"No-shows" in ASTs (was "Abandoners in ASTs)

It’s come to my attention that folk joining ASTs and then letting their timer run down while remaining connected is a problem.

The problem is that there is no tourney director to appeal to, and nothing a person can do when their AST opponent starts the game then lets their timer run on an early move.

The resulting problem is that the opponent abandons in disgust, and the cheat-player who joined then didn’t play advances in the tourney to do it again.

I have no idea how we could deal with this - I’ve just been alerted to it and asked to think about it.

So… thoughts?

1 Like

I would try to go about it by thinking what a TD person would do and how the system can make something similar.

The simplest option would be to automatically block accounts that time out, for a certain amount of time, only for ASTs though.

The opponent should, in my opinion, not perpetuate the problem by abandoning.
I do not support catering to people who are quick to accuse others, but have zero patience to do their part themselves.
Strictly speaking, the “cheater” didn’t cheat if the opponent abandoned.
If the problem is that the cheater advances to the next round, some of that is on the “disgusted” opponent to blame.
Someone who is easy to irritate is an easy victim (to cheaters and in general).

Also, this “disgust” feeling is a bit too strong, and I wonder if people who time out for a legitimate reason might face underserved ire.

1 Like

When people have bad behaviour within the law it’s best to try to change the law, it’s hard job to determine if someone is abusing or not there will be always a doubt on fairness.

The time setting in a automatic tournament with no referee need to be carefully chosen to avoid at most this kind of behavior. So classic long time+;byoyomi doesn’t fit well

Why do people join and then letting the timer run down?

  • forgetting that they registered for an AST.
    This probably has happened to all of us. Annoying, but not malicious.
  • running away without resigning when realising that (many) better ranked players also registered. Annoying and impolite.
  • trollers who have some weird fun in registering and doing nothing.

The forget category is harmless, unless it becomes a permanent habit (warnings and eventually banning). The troll category is malicious. Banning is okay. Lock em up and throw away the key.
The running away category is annoying and impolite but I can also understand that as a 24 k you run away when you have a 5D as an opponent. (Please resign first and then run away.) It doesn’t seem fun for both sides to play against each other in a no handicap game.

If I had to estimate I would say that the troll category is small, the forget category about half and the running away category substantial.
I will focus on the running away category. Is there a solution to this problem?
I don’t see a clear solution yet, but here are some suggestions:

  • invent a form of compensation to make it more even and fair for both parties
  • divide ASTs in rank groups: separate ASTs for dans, 1-10 k, 11-20 k and 20+ k.
  • create (if it doesn’t already exist) a form of matching that provides players with more or less equal strength opponents.
  • … (your suggestion)

How practical these suggestions are I don’t know, but I hope that we can constructively
try to solve this problem.
Burning down ideas without a constructive addition to the discussion is not okay.

I’ve found the AST’s to not be great at telling you your game has started to be fair. I’ll need to play another one to remember what I mean precisely, but something like it doesn’t bring you from the sign up page to your game or the tournament page immediately, so if you don’t see the game counter going up you won’t see you’ve a game started.

This is also true for rounds in the tournament. I might be chatting to @Atorrante after a game, and looking over the katago review unaware that the next set of games has started because it just starts when every other game is finished, which is a really vague time.

It might be a bit harsh is all I mean. That said there’s probably an hour between ASTs? So would you ban them from the next few or just for a day or two from signing up for them?

Yes, I had problems with that as well.
That’s why I suggested banning (if applicable) on ASTs only.

I think the time window is 4 hours, and the “certain amount of time” I had in mind was more a couple of days, not months. :slight_smile:

1 Like

Other way is to be a bit more forceful when game start, with it popping up on top of whatever else you do (on OGS)

One option could be to only apply it to annulled games.

There’s a small subset of people that “legitimately” timeout because the game suddenly got complicated and they didn’t have enough time to process it (I’ve done that a good bit, I had a game where a double ko appeared in the corner I thought I could kill, but it was just alive. I then had to accept that and look for big endgame on the board with 30s and went to place a move a second too late :stuck_out_tongue: ). That is, if you accept that not having good enough time management is a legitimate reason to time-out, then it might be a tad harsh to temp ban people who timeout after a reasonable number of moves into the game.

It might not be too harsh in any case though, if ASTs had new clear instructions telling people that they’ll be temporarily unable to sign up if they timeout, then it’s not so different from being dropped from the site ladder for timeout.

I think there will still be people who have the tournament window open in another tab, so even redirecting that to the game might not help. But as you’re saying if it popped up in all OGS tabs somehow, not just as hidden notification or a small increment to a move number counter.

Oh wait, I thought we were talking about people who just start the game and wait until they timeout.

For me, after a certain amount of moves, it is absolutely legitimate to time out while thinking and I don’t see why that would be a problem.

(FWIW, I do not consider it “bad time management”, because how fast someone can estimate/ “read” the board has to do with player skill and rank, as far as Go goes, and many other personal factors that are probably not within the scope of us to judge :slight_smile: .)

1 Like

I think it wasn’t clear to me if they play no move and timeout or if they play a handful of moves and then stop, say enough that the game won’t be count as annulled.

I wasn’t sure how early, an early move was :slight_smile:

If it is a form of trolling, just temp banning people with annulled games doesn’t seem like it’s hard to avoid. Just play 2+ moves rather than no moves and you don’t get the ban and can continue trolling :slight_smile:

1 Like

Use Canadian time or Fisher time. Solved definitely the problem


Discourteous people are a problem, but that doesn’t mean that “something has to be done” about it.
Someone who lets their timer run down will lose on time. Yes, it’s inconvenient, a nuisance, they shouldn’t do that, etc but hey - life has its little irritations. A solution might cause more inconvenience than the problem.
At least it’s better than KGS where your opponent can just abandon a hopeless game and you don’t even get credited with a win.

1 Like

A solution that causes more inconvenience than the problem itself is hardly something that I would call a solution. :grin:

In a typical live tournament I will win at least one game by timeout. But I have the impression that it’s mostly because beginners don’t know how to find their games and start playing. Here are some of the issues I see:

  • The tournament often doesn’t start at the end of the countdown, but a minute or two later, with no explanation for the delay.
  • The tournament page doesn’t update when it starts (I think) or when it gets canceled, so you have to reload to see the status.
  • Finding your game requires clicking an obscure icon on the tournament page.
  • There’s some kind of bug in submitting the first move. Often it’s not actually sent to the server even though it appears in the UI that it was sent, and you see your opponent’s clock count down until you get a surprise timeout. See the chat in this game for an example in which the move numbers are obviously messed up!
  • After the conclusion of a game, you have to navigate back to the tournament page somehow, monitor it, reload if the UI gets messed up, then click an obscure icon again to find your next game.
  • There’s no indication of whether you can expect another game in the tournament or not, especially for Swiss tournaments in which the number of rounds is unclear.

Here’s a suggestion: the trophy icon could stay visible in the top bar when you’re in a live tournament, and clicking it would bring up a pop-up with a summary of the tournament status, something like “Live Swiss tournament underway / round 2 of 3 / your [opponent’s] move (link to game)”. Something like this should be at the top of the tournament page, too.

In my opinion the active move indicator hurts more than it helps, since it takes you to unrelated correspondence games and doesn’t show any indication that you’re in a live game when it’s not your turn. Perhaps it could also switch into some other mode when you have a live game in progress.


Yes, all this. I was going to try and chip in with my tuppenny’s worth but since I only tried one of these ASTs once I wasn’t sure it was relevant. But this was basically my experience. Very stressful to try and follow the instructions I saw “you must be on this page” and also find the game that had started, which seemed to need me to navigate away from the page I’d been told to stay on.


I just want to note what the specific problem is that was raised to me.

It was not in fact that “people let games time out”. That’s a general problem, and the solution is “report these people and we will take care of them”.

The specific problem is that in AST’s, a person can join then fail to show up for their game, which causes their opponent to bail. Either disconnect or resign in disgust.

And THIS causes the problem person to proceed to the next round.

In the absence of a TD to disqualify, this no-show person proceeds, messing up the tourney…


If you can play many games a day everyday I would say let the opponent timeout and go on with your life.
If like me you only have time to play a few games here and there a week, then your play time or study time can litterally be ruined by people “forgetting” about a tournament they joined.

If I start another game when I see that my tournament opponent is not here, there’s still the risk of playing 2 live games at the same time if he comes back.

Do I have to not play GO just so that 1 person is disqualified? No. This is not my job. I’m here to play, not to serve as a human patch for a faulty system.

Thus resigning is the fastest route to finally playing one game for the day.

You can blame people who resign if you want. This is the expected behaviour.
We are not weak victims or easy to irritate (your comment does irritate me though), we are here to play.

This is not 1 occurence every now and then. It happens in every single 19x19 live tournament. At least 2 player “forget” to play in the tournament. In a live tournament this means: 10 minutes + 3*30 sec to wait, multiplied by the number of player who didn’t show up.

I’ve been in tournaments with 8 people registered and only 3 people actually playing. I have in mind a tournament where somebody who was absent reached second place and got a trophy.

I love that there is a live tournament feature on OGS. Sadly the number of people who register is too low and when there are enough people the issue above occurs every single time.
I’m not playing in tournaments anymore because of that although I love the feature.

There’s either a way to make the experience better or no solution at all. In which case we can save server resources and have a rengo feature replacing the tournaments for example :slight_smile:

1 Like

If you resign, the other person wins.
We can’t control other people.
Sometimes things don’t go our way.

Facts of life. :woman_shrugging:

It is the fastest route, but also ruins the tournament. If you want to play one game only, why join the tournament in the first place? In my experience tournaments generally involve quite a bit of just waiting around for the next round / opponent, thus if it’s about playing a lot of games fast, I don’t think the tournament system is really appropriate anyways.


Okay, I had time to play 2 or 3 games with 10mn settings. Can we come back to the issue or do we continue to be off topic and targetting people personally?