Where are the rules for ladders?

Someone pointed to this page the Internet archive: https://web.archive.org/web/20130219061713/http://online-go.com/faq.php?name=ladder
Where can I find an up to date version of the rules?


So this is fairly close to what they are currently regarding who you can and can’t challenge. Unfortunately we haven’t (yet) been able to give a full writeup on the ladders.

A few changes from then:

  • Max time is now 3 days
  • If you timeout in a ladder game you are dropped from the ladder
  • You must not be a provisional player to join the ladder
  • If you resign from a ladder you will resign all of the games you are playing in that ladder

I just noticed that the help page (referenced above) still says:

Withdrawing from a ladder will not automatically resign you from any games you are playing in the ladder. If a person you were playing withdraws from the ladder then the game becomes a normal game and will not count towards ladder position.

It probably needs some updating :slight_smile:

This still needs revising in particular the results of a win does what to your ladder position and likewise a loss does what.

Works like any ladder - if the challenger (player in the lower position on the ladder) wins, they are advanced to the spot in front of the person they challenged. If the challenger loses, nothing happens.

Say the original challenger (Game A) moves higher due to another game finishing (Game B), but then loses Game A.

Would the Game A player being challenged move up ahead of the challenger?

Exactly the problem. An ladders I have participated in do not allow more than one challenge at a time. This goes against the way the OGS ladders are constructed.
Consider 3 players A, B and C
Starting position: A is at position 25, B at position 30 and C at 35. Their Go rankings are irrelevant.
B challenges A and at the same time C challenges B.
B beats A and then C beats B
what should the resulting positions be - should B having beaten A be promoted to position 25 and C having beaten B then be promoted to position 25 just ahead of B and ahead of A.?
Now if the rules say that you cannot challenge a player more than 10 positions above you C should not have been allowed to challenge A.
OR should B be at position 25 with A just below him at 26 while C should be at position 30?
This needs clarification.

Position updates are calculated at the end of the game. So yes, it is possible to jump farther ahead than you would ordinarily have been able to in a single game if your opponent also jumped ahead while playing.

So, in your instance, B moves up to 25 upon completion of their game with A and A drops to 26. Once C finishes beating B, C will move to 25, B will drop to 26, and A will drop to 27.

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Every time this topic pops to the top, I think “Oh, is there some rule about ladders, like Ko, that I don’t know about!?” :smiley:


So according to you the timing of the wins is significant.
If the game between C and B finishes with win for C before the game between B and A with win for B finishes, the positions would be
B moves up to 25 A moves down to 26 and C moves up to 30.
if the game between B and A with a win for B finishes first the result is as you stated
B moves up to 25 A moves down to 26 and C move up to 25.

This could lead to what I have observed players delaying a win until their opponent finishes a game where if they win they will go up to the position above that of the winner.

Is this fair?

I’m gonna be brutally honest, I think you’re dead wrong about people deliberately delaying wins. Correspondence games take crazy long - what you’re seeing is super normal irrespective of the correspondence game being part of a ladder, tournament, or just a standard game. On top of that, the effort of looking at an opponents ongoing ladder games and judging advantage is way more effort than the majority of players here are likely to go through.

The argument could be made that there’s a very small, non-deterministic opportunity for slightly gaming the system, but the impact is so small, it’s not really something I’d worry about. I’m perfectly happy with the system the way it is, and feel that it makes sense. If a 1dan joins a ladder and starts some games as far up as they can go, and subsequently someone challenges them, then if the second user beats the 1dan after the 1dan advances, it makes sense that they would follow them up, because they beat someone that high on the ladder.

The “you can only challenge someone x positions above you” rule is to prevent the people at the top from getting tons of frivolous challenges from the bottom, not for some weird gaming the system problem.

So, yes, I think it’s 100% fair. Bear in mind my opinion is in no way official and I have no relationship with OGS - I’m just a regular user like you.


I don’t want to open a special thread for my question, it’s about ladders rules but quite different of what has been discussed before. I recently joined the 19x19 ladder, and was looking today at the players below me on the ladder. I noticed a 1k player who joined a few days ago and had nevertheless ongoing challenges by players ranked very high in the ladder. Looking at his profile he was dropped from the ladder and re-joined it.
He was ranked #80 before being dropped, and is now #976
But the games he was playing before being dropped are still on his list of challenges. But what happens in this case if the challenger wins? One of his challenger is #106, for example.

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They take the spot of #106 if they win, after that the person who just got beat becomes #107. I believe this is how it works anyway.

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Not sure I understand. I mean what happens if #106 wins over #976 (which was #80 before timing out) ?

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Nothing since it takes the current rank into consideration not what the rank was when it started


Sorry, I’m slowly trying to figure those rules in action.
So, what is taken into consideration is the rank of the players at the end of the game? If for example A challenges B when A is, say, #200 and B is #180, but before the end of this game A has won over C who was #160, then A is now #160 and wins over B, nothing happens, OK. But if B (supposing he’s still #180) wins over A, does B take the rank of A, even if A was the challenger to begin with?

The answer is yes. There is really just one rule:

When the game is over, if the winner is ranked lower than the loser, the winner moves up to take the loser’s rank.
The loser and the contestants that follow behind him are displaced by one slot.


Good summary.

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That’s crystal clear, @Animiral :smiley:
So it’s totally independent of the original challenger/challenged roles.

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