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davos
PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2011 9:37    Post subject: Pass or continue? Reply with quote

On this site I regularly play absolute beginners, which can only be expected. So I'm regularly faced with the situation that the game is over, but my opponent does not realize this. This happens all the time in online go, but on turn-based sites like YTMT this is more of an issue IMHO.

I usually try to make it clear that the game is over by passing, but ofcourse my absolute beginner opponent does not understand what that means. I could try to explain that the game is over, but my opponent might not believe me and perhaps he would even think I am trying to trick him.

The final option is to go ahead and capture every dead stone until he is out of legal moves, but this could prolong the game for months.

What should I do?
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Zapmeister
PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2011 11:24    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi davos. Yes, I think this issue has been discussed here before. Its made worse by the fact that handicaps can't be used to level the playing field, since the rating system doesn't take them into account.

The only solution I've found is to keep my go games to a bearably small number on this site, which is really for people that want to dabble in a variety of games, I think.

If go is all you want to play, you can get all the games you want, against people that know what they're doing, at dedicated sites like www.dragongoserver.net (from memory). They also do handicaps properly and ratings are in the kyu/dan system more familiar to go players.
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davos
PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2011 11:40    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zapmeister wrote:
Hi davos. Yes, I think this issue has been discussed here before. Its made worse by the fact that handicaps can't be used to level the playing field, since the rating system doesn't take them into account.

The only solution I've found is to keep my go games to a bearably small number on this site, which is really for people that want to dabble in a variety of games, I think.

If go is all you want to play, you can get all the games you want, against people that know what they're doing, at dedicated sites like www.dragongoserver.net (from memory). They also do handicaps properly and ratings are in the kyu/dan system more familiar to go players.


Thank you for the advice.
IMHO a correct handicap system would not help to solve the issue of finished games dragging on indefinitely.

It seems like your solution is to avoid playing here. I am aware that I can play on other turn based sites, but I am curious if YTMT has some kind of policy on this issue or if there is some kind of agreement between players on how to deal with this.
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Zapmeister
PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2011 11:49    Post subject: Reply with quote

davos wrote:
IMHO a correct handicap system would not help to solve the issue of finished games dragging on indefinitely.


Oh, sure. I was not suggesting that correct handicaps would solve it, simply that incorrect handicaps makes it worse trying to play against opponents of widely differing strengths.

davos wrote:
It seems like your solution is to avoid playing here. I am aware that I can play on other turn based sites, but I am curious if YTMT has some kind of policy on this issue or if there is some kind of agreement between players on how to deal with this.


I've been here a good while, and I'm not aware of anything.
Got any suggestions for what we could do?
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davos
PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2011 12:28    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zapmeister wrote:
davos wrote:
IMHO a correct handicap system would not help to solve the issue of finished games dragging on indefinitely.


Oh, sure. I was not suggesting that correct handicaps would solve it, simply that incorrect handicaps makes it worse trying to play against opponents of widely differing strengths.

davos wrote:
It seems like your solution is to avoid playing here. I am aware that I can play on other turn based sites, but I am curious if YTMT has some kind of policy on this issue or if there is some kind of agreement between players on how to deal with this.


I've been here a good while, and I'm not aware of anything.
Got any suggestions for what we could do?


I can think of some things:

- When a player has passed, an automatic explanation of what it means could be stated above the board.

- On top of this, the default move could be to pass too to finish the game. This should also be clearly stated near this button. If you want to continue anyway, you would have to explicitly click a button to continue playing first. It should also be stated clearly near this button that you choose to disagree with your opponent. Perhaps with a link to the rules about ending a game.

- The go moderator might take a look at pass fights going on to adjudicate a game if appropriate. But I guess that this policy could be considered brutal and/or too time consuming for the moderator. Players might also resent it when their game is adjudicated.

But perhaps others can come up with more elegant solutions?
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bramOffline
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2011 10:05    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like your first suggestion... what kind of text do you want to show there then?
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davos
PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2011 20:19    Post subject: Reply with quote

bram wrote:
I like your first suggestion... what kind of text do you want to show there then?


Thank you for considering this. I'll have to think a bit about it. I have little time this evening, but tomorrow evening I will post a suggestion.
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davos
PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 22:14    Post subject: Reply with quote

How about:

Your opponent has passed. This usually means he thinks the game is ready to be scored, because he sees no move better than passing.
When both players pass on their consecutive turns, they agree to enter the scoring phase where both players mark dead stones to determine the score and finish the game. (See rules[link])


Perhaps this is too long? I'm open for suggestions for a better description.
Perhaps the rules should also explain how continueing to play could lose a point each time your opponent passes (or link to online sources explaining this?
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bramOffline
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2011 14:15    Post subject: Reply with quote

ok... any suggestions for the text in the rules?

davos wrote:
How about:

Your opponent has passed. This usually means he thinks the game is ready to be scored, because he sees no move better than passing.
When both players pass on their consecutive turns, they agree to enter the scoring phase where both players mark dead stones to determine the score and finish the game. (See rules[link])


Perhaps this is too long? I'm open for suggestions for a better description.
Perhaps the rules should also explain how continueing to play could lose a point each time your opponent passes (or link to online sources explaining this?
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davos
PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 12:39    Post subject: Reply with quote

bram wrote:
ok... any suggestions for the text in the rules?



When to pass?

It is correct to pass when for either side
  • there is no possibility to surround more territory
  • the status (dead or alive) of all stones is clear
  • there is no possibility to create a new living group anywhere
  • there are no gaps in the external boundaries of living territories


Placing a stone in this situation would at best gain zero points and at worst lose one point, because
  • you reduce your territory by one point when you place a stone inside it that's not required for defense.
  • you increase your opponent's territory by one point when you place a dead stone inside it that doesn't force your opponent to defend by placing a stone inside it too.

So it makes no sense to keep placing stones in this situation. This means the game is finished and ready to be scored.

Some skill and scrutiny are required to judge correctly whether a game is finished and some skill may be required to prove your status judgement if your opponent challenges it. But when you are convinced you don't need to defend further and the game is finished, you should pass.


Comments

Sometimes a player passes when the game is in fact not finished (he misjudges the current position). His opponent may take advantage of this mistake.

Sometimes a player keeps placing stones when the game is in fact finished. This happens when
  • The player is a novice who hasn't read the rules or does not understand them.
  • The player misjudges the status of a particular group. As soon as he realises his mistake, he'll probably pass too (or resign).
  • The player knows the game is finished and lost, but hopes to reverse the outcome by luring his opponent into making a game losing mistake. The longer this behaviour persists, the more it is considered poor sportmanship. His opponent could pass whenever he can to gain free points, but he should also take care to defend when it is required.

Even though legal, it is undesireable that a player drags on a finished game for hundreds of moves, until he ultimately runs out of legal moves and is thus forced to pass and accept defeat.





------------
Perhaps the comments are too elaborate?


Last edited by Guest on Sat Feb 12, 2011 21:45; edited 50 times in total
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bramOffline
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 14:59    Post subject: Reply with quote

ok, thx will change things at it next week!
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davos
PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 18:25    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wonderful! Very Happy
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bramOffline
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 11:26    Post subject: Reply with quote

Done Smile
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davos
PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 20:27    Post subject: Reply with quote

bram wrote:
Done Smile


Thank you.
I hope this will help novices to understand go better.
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jaredhayterOffline
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2012 15:32    Post subject: Reply with quote

A friend and I are both beginners and learning to play mostly here. (I have some prior experience.) In our last game it looked to us like the game was decided so we both passed. My territory was built quite solidly but my opponent had several gaps he did not bother to fill since he could have done so at any time and I would not have gained any additional territory. However the scoring algorithm gave him no points for any of these. Only the few points he had definitely and completely surrounded were scored for him and most of his portion of the board was treated as dame. I feel this was a mistake on the part of the scorer. We both would have agreed that the remaining territory should have been his. In this case passing to soon did not make a difference between winning and losing but gave him an abysmally low final score. He clearly would have benefited from not passing.

A good solution would be to provide an estimate of final score to the player choosing to pass before his move is confirmed. This might have shown him that the algorithm was not going to give him points for territory he thought he had already fought for and won. Is it feasible to provide a visual check of territory before confirming a pass? Barring that would it be possible give both players a chance to agree to return to playing if they don't agree with the way the score is computed? I imagine a certain set of players will try to game this to weasel out of a loss but I believe that in learning games this approach is used frequently.
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