I propose to change the rules for declined matches because I believe that currently they do not properly address several situations. For example suppose Player1 opens with DI. Player2 accidentally declines. Claiming an automatic victory here seems excessively punitive. Now suppose Player1 opens with a 70 point bingo. Player2 declines. Even in this case I believe an automatic victory is not quite the optimal solution. Player2 should have played at a disadvantage but certainly would not lose 100% of the time, which is what the rule implies.
What about option (b) of observing a handicap equal to the lead? Again justice is not quite served because Player2 would have had right of response which means that Player1 should have gone into move 3 with a lead of somewhat less than 70 points. Option (c) of restarting with no handicap suffers similarly in that it completely erodes the big advantage that should have accrued to Player1 from opening with a bingo. My solution is to institute a mandatory rematch such that Player1 gets a handicap equal to the opening move less an adjustment to account for what Player2 would have scored. Determining the adjustment is difficult but in the face of uncertainty my preference is to choose a number that slightly favors Player1. I certainly do not want to introduce any incentives to deliberately decline. The number I am choosing is 20.
So my full proposal for the rule is as follows:
DECLINED GAMES – If a player declines the opening move, the procedure is as follows:
a) Mutually agreed upon solution – this is the preferred option. If the players can come to mutually agreeable terms then that agreement supersedes all of the following rules
b) Mandatory rematch – If the players cannot agree then this triggers a mandatory rematch subject to the following conditions:
i) A normal daily challenge match is played. The person who opened the match in dispute also opens the rematch
ii) At the end of the match the player who opened the match has an upward score adjustment equal to the opening move in the declined match less 20 points. Regardless of the opening score, players never have points deducted. Some examples follow:
- Opened with 6 point move: 0 adjustment
- Opened with 20 point move: 0 adjustment
- Opened with 29 point move: +9 point adjustment
- Opened with 70 point move: +50 point adjustment
I would like some time to hear feedback and then plan to have the rule in place by round 20.