Author Topic: About resignation  (Read 9050 times)

Jimmy V.

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About resignation
« on: 20/01/21, 11:48am »
Hi all,

There has been a long and heated discussion in the inn chat about whether it is fine to resign a game. Lots of interesting points have been made. Some of them will be made again below, but I'll try to bring my own two cents too and present the official Happy Meeple stance on the matter.

The resign button is a feature offered by the platform. It had been requested by our players.
However, certain players don't like that the opponent resigns when it is clear that they have no change of winning.

As was noted in the discussion, resigning when it is clear that we have no chance of winning is commonly done in Chess, Draughts, Go. There is no point continuing a game when there is no more tension in it. Resigning, rather than being considered negatively, is appreciated and good behaviour. In those games, making the game drag pointlessly is considered wrong and being scorned upon. If you are a queen and a rook behind in Chess, conceding is the only right thing to do (unless it is a kids' competition where the level is really low and anything can still happen). There is even a scene in the popular Netflix series "The Queen's Gambit" about exactly that. The teacher explains to the young player that she should resign after losing her queen early in the game.

In other situations however, resigning is not even permissible. No football team would leave the pitch 10 minutes before the end because they are 6-0 behind. That would just be unthinkable.

So, you see, the acceptability of resignation depends very much on the context.

For board games, there is no clear rules and one must expect players to find their own middleground. No single clear rules can be drawn for all to follow. First and foremost because we are all different and we have different priorities and tastes.

For many of us, finishing a game is natural and should be expected. Not doing so is for sore losers.
For others, finishing a game early when one could play another more exciting one immediately is a much better approach.

But not only does it depend on the players, it always varies with the kind of game that is being played. Is it a long one that is really worth shortening? Or is it a 3 minute game where final score matters (for personal records for example).

It also varies with the players' skill. Usually top players will care less about finishing the game and be happy to pocket the rating points that come with the win.

And of course, here, there is the food concept where shortened game means less play time.

I spoke about tension above. In abstract games, resigning early makes sense because what is remaining of the game is just dull and not fun for anyone. In board games however, there may be plenty of tension left even when one player is far behind. First, it is usually interesting to discover the final score and see if it matches our expectations or compares with other games (if not for world records, personal bests). Then, there are often hidden cards to look at. Even if you are sure of losing, the opponent might not be so certain. By resigning early in some games, you may be depriving your opponent of the tension that only the end game generates. Finally, the last moves are also in many games the moment when your strategy falls into place and big powerful combinations made (I am thinking of engine-building games where your power is getting very big near the end). Resigning early in engine-building games prevents the opponent from actually doing what he worked for during the whole game. There is a lot of satisfaction in executing a big combination as a result of a gradually-built strategy.

My conclusion is some kind of best practice. Considering that resigning acceptability varies so much with the context and the players, I think it would be good to follow these guidelines:

- in doubt ask the opponent if he minds a resignation
- or at least say a word explaining why you are resigning (it may have nothing to do with the game itself, we all have life outside of the platform)
- take into account the kind of games you are playing and the kind of players (level) you are playing with. Are you depriving him of some fun/satisfaction/sense of achievement? Is there some tension/excitement left in the game for them?

In any case, please don't feel offended if the opponent does not behave as you expect them to do. Not everyone has the same view on this matter. We do have to agree to disagree I am afraid  :D
« Last Edit: 20/01/21, 02:06pm by Happy Meeple »

Huggable T.

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Re: About resignation
« Reply #1 on: 20/01/21, 08:23pm »
I thought this was an excellent post in response to what has happened in the main room recently.  Personally speaking and I know everybody is different  but I always play to the end as I am just here to enjoy the games and the chat with the other players

Noah H.

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Re: About resignation
« Reply #2 on: 20/01/21, 11:55pm »
Well said.


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Re: About resignation
« Reply #3 on: 11/03/21, 08:56pm »
A very well-thought-out post by...Happy Meeple. (Feels like there should be a name there, but maybe it was a joint effort. Or is it just posted thus to signify it's official nature?)

I think it would be nice if we could personalize our account by indicating how open to an early resignation we are. Then each player could easily look at someone's profile to check. E.g. Resign whenever you wish/ Please only resign if you really feel you can't win/ Please try to finish the game.