KGS Possible Rules Bug Discussion

    Keywords: Online Go

mgoetze: There is a problem with the implementation of New Zealand (and possibly other) rules (moved to KGS Possible Rules Bug Discussion), in that the server presumes that when both players pass they are also agreeing to end the game. This was not the case for me in a game today. I had agreed on a handicap of 360 stones, and since the server would not handle this automatically, we agreed he would pass 359 times. However, after placing about 180 handicap stones, I wanted to pass as well (a legal move under NZ rules), and the server thought we had agreed the game was over.

    • Hu: Your request is frivolous and should not waste wms time, I think. You could run a teaching game and place the stones in Edit tool mode before the first non-handicap move is played. You did not have to pass on your turn for no good reason. You could have used the undo button in the scoring mode to get back to playing mode. You have said elsewhere that you are not proposing another button, and you did not give a proposal for what to do if the double pass system is taken away. You also reveal elsewhere that other aspects of the game were frivolous.
    • mgoetze: I had a perfectly good reason to pass. It was impossible for White to live anywhere on the board, there was no need to add further stones. A teaching game has several drawbacks, I don't see why it should be required that high-handicap games be teaching games.
    • Rafael: Goetze, under New Zealand rules, 2 consecutive passes do end the game. And a handicap of n stones means that Black should make n consecutive moves, that is, put n stones on the board before the first White turn. A pass is not a valid move. You may pass in your regular turn, but not during the handicap placement (please ignore Hu's comments).
    • mgoetze: Wrong. If you had bothered to read the [ext] actual text of the rules, you would see:
      • A move consists of (1) making a play so that the resulting board position does not repeat the whole board position as it was after any of that player's previous moves or (2) saying 'pass'.
      • The game is finished when both players agree that there are no more worthwhile moves. This is clearly different from both players passing, since passing is a move.
      • In a handicap game, white passes the first n - 1 moves where n is the size of the handicap. Nowhere in the rules does it state that black is restricted in which moves he makes while white is forced to pass.
    • Rafael: My bookmark (and Jasiek's) was outdated and I didn't find the new page with the rules text. But I did check the [ext] Tromp-Taylor rules. It uses a slightly different terminology, e.g., turn and move instead of move and play, resp. According to Taylor they "are essentially the New Zealand rules, re-worded to be as simple and elegant as possible", so I assumed they were equivalent. Actually, I'd be surprised if they had intended to change the rule concerning the handicap placement. If we assume both players are playing "in a spirit of fairness and cooperation", as the New Zealand rules text says they should, I believe that ending condition is essentially the same as the 2-passes rule, at least in non-handicap games. It's not clearly different: at some point, supposedly both players will agree that even pass is not a worthwhile move. But if players are not so cooperative, the game might not end. For instance, if the game is a draw on the board, no komi, but neither player is happy with a draw. What if they just keep on passing? Talk about "pass fights". :-)
    • Hu: It is entirely possible to ask wms to go chasing after some rules completionist detail or another, but I do not see the point when there is a perfectly easily operable workaround, and when there are much more useful features yet to be implemented.

[Moved from KGS Wishlist.]

Rafael: Er, Michael, you said I had "bloated the point up far beyond what it is worth"... so why not just erase this after all? :-)

MrMormon: Personally, I think two-pass endings are fine. KGS's problem is disallowing single-stone suicide as an alternative to a pass (unless it would violate NZ's SSK). You could be losing and wish to pass because of ko, but do not want the opponent to end the game while you are behind. Since forbidding single-stone suicide complicates the rules and NZ rules don't prohibit it, I wonder what the programmer[s] intended. Either KGS needs to defend itself, or I'd like to request single-stone suicide as a 'feature.' :) By the way, official NZ rules don't count prisoners - another unjustified KGS liberty (no pun intended).

KGS Possible Rules Bug Discussion last edited by MrMormon on January 5, 2011 - 03:27
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