Absolute time system works in chess because in chess the winning player can end the game by delivering checkmate, but in Go there’s almost no limit to how long one can stall in a losing position, making the absolute timer system extremely dangerous. I’ve twice now seen complaints on the OGS chat/forums about players who abuse this timer system by player faster than their opponent, getting themselves into a losing position, and then just wasting time making pointless moves until their opponent loses by time. I suggest to just remove absolute timer as an option so that we don’t have any more problems with trolls.
No-one is forced to accept an game under absolute time. If somebody doesn’t check the time settings then the fault lies with them. You wouldn’t complain about being “tricked” into a blitz game, right? That said, I have the utmost contempt for people who use the absolute time setting to cheat, and provable stalling (ie. playing inside one’s own territory) should be taken as evidence for moderator action.
Absolute time is garbage when someone decides to play nonsense at the end, yes.
But if you have 30m until you need to leave so you can catch your train and you want to kill 20 minutes, playing a match with 10m absolute time is entirely warranted.
I’m pretty sure I played one game with absolute time simply because I knew I had exactly that much time available to play a game.
A good compromise would be to simply restrict its use to unranked games. Ranked games should have a minimum byo-yomi or fischer increment.
When I start playing live (currently only correspondence), my preferred time control would be an absolute 45 minutes per player with no increments or byomi, simply because that is the most common time control for Go tournaments in Singapore.
That seems quite reasonable. Remove a major impetus to cheating without eliminating the genuine functionality.
As people have pointed out, there are legitimate uses that I didn’t consider. I just want to make one point: there are two ways it can be bad to have it as an option even if it isn’t forced. One is simply that it clutters the menu with an option new people have to read and find out what it is if they don’t already know. The other is that someone who doesn’t realize the abuse potential might accept a game and get trolled. For these reasons, I still think restricting it to unranked would be an improvement.
I flatly disagree that absolute should be restricted to unranked because you can think of suboptimal edge cases.
I just played a 19x19 live ranked game with absolute time because my opponent and I were on our lunch breaks and had one hour in which to play. This is super legitimate.
I really do not see it as a reason to restrict it either. I know the downside of it, but it’s not like byo-yomi is unabusable either… We should not have to limit our options just because of a select few, who make the experience less enjoyable… and having absolute unranked only might only serve to confuse many users as well.
Glad to here from @AdamR because one of my reasons for suggesting absolute-time be restricted to unranked was to reduce the call on Mods. If he sees no problem with it, that’s good enough for me.
Well, absolute time system is the default in real life go tournament in Japan, cause they have to play certain number of games, like five games in a day. We see lots of games decided by timeouts even if the defeated were winning.
I guess we just have to learn to manage time in such games, and especially learn to play within one second without making serious mistakes during endgame.
Absolute timing is also used in some EGC sidetournaments.
I agree that absolute timing is pretty awful when playing go (i hate it myself too), but it still is somewhat widely used timing system in go. It would just be weird to remove it from OGS and limit the options one can choose when creating a new game.
(i think it’s wide variety of customization for games, that makes OGS the best go server around ^__^)
In British tournaments we have progressive byo-yomi (10 stones / 5 mins, then 20, then 30… and so on for ever) so in practicality I consider that absolute time.