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   Author  Topic: 2015 Arimaa Challenge Match results invalid  (Read 16744 times)
omar
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Re: 2015 Arimaa Challenge Match results invalid
« Reply #15 on: Apr 30th, 2015, 7:14am »
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on Apr 30th, 2015, 4:35am, chessandgo wrote:

- Declare browni's mini-match void and make him replay it. [Harvey's and mine weren't influenced by the bet in any manner. It would be unfair for sharp not to have a chance at the challenge this year in spite of qualifying.]

 
Great idea. But rather than lightvector compensating browni3141 if he loses, I will do that. This solves a lot of problems. Fritzlein gets his insurance, browni3141 has no external pressure on how he performs and lightvector is not involved. I also like that this whole matter will be decided over the board rather then anyone's judgement. I've already rented the server for another month, so if browni3141 is up for it, we can move forward with it.
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robinz
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Re: 2015 Arimaa Challenge Match results invalid
« Reply #16 on: Apr 30th, 2015, 2:25pm »
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I had no idea about this. I don't even play Arimaa actively any more, and haven't followed the Challenge (but was aware of the result because I visit this forum on a roughly weekly basis) - I only found out about this decision because supersamu posted a link on BoardGameGeek (a site on which I am much more active than on here).
 
So, while I accept that, since I have not had any involvement in the Challenge this year, it is fair to say that I do not have full awareness of the facts, I think my opinion as an "outsider" (but one who loves the game of Arimaa and would like it to have good publicity) might be valuable. And I agree 100% with Fritzlein - I read through all of Omar's opening post and could not see that anything he stated would make it reasonable to invalidate the Challenge result. And if what Fritzlein says about Omar having sanctioned side bets by Challenge defenders in previous years is true (I would not know this myself, but have no reason to doubt his recollections), then that would to me make Omar's decision completely indefensible. I am surprised that he has since left a comment on this thread without addressing this.
 
And it is worth adding that I completely respect Omar's right to make this decision, as the game's inventor and as the man who is ultimately in charge of the Arimaa Challenge (and indeed all things related to this website). And I am totally willing to accept that his decision was made on grounds of principle (however flawed I think they might be in this instance), and not because he is trying to find a way to avoid paying the $10,000. However, I think plenty of outsiders, on hearing what has happened here, will reach this conclusion - and I must admit that it is not easy to argue against them.
 
I don't want to get involved in a big debate here, I just felt strongly enough to give my own thoughts. Fritzlein, chessandgo, and others, have already expressed them, with much greater knowledge and greater authority in terms of being longtime (and very strong) Arimaa players who have been involved in the Challenge for many years. But I thought perhaps my "outsider"'s perspective may also be welcome. If it is not, then please just ignore me and continue the debate Smiley
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kzb52
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Re: 2015 Arimaa Challenge Match results invalid
« Reply #17 on: Apr 30th, 2015, 3:30pm »
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Assuming that browni3141's challenge games are hopelessly tainted, and something has to be done about them, I have a quick thought to share:
 
 
I don't think browni can replay his challenge games in good faith; he has a serious conflict of interest.  He has said that he feels the current challenge results (sharp winning) are valid.  And so it's possible that a desire to get the "correct" result could lead him to play less than his best in a redo.  I'm not saying browni would even consider throwing the games, but his personal feelings about the challenge are a real incentive.  I think it's a bad idea to put anyone in a position where they have that kind of incentive to lose, even if it's just a possibility.  We need a different defender, somebody who hasn't stood up and said "sharp deserves to win the challenge."  If we care about ethical principles, than we need to be certain the human defender is in a position where they want to try their best and nothing more.
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Re: 2015 Arimaa Challenge Match results invalid
« Reply #18 on: Apr 30th, 2015, 5:02pm »
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I see no point in replaying a mini-match.  I would much rather just see browni3141 play more games against sharp.  They can be event games with a delay, if that's what everyone would like, but their outcome should not decide the Arimaa Challenge.
 
Some other random thoughts:
  • The side bet between browni3141 and Fritzlein did not seem serious at the time, at least to me, since Fritzlein's bet was only 200 Arimaa points, and browni3141 essentially responded with a value of his own choosing.
  • While we may have expected chessandgo or harvestsnow to have a reasonable chance of winning their mini-matches, I think we would all say that if browni3141 lost his mini-match, the challenge was likely to fall.  In other words, these events were not independent, but all conditional on sharp's strength, about which we still had a lot of uncertainty.
  • It is contradictory to argue that browni3141 was adversely affected both by believing he had money at risk and by it no longer being so.
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CraggyCornmeal
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Re: 2015 Arimaa Challenge Match results invalid
« Reply #19 on: Apr 30th, 2015, 6:53pm »
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Regarding the future:
 
The easiest way for this mess to have been avoided was if Omar, and the Arimaa community in general, had been aware of the bets when they were made. Unfortunately, the bets were negotiated in the chatroom, which, despite being archived, is largely ephemeral. No one can be expected to comb through the whole thing looking for unsavoury bets.
 
To prevent a situation like this from occurring in the future, I think we should create a forum thread called “Bets”. No bet on Arimaa would be valid unless each bettor agrees to it in this thread. This way, no potentially objectionable bet could get buried in the avalanche of the chatroom archive. Anyone would be welcome to read the thread and object to any bet they believe is illegal or unsavoury.
 
If this system had been in place for Fritzlein's, Browni's, and LightVector's bets, Omar would have been able to nix them long before Browni played his Challenge games, and everything would be fine. I don't mean to lament what could have been. I only want to prevent a situation like this from happening again.
 
 
 
Regarding the present:
 
In my view, two ethically dubious events have occurred:
 
A) LightVector offered to compensate Browni if he lost to LightVector's bot.
 
B) The invalidation of the Challenge Match results was not done by a disinterested third party.
 
Revalidating the Challenge Match results would solve B, but not A. I'm confident that LightVector's intention was wholly virtuous, but that does not make his action virtuous. I agree with Omar when he says, “If I were to ask you [LightVector] 'If the challenge match is won by your program will you be making a payment to any of the challenge match defenders?' your answer would have be 'Yes'. This is not good.”
 
The only proposal that solves both A and B is Browni replaying his games against Sharp and Omar taking LightVector's position in his bet with Browni. LightVector would not compensate anyone for losing to his bot. Browni would have no incentive other than glory and pride. Sharp would have a fair opportunity to win the Challenge. And the Challenge would be decided on the board, not by someone who has a sizable financial stake in the outcome.
 
Perhaps, as Kzb said, Browni's view that the orignial Challenge Match results are valid would incentivise him to lose. This would be unfortunate, but I'm not sure it's true. Instead of speculating how Browni would feel about a rematch, I'll wait for him to let us know.
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omar
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Re: 2015 Arimaa Challenge Match results invalid
« Reply #20 on: May 1st, 2015, 6:31am »
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First of all I want to say that I am not aware of supersamu being involved in any bets relating to the Arimaa Challenge.
 
It is easier for most people to see the ethical mistake lightvector made by trying to cover browni3141's possible loss. The ethical mistakes made by Fritzlein and browni3141 are more subtle.
 
When Fritzlein placed the bet with browni3141 to reduce his own risk he did it at the expense of increasing the risk of the other challenge match sponsors. I would argue that he increased the physiological  stress on browni3141 causing him to lose his 1st round game (when lightvector had not yet been involved). If browni3141 had won that first game the challenge match would not have been lost. After lightvector relieved the stress browni3141 performed noticeably better. I could argue that based on this Fritzlein should compensate the other challenge match sponsors for the damage caused.  
 
When I selected browni3141 to be a challenge match defender I placed him in a position of power. Similar to an elected official or government employee. He should not use that position to benefit himself. So even if he takes bets with him on the winning side he is essentially trying to benefit himself using the special position. If rather than being approached and accepting the bet what if browni3141 had solicited bets that are seemingly legitimate (i.e. with him on the winning side). Surely that would appear wrong. Is it only wrong if he solicits bets and not wrong if he accepts unsolicited bets.
 
So I do believe I have a legitimate reason for invalidating the challenge match and at the very least the three games played by browni3141.
 
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omar
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Re: 2015 Arimaa Challenge Match results invalid
« Reply #21 on: May 1st, 2015, 7:04am »
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I just want to stress again that I don't want Fritzlein, browni3141 or lightvector to take this personally and I completely understand that you meant no harm to anyone or the challenge.
 
BTW: I was a government employee for 10 years and had to go through ethics training many times Smiley
« Last Edit: May 1st, 2015, 7:09am by omar » IP Logged
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Re: 2015 Arimaa Challenge Match results invalid
« Reply #22 on: May 1st, 2015, 7:26am »
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on May 1st, 2015, 6:31am, omar wrote:

So I do believe I have a legitimate reason for invalidating the challenge match and at the very least the three games played by browni3141.

 
This is a clear conflict of interest. You have a 10K stake in the decision.  
 
A neutral third party is the standard way to handle this situation.
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omar
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Re: 2015 Arimaa Challenge Match results invalid
« Reply #23 on: May 1st, 2015, 7:27am »
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In the future the challenge match defenders will not be revealed. They will play their games under anonymous accounts like "defender1". They will only be revealed after the match is over. I don't believe this changes the goal post in any significant way, but will prevent complications such as this in the future.
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Re: 2015 Arimaa Challenge Match results invalid
« Reply #24 on: May 1st, 2015, 7:59am »
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on May 1st, 2015, 7:27am, omar wrote:
In the future the challenge match defenders will not be revealed. They will play their games under anonymous accounts like "defender1". They will only be revealed after the match is over.

Interesting.  The defenders will have to be careful not to divulge who they are.  I imagine there would be a fair amount of speculation on that front, although I guess you could forbid that.
« Last Edit: May 1st, 2015, 8:00am by Belteshazzar » IP Logged
omar
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Re: 2015 Arimaa Challenge Match results invalid
« Reply #25 on: May 1st, 2015, 8:13am »
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A neutral 3rd party is needed if a judgement is required. No judgement is required in this case.
 
Does anyone dispute that these bets were placed.
 
Does anyone dispute that we expect key participants to follow ethical standards.
 
Does anyone dispute that there is a problem with the game if the participant of the game did not follow ethical standards.
 
Does anyone dispute that a game should be invalidated if there is a problem with the game. The challenge match rules allow for this.
 
The only thing that could be questioned is if the participants knew if they were breaking ethical standards or not.
 
Would what I have presented be correct if I only had $1 at steak, but not be correct because I have $10K. Where do you stand on what I have presented if you did not know how much I have at steak.
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omar
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Re: 2015 Arimaa Challenge Match results invalid
« Reply #26 on: May 1st, 2015, 8:26am »
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It does impose an extra burden on the defenders to conceal that information. Fritzlein and I discussed this once several years ago and he convinced me that it was not worth the extra effort and it might make finding defenders harder. I now feel that it is worth the extra effort, although I don't like that maybe some potential defenders might decline the offer because of it.
 
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rbarreira
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Re: 2015 Arimaa Challenge Match results invalid
« Reply #27 on: May 1st, 2015, 9:02am »
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on May 1st, 2015, 6:31am, omar wrote:
I would argue that he increased the physiological  stress on browni3141 causing him to lose his 1st round game

 
on May 1st, 2015, 6:31am, omar wrote:
I could argue that based on this Fritzlein should compensate the other challenge match sponsors for the damage caused.  

 
I just want to say that despite the fact that I see your point with regards to lightvector's offer to browni3141 (which, in hindsight, was misguided even if with good intentions), I think these two statements are too strong and harsh IMO.
 
on May 1st, 2015, 8:13am, omar wrote:
A neutral 3rd party is needed if a judgement is required. No judgement is required in this case.

 
And yet a judgment was made! I'm not saying I necessarily disagree with it (I'm on the fence), but I see the points of those who say you didn't handle this in the best possible way.
« Last Edit: May 1st, 2015, 9:07am by rbarreira » IP Logged
chessandgo
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Re: 2015 Arimaa Challenge Match results invalid
« Reply #28 on: May 1st, 2015, 9:04am »
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on May 1st, 2015, 6:31am, omar wrote:
When Fritzlein placed the bet with browni3141 to reduce his own risk he did it at the expense of increasing the risk of the other challenge match sponsors. I would argue that he increased the physiological  stress on browni3141 causing him to lose his 1st round game (when lightvector had not yet been involved). If browni3141 had won that first game the challenge match would not have been lost. After lightvector relieved the stress browni3141 performed noticeably better. I could argue that based on this Fritzlein should compensate the other challenge match sponsors for the damage caused.  

 
You could argue that, but you can't have it both ways. If Fritzlein's bet decreased your equity by causing browni to play less well, then lightvector's pledge to reverse the bet for browni actually increased your equity Omar, and decreased lightvector's (beyond the $234 he might have to refund). Then lighvector should be commended for winning the challenge in spite of making it harder for himself. The (alleged) blame would only be on Fritz and browni, and it would be very unfair to penalize lightvector for a fault he had no part in, and even tried to correct.
 
If, on the other hand, you are arguing that lightvector's pledge decreased your equity, then you should thank Fritz, not threaten him, for his bet must have increased your equity to that same extent.
 
« Last Edit: May 1st, 2015, 9:26am by chessandgo » IP Logged

chessandgo
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Re: 2015 Arimaa Challenge Match results invalid
« Reply #29 on: May 1st, 2015, 9:14am »
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on May 1st, 2015, 8:13am, omar wrote:
A neutral 3rd party is needed if a judgement is required. No judgement is required in this case.
 
Does anyone dispute that these bets were placed.
 
Does anyone dispute that we expect key participants to follow ethical standards.
 
Does anyone dispute that there is a problem with the game if the participant of the game did not follow ethical standards.
 
Does anyone dispute that a game should be invalidated if there is a problem with the game. The challenge match rules allow for this.
 
The only thing that could be questioned is if the participants knew if they were breaking ethical standards or not.
 
Would what I have presented be correct if I only had $1 at steak, but not be correct because I have $10K. Where do you stand on what I have presented if you did not know how much I have at steak.

 
I dispute the missing link in the above: that lighvectors's pledge (and the Fritz-browni bet too, even if that looks irrelevant to me) broke ethical standards.
 
More importantly, I dispute that browni having (allegedly) not performed as well as could have been expected is a cause for invalidating sharp winning the challenge. In 2009, I confused the time of my first challenge game, and you Omar as reserve had to step up and play the game for me. Had you lost that game and had clueless won the challenge, the blame would have been only on myself, and partly on you for selecting an unreliable defender. There would have been no cause for denying clueless its victory. Likewise, if browni broke ethical standards or decreased in any way the chances of defending the challenge by his actions, it is no ground to cancel the challenge. The alledged blame is only on him and on you for selecting him.
« Last Edit: May 1st, 2015, 9:24am by chessandgo » IP Logged

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