Through the Years: Long Correspondence

Hello! Allow me to introduce the tournament I’ve been working on for more than a month:

As the description says:

The purpose of the tournament is playing long correspondence games that would allow us to bond with each other over the span of many years

The idea is to unite all participants through this tournament for a long time.

In accordance with that the time settings are appropriately long: 4 weeks + 1 week per move up to 4 weeks max (with pauses on weekends). And the number of rounds is 12, maximum possible.

The tournament originated from the “neverending” topic in general. I quite liked the idea of these long games persevering through time. And specifically this post:

Well, here we are.

The tournament is scheduled to start in a month. Currently I’m trying to get as many people as possible on board with the idea. If you’re interested, get in!

This forum thread will also serve as a discussion place, perhaps. After all, the tournament chat erases everything once in a while.


Wonderfull Idea !
I like the idea that a game might take a year to complete, that you can chat with your opponent, make relationship. I awakes my ideal of old intelectuals in asian, noting their moves and sending them by letters to their opponent, waiting weeks to receive the opponent’s one. (I don’t even know if it was a thing, but i’m pretty sure it happenned).
So let’s do this. Thanks for your time and energy, making this happen.


Or more. Just sayin’. :blush:


No. It must take exactly 1 year. Any more is a disgrace :upside_down_face:


Neat idea!

I’ve also signed up for the fast correspondence tournament organized by @Kosh


OMG! :smiley:

I don’t even want to think about it.

And there’s a multitude of subscribers!
Have fun, y’all!

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So, let’s take a look. I am playing a standard correspondance monthly tournament (3 days + 1 day/move). The first round has exceeded 3 months, and we still have 20 games going. So a round is about 4 months.

Here we have one week/move. On the one hand, I think most people will play this like normal correspondence. On the other hand, the tournament is so large that some people are bound to take it slow. So one year per round seems like a reasonable expectation (the rounds should get faster as people get disqualified).

I’m wondering how long I’ll spend playing and how long I’ll wait for my next game. I’m not a very patient guy, especially when OGS tells me I have a move to play.


A few days ago we got a little bit of promotion in Facebook go group. Amazing how many people use facebook.

If you look at the tournament chat we’ve got more people there than in English channel:


“Frankly insane” sounds legit. :joy:

I am tempted.
Go itself could fall before this tournament ends.
No, wait, with this tournament going Go would be alive too… the last survivors of Go? :joy:


Most do, but some have too many games going on. They have most games with clocks < 2 days and playing moves in the games with the lowest remaining time.

For each correspondence tournament, you can expect at least one player to play at minimum speed.


Can we agree that there will be no pressure to ‘not hold up’ this tournament, regardless of how slow you play for whatever reason? (Well, maybe apart from deliberately holding it up, I would consider that - and only that - bad style even here.)


So, with about 300 moves for a complete games, each round will take approximately 5 to 6 years. 12 rounds, says we’ll be done in 60 to 80 years.


The only reason I signed up is because I expect to gain at least 1 kyu during a tournament.


I think it’s worth repeating that the stated goal of this tournament is to strengthen social ties between players. Will the atmosphere be noticeably different? It remains to be seen how many will embrace the objective and how many go on auto-pilot. And it could be a very long time indeed before anyone can reliably declare this experiment a success or failure.

I feel like we should all be wearing Fez hats and blazers, maybe perform a virtual secret handshake. But that might be somewhat extreme.


Do you think we’ll have actual handshakes back before this tournament is over?.. :thinking:


I’m going to say it’s a fifty-fifty shot. But then, maybe HazMat suits will be everyday wear by then.


My estimate is that roughly 50% of the players will drop out every 2 rounds. That would leave a fraction of 1/64 of the players at the end of the last round. Currently there are 1279 players signed up, so there still might be 2 groups in round 12!


There’s no point to try and come up with a “success” condition for this tournament. Enjoy whatever happens with the tournament. The stated objective is only one path of many players can choose to follow.


Sounds like Go wisdom. I’m sure I’ve been told to have a plan and have the plan be flexible as the game unfolds…


This tournament reminds me of a Long Now project, intended to provoke long-term thought and considerations.

Even though some might finish their games at a regular correspondence speed, there are bound to be those that play slower and I think that each round would most likely take years. I think we will see a very high attrition rate from people losing interest, and with the potential for this to take decades, losing some players is an actuarial inevitability. The experience of this tournament might be quite weird for some. They might be able to finish their games for a round relatively quickly, but then wait years for the next round to start. It would be easy to forget about one’s commitment to the tournament in the meantime.

Some compared the timeframe to what might change in society over the course of the pandemic, however with the first round potentially lasting years, we may hopefully see a vaccine developed and widely deployed before the second round even starts.

This tournament will test not only the dedication of its participants, but also the longevity of this site. Some future team of developers, some that might not yet be born, may be challenged to deploy updates while not breaking this ancient tournament that relies on legacy code. If this does last decades, it will eventually have been around for the majority of OGS’s existence.

Our lives and society will profoundly change over the next few decades. On the personal level, there will be marriages and divorces, births and funerals, careers will start, end or completely change direction, and where we will go and how we will live our lives are unimaginable at this point.

At the societal level, of all the potential upheavals we may have to face, perhaps the greatest will be that we must address and mitigate the calamity of climate change, and possibly by the end of this tournament, we might celebrate that we rose to meet that challenge, or we may yearn for these better days where so much more could have been done.