What to do if opponent won't play even first move or doesn't react?


It happend to me already a few times that one of two situations arises:

  1. I am black and do my first move and the opponent won’t react
  2. My opponent stops playing in the middle of the game

It seems like in both cases I only can cancel the game or resign - which I guess impairs my rating.

Is there a propper way to finish the game?

Is there maybe a setting that requires a move to be made within 30 secs f.x.? There is “time per period” but that seems to be something else.

Kind regards


We try our best to realize when someone has left because they intended to abandon the game and cancel the game however… in some cases we can’t tell and you will just need to let your opponent time out or seek out a moderator’s help.

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wouldn’t it be possible then to just start a lot of games - do one move - then leave. most will eventually cancel/resign and the win is credited to the impostor… ?

“Canceled” games are annulled, which means that they will not affect ratings or win/loss records. Thus, canceling is very different than resigning.

For NxN boards, the game can be canceled by either player up to move number N. For example, on the 19x19 board, either player can cancel by move 19. On the 9x9 boards, up to move 9. Also, any game that times out before move N is also annulled.

Thus, players leaving very early in a game do not accomplish anything toward changing their rating or record, however this type of behavior is still quite annoying.

If someone leaves in the middle of a game, however, I think the only recourse is to wait it out (and win by time out) or ask a moderator for help. It’s quite bad etiquette for players to abandon ongoing games, but it’s essentially just an annoying way to resign.

I think the website now has some code that will force a player to resign earlier if they just willfully close the game window. Thus, some disappearances may be due to connection issues rather than malice. Others might just be leaving the window open and ignoring it, presumably to annoy their opponent. I would not resign against a player that abandons a game, since that would only reward their disruptive behavior.

The website also has different time control options. The type of system that you described is provided by the “Simple” time system, where players only given a fixed amount of time per move. All of the other time systems, which are generally more popular, involve some sort bulk time bank and/or time accumulation. While the “simple” time system limits how long a player can spend on any move, this is perhaps seen more as a drawback rather than a feature by many who prefer having the flexibility to budget more time to think about some key moves. However, with any time system, you could adjust the parameters to result in faster games and shorter periods to wait before a potential time out.