Please turn on javascript in your browser to play chess.
Only Chess Forum

Only Chess Forum

  1. 20 Aug '09 14:05
    I'm wondering about the mentality of the person who "takes timeouts" as soon as possible. I'm not talking about the situation where the other player just can't be bothered to move. For example, it might be very obvious you're winning a game but the other player is just absent, and won't even respond to reminders. Then it makes sense to claim the timeout to get the game off your screen and move on to the next one where you have an opponent who's actually interested in playing.

    What I'm talking about is when a person takes the timeout for no other purpose but the paper "win." For example, I recently started a tournament and was called out of town suddenly for few days. When I returned I found that the other fellow had claimed the timeout on the fourth or fifth move of both games I was in with him, apparently as soon as possible, since I had logged in just a couple of hours after the timeout deadlines for the two games. I didn't really mind, since this was the very beginning of a "duel" tournament, so there was no consequence to me except the loss of a few rating points, there being plenty of other tournaments I could join at any time.

    But looking at it from the point of view of the person who took the time out, what possible reason (that makes any sense) could he have had? I mean, why bother taking the trouble to sign up for an online game, which has no other reward whatsoever but the enjoyment of the game itself, only to cancel your own game during the opening? Just to get a few rating points? To my mind the rating is just a method by which you hope to find opponents close to your own skill level, which purpose is defeated if you cause your rating to change based on reasons unrelated to skill. Furthermore, by "winning" by default so quickly my momentary opponent deprived himself of the enjoyment of actually playing the game, and now, instead of being able to enjoy the first round, he's going to have to wait until all the other games in the first round are over before he gets to play his next game in the tournament. So what's the point? Why would he have wanted to end the game in that fashion?

    Is there a type of person that takes some psychological pleasure just from seeing his rating go up a bit and being able to say to himself "yippee -- I won!" when it's totally meaningless? It's not like there's any cash or other reward for winning. So the person might as well save time and just take a piece of paper, write "Rating: 3000. Winner of ultimate grandmaster championship of the world" on it, and pretend he's the world champion. That would be just as meaningful.
  2. Standard member Diet Coke
    Forum Vampire
    20 Aug '09 14:51
    Sounds like something I'd do.


    Usually I have too many games so any excuse to lighten the load.
  3. 20 Aug '09 15:17 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Ohforf
    Is there a type of person that takes some psychological pleasure just from seeing his rating go up a bit and being able to say to himself "yippee -- I won!" when it's totally meaningless? It's not like there's any cash or other reward for winning.
    well, it used to bother me as well.. especially those instances where the opponent is not actively playing other games at the time, but has just apparently logged on/stayed online in order to crack the scull, but who knows..

    but now I'm totally cool, it's within the rules and most of my games are with 3/7 controls or longer, so I had plenty of time to move.

    my advice - let it go and move on... in fact, that's the only thing you can do.
  4. 20 Aug '09 15:37
    Doesn't really bother me, and I take no umbrage. Just wondering why people do it.
  5. Standard member JonathanB of London
    Curb Your Enthusiasm
    20 Aug '09 15:44
    Originally posted by Ohforf
    I'm wondering about the mentality of the person who "takes timeouts" as soon as possible ....
    Do you play chess 'over the board' at all?

    The skull thing comes up time and again. In my experience people who play OTB tend to have less of a problem with skull clicking. Just take the game and move on. I'm certainly one of those.

    I'm sure there are exceptions but it seems to me that those who don't understand why anybody would take a timeout win tend to be those who don't have a long history playing chess over the board - where time limits are accepted as part and parcel of the game.

    On RHP there are many people like yourself who simply don't understand why opponents take the win. OTB it's simply inconceivable that they wouldn't. You play to a time limit and if you don't keep to that limit you lose. Simple as that.

    I don't think it's necessarily about just wanting to gain rating points as you seem to think. Personally, if I see a skull I click it. I might make an exception for a friendly game but definitely not in a tournament.

    My view is that here - as OTB - its the opponent's responsibility to play to the rules. You could have put a vacation flag up after all.
  6. 20 Aug '09 15:52
    I play OTB & here & I'll happily click skulls all day.

    If someone can't be bothered to move within the time controls set out at the start of the game, who's problem is that?
    The rules clearly state that you can lose a game via timeout. It's not like some sort of secret bug in the program, only known to a select few!

    In OTB if someone fails to make a move before the flag on their clock falls, they lose.

    I see no difference here, other than you have a vacation system & much longer time controls in the first place which make being timed out a rather careless and/or highly ignorant act.

    Then to send a vitriolic PM to your opponent after being T/O'd... well, that really is taking the p**s!
  7. Standard member JonathanB of London
    Curb Your Enthusiasm
    20 Aug '09 16:00 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by Ohforf
    Furthermore, by "winning" by default ....
    OTB a win on time is a win. Not a "win" or a win by "default" but a win. Just as much a win as a checkmate in fact.

    I've never once in 20+ years of club chess heard anybody either saying they shouldn't have lost because it was 'only' on time. Neither have I ever heard somebody saying that they didn't value their win because their opponent overstepped the time control.

    You can see it different if you want of course - and no reason at all why you shouldn't. One thing though ... you say your opponent lost the enjoyment of a game with you. Fact is on RHP anybody can start a new game at any time they want. It would take, what, five minutes at most? I don't think your opponent lost anything be clicking that skull.



    EDIT:
    I did once about 15 years ago overhear somebody saying to their opponent "are you going to enforce the 'touch move' rule?"

    I have to say it astonished me. It's like asking if your opponent is going to enforece the rule about how the knights move. Same about the rule concerning time controls too IMHO.
  8. 20 Aug '09 16:45
    Taking skulls whenever is a perfectly proper thing to do. However, I have not yet logged on in order to try and take a skull at the earliest opportunity (rather than to see my games more generally at the usual times) and doing so would take a dedication to the game which I lack online.
  9. Standard member SwissGambit
    Caninus Interruptus
    20 Aug '09 16:47
    Originally posted by Ohforf
    I'm wondering about the mentality of the person who "takes timeouts" as soon as possible. I'm not talking about the situation where the other player just can't be bothered to move. For example, it might be very obvious you're winning a game but the other player is just absent, and won't even respond to reminders. Then it makes sense to claim the timeout to ge ...[text shortened]... and pretend he's the world champion. That would be just as meaningful.
    1) You are a subscriber - you could have used the vacation system to protect yourself from timeout during your trip.
    2) Sure, it is not very rewarding to win on timeout on move 5, but there are nevertheless good reasons for taking the skull:[quote]- It gets people in the habit of expecting to be timed out if they fail to move, and thus encourages future compliance with the time controls.
    - It prevents a slow-moving player from holding up the tournament.
    - It keeps conditions fair. One player should not get more time to think about their moves just because their opponent is merciful.
    - It is in keeping with proper competitive spirit, which demands that players try hard to win as the rules allow. What's next - a sob story about 'Oh, I was under a lot of stress from my divorce, and I hung my Queen! And the heartless opponent would not heed my pleas - he insisted on capturing her and claiming a hollow victory!" :'(
  10. 20 Aug '09 17:30
    One other thing to consider is that when somebody goes away for several days you have to wonder whether they are coming back at all - then there is the issue that they will get timed out in loads of games and then come back, then you have the major problem that they are well under rated so you have nothing to gain from the game and everything to lose.
  11. Standard member wormwood
    If Theres Hell Below
    20 Aug '09 17:56
    Originally posted by Ohforf
    Doesn't really bother me, and I take no umbrage. Just wondering why people do it.
    use up the time, game over. there's really nothing more to it.
  12. 20 Aug '09 18:36
    I think its annoying and cheap. I only take timeouts if it looks like the person will not be moving for a long time.

    I admit I've never played competitive OTB timed chess (although I play blitz on here) so i think of time as a guideline not a rule (where is the satisfaction/victory in clicking a skull?). Im sure it is almost always practicality rather than extra thinking time that stops players moving.

    Its part of the rules and its annoying if people move too slowly so I admit you cant really complain, I just think its unnecessary.
  13. 20 Aug '09 20:29 / 1 edit
    I find it annoying when opponents run out of time. I'll always crack their skull for it.
  14. 20 Aug '09 21:23
    I've read a lot of responses above (some sounding irate) that are not at all responsive to my question. I totally agree that (1) I shouldn't have a problem with claiming timeouts; (2) time limits are standard in over-the-board tournaments [which have real rewards, by the way, like cash]; (3) it's perfectly fine and proper for someone to claim a timeout; (4) it would be very rude to send your opponent a "vitriolic" PM or other complaint about it; (5) a timeout win is just as much a win as any other win; (6) if someone is away for several days and you doubt they're coming back it makes sense to "click the skull"; and (7) there are very good reasons for having the timeout rule.

    As I said, I agree with all that. What I was asking was something different: why would anyone ~want~ to stop a game for a timeout after only a few moves if the game is about even, only a couple of hours after the skull appears?

    And there were a couple of people who gave answers that provided some possible reasons:

    1. They have authoritarian natures and want to "instruct" people to follow the rules;
    2. They mistakenly took on too many games and are happy to reduce the number of outstanding games they have to play;
    3. They are people who are in the habit of always following rules, so if the rule says timeout they believe they must click the skull to follow the rule; or
    4. They have a personality that makes them annoyed when someone misses a deadline, and they want to punish the person for causing them annoyance.

    So I guess that answers my question.

    I just have a different type of personality. In fact, whenever anyone makes an obvious blunder that is reversible I always offer them the opportunity to take the move back, since I prefer an interesting game to a stupid win. But that's just me. I have no problem with people who think otherwise.
  15. Standard member Ichibanov
    King of slow
    20 Aug '09 21:27 / 2 edits
    In a friendly offhand game, I never crack a skull unless I think my opponent isn't coming back. I treat those like games I'd play against a friend in the park or something. For anything else (tourneys, clan challenges/league), timeout is always an option.

    It's an interesting observation about OTB/non-OTB players. I really can't conceive of time *not* being part of a competitive chess game. Flags get called and skulls get clicked. It's all part of the game. We've got enough options to forestall timeout (timebank + vaca) that you shouldn't be showing a skull unless you've been captured by Somali pirates or something.

    [edit]

    Crossposted with Ohforf.