Can't play bots

Is there some reason I am not able to play against the bots in a private game even with a large handicap?

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  1. No ranked games >9 stones are possible.
  2. Not all bots accept free games.
  3. Not all bot admins allow private games.
  4. You might fall outside of the rank restriction set by the admin.
  5. Some bots may not accept handicap at all.

Thank you for responding but what reason for such restrictions? I would think that beginners are the most likely to want to play the bots, but I’m locked out.

It’s fine I guess, I’ll use a windows client.

Honestly if you really want to practice with a bot, you are better off just running Leela/AQ on your own machine. If you want to play a weak bot (terrible idea imho), just use GnuGo.

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I have played GNU go a bunch of times and lost, so your advice seems a little condescending (yes I know the basics). Why should I download a bot that is several factors stronger than I ever expect to achieve?

It seems to me the bots are actually not a service the website directly offers, but are acting as players for the benefit of the admin hosting the bot. Maybe they restrict the availability of the bot to save on compute cycles on the server hosting the AI?

To me it’s the principle of the thing. The bot tab should be greyed out or something until you hit the rank where you are actually allowed access. The rejection message certainly isn’t user friendly.

Sure I could use crazystone or whatever on android but I’d rather contain my GO play to one location.
No offense.


Well, you are more or less right. OGS was designed for humans, and all the bots are run by third parties and the user friendliness is almost non existent :smiley:

However, once you figure it out itˇfine :smiley: you can usually find the restrictions in the bot’s profile, or check here: AI Game Restrictions

As to why there restrictions exist (apart from bots designed for certain board size) I think you are quite close with the guess that it is due to hardware limitations, as not to waste “Leela power” on 20k games…


Yeah that would be like hiring out your best escort to a 16-year-old who stole dad’s credit card, when really any old hooker will do.


Nah, I think that’s fair :smiley:

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IMHO, there’s no point in playing a bot on OGS. You get all of the drawbacks of playing a bot with none of the benefits. For example, when you play a bot on your own computer, you have the advantage of undoing moves and trying different tacks. You loose those advantages when playing a bot on OGS, so why bother?

When you play a person on OGS, you can do cool things like ask for a teaching game wherein your “opponent” will explain things to you during the game. That’s something a bot is incapable of doing under any circumstances. Also, when you play a person, you can get much more variety in play which is far more instructive.

Lastly, I think there is value in playing bots, just not in playing them on OGS, unless you are finding it impossible to find a player who is at the proper skill level.

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Sometimes I’d like to play a bot instead of a human. For example, when I’m tired and not feeling so sharp (sharp as I am lol), or when I don’t think I have time to finish a game.

Hm. I distinctly remember that when I was about KGS2 12k, I used to play GnuGo and constantly undid moves, which led to me reading less than usual, which I would call developing a bad habit. Knowing you can only undo a misclick (if that) forces you to visualize sequences and give it your best attempt.

Conversely, if you undo in order to find out if a certain response is correct / cannot easily be punished, you should definitely be playing a strong bot, because 8k GnuGo won’t punish much.

I’d also bet that if you played 1000 mirror go matches with Leela, you would end up stronger than if you played 1000 regular matches with actual people.