for transparency am hoping for a more elegant solution than just marking those games as annulled. Because unless very obviously explained right next the anullment (which would be rather space consuming) it will be hell of lot more confusing (and create much more questions) than it is now :smiley:


It’s not clear to me why some games are OK to get “Annulled” marked next to them, but not these ones.

Already there is no explanation in the table of why they were annulled. But at least you know that they were. Except when you don’t, because it’s not marked…

I am all for marking them, but it should (somehow) be more obviou than just the old plain “annulled” (in my imaginary perfect world…). Otherwise it will be just as confusing for people since they will have no idea why it happened.

It may be just as confusing, but at least it would be more transparent.

Right now I can’t look at my game history, knowing that this rule is in place, and assess whether I have been affected.

I think it would be better to have regular questions about “why was this annulled” but at least be able to see that it was annulled.

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I thank everyone fore their generous replies. This is an interesting situation, my personal opinion would be to make all correspondence timeout games still count, as I think we want to try and avoid deliberate timeout. But that is just me. I do apologize for bringing this up in a whole new thread though, I did not realize that this has already been discussed. :grinning:


I find OGS to be fantastic. Thank you. I am really trying to be “kind” and I do address a problem and not individual players…
Not all players have the necessary respect that GO requires IMO. I think the focus must be on the problem and not letting technical special cases leave the door still open for abuse without consequence.
I have encountered too many games where my opponent deliberately let the game timeout for no other reason than realization/fear of loosing. The exact algorithm for rank-calibration and the ladder position aside, this is extremely disrespectful. Like leaving a real-life game and go to the toilet for seven days! Leaving the opponent waiting for nothing since the players is not even remotely punished.
There is a vacation feature and a Resign button. Use it!
Take a loss when you’ve earned one.
If OGS would add the number (>0) of correspondance game timeouts that the player caused for the last month next to the player’s rank, at least I (and others) can avoid playing these players. For example PlayerName [10k] TO=3.
When continuing to play without T.O. the number will be zero. And nobody should want >0 - problem solved.