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mightytiny 180 ( +1 | -1 )
Baffled by unsportsmanlike behaviour Fortunately I've not ran into much unsportsmanlike behaviour here on gameknot, but an on-going, soon-to-end game of mine got me thinking about bad sportsmanship, and the reasons behind it.

My opponent made a mistake which gave me a forced mate opportunity. Now it's mate in one, and apparently my opponent has just decided to wait it out instead of moving or ending the game with a graceful resignation. Less than one hour left before he'll be timed out. Took a look at my opponent's profile, and saw that 22% of his games have ended in time out, which leads me to think that this isn't the first time he does something like this.

It's quite an ungraceful way to lose, and I cannot for the life of me think of why anyone would prefer that to a resignation.

I've got a hard time understanding other kinds of unsportsmanlike behaviour over the chess board too (virtual or otherwise). If I lose a game I might be disappointed, but would never dream of behaving in any other than courteous manner towards my opponent - the disappointment or even anger is directed at myself for not playing at my best, not at my opponent. He won, and earned his pleasure at the win; and he deserves from me an acknowledgement of the fact.

Sometimes when I lose, when it's not due to any clear blunder on my part, but on some skillfull play from my opponent, and the game was "beautiful" or just a really tough battle to the end, I actually feel good to have participated in such an affair, even if on the losing side. On such occasions I feel genuinely happy for my opponent, and my congratulations are heart-felt. I may even want to talk about the game with my opponent, maybe analyze the critical moves, if he's willing. Yet I've seen others in a similar situation act like a 6-year old who didn't get their toy.

Enough of the rant - anyone want to share what kinds of bad losers you've had to suffer? :)
greyrabbit 32 ( +1 | -1 )
It happens just try to avoid playing him in future. I haven't met a timeouter (yet) but I've met plenty who move at around a move every 10 minutes until they are obviously losing then it becomes once every 3 days. Remember not everyone shares values and though we view it as discourteous they obviously don't.
Cheers
Charlie
bucklehead 169 ( +1 | -1 )
Immaterial My five-year-old daughter sometimes cries if I take a piece she's developed a special relationship with. She'll throw all sorts of things directly at me, ramming a rook into one of my pawns with great gusto, but there's always that one piece that's become her friend. And woe to me if I don't discover which one before I take it. I tolerate this behavior because I love my daughter, and she is five, which is all the excuse she needs to act this way. When an adult or even an adolescent does similarly, well, I could say some impolitic things about those people.

I still believe we could use a kind of additional rating system like they have at eBay: "He was a great player, would play again" or "Nasty comments, foot-dragger--would avoid" and that sort of thing. Timeouts are a pretty good indicator, and I always look there before accepting a challenge. My own single timeout (the "pure stupidity" one, as I think of it) makes me feel like I have a festering, leprous boil right in the middle of my virtual chess-face, and well it should. But I suspect more people don't take them seriously.

But in the end, remember that chess is a thing unto itself. All the time people go to art galleries to see works created by some of history's most insane people--I don't think you would have wanted to invite van Gogh to a dinner party--but it's possible to separate the art and the artist. And then there's that quote of Lasker's about how "On the chess-board lies and hypocrisy do not survive long." Ideas stand or fall, and no amount of complaining by your opponents will make their ideas better.
greyrabbit 24 ( +1 | -1 )
Festering boils Yeah I know how you feel, I got into problems with a house move and the fact that GK time isn't on Greenwich. Sheer stupidity and every time I look at those five timeouts I feel rotten!
Cheers
Charlie
mightytiny 70 ( +1 | -1 )
Well said! Indeed behaviour that is understandable and even cute when displayed by a 5-year old becomes something completely different when coming from someone who should have matured a bit from that tender age. :)

And true that chess games can be appreciated for their beauty inspite of possible deficiencies in the social graces of the players.

Nevertheless, it's sad to see that whenever there's a chance to act under the illusion of anonymity on the Internet, so many people revert to the antics more suitable to 5-year olds. It shows poverty of character that one would need the threat of reprocusions that one has when people know who you are, in order to act like a decent human being.
misato 226 ( +1 | -1 )
Why do you want to understand other people? The only thing you need to understand when playing chess is "why does he do this move?". And I totally agree with your statements about the post-game-analysis, it can be even more interesting than the game itself.

Chess is the "Royal game", but when played by common people no one can be sure that all behave according to the sense of the game. It means a lot of discipline to keep courtesy when loosing. I once read "Those who haven't learnt how to loose with dignity don't deserve to win either" - very true, but unfortunately this is only known after the game's end.

In former times even Grandmasters who didn't like each other wouldn't have offered a draw because it might have been rejected. So in dead-draw positions (and both knew it) they managed a three-fold-repetition and then could CLAIM a draw without asking for it. I think some even didn't resign when loosing but let their time run out. No courtesy either.

I for myself would not mind if the opponent runs out of time when the game is done, who cares for some moves more or less? And if the opponent postponed his games for some weeks - I couldn't care less (done is done). On the other hand he might run out of time in an unclear position which is much more a problem for me, I did the postponement twice by myself because I don't want an undone game ending like this.
And if the opponent uses his time almost completely in a lost position I take it as a signal of problems he has. Why should I bother? He is the one with the problems, not me! (I admit, in OTB games it gives me a good feeling. But there it is a question of hours rather than months at GK)
Okay, you don't have to see the things similar to me. But problems can be avoided by having a look at the opponent's profile before the first move. I wouldn't accept a challenge from someone with 5% timeouts or with a bunch of other users playing from the same computer. Everyone has to decide if this is justified or not, but I hope this minimizes annoyance.

For both games (chess and annoyance) there are two players needed, and I don't like to play the game of annoyance. On either side, so I don't play it - on no side.
jsemmens 25 ( +1 | -1 )
bad sportsmanship I believe the concept is that if one runs out of time, their opponent could not truly claim to be better than them, the win would only be a technicality. I always forfeit a losing position. I always see it as the most respectful and dignified way to lose.
ccmcacollister 198 ( +1 | -1 )
One Reason:a T/O may benefit in future games This subject has come up before but I feel like it IS an important one. Since what people consider good and bad sportsmanship to conclude a game varies so much. Recently I resigned a blitz game and my opp refused to play again becasue I had not tried to fight it out while down a queen. So he said that was unsporting of me. Whereas, like most of the Chessworld, I felt it the only courteous and practical thing to do. Most players will be insulted to be Made to play out a game a Queen ahead. mightytiny I agree with all the thoughts in your initial posting, except that I dont think the T/O % in itself tells the story sufficiently. For instance, wouldnt 22% timeouts all at once in won positions show a different picture than 22% in all lost positions spread over a year !? I think so. Really what I wanted to address tho is the question of some Reason to Timeout, rather than resign. First, like jsemmens, I believe some players do feel a T/O is not like a "real loss" (But a loss is a loss, is not a win, is not a draw = its a loss!) Secondly however, it may benefit a player to timeout for the following reason: A resignation game betwee 2 players rated over 1500 will show up in the GK D-base; but a TimeOut game will not
be put in it. Conceivably it can be beneficial to keep your loss in some favorite variation out of the D-base where everyone could then follow the winners play against you in future game.
Personally, I've never timedout for that purpose. Mine were medical/blacking out online or because of misunderstanding the time I had left one time. And simply "forgot" the other 2, to move that day when events got hectic. And with my few games it makes a 22% TimeOut % too. Which I point out just to say that a high T/O rate does not in itself signify some nefarious intent. 8-)
gridspell 49 ( +1 | -1 )


What about bad winners? they insult and make stupid comments like why don't you take up chinese checkers and boast of of their superior skills but when another player who is much better beats him he says you were just lucky, I should have mated you on move 23 :( or he says you cheated there is no way in hell you could beat me look at my big rating you stupid fool. Nobody wants to play people like that and reputations grow quickly.
















i_play_slowly 160 ( +1 | -1 )
Some people don't know better, but some do Re: "Remember not everyone shares values and though we view it as discourteous they obviously don't." Before I found out that it was regarded as a discourtesy, I timed-out once. Certainly I meant no discourtesy; I just thought of it as a passive way of resigning. It wasn't until I tried to join a team and was met with reluctance, perhaps even disdain, because my profile, that I discovered I had been rude. At first I was puzzled. I could understand why someone would be miffed at me if we had been playing in real time, and I had kept him glued to his monitor waiting for the clock to run out while I laughed all the way to the pub. Considering that my opponent was probably playing many games simultaneously and that our game was not being played in real time, however, I could not understand the problem. I do accept that timing out is regarded as a discourtesy in chess culture, however, whether I understand it or not, so I've stopped doing it.
*
I suspect that there are other people who, like me once upon a time, simply don't know better. I also suspect, however, that there are still other people who do know better. This second group of people time-out precisely because they do regard it as a discourtesy. It is an act of passive aggression on their part, an act of spite. Anyone who can no longer be regarded as a newbie and who times out repeatedly, I would suggest, either knows-or-ought-to-know better. In any case, I agree with bucklehead's suggestion that it might be prudent to examine a person's profile before accepting a challenge. If there is an unacceptable number of time-outs in the profile, it might be best to decline.
soujrnr 139 ( +1 | -1 )
Here's a thought.... If someone starts bad-mouthing you and saying all manner of nasty things about your chess abilities, or a lack thereof, here is what I would do. Open a Word document (or your text editor of choice), cut and paste the offensive language and then post it to this forum along with the name of the low-life, bottom-feeder who said it and then start an email campaign to the aforementioned offender to cease and desist with the childish behavior and assinine display of total immaturity. Maybe they'll get the message that many people on GK are here to enjoy the game, make new friends, learn more about the game, and just to have a good time. That's why I'm here.

Fortunately, I have never had the displeasure of playing someone who is rude, crude, and otherwise totally lacking in gray matter. I welcome any and all challenges and love to play the game with civility and with the goal to perhaps make a new friend and to hone my game a little bit. Why some people can't just enjoy the game I'll never know. If it is so upsetting to them that someone is beating them, then they should take up underwater basket weaving or something where other human interaction is not required. I would suggest bungee jumping with a nylon rope around their neck........

Good day!

Mike
greyrabbit 17 ( +1 | -1 )
To I play slowly Perfectly valid point. It seems like easy points to me, but I get VERY annoyed when one of my team times out. But not everyone does know.
Cheers
Charlie
muppyman 37 ( +1 | -1 )
Behaviour? As I see it chess is a close contact contest and as such it can bring out both the best and the worst in human behaviour. If certain behaviour upsets us, I think it will continue to do so unless and until we finally stop mentally saying to people "Why can't you be more like me"?! People are going to be people and the only difference it makes is how we decide to feel about their actions.
kojiro 67 ( +1 | -1 )
overboard Some years ago I played a local master. Admired his skill and talent and imagined him a great guy, though I never really talked to him. Well we were matched-up in the first rd during a tournament. I was rated in the 1500's at the time. Playing white, started the clock when my opponent didn't show. Time control was 40/90. Pretty soon 30 minutes had elapse and no master. Then saw him looking through the window at me and he then quickly took off somewhere. He did not return until there was about 10 minutes left on the clock! He then proceeded to trounce me to my embarassment. This was in all indications a true classless act. Needless to say my estimation of this person was lowered considerably.
rollingjoe 88 ( +1 | -1 )
good grief I'm very new here and have had no problems with players win or lose on this website. That is as it should be. Before I came here I played online only at Yahoo. I still do now and then. A few days ago I managed to soundly thrash a player who was rated 300 points over me. When it became obvious I was going to prevail he left the board. After 10 or 15 minutes I won because he abandoned a rated game. That sort of conduct reflects poorly on the gentleman's upbringing. If a game looks hopeless for me I resign and congradulate the winner. Hopefully I've learned something from the experiance. If I win I tell my opponent that I enjoyed the game. Am I too "old school"? Rude conduct is rude conduct be it in a chess game at work or at the local pub. I don't understand how some people act like jackasses online when they would never do so face to face. It's all the same as far as I'm concerned. End of speech.
soujrnr 116 ( +1 | -1 )
You are correct, Rollingjoe. Some people just can't stand to lose and so they don't face up to the loss and congratulate the winner. It's just something that we'll all need to get used to I guess because it's the way people will always be. Some are good sportsman, others are not. I get very frustrated too but here on GK, I've had a very pleasant experience with 99% of those I've played with. On Yahoo chess, which I don't use at all anymore, I was constantly getting people telling me to hurry up if I took more than 20 seconds to make a move. Well, if they wanted speed chess then they should have gone to the blitz board.

I also get that idiots on Yahoo accusing me of using a chess computer to beat them. Give me a break. With a rating in the high 1200s to maybe as high as 1400, I'm surely not using a chess computer to win. Give me a break. It's as if they think they can't be beat by someone with a lower rating. Tell that to the GMs in tournament play who lose to lower rated players. There is no such thing as winning all the time.

In any event, Happy Easter and best wishes with all of your games.

Mike
ccmcacollister 131 ( +1 | -1 )
kojiro ... I've had that experience many times at other sites, of waiting for a win vs an absent opponent. That is why I add players who abandon a resignable blitz game here at GK to my Ignore list ... even tho at GK the abandonment ends the game. If they do it thinking erroneously that they are causing me that inconvenience here or just don't have the mettle to resign ... I dont feel like there is much to say. And hopefully it blocks being paired with them again. Especially the former matter, making a player sit and wait to record the win while they leave, makes me feel pity that they need to take that last shot at someone, over a Chess result. [8-(
Like most people perhaps(?), I've had games I just hate to resign. And found sometimes it has helped to sit at bit and acclimatize to losing ... before tendering a resignation. Move a few times after dropping that Rook and look it over good ... get used to the idea of losing and then resigning. So I guess I could do a little better myself but havent walked away yet, unless an opponent is just writing abusiveness. Not a friendly ribbing, but worse stuff. Fortunately I havent seen any of that on GK for many months. And they generally dont last long here if they do it
:)
soujrnr 51 ( +1 | -1 )
ccmcacollister... I tend to play a lost position for a few moves as well because at my level many times my opponent will blunder and I have turned around several games to my advantage and gone on to win just by seeing if I can catch someone resting on their laurels. I don't make that a habit but if I see any shred of hope, you can be sure I'll give it my all. Sometimes it works, other times it doesn't. When I get up to the 1700+ level, I suspect that won't be the case.

Best wishes for you with all of your games.

Mike
paulberg 91 ( +1 | -1 )
Resigning gracefully... Fortunately for myself and others I have played with, I have never intentionally timed-out a game... which gives me some qualification to talk about it on this thread.

I have been very excited about a particular game thinking I was doing well or had a clear advantage, and then all of a sudden found myself down a significant piece or worse, in inevitable check-mate. Prior to that I was making moves in 5 to 15 minute intervals. Then, in some disbelief of my demise I will take an hour analyzing my next moves hoping to find some way out.. then maybe not move yet to think about overnight and may not get back to that board for a day or so.

However, once I've been convinced that I just made a bad move I'll eventually make my counter-move or resign. If my opponant played well I will always tell them so.

pauL
soujrnr 98 ( +1 | -1 )
Paulberg I would venture a guess that most players on GK are like you. I know I am. If I am in a good position and suddenly realize I am on the short end of the stick after an exchange, I'll step back and look very closely at my position. It's no different, I think, than working on my Jeep. If I'm doing something that is relatively straight forward but run into problems, I'll step back and reassess where I'm at and/or how I got to where I'm at and if I can find a way out of it. If I can't find a way out, I call all of my Jeep friends. In chess, if I can't find a way out, I'll resign. It boils down to being courteous.

After all, the game or match is at least three days between moves and so if need be, as I have time to study my position given all of life's other distractions, I'll use up a day or two. I think if people have a problem with someone using up their allotted time, they should go to yahoo and play real-time or just deal with the time constraints placed on the game, whether it works to their liking or not.

Good day sir!

Mike