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Is it necessary to change the rules of insei league ?
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 Post subject: What's wrong with this league ?
Post #1 Posted: Wed Jun 02, 2010 1:16 pm 
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I was very surprised when i discovered the tables of June. In league A, 5 players (out of 12) left included top players like Danigabi and OohAah. In league B, also many left and in league D and E, the tables are not full filled (10/12 and 9/12 respectively)
I think it's due to the new rules added by Breakfast in May : http://www.gosensations.com/?id=2&serve ... new_id=851
with this rules, he wanted to get prizes.


He reached his goal : Roln finished first and Breakfast second of League A !
As a result Top players can't get prize anymore so they are not interested to continue this league. he get prize (125$ for his second place in league A and lose at the same time many players : 95$ subscription per player) Short calcul shows that with this spirit he clearly loses money at the end. I'm don't like the fact that teachers can get prizes because their prize is already the money they get from this project, but if we admit they can get prize, at least it must be with equal chances, ie with handicap

the defeat against teachers are take into account. As a result, players do less games against teachers, and it affects the teaching aspect of this league.

An interesting topic (viewtopic.php?f=44&t=369) discussed about new rules to motivate players to play more and against any opponent. Breakfast was aware of this but didn't take it into account ! how to attract more people if we don't take care of their opinions ? here again it's a good way to lose money.


talking about rules, how to find the complete rules at unique place ? website is not updated, there are rules in the FAQ, rules in the home page and rules on go sensations website..


Breakfast, i like the concept of this league and it permited me to focus more on training but it begins to turn bad.
please do something to continue to have a fun and useful league !!
I feel very disatisfied and plan to quit if nothing change.

All are welcome to provide feedback !

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 Post subject: Re: What's wrong with this league ?
Post #2 Posted: Wed Jun 02, 2010 1:44 pm 
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I agree's with Ha's sentiments here, certain rules in A league needs to change if we wish to retain top players, and if we wish to encourage players to actually play their teaching games vs the teachers.

With the rules the way they currently are, it encourages players to actively avoid the teaching games. Top players wish to play the minimum possible to give them a chance of getting a prize, while lower players in A League avoid teaching games altogether to avoid be dropped to B League. This seems to defeat the purpose of the leagues games

I do recommend the rule changes as outlined by TopZag in the other post on this forum.

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 Post subject: Re: What's wrong with this league ?
Post #3 Posted: Wed Jun 02, 2010 4:28 pm 
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as someone who left the leugue this month, making it harder to get prizes had a big effect on my decision, althou i was planning to leave anyway cuz of exams, i might come back later depending on how things develop.

for the top few players in A group, its not THAT intersting to play many games with 2-4 dans(especially if you are paying for it), and for playing each other we didnt really need the leugue, playing breakfast and roln in simuls is nice but thats about all the value top players see from this leugue, hence theres gotta be some insentive to play because there is no educational value for top players in A group, that would be said prizes, i think the prizes are kinda small anyway, to win the 200$ for 1st place in A group not only do you have to be pretty good but you gotta play a decent amount of games, when i won last month it took me 17 games(and i ended up splitting it anyway to 160) hence at least 20 hours making it 8$ an hour ,not including a nice amount of time spent on finding games. im not complaining, it was fun playing in a leugue, but obviously not worthwhile.

i think any strong player coming into the leugue will share my view, in lower leugues players want to win to move up to the next group and so, but for A group winning the leugue is almost meaningless.

that being said..i think its up to alex to figure out how important it is for him to have strong players in the leugue, and if hes willing to pay the price for it.

ps: website needs much more professional look, people are paying alot of money for this leugue, so at least make the rules perfectly organized and maybe get a nicer layout.

ps2:the way teachers get prizes in B-E groups is ridiclous, the games are HUGELY uneven and its obvious teachers are gonna win it.

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 Post subject: Re: What's wrong with this league ?
Post #4 Posted: Thu Jun 03, 2010 3:00 am 
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Hi, friends

Main problem:
Top A group players are trying to avoid playing with each other (the main reason why Artem92 decided to stop).
I don't know how to force them. I understand that it's not interesting enough for 6-7d players to meet 2-3d players, but in current system it's necessary to meet them for getting prizes

My proposal:

We can make A group similar to all other groups (will not count games, lost to teachers).
But we will have one supergroup inside of A group.
Group with 4 best members.
We will allow them to play 4 games with teachers and 4 games with other supergroup members. But supergroup members will play max. one game with regular A members.
For supergroup we will count games lost to teachers.

Benefits:
1. Regular and Weak members of A group will play teaching games without any pressure (loses are not count)
2. Top members of A group will not spend much time for playing 2-3 dans
3. If the min. required ammount of games is still 12, top A group members will have a choice - they can play teachers or other supergroup members
4. We will see such matches as danigabi vs oohaah and can ask them to play in EGR (700+ observers saw my game with Ali)

Now I can explain why we lost so many players in June:
YraUkr is without internet access now, arlequ1 and fantastigo will continue in Sep.
We have 20+ other inseis who decided to take the summer break. Some of them paid the entry fee for Sep already.

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 Post subject: Re: What's wrong with this league ?
Post #5 Posted: Thu Jun 03, 2010 3:07 am 
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We can also have separated prizes for supergroup and A group
Every month we lowest one in the supergroup will go down to A and the strongest one in A will promote to the supergroup.

Also, if you like this idea, we can change the handicap:
Supergroup players will play even games with teachers, Regular A group members will play without komi.

I understand it's very hard to 2-4d players to beat me and Ilya even in simultaneous, if the games are even

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 Post subject: Re: What's wrong with this league ?
Post #6 Posted: Thu Jun 03, 2010 3:16 am 
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breakfast wrote:
Main problem:
Top A group players are trying to avoid playing with each other (the main reason why Artem92 decided to stop).
I don't know how to force them. I understand that it's not interesting enough for 6-7d players to meet 2-3d players, but in current system it's necessary to meet them for getting prizes


Remember, this was one of the purposes of my proposed system, to make sure that wins against other top players was worth enough that the incentive was there to play. With the % win system to rank players people will actively avoid those they might lose to. With no penalty for losing and potentially a big reward for winning, they will actively seek out those games.

The proposal of mine wasn't simply to rank people, it was to encourage division to operate in a way that makes it exciting for everyone - both the observers following the important top games, and the need for those players to get as many games played as possible. With the ability to handicap the score of teachers, the same result can still be achieved without super groups or special rules (both of which I think are a disadvantage to the system).

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 Post subject: Re: What's wrong with this league ?
Post #7 Posted: Thu Jun 03, 2010 4:24 am 
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breakfast wrote:
Hi, friends

Main problem:
Top A group players are trying to avoid playing with each other (the main reason why Artem92 decided to stop).
I don't know how to force them. I understand that it's not interesting enough for 6-7d players to meet 2-3d players, but in current system it's necessary to meet them for getting prizes

My proposal:

We can make A group similar to all other groups (will not count games, lost to teachers).
But we will have one supergroup inside of A group.
Group with 4 best members.
We will allow them to play 4 games with teachers and 4 games with other supergroup members. But supergroup members will play max. one game with regular A members.
For supergroup we will count games lost to teachers.

Benefits:
1. Regular and Weak members of A group will play teaching games without any pressure (loses are not count)
2. Top members of A group will not spend much time for playing 2-3 dans
3. If the min. required ammount of games is still 12, top A group members will have a choice - they can play teachers or other supergroup members
4. We will see such matches as danigabi vs oohaah and can ask them to play in EGR (700+ observers saw my game with Ali)

Now I can explain why we lost so many players in June:
YraUkr is without internet access now, arlequ1 and fantastigo will continue in Sep.
We have 20+ other inseis who decided to take the summer break. Some of them paid the entry fee for Sep already.


This supergroup idea seems to be a step in the right direction but I wounder how it will be in reality (Must be tested to see the results). If some members of the top group is inactive or not online often, it will be really hard to find enough games to play. The same problem might remain that someone in the super topgroup get a few wins in the beginning and then just play people from the A group and avoid playing the other topplayers. Is there a way to restrict this? Perhaps force everyone to play at least 2 games with eachother, but is it possible to force this kind of thing?

However, something must be done from the current system. I share the viewpoint of OohAah. For topplayers of the leauge, playing the lowerdan players are not so interesting, there is better ways to practice obviously. And playing the other players when you are leading the leauge is suicide, as you can only gain 1% by winning usually and will lose 8-9% if you lose. Considering that your chances are about 50%, there is no gain in playing. (Like in April when I was 3rd place the top 2 players obv didnt want to play me. In March when I was leading, the last few days I didn't want to play the other topplayers, (though I played everyone during the month at least.. :) )

As people mentioned before me, I think you also need to reconsider the prize-system Alex. The kyuplayers can obviously not get the prize-money, as the handicap is too low, you and Ilya will almost always get 100%. With the new rules, the A groups members can almost not get the prize money either, as you and Ilya are stronger then top participants in 1v1 games. And it's very easy for both of you to beat the weaker members of the group in simul.

So what is the point of having the prizes if it's hard for the students to get them? It seems you are very intent on that the teachers will get the prizes (thus new rules constantly). Isn't it just better to remove them?

Removing the prizes will get the effect that you wont get very strong participants participating in the league, as there is no real educational value except the occasional game with you and Ilya. But the kyu players and lower dans would still pay even if there was no prize money I would assume, as they effectively have no chance to get them. Or perhaps you can have other prizes for the lower groups as well players as well, as go4go, extra reviews/simuls/audio on their game etc.

I guess the last option would be to have only prize money for the A group, if you are really intent that their are strong participants in the league. However I don't think that the teachers should be able to get prize-money, or if they are there should be some kind of handicap so that the participants still have about 50% to acquire them.

I do think the leauge is a very good idea however, and I really hope that it continues to improve so that you and also other teachers can make a living out of Go while living in the west. I hope that everyone also keeps in mind that the leauge is just starting out and it's not easy for Alex to create the perfect system immediately. It's very nice to see that so many are giving constructive critique so he can continue improving it.

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Post #8 Posted: Thu Jun 03, 2010 4:46 am 
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Hmm. I think Alex made a good suggestion now. Supergroup could improve A group, but players from supergroup shoould play at least 2 games against each other. It is only 6 games, so good enough. Website should be improved, and all rules put on it. That way, everything would be on one place, and no one would be mad because Alex is putting Inesi League news on gosensations.com Also, it is too hard for weaker inseis to get prizes, so teachers shouldnt be able to get them - they get money from the league. This league is grand idea, but it still has a lot of place to improve. For example, I didnt find audio lessons very useful. Of course, when they reviewed my games, it was great, but I would rather review commented pro game son my own than watch audio reviews of some low dans... We would find audio lessons much much better if they were concerned with topics like joseki, yose, kikashi or anything like that.. Also, I think there is too much burden on Alexandre. Besides playaing simultaneous, he has to review all the games. I think offline reviews by other pro teachers would also be good. I also dont like the idea of public amateur(besides roln) teachers. They might be good for kyu players, but I doubt 4d can teach 3d. So, they give lessons for weaker players, and top players get less lessons. Maybe some sort of private teaching - A group members do reviews for some D group members, and everyone can see them in written form, but weaker player pays the stronger player. For example, I have 20 dollars extra this month. I decide to pay a few dollars per game(4-5) for reviews by 5d( I am 10 kyu for example). I send the money to breakfast, and the game sI want to be reviewed, and he choses an A group member to get the money and to do the reviews. Thats it from me, at least for now.

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 Post subject: Re: What's wrong with this league ?
Post #9 Posted: Thu Jun 03, 2010 11:00 am 
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I'm still prefer topazg system but i agree the supergroup idea is already a step in right direction. Is it too late to make it this month :?: perhaps just change a bit league A table is still possible. I'm agree with the fact they have to play each others at least 2 times.
also to interest top players, how about review each of their games ?

the audio lessons are nice (but need to be completed by books for theory) but it's more 6 lessons (3 with Lee Hajin, 3 with An Youngil) than the 12 mentionned at the very beginning.
if we remove prizes...it's like all the prizes are already in teacher's pockets so perhaps Hajin and Youngil can have more money and provide one or two more lessons ?
In fact lot of lessons are for russians, and they are not so many this month for league A and B. I don't know russian but the topics seems interesting (pro game reviews and new theory isn't it ?) ant not only review games, it would be so nice to get them in english :D

the idea mentionned by Lovrokic is somewhat already here with some A group members who are teachers for kyu players of league C, D, E. But if we can chose teachers related to the players who ask for, i'm agree to provide some french comments for french kyu players and certainly some A League russian players can provide the same for russian kyu players and so on...

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Post #10 Posted: Thu Jun 03, 2010 12:51 pm 
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I think the supergroup idea is definitely a step in the right direction, as haha mentioned. However, I feel it is a patchwork solution and may not address the core issue of the problem:

1. The % scoring systems makes top players avoid playing each other.
2. Top players will still avoid playing games vs teachers.

Even if we had a supergroup within A, the top members of that supergroup is still likely to do this. For example, in this month

We have BUM 7d and Supertjc 8d who are clearly stronger than all other members of A League.

Even of these 2 players were placed in the supergroup, they'll still avoid each other and get their wins from other members of the supergroup which they have almost 100% chance of winning (Nata, Kalmah, or whoever else placed in supergroup)

Both players are also not going to player more games vs teachers than necessary.

The additional burden of the new system is that A group members will find it more difficult to get more, and thus may feel that the insei league is worth less $ since they get less reviews. Supergroup members may have problems finding each other. Supertjc, for example, lives in the Singapore timezone, which means that it'll be very hard for anyone the play him!

***

I do prefer Topzags scoring the system in the previous thread. It

1. Provides huge incentive for top players to play each other by bonus points.
2. Provides incentive to play more games

If we adjust the bonus of teachers to be say, 50% that of students, as suggested by Topzag (can tweak this later). We can get teachers and students to win prizes 50/50.

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Post #11 Posted: Fri Jun 11, 2010 9:39 am 
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I think, it is better to remove all cash prizes in groups E-B because a main target of players of these groups is improvement of the game and transition in high groups.
As to group A it is better to discuss rules with players of this group, but for first four places in group A prizes are necessary.

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Post #12 Posted: Thu Jul 22, 2010 8:53 am 
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breakfast wrote:
Hi, friends

Main problem:
Top A group players are trying to avoid playing with each other (the main reason why Artem92 decided to stop).
I don't know how to force them. I understand that it's not interesting enough for 6-7d players to meet 2-3d players, but in current system it's necessary to meet them for getting prizes


Kyosa Breakfast (if that is acceptable);

If it is seen that the top players are avoiding playing each other, it would be wise for the weaker players to avoid playing the stronger players and only play against themselves! This way, the stronger players would be forced to play against themselves in order to maintain their position in the league. However, that is unrealistic. The question is really, how you can mandate it in the rules.

First of all, in the ASR league system I required everyone play a game against everyone else. In practice I discovered this only really worked in the A and B leagues - in the C, D, and E leagues people were absent or didn't play. If you see that that this problem can't exist in A-league, because everyone is so active there, then you can introduce a special rule without any problems:

the four-game allowance is removed for previous winners of room a.

Yes! Previous winners of A-room cannot be promoted so having 12 games is just a requirement for winning prize money. With the rule of four games removed, every previous winner of A must play everyone else.

Actually, you might even consider just removing the four game rule from A-room entirely and make everyone in A play everyone else at least once. Why not? A room is the most active room. No one is in A if they aren't dedicated. if they don't play games in A, kick them out. Yes, if someone misses a game or drops out, it can be a problem to get 12 games, so just introduce a rule that you can play the same person a maximum of four times. That means you can play the same person three, or four times, or two people twice. This may in fact be the ideal solution, for all members of room A. It's fair, and it's simple.

This makes it impossible for the top four players to monopolize prize money or prey on weaker players. This way everyone in A-room gets some wins. So even new players will have a chance (since new players or people who have "remained" in a-room can play 4 games against each other).

I think this is the best solution possible. If top players in A are only there for the prizes, this makes it at once more competitive, and more fair. I think it is the best solution. Please consider what I have said.

breakfast wrote:
My proposal:

We can make A group similar to all other groups (will not count games, lost to teachers).
But we will have one supergroup inside of A group.
Group with 4 best members.
We will allow them to play 4 games with teachers and 4 games with other supergroup members. But supergroup members will play max. one game with regular A members.


I think your solution is almost the same as mine. Maybe your idea is better, but I think mine can be said more simply. If they won A-room, they can only play one game max with other A-room members.

Anyways, I'd also comment on the situation about prize money. Personally I don't care about prizes and think they should be removed. Especially for rooms E, D and C. Those players need to improve, not try and game a win in E group to win money. But, if people are worried about teachers winning the prize money, because the prizes are supposed to be an incentive to players, why not just slightly lower the prize money and not allow teachers to win prizes? That way the teachers get more money, and the perception that the teachers are taking the student's incentive away disappears. If you think that teachers should win prize money 25% of the time, lower the prize money by 25% and distribute that money to the teachers.

I don't think anyone is suggesting you are trying to win 100% of the prize money. That wouldn't make sense, then you should just remove the prize money. But yes, to remove the perception of a conflict of interest, just lower the prize money by whatever % you think teachers should win it, and then just pay the teachers a little more. Simple ;-)

I really can't wait to join the league in September. It is on my mind every day. I am racing towards that goal.

I really believe what you have done is the best thing that has ever happened in online go.

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Post #13 Posted: Thu Jul 22, 2010 11:20 am 
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My two cents:

I was in the league (lower down obviously) for a month, but I didn't feel that it provided enough value for the cost. Not so much the $95 a month; I have disposable income and I don't/didn't mind spending it. Just the effort of involved in tracking down other players and scheduling matches and being around for simul/lectures really sucked most of the fun of playing out. So for instance if I had a match scheduled I couldn't decide to stay late at work and play Left 4 Dead with friends there (our games are usually spur of the moment). I couldn't decide to wander aimlessly around the city looking for dinner. I can play on KGS and normally get a ranked game against an evenly ranked opponent in a few minutes any time I want, so the time flexibility is really nice. I actually played fewer games during the month I was in the league than I did before or after.

The simul games and lectures were really the only part of the league I couldn't get elsewhere. For lectures, they tended to be at inconvenient times. Plus half of them were in Russian, and of the English ones half again were aimed at stronger players. Plus the audio quality + accents (to my uncouth American ears :) ) made them difficult to follow easily. So I didn't really take advantage of lectures like I could. Simul games were nice but the handicaps were wildly inappropriate for my level, so the games were more frustrating than enlightening. And again the times were often inconvenient.

Also, the competitive nature of the leagues feels off. With the internet it's really quite easy to find opponents to play against. At least in the kyu ranks. In fact, you're more likely to find an evenly matched game using automatch than you are in the league since players in a single league can differ by quite a large number of stones. It would seem more useful to structure it more as a class, where a pro gives a lecture on some concept and the players randomly experiment with it amongst themselves in free even and handicap games and against random players online, and the pro provides feedback (since for the first while it's likely the new concept will make the player's game worse) and then some sort of teaching game at the end to see how well the student mastered the idea and provide feedback about where to go from there. Then the whole class moves on to the next idea.

The prizes/disincentive to play stronger players, etc. were non issues for me. But again, I was in the lower league.

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