Weekend pause, Slow tournaments & Vacation

Quite simply, I am wondering where the notion of ‘Weekend pause’ comes from. As a leisure activity; I would expect most people to have more time for Go on the weekends.
I find ‘weekend pause’ particularly absurd in a tournament where the fischer clock goes up to 5 days or more. Surely that is enough time for people to choose for themselves when they will play.
Even in tournaments with a shorter maximum clock (typically three days). The ‘weekend pause’ option effectively disadvantages those who work Mon-Fri by requiring them to play most of their moves on work days and limiting their ability to play on the weekend because their opponent is under no time pressure to respond.
So my observation is that the ‘weekend pause’ option in OGS scheduled tournaments effectively discriminates against people based on when they like to play (I have no problem with it’s use in custom tournaments of course.) and my suggestion is simply to scrap it from scheduled tournaments, designed to be as widely appealing as possible.

Which brings me to the topic of Slow Tournaments & Vacation. I feel that the appeal of correspondence tournaments could be increased without reducing their playability; Firstly by scrapping weekend pauses and secondly by tackling the problem of vacation.
I am not advocating the scrapping of vacation as I regard it as an important mental health issue to be able to take a break without the added pressure of forfeiting games en masse. That said; my experience of vacation is that it is mostly used by people who commit to too many games while they play catch up (It also seems to be used as an integral part of the strategy at the top of site ladders). Particularly in tournaments with multiple rounds such as double-elimination or McMahon, the use of vacation in each round by different people dramatically if not catastrophically slows such a tournament to a crawl. (Tip: Round robin tournaments are better in this respect.)
So my suggestion here is to halve vacation entitlements across the board to reduce their abuse and impact on tournaments while maintaining a necessary facility and perhaps those who have recently timed-out of a game should be prevented from joining new tournaments while they still have a large number of games on the go.

The last issue I wish to raise around the topic of Slow Tournaments is the use of pause. In a casual game there is no problem with pause because either player may resume it but in a multi-round tournament, others are kept waiting with no say or capacity to object to the use of pause. I suggest the use of ‘pause’ should be disabled or severely limited in tournaments and possibly ladders as well.

I don’t expect everyone to agree with everything I’ve said but I think there is a lot of room for ideas and improvements on these issues and I look forward to learning what others think.


I agree with basically everything that you said, I don’t participate in correspondence tournaments for the sole reason that they take too long, same thing with the ladder.
I just want to add my opinions to this post:

  1. Weekend Pause: I have always wondered why this is, and it seems fairly ridiculous, I understand that people have family and want to do things with them on weekends, but the amount of time you have left over from your weekend should be around the same time you have left on a weekday. Maybe weekend camping trips are the reason for this? But that seems to be a small thing compared to people working and going to school.
  2. Vacation: I don’t really know about this one. While vacation is really annoying in tournaments, it is also necessary, bringing us to the problem of the optimal amount of vacation time to get a balance between the two arguments. I think maybe vacation can only be used a certain amount of time while you are playing in a tournament, so that people still get there full vacation time, but don’t get to use it as much when you are in a tournament. I don’t know the number of days that this should be, but maybe like 1/3 of what we get already.
  3. Pause should only be able to be used once per game, not 5 times. I have never used pause more then once in a game, and since both players would get one pause, I think it should be enough. Also, you could set the maximum amount of time that you pause to a certain number of days, so that you couldn’t pause for long periods of time.
    Anyways, those are just my opinions, it would be great to hear from more people.

There is a really slow player in the only correspondence tournament I join. We finally made it to the last round and I finished those games but… it’s still taken forever.


Well, I am one person who rather frequently goes on weekend camping and hiking/backpacking trips with my wife. These trips very often actually last three days and I am without internet during this time (and do not desire any distractions from it either :evergreen_tree::herb:). For this reason I find the weekend pause very good.

And regarding the vacation time: not everyone is restricted in vacation time as people in some countries are where total yearly vacation time is limited to maybe one or two weeks. I happen to be one of these more fortunate people and am on vacation (usually without any internet access – and happy to be without it :sunglasses:) for at least four weeks and sometimes six weeks each year. So my preference would actually be for more vacation time!

Just recently I was very worried about a ladder game I was playing that was clearly going to end soon and I was most likely going to win – worried because my long-planned backpacking trip was also about to begin but its length exceeded my available vacation time by about a week (as I recall). In this case I was fortunate to win the game only about a day or two before leaving on the trip … :sweat_smile:

– Musash1


The irony is that if you could rely on correspondence tournaments finishing more predictably in a reasonable time, you could choose to join them knowing you will be finished before your vacation, and thus not need vacation from the tournament.

That would be a win-win I think. IE the solution is to make correspondence tournaments finish more predictably in a reasonable time, then only join ones that you know you will be able to complete.


Firstly, let me apologise to everyone who are annoyed my slow playing, because i’m one of those players who tend to take full advantage on both vacation and weekend pauses. I very well understand that sometimes tournaments tend to drag longer than some ppl like due players like me, but thanks to those pauses i am able to join correspondence tournaments and play go like i wish to. Without flexible timeuse i would just timeout in my games and i don’t think that would fun for anyone.

Well i don’t work currently, but i study from mon-fri, and for me weekends are only occasions when i can leave home, get away from internet and unwind for a day or two. Of course i also spend some of my weekends at home (like now ^_^) but that doesn’t mean i would want to spend every single weekend by staying home. Without weekend pauses i would just put myself on vacation mode for weekends, and the result would be the same.

Maybe, but those weekend pauses also effectively make it possible for other people to join and enjoy playing on correspondence tournaments. Scrapping weekend pauses would make those really fun and enjoyable sitewide tournaments less appealing for me. :c

Personally i think we should have weekendpauses on laddergames too :3

Not that my motives matter, and everyone has their own motives, but… I usually put myself on vacation for 2 reasons: i’m either going away from home for few days, or i’m mentally too exhausted that i don’t have energy to think about moves in 60 ongoing games, so i put myself on vacation.

I actually think it’s more polite toward my opponents to pause the game for few days, instead just letting the clock run till i lose on timeout.

I agree, all correspondence tournaments would get faster if ppl wouldn’t use vacation, but on the otherhand it would make a lot more games end in timeout.

This is totally matter of ones personal taste, but i think it’s more important to provide tourney participiants good games that are played till the end, even if those games last 6-12 months, than it is to get the actual winner for that tournament resolved by ton of timeouts.
I very well acknowledge that there are people who think it’s more important to get those tournamets to the end and grant trophies for winners, but like i said, i think that’s a matter of personal preferences.

Hehe, i’m a site supporter in order to get double the vacation increment, but i’m still constantly low on my vacation time xD
Protip: you can always get rid of that ‘recently timed out’ by simply resigning one correspondence game. If you have tens or hundreds of those games going on, it’s not hard to pick one that is pretty much resignable ^^

To be honest i don’t remember ever having a situation where my opponent paused an corr. tournament game, and i’ve been playing a lot of those here in last few years. Maybe none of my opponents have had the need because i’m such a slow player xD

But like you said, pauses can be resumed by both players, so you can always send message to both players and ask them politely to resume the game. Also tournament director and moderators have the option to end the game if the pause keeps tournament from going to next round.

disclaimer: these were just my personal options as a player who enjoys more having multiple ongoing games than i care about finding the tournament winner or getting trophies to my profilepage. I have >40 tournaments and >10 ladders listed on my profile, and for most of my games i have no idea on what tourney/ldr they belong to, so i am not deliberately delaying tournemetns, i’m just trying to enjoy playing correspondence games while avoiding losing by timeout.


This seems to point out that we need two types of tournies, because otherwise one of the two groups loses out bigtime.

What would be more polite is not to sign up for games that you can’t keep up with.

Honestly, I think that signing up particular time setting knowing that you are going to pause and vacation the game is really objectionable. It is counter to the spirit of the game you signed up for. It basically says “I don’t care what the time setting are, because I can avoid them anyhow”.

In that case, why have time settings at all? Why not just call it what it is: the “you can play as slow as you like” tournament.

Rather than doing that, people who need more time should organise/join tournaments that give them more time.


That’s not a “protip”. That is basically gaming the system. People who do this are a timer-outerers who are cheating the system by just resigning somewhere to get rid of the warning to other people that they are a timer-outer. You should not do that. And the system should not let you.


Hmm, not really. Correspondence timeout flag benefits the player that timed out, not any of his/her opponents. :slight_smile:

Well since i am still playing in some tournaments that started in 2014 and are not even close to finishing, i know that those correspondence tournaments can take way over 3 years. And i also know that i will have something that requires me to get away from home for few days in next 3 years, i should not take part in tournaments before i’ve cleared my calendar for next 3 years?

ummm… Why you call that cheating? Having a T is a safety measure preventing players rank from dropping by consecutive timeouts, it comes really handy if you get hospitalized or something. It’s for the benefit for the player himself, and it have no effect on any of his opponents.

This is the point Kosh was making, probably you committed to too many games. If instead of 60 year-long games you chose to play 20 4-month games, you would have played the same amount of games by the end of the year and wasted less of other people’s time.

I joined OGS in 2016 and registered for a couple title tournaments. I got tired of those never ending rounds, and I am not signing up anymore.

I understand that people have their motivations on both sides. To me, the bottom line is that if it takes 3 years to complete a tournament, there must be something wrong with the system.


I see that I have misunderstood the purpose of the timeout flag.

I also find myself in the minority in my opinion about whether timing out is OK.

Personally, I find it not to be OK, and have presented the arguments why that is the case.

I thought that the timeout flag was a warning to other players that the person is a person who does that.

However what I have come to understand is that in OGS people think that timing out is fine and the time settings for games are merely guidelines, with features designed specifically to make it easier for people who time out.

I will adjust my expectations accordingly.


… this being exactly the problem (as I see it).

Right now the system is stacked in favour of people who want to take their time. What I thought was a tool to help prevent this is actually a tool to help it

In this environment, the issues that Kosh raised are inevitable.


the settings should allow for tournaments without vacation. games in these tournaments would be protected from being paused should a player still use vacation mode.
additionally we need tournaments to move on as soon as only dqed players are holding them up.


I do NOT. Timing out is for cowards who cannot bear defeat like men. Those shall never reach the halls of Valhala!


I almost exclusively play correspondence games. I find the very very slow pace of tournament frustrating. However, for every game where the play pauses and goes on vacation prolonging the game to what feels like indefinitely, there are 3 or 4 games that are done within a week.

The current system seems fair to the majority, and the are Fast Correspondence Tournament that come up semi-regularly.

A suggester solution would be to offer sitewide tournaments at two different speeds, one at the current setting and one at 1d+12hrs as the fast tournaments do


Please, please, let’s keep the terminology distinct. What you and @GreenAsJade are talking about is “escaping,” which incidentally involves timing out, but large numbers of people timeout simply because they run out of thinking time for one reason or another. Haylee (3p) has timed out twice in her Live Go series because once she got distracted and thought it was her opponent’s move, and once due to a misclick at the end of the countdown.


Yes. In Live games there is absolutely no issue with timing out - it is part of the game.

Correspondingly, in Live games there are no silly provisions that allow you to time out and not have the game scored. You can’t escape a Live game by timeout.

My argument is that you should not be able to escape a correspondence game by timeout either.


Yes, I agree. Escaping is always bad. The new rule (see New Anti Escaper Feature?) will minimize the time that it wastes in Live games.

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Firstly; thankyou to all those who have taken the time to offer a considered response to my original post. It is both pleasant and reassuring to be agreed with. I am not alone in my opinions :alien:. I am also grateful to have received well considered contrary views which broaden my understanding of the issues and hopefully allow me to adopt a more considered position :thinking:.

This seems like a good place to start my reprise post because I totally agree with @_KoBa on this. The journey itself is the goal. A well matched, well played game of Go at any level is a thing of beauty to be cherished.

For me, the ranking system, tournaments and ladders are all tools that improve the chances of experiencing Go at it’s best.

However; I am far from convinced that excessively generous auxiliary arrangements like weekend pause & vacation help to achieve this goal. @HowToPlay gave us a good example:

This typically slow tournament, which included ‘weekend pause’ even though the blurb doesn’t say so, lasted almost 3 years. Of the original 37 entrants, 27 have been disqualified (presumably for timing-out) and 4 resigned leaving only 6 or 16% to see it through. I contend that it is the generous arrangements themselves that have contributed to time-outs by turning the tournament into a trial of endurance. Not only are games delayed in a variety of ways but a tournament like this has people starting a new round of games when they may not be expecting it, further increasing the chances of time-outs.

I am not surprised to learn that there are those who appreciate and take full advantage of ‘weekend pause’. If such an arrangement existed for the days I would like off, I would sing it’s praises too. Instead I have to manage my time around a fischer clock that is effectively running only five days a week. Giving me three days to prepare for the two days I might need off. This inevitably leads to my playing poor moves under time pressure that my opponent is exempt from. I wish only to play on equal terms and no-one has refuted my claim that it should be possible to make ones weekend arrangements using a 5 or 7 day fischer clock without receiving a special dispensation every week.
However; I now realise that the biggest problem with ‘weekend pause’ is that it is already in place and people are used to it. At some point in the past a decision has been made to target the automatic site-wide tournaments (and therefor the site as a whole) at weekday players. I have no idea if that was a wise choice or merely the incidental preference of one key person. Therefor I am no longer calling for the scrapping of ‘weekend pause’ even though I detest it. I am loath to discourage anyone who is enthusiastic about Go from playing in the way they most enjoy and I would not risk the harm a significant change to the status-quo might cause to OGS. I think the best I can hope for is better arrangements for weekend-focused players in the future and I ask those who enjoy weekend pause to at least have an appreciation of it’s inherent unfairness and the deleterious effect on the quality of play in some cases.

Now on to the subject of vacation. Well not surprisingly some want more and some want less. I’ll start by saying that @_KoBa and others have my unqualified support to use all functions of the site to enhance their experience of OGS. The only individuals I have a quarrel with are those who seek to wilfully obstruct the site’s operation. The fact is that vacation and weekend pause and even in-game pause are all part of the time controls of various games. So I completely disagree with @GreenAsJade when he states:

These functions form part of the time-settings in question. However; I entirely sympathise with his following sentiments:

Without criticising the playing style of any individual players, the question for me is; do these features (and specifically vacation) enhance or detract from the site as a whole? I stand by my original position that ‘vacation’ is an important feature to have available so I can only agree with

for custom tournaments. Not Auto site-wide ones.

What is vacation intended for? I still feel that vacation can achieve most of its good and less harm with a smaller limit and recharge rate but if it is intended to be used by those who want one-sided convenience or who over-commit then the question becomes: How much vacation is enough for those addicted to its use?
The only useful suggestions I can make in this regard are that tournaments that intend to finish are better off being created with a small number of rounds so that the effect of vacation is not as cumulative. I would also ask anyone who wishes to leave a tournament to try and finish existing games where possible and then use the ‘Resign from tournament’ function before the next round starts rather than just letting yourself time-out.
When it comes to regularly scheduled correspondence tournaments, perhaps it would be a good idea to exclude people on vacation when the tournament starts in the same way that you have to be available at the start of a live tournament. If you are on vacation and the same type of tournament will start again in a week, you don’t need to join this one.

The last issue I raised around Slow Tournaments was that of ‘In-game pause’. This function is ripe to be abused by anyone wishing to disrupt the site or seek advantage in a tournament through delay. I think @MrCplaysgo had it right when he suggested limiting the amount of pause available in tournament games.
In wondering when my next tournament game might commence, I have found an instance of a player simply pausing all his games (in many tournaments) and then continuing with only those that were unpaused by his opponent. Another example of an over-committed player playing catch-up.
I would also suggest ‘No in-game pause’ as a worthwhile option in custom tournaments.

‘There is too much, let me sum up.’ (Princess Bride Quote. If you haven’t seen it, watch it with the whole family.):
There are multiple site-functions collectively undermining the integrity of regularly scheduled tournaments to point that the only purpose they serve is as a convenient way to sign up to more games en masse for those players who play ‘en masse’ over an indefinite period.

Postscript: Other threads have discussed the way Go influences our lives and thinking. I have mentioned there how Go encourages the balancing and prioritising of multiple issues. However; perhaps we should also be aware that as a two player game where ‘Their loss is your gain’, Go can promote an overly combative attitude. Real life is different and often ‘Their loss is everyone’s loss’.