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FYI, I timed it today. The current auto-abort time out is 1 minute, which is not entirely unreasonable, but I actually had two opponents auto-abort in a row today. I'm very tired of these idle opponents.
There are settings, but none are related to aborts (http://www.chess.com/home/livechess_settings). Aborts are controlled by chess.com.
Chess.com is in a constant struggle to contort its system in attempt to address the problem of unresponsive players, without admitting that it is wrong to restrict 1st move aborts.
I can see assigning chaos points for Black aborting on move 1 of Chess960 if he/she doesn't like the position. That's naughty. But normal chess? Please.
@Scottrf, thanks. That may be the case, but what a weird way to try to wind someone up...To be clear, when I say I abort a game, I am talking about doing so when my opponent is not making their FIRST move (which happens all too often). If I get an opponent who doesn't make their first move in a 5 minute game in about a minute, then I certainly feel aborting is fair. If their clock was running, I wouldn't care, but I have no way of knowing if they are AFK, narcoleptic, indecisive, or simply rude.
The game should automaticly abort if the first move isn't played withing around 30 seconds, you should just wait for that time to run out.
@GreenCastleBlock, interesting. You make a good point about 960. Are people worried that someone will just abort all their blacks so they get exclusively white? I don't think that's a problem on any other service I have tried. Also, there would be easy software fixes they could implement with color assignation to prevent that.
@ajttja, as I stated earlier, I did not know there was an auto-abort. Also, in my previous post I noted that I have timed the auto-abort to 1 minute currently, and some of the links in the thread suggest it has been up to 2.5 minutes at some points.
Chess.com, like the ICSs, has means to attempt to balance color distribution. I'd presume it doesn't count an aborted Black as a Black; that's not the issue. However, Chess960 positions are randomly generated per game; It's my understanding some 960 players feel some configurations favor White more strongly than others so they'll abort those when they have Black.
I'm not too considered about Chess960 actually, but applying a policy that is good for 960 and forcing it on the general chess population seems wrong-headed. True, you'll get the occasional knuckle-dragger who aborts games where he's got Black vs. 1.e4 but will play on against other moves, but no solution is perfect. Let individual block/noplay controls take care of these corner cases. I feel chess games should be able to get aborted before move 2 without penalty if either player doesn't want to play the game for some reason. That's the way it is on all other ICSs and it solves all these issues chess.com is trying to find creative ways to thwart.
By the way before someone screams "but this is the way the pools on ICC are and those are great" ... well, in the pools you can't specify what rating range you want to play against. Also, you are bound to a specific time control per pool, so you know how your 5-minute rating compares to other people playing 5 0, not people who got their rating by playing 3 0 or 14 0. ICC pools work in a different way than seeking normally and the inability to abort actually makes sense there given the other rules.
Allowing someone to choose seeks / rating range but then denying them the option to abort without penalty makes no sense and chess.com should back off of this policy IMHO. (but they won't)
Where I find all this ?....Well, just plain hilarious........they are not even sanctioned games people. The rating you have here is as useful as monopoly $. Think ! Players use engines, softscript in nuances/advantages, verbally assault, obnoxiously abort, etc. And guess what ? All for free !....and all incognito !....anyone taking free online chess (you've opted to pay) seriously is, well....(left palm of hand contacts forehead....eyes roll looking for brain....)
Take it for what it's worth.........and Monopoly money = Bag of Groceries....