Forum Archive : Etiquette

Under resigning

From:   Bob Newell
Date:   10 August 2004
Subject:   Re: Offering to resign less than probable loss

Is it a legitimate and/or 'sporting' tactic to offer a single point in a
situation where there is some threat of a gammon but no sure thing?  I
had an opponent do that once; the idea was supposed to be "I'll offer
you a sure single point, instead of you playing for a possible gammon
but, given the amount of contact remaining, risking a possible
turnaround loss."  I actually found it an interesting ploy with
merit both ways.

Peter Schneider  writes:

This is in fact a settlement, which I think is not uncommon between good
players if a situation becomes strategically uninteresting and the cube
value is high and a swing would cost a lot. (Over the board, one can
settle for any value, e.g. 0.75 of the stake; that's different in online
play, therefore settlements are not that common online.)  I'd recommend
for online play to chat a bit and explain one's rationale, in order to
avoid misunderstandings.

IIRC, Crawford/Jacoby wrote that as the favourite, it would be good
sportsmanship to offer a settlement value that is a little lower than
what one thinks the real equity would yield.

Happy Juggler  writes:

When I first started playing online about 1 1/2 years ago, it was not
clear to me whether ratings took into account winning by more than
necessary to win a match. If the score is 10-10 in an 11pt match and my
opponent offered to resign one point when a gammon was certain I
actually declined. Then I read the fact sheet on ratings and realized I
was being ignorant.

There is another type of resignation though: The resignation gambit.
This happens when your opponent is for example losing 7-9 in an 11pt
match. He is facing a likely or certain gammon and offers to resign a
single point. You refuse. He offers again next turn. You refuse. He
offers again next turn. You refuse. He doubles next turn. You decline
out of habit, losing a single point. This slimy trick could never
happen offline but has happened online to many players. It violates
one of the offline rules of bg but what can you do about it? It is
cheating but all of the tournaments I have ever played online have no
explicit rules against it so you can't even do anything about it in a
tournament situation. The tournament groups need to get their act
together on this one.
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Under resigning  (Bob Newell+, Aug 2004) 
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