Am I alone in feeling like OGS is the hardest place to find an even game?

Imagine that you wish to draw a picture. But on the paper list someone else already painted some parts of something. You are no longer have 100% freedom of what to paint.


In Go I NEVER paint that “picture” alone, it is ALWAYS co-authored with the opponent …


In even game you can ALWAYS create unusual situation on the board. Opponent will be forced to react, its no longer possible to play 100% standard against such situation.
Against handicap stones you will not have time to do something like this, you will only have time to try to win, you no longer have choice of how to win.
And when you already have boring standard 4-4 stones in your corners, you can’t use your favorite 4-5 stones instead. Sideseki also will not look like sideseki.


This doesn’t fix the being unable to play even-game openings like 5-4 or sideseki (likely, at least), I just felt to mention that free placement handicap can be very interesting too in its own right :slight_smile:

I’ve been finding NZ rules handicap tournaments in which I’ve begun participating recently very interesting and refreshing compared to the standard Japanese opening 4-4/4-10/10-10 handicap layouts ^^

(NZ rules are free placement handicap, like Chinese type rulesets)

Recently I played as White against this creative opening by @dexonsmith , which I really enjoyed playing with and considering strategies to handle :slightly_smiling_face:


Yep, free handicap placement may satisfy your creativity side, as pointed by @fuseki3

Besides, one likes better to bring some advantage from the opening but considering the strength of intermediate players, this advantage is quite anecdotic to what happen next in their games. in french we say “ne mets pas la charrue avant les boeufs”


I think nobody is pushing for handicap to become obligatory on OGS, so if you don’t like handicap you can just play games without handicap, even when handicap is more popularised on OGS.


But defaults matter, and I think it’s good that handicap stones are an option rather than the default, as they do have a major impact on gameplay


I think it’s a fact. Whenever I feel my opponent is weaker than their rating suggests, I click on their profile, and 90% of the time, their rating on 19x19 is lower than their aggregated rating.

I think we should do like lichess or, and have a separate rating for 9x9, 13x13 and 19x19, because when you think about it, these three are very different games, so being strong at one doesn’t guarantee you’ll be strong at the others.


102% agreed with a 2% margin of error. I’ve put forth lichess as an excellent model for emulation in this area

Many people thought about it, and intuitively I’d think the same too, but it seems data disagrees with this view which is why it remains.

That said, this question/suggestion keeps coming up for a reason. I don’t think the status quo is really satisfactory either.

I wonder if, just like the japanese byo-yomi, it’s a matter of tradition. Every go server has an aggregated ranking that merges games played on different board size and time control, and chances are ogs didn’t want to disturb the old habits.

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OGS is the only server i know with a rating system covering the 3 sizes and all time settings together. That’s not so traditional.