Can someone introduce OGS features to me?

I don’t really understand what ladders are, and also how tournament works. How do you join one? Create one?
How does group work?
I just want to know what can I do here other than playing solo :stuck_out_tongue:

A ladder is an ongoing competition without a set endpoint, and participants can come and go as they please. Everyone that is participating in a ladder is put into an ordered ranking or “position” in the ladder (which is independent of the kyu-dan ranking system). When a player joins a ladder, they are added at the “bottom of the ladder” (the lowest position in the ladder ranking). They can issue challenges to other players above them. If the player with the lower ladder position wins the challenge game (even if the game is cancelled/annulled), they jump to the position right above the player that they just beat. If the player with the higher ladder position wins, they both just stay where they were. Ladders games are no-handicap, correspondence (3 days, +1 day Fischer), and ranked. There are separate ladders for the three different board sizes (19x19, 13x13, 9x9).

There are three site-wide ladders (one for each size of board) which a lot of people participate in:

You can join a ladder by viewing the ladder and then clicking the button in the top right to join that ladder. Then you can start sending challenges, and eventually receive challenges once you’ve moved up from the very bottom. Players can only send challenges to others that are not too far ahead of them (e.g., it’s usually not possible to challenge the top players when entering at the very bottom of a big ladder), so it typically takes some time and several victories to “climb to higher rungs of the ladder”.

Tournaments are another form of structured competition, but these have a fixed start and end with a set group of players. There are few different particular structures for how the games are played, but I’m not very familiar with the details since I’ve never participated in those. There are both correspondence and live tournaments. I’m sure others on the forum can help provide more details about how these are run and how to join.

Groups are just informal clubs that members can create and join. Most seem to be public, but a few are private. They cater to various interests, such as speakers of a particular language, school mates, players within certain categories of skill, etc.

Each group has its own forum/news on its page, and can organize it owns ladders/tournaments, typically targeting the particular category of players that they are trying to reach.

Well that’s about all that I know, since I’m relatively new here as well. Hope that helps.

Welcome to the site! I’m sure you’ll have a lot of fun here.


That was a good explanation, I just want to add a little bit on tournaments…

Only site admins can create sitewide tournaments… members can only create tournaments under groups (but you don’t necessarily have to be a group member to join a group tournament)

There are a variety of different tournament types and we’ll be adding more in the future… some tournaments restrict what ranks they allow to participate. Typically for site tournaments we announce them here in the forums.


Thank you very much.

So ladders are only correspondence games? Is there a particular reason for it?
I like the ladder idea but on the other hand I can’t keep stable schedule to play correspondence games…

Yes, currently all of the ladders offer only correspondence games.

It would be interesting to have ladders for live games as well, but the logistics of scheduling the games might make that difficult. It might require restricting participation to those that can commit to being available at specific times. I’m not too sure how one could make that work. A live game ladder might actually demand a more stable schedule than the correspondence ladders.

Correspondence games aren’t too tough to keep up with. With Fischer timing, as a long as you can average 24 hours per turn, you’ll be fine. Since the timing system allows you to accumulate up to 3 days, you can occasionally take longer breaks if you’ve save up that time from moving faster than average for a while.

Additionally, the website has a vacation time feature, which will pause all of your games while you are away. You have to manually set your mode to “on vacation” in the settings page and you have a limited amount of vacation time that you can use. I believe vacation time accrues at a rate of 1 day per 8 days not on vacation, and it maxes out at a little over 4 weeks.

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Oh, I see. So a live ladder will be harder to play, silly me :smile: