Advice on when to use Score Estimator

I’m new to Go and have learned a lot by occasionally looking at the Score Estimator, as it seems to help me think about the whole board, especially when playing against bots, but I’d like to know:

a) Is this a ‘mild’ form of cheating? (even though it is permitted in many games)?

b) Do many people disable analysis when creating custom games? (I do sometimes)

c) I most frequently use it to help me decide if I should resign, but is that simply a justification on the basis of saving my opponents time?

d) Do new players like me tend to become dependant on Analysis if they use it early on or is it only useful for beginners like me - and irrelevant once one’s playing (and scoring) skills improve? i.e. will I grow out of it, or become dependant on it?


Welcome to OGS. Hope you stay long and enjoy the games, although you might lose one or two :slight_smile:

Some people think it is cheating, some don’t.
Be aware that the SE is not always accurate, so do check the final board situation carefully. And if you see a dead group which is not considered as such by the SE, mark it as dead.

In tournaments often analysis is disabled, but not always. Also on this subject there is no consensus. The disadvantage of analysis enabled is that you become lazy and don’t learn to think some moves ahead.

It is really decent to think of you about your opponents, but it is just too polite.
When you feel that you have to resign, do so (but not to save time for your opponents).
Learning how to count what is yours and what is not is more important (and don’t forget komi).

The risk is certainly that you become dependant.
And if you get a little practice in counting, it won’t take you very long.


If it’s available, you may use it. Don’t worry about the “cheating”. :wink:

I’m glad you’re looking at the whole board. It’s an essential skill to move on from being a beginner.

Yet the estimator’s results are often random trash. If you can learn to judge the position for yourself, stand on your own feet, and even better - play human opponents! - I believe you can get stronger and have more fun at it. :wink:


The score estimator is very very low quality, but there are some fear to make it better vs cheating. If you want to try to count yourself, just count the territories you think are completely sure, counting 2 by 2 is quicker (1 prisoner=2 points too)
Then the more you use your eyes, the better you will be at go,so here too, try do things without help
Last, play humans more if you didn’t play them yet.
Have fun playing go!