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clyring
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2016 World Championship format & changes
« on: Jul 15th, 2015, 3:26am »
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Some particular issues that immediately jump out at me:
 
  • We will miss Janzert's involvement.
  • The suggestion to add a specific anti-forfeit incentive for the 2015 tournament seems especially haunting now.
  • We should guarantee incompletely specified pairings are essentially impossible. (And I don't mean by including the reference implementation in the rules.)

(I don't list venue because I will be overjoyed if the new site is far enough along in time for us to worry about this.)
« Last Edit: Dec 14th, 2015, 12:02am by clyring » IP Logged



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Re: 2016 World Championship format and changes
« Reply #1 on: Dec 13th, 2015, 11:48pm »
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16:45 kzb52 so I've skimmed the past couple days of chat. It seems like no omar, and no real plans to run a WC or CC this year, right?
17:19 kzb52 Is it worth it for someone (e.g. me) to shoot a quick message to him. At the very least, he might say, 'go ahead, organize it yourselves'
17:35 kzb52 It would be an excuse to move forward with planning, at least....
18:18 clyring Do we even currently have a volunteer for TD?
18:44 kzb52 I'm debating it
19:08 kzb52 (I promise to be more active next semester, I _will_ have more free time)
20:18 kzb52 I feel like it's really important to not take a year off, even if participation goes down
20:35 clyring agreed
21:06 clyring At this point the cycle might need to be delayed somewhat, though.
21:53 kzb52 yes, but better late than never. It's ok if we start in January sometime, I think
22:58 kzb52 what do you think of 17
24:08 clyring Obviously explicit consent from omar is preferred, but we should probably start preparations without waiting for such.
24:25 aaaa At this point, I think people would be satisfied with any sign of life from Omar on Arimaa.
25:51 kzb52 I'm ok with omar being done, but right now it's just not clear if he's done with us or just taking a "vacation"

 
From the chatroom a few hours ago. Registration for the human championship would ideally have been well underway by now. As a corollary, we need to get all of the necessary administrative details covered as soon as possible if we are to have an unimpeded event cycle this year. I'll do what I can to help, but don't know that I want to take on a main leadership role, and unfortunately we are currently quite lacking in the latter.
 
EDIT: Maybe setting a concrete goal timetable would help:
In the next week or so: Enough volunteer staff to actually run the tournament.
Before the new year: Essentially finalized rules, such that registration may open.
A few weeks later: Tournament start.
Maybe a little ambitious, but the urgency of the situation is real to me.
« Last Edit: Dec 14th, 2015, 12:04am by clyring » IP Logged



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Re: 2016 World Championship format & changes
« Reply #2 on: Dec 14th, 2015, 8:48pm »
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Is the actual start date that important, compared to showing there is a commitment and a definite plan?  Hmm, on second read maybe "tournament start" really means start of registration?  In that case, yes, I think it would be good to open registration before the start of the new year.
 
Though I don't usually consider myself competitive, I'll consider playing to help get the number of participants up.  In that vein, is it worth considering a no-fee or very small fee for registration to remove as many barriers to participation as possible?
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clyring
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Re: 2016 World Championship format & changes
« Reply #3 on: Dec 16th, 2015, 8:52am »
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Clear leadership with commitment to some specific schedule would indeed make me feel much better, even if that specific schedule is delayed more than the 'few weeks' suggested above.
 
Regarding possible reduced or removed entry fee, I believe a very real part of the motivation for the entry fee in the first place was to ensure that all or nearly all registrants are serious and will give their opponents games. For that reason, it's slightly scary to eliminate the fee in the wake of last year's forfeit epidemic, even though we also need to do everything possible to bolster participation and engagement. (And would love to have you!) I don't know what is best here.
« Last Edit: Dec 16th, 2015, 8:52am by clyring » IP Logged



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Re: 2016 World Championship format & changes
« Reply #4 on: Dec 16th, 2015, 10:11am »
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20:18 kzb52 I feel like it's really important to not take a year off, even if participation goes down  
 
I agree with that. I would participate in the WC and will be available for helping out organizing it.
 
Idealy we get the tournament on the way as soon as possible. Therefore we shouldn't start debating the rules and stick to the rules used last year.
 
To concretize the timetable:
registration from december 28th until januari 31st
first round pairings on monday evening februari 1st (or early tuesday februari 2nd)
first round matches from wednesday februari 3rd until monday 8th.
With that schedule we're running a month behind compared to previous years.
 
1000 Arimaa points is a good entry fee, IMO. It is a good compromise for a maximal participation with minimal forfaits.
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Re: 2016 World Championship format & changes
« Reply #5 on: Dec 16th, 2015, 2:46pm »
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I'd be willing to help though someone would need to explain me what exactly to do as tournament coordinator.  
Also i agree that 1000 arimaa points should be fine as entry fee.
I see nothing wrong with discussing some rules as long as it doesn't delay the start. As for the forfeits problem, I wonder what is wrong with the obvious try that people get (part of) their pay in back if they don't forfeit a single game?
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clyring
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Re: 2016 World Championship format & changes
« Reply #6 on: Dec 28th, 2015, 12:17am »
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Both timetables are out. I submit now, in desperation, my own bid to organize the tournament. Tomorrow, I suppose, the real work begins.
« Last Edit: Dec 28th, 2015, 12:29am by clyring » IP Logged



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Re: 2016 World Championship format & changes
« Reply #7 on: Dec 28th, 2015, 6:07pm »
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I made some first pass edits to last year's rules and put them on the wiki. Comments and feedback appreciated.
 
Of particular note is that I also seek to host a warmup round and dress rehearsal, without barriers to entry, over the week from Jan. 11th to 18th. (Feel free to register!)
 
I also need confirmation from the possible TCs about willingness to volunteer and coordinate.
« Last Edit: Dec 30th, 2015, 7:09am by clyring » IP Logged



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Re: 2016 World Championship format & changes
« Reply #8 on: Dec 29th, 2015, 3:35am »
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Hi clyring, thanks for making the WC2016 happen!
 
I am available as TC
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Re: 2016 World Championship format & changes
« Reply #9 on: Dec 29th, 2015, 4:00pm »
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I will also throw my hat in as TC this year.  Thanks for doing this clyring!
 
You have a nice list of proposed changes in your rules.  I don't have thoughts on all of them, but here is the input I do have.  I've kept your ordering, and so the first ones are most important.
 
0.  Publicity
We need an announcement in the gameroom.  I think we should contact the participants from last year to remind them a tournament is happening.  I feel this is very important.
 
1.  Modify the rescheduling policy to explicitly allow late rescheduling at the discretion of the TD.
Go for it, but hopefully it's not too much of a logistical headache.
 
2.  Modify prize distribution to add an incentive for playing all games.
How much are you planning to give back to players who participated in all their games?  Half their entry fee?  A quarter of their entry fee?  I think this is promising but I'd like to hear a more concrete proposal.
 
3.  Modify pairing to concern itself with differences in performance rating rather than ordinal rank differences, to minimize the likelihood of ambiguous pairings
I think this change is for the best in the long term, but maybe not a top priority this year.  As you likely know/suspect, changing the pairing software for this year will only happen if you do it.  I certainly won't discourage the project  Smiley
 
4.  Make minor modifications to the time controls.
I think the time controls are fine.  If you have a specific alternative and a rationale for change I guess I'm all ears.  Mostly the time controls are 'tried and true' and shouldn't get tampered with.
 
5.  Remove the one-week break after round 6.
I don't like this one.  I prefer keeping the break, and really liked having a week off as a player last year.
 
6.  Weaken the zero-tolerance 15 minute forfeit rule.
I don't think I want to open this can of worms this year.  The 15 minute forfeit is automatically handled by the server and changing that is (AFAIK) out of the question.  If you're willing and able to override the server in each case I guess maybe we could do something.  But I'm still not convinced we should.
 
7.  Will there be a spectator contest? If not, remove reference to it.
This can be postponed until after the WC gets off the ground, since we'll have almost two months from the first games to launch it.
 
8.  Monitor bots
I liked the monitor bots and want them if possible.  I'm not sure what went into them or what alternatives we have.  This is something to look into.
 
9.  Commentary
As we discussed in chat today, we can use twitch if we need to.  I still prefer the radio if there is a way we can set it up.  The convenience of having it attached to the game is not to be underestimated.
« Last Edit: Dec 29th, 2015, 4:32pm by kzb52 » IP Logged
clyring
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Re: 2016 World Championship format & changes
« Reply #10 on: Dec 29th, 2015, 9:42pm »
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I'll just add a brief discussion of my motivation and thoughts for each listed and mentioned change and change under consideration.
 
on Dec 29th, 2015, 4:00pm, kzb52 wrote:
I will also throw my hat in as TC this year.  Thanks for doing this clyring!
 
You have a nice list of proposed changes in your rules.  I don't have thoughts on all of them, but here is the input I do have.  I've kept your ordering, and so the first ones are most important.
 
0.  Publicity
We need an announcement in the gameroom.  I think we should contact the participants from last year to remind them a tournament is happening.  I feel this is very important.

Agreed.
 
on Dec 29th, 2015, 4:00pm, kzb52 wrote:
1.  Modify the rescheduling policy to explicitly allow late rescheduling at the discretion of the TD.
Go for it, but hopefully it's not too much of a logistical headache.

The relevant passage in the current rules draft reads:
"Posts less than 24 hours from either the original or the proposed time slot may be accepted and effected solely subject to the availability and discretion of the Tournament Director."
 
The intention was not for this to be a policy change, but rather a reflection in the rules of the policies already in place in previous years. For example, my round 6 game against Brendan_M last year was rescheduled despite the fact that his post was less than 3 hours before the original time. I sought to explicitly reserve the right to perform such schedule adjustments, but also make clear that I am under no obligation to notice or respect such rescheduling attempts.
 
on Dec 29th, 2015, 4:00pm, kzb52 wrote:
2.  Modify prize distribution to add an incentive for playing all games.
How much are you planning to give back to players who participated in all their games?  Half their entry fee?  A quarter of their entry fee?  I think this is promising but I'd like to hear a more concrete proposal.

I was waffling on this one for a variety of reasons, but reviewing the previous format discussions and survey results (pre-2013, post-2014, post-2015), my concerns are somewhat alleviated, given that participation, and quality participation, stands much higher than prestige on my current list of priorities. Still, the 2014 championship seemed to me to have a much better retention of mid-to-upper-tier players from 2013 than 2015 from 2014. But it's easy to read too much into just one experience. (I was thinking half the entry fee, by the way. But that is subject to discussion, of course!)
 
on Dec 29th, 2015, 4:00pm, kzb52 wrote:
3.  Modify pairing to concern itself with differences in performance rating rather than ordinal rank differences, to minimize the likelihood of ambiguous pairings
I think this change is for the best in the long term, but maybe not a top priority this year.  As you likely know/suspect, changing the pairing software for this year will only happen if you do it.  I certainly won't discourage the project  Smiley

I figure likewise, but even if I don't get a software implementation together at all, pairing the tournament by hand given the (already automated) histories and STPRs of each player is not only doable, but quite easy until some effort is needed to avoid repeat pairings, by which time generally the number of remaining players is manageably small. Since this is mostly a me problem, and on further reflection neither a large nor an urgent me problem, I'll just make this change now and roll with the punches later, if it comes to that.
 
on Dec 29th, 2015, 4:00pm, kzb52 wrote:
4.  Make minor modifications to the time controls.
I think the time controls are fine.  If you have a specific alternative and a rationale for change I guess I'm all ears.  Mostly the time controls are 'tried and true' and shouldn't get tampered with.

I've long personally wanted to move toward event time controls with relatively larger initial reserve and smaller increment compared to the current standards, primarily because I think it's convenient for scheduling purposes both as a player and a spectator to have more consistent game lengths. It's not an important issue, though, and I don't think there has ever been large community support for this.
 
on Dec 29th, 2015, 4:00pm, kzb52 wrote:
5.  Remove the one-week break after round 6.
I don't like this one.  I prefer keeping the break, and really liked having a week off as a player last year.

It's only 'possibly consider' for a reason... Wink
I wanted to throw this idea out there and see if there was any community support for excising the gap in the name of finishing earlier.
 
on Dec 29th, 2015, 4:00pm, kzb52 wrote:
6.  Weaken the zero-tolerance 15 minute forfeit rule.
I don't think I want to open this can of worms this year.  The 15 minute forfeit is automatically handled by the server and changing that is (AFAIK) out of the question.  If you're willing and able to override the server in each case I guess maybe we could do something.  But I'm still not convinced we should.

Point of fact: The server does not enforce the uncompromising rule on forfeits embodied by the 2013-15 rules, in which all forfeits are automatic after 15 minutes with appeals only in case of grievous server issues, i.e. we must already sometimes override the server to enforce the current rules. (SeamusSweeney's round 2 game last year comes to mind...)
 
on Dec 29th, 2015, 4:00pm, kzb52 wrote:
7.  Will there be a spectator contest? If not, remove reference to it.
This can be postponed until after the WC gets off the ground, since we'll have almost two months from the first games to launch it.

I suppose this is true, but I'm not leaving it in the rules unless I know it is happening before registration opens. In any case, this will be for someone more passionate than I about the spectator contest concept to make real.
 
EDIT: On second thought, I guess I'll investigate whether or not I can use the TD tool to run a spectator contest like the last few years'.  If it's easy enough, I might put it together right quick. Not today, though.
 
on Dec 29th, 2015, 4:00pm, kzb52 wrote:
8.  Monitor bots
I liked the monitor bots and want them if possible.  I'm not sure what went into them or what alternatives we have.  This is something to look into.

They would be nice to have, and are the best representation of how server problems actually affect games, but generally the ping times and server load used from 2013 seem to be adequate as proxies.
 


In other news, I've received the go-ahead from Omar.
« Last Edit: Dec 29th, 2015, 11:43pm by clyring » IP Logged



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Re: 2016 World Championship format & changes
« Reply #11 on: Dec 31st, 2015, 11:41am »
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While writing up more detailed rules for implementing the suggested change " Modify pairing to concern itself with differences in performance rating rather than ordinal rank differences, to minimize the likelihood of ambiguous pairings," I found myself wondering what exactly the goals of the Swiss Section pairing rules are, so that an implementation concerned with STPR differences can accurately reflect those goals. I had to think for quite a while before coming up with much of anything.
 
My first and current hypothesis is that it seeks to minimize mismatches while still producing good mixing and sorting by wins and losses. Adjacent pairing, although it would serve the former better, by giving strong players strong opponents and weak players weak opponents it does a very poor job of mixing the players also loses a lot of the relationship between score and performance quality. This is complicated by the use of the highly dynamic STPR instead of seed ratings, but might still be a relevant concern. But in any case I can't wrap my head around adjacent pairing across brackets in this light- although it is better on mismatches, it is exceedingly poor on mixing and sorting, pairing a weak player within a bracket with an easy opponent, and a strong player within a bracket with a strong opponent. Moreover there is experience with ocmiente in 2012 demonstrating that playing up and losing can be a vicious cycle keeping a player at the top of a bracket and thus more likely to have to play up again. Giving the bye to the player with worst possible rank within a lower bracket again seems to fare close to pessimally with respect to that goal. Giving it to someone with as many losses as possible I'm okay with, for the bracket receiving the bye doesn't seem very important when there is no concern about the bye granting a player close to elimination an easy extra round of vitality. I guess it can be argued the players with fewer losses have more to play for, but avoiding cross-bracket pairings to the extent possible seems much more important to me than the height of the bye.
 
So many aspects of the pairing scheme seem to violate this hypothesis that I'm inclined to doubt it as a motivating factor, but I have no better concept at hand. If there are no objections, I'll run with the pairing system now described in the rules page. Any thoughts?
 
Massive edit:
Simple and easy for an STPR-ization of sliding pairing is just to maximize the sum of the square roots of the absolute STPR differences. This handles cross-bracket pairing differently, but in a better way IMO than the 2015 rules. Previously this post included a lengthy description of an inferior method, which I have excised.
« Last Edit: Dec 31st, 2015, 5:26pm by clyring » IP Logged



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Re: 2016 World Championship format & changes
« Reply #12 on: Jan 3rd, 2016, 11:03pm »
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Clyring thanks for stepping up as TD!
 
The "procedures" section of the rules has Janzert's email address in it.
Yes, Janzert's involvement will be missed.
 
I am very glad to see an anti-forfeit incentive.
I'd like to point out a discrepancy.  Clyring's mass email said: "50% of the entry fee is returned to all participants who play out their games."  The wiki page with the rules says: "All players who complete the tournament without forfeiting a game, including by graceful withdrawal, will be refunded half of the entry fee"
(Obviously the official rules take precedence, but I would expect that most players would read the emails and not the official rules.)
 
For what it's worth, I would suggest that if someone forfeits they should have to pay $5 to reenter the tournament.    This is really a refundable deposit -- if they complete all their remaining games without additional forfeits the $5 is refunded to them.  Otherwise it goes into the prize pool.  If someone forfeits multiple times the cost to reenter should increase each time.  
 
I'm also glad to see the WC warm-up event, which will allow me to lose to play against someone close to my strength.
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Re: 2016 World Championship format & changes
« Reply #13 on: Jan 3rd, 2016, 11:53pm »
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on Jan 3rd, 2016, 11:03pm, mattj256 wrote:
Clyring thanks for stepping up as TD!
 
The "procedures" section of the rules has Janzert's email address in it.
Yes, Janzert's involvement will be missed.

Looks like I missed that one. Nice catch!
 
on Jan 3rd, 2016, 11:03pm, mattj256 wrote:

I am very glad to see an anti-forfeit incentive.
I'd like to point out a discrepancy.  Clyring's mass email said: "50% of the entry fee is returned to all participants who play out their games."  The wiki page with the rules says: "All players who complete the tournament without forfeiting a game, including by graceful withdrawal, will be refunded half of the entry fee"
(Obviously the official rules take precedence, but I would expect that most players would read the emails and not the official rules.)

All players who play out their games will receive the partial refund, but these may not be the only such players, if we have some players gracefully withdrawing, in your interpretation. I would argue that it is only not playing out all of your games, when a game is scheduled for you and you don't show up. Wink
 
But yes, I opted for brevity over optimal clarity in the email.
 
on Jan 3rd, 2016, 11:03pm, mattj256 wrote:

For what it's worth, I would suggest that if someone forfeits they should have to pay $5 to reenter the tournament.    This is really a refundable deposit -- if they complete all their remaining games without additional forfeits the $5 is refunded to them.  Otherwise it goes into the prize pool.  If someone forfeits multiple times the cost to reenter should increase each time.  

This is somewhat inconvenient from the perspective of the software used to run the tournament. Actually implementing it would seem to require an extra round of communication to take place whenever a forfeiter needs to rejoin, which may be difficult, especially for unexpected occurrences close to the end of a round.
 
Generally I'm also disinclined to put something in place that feels punitive- especially since a forfeit can be the result of unfortunate circumstances rather than negligence.
 
I appreciate the suggestion, though. It sounds like you've also been reading carefully and thinking about the details of the rules. Smiley
 
on Jan 3rd, 2016, 11:03pm, mattj256 wrote:

I'm also glad to see the WC warm-up event, which will allow me to lose to play against someone close to my strength.

You're glad, I'm happy, everywhere is joy. Smiley
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Re: 2016 World Championship format & changes
« Reply #14 on: Jan 4th, 2016, 1:55pm »
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on Jan 3rd, 2016, 11:53pm, clyring wrote:
I would argue that it is only not playing out all of your games, when a game is scheduled for you and you don't show up. Wink
Yes I agree that a forfeit is only when the game is scheduled and you don't show up.
 
On further reflection, once the tournament starts I think it would be good to provide information in the mass emails on how to gracefully withdraw.  Also (in case it hasn't been mentioned previously) I recommend being really clear with people about time zone information, especially for the first week or two.  If I remember correctly at least one forfeit last year was due to someone skimming their email and not realizing that the times listed were in UTC.
 
on Jan 3rd, 2016, 11:53pm, clyring wrote:
It sounds like you've also been reading carefully and thinking about the details of the rules.
Yeah I think about things, sometimes too much for my own good.
 
on Jan 3rd, 2016, 11:53pm, clyring wrote:
You're glad, I'm happy, everywhere is joy. Smiley
Of course I'm happy: there's an Arimaa tournament!! Wink
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