Conversation in long games

Hello all

I play mostly long (correspondence) games (ladder, lately). Since those last days, weeks or more, I take it for granted that during this time, players would naturally come to try and know each other a bit, exchange in the chat about the game or whatever comes to mind, the weather in their respective countries, the music they love, unameit. After all, playing Go is a social interaction, and an opportunity to practice a foreign language.
So, I feel most frustrating to have a long game with the only exchange in the chat being “gl hf” in the beginning and “thx for the game” at the end, or even less than that. Some players don’t even answer your first “hello” and never answer any question, not even : I prefer not to answer. When my opponent is too silent, I usually try to ping him/her by some humorous remark. With various success.
What do people think? Is conversation with your opponent important for you, or you don’t care about it, beyond formal minimal exchange hello/thank you?


If the opponent doesn’t say anything then that probably means that he plays from a smartphone, eg. on the bus to work, and that he doesn’t even see the chat or it’s too much of a bother to type much. There’s no helping that really.


Indeed. I play on a laptop, I never used (and certainly never will use) a smartphone and I hardly imagine how you can see, let alone play on such little screens. I tend to forget that most players are youngsters (under 60). :smiley:


I’m the same way, can’t play on a phone. I spectate games on it from time to time, though.

I’m 50 and I play mostly on my smartphone: it’s hard to see the chat this way. You have to intentionally scroll down to see if you opponent wrote anything.
I usually do it in correspondence games, because I like to chat, but in live game it could be difficult.


It’s not important to me, I rarely start a conversation (other than greeting), but I certainly do reply if my opponent starts it and in some cases I’ve really enjoyed it.

Related to this: I’ve not yet really gotten used to the in game chat being public. It’s not what I’m used to from other sites and I find it slightly disturbing.


The problem of phone interface I was not aware of leads me to a related question. What is the proportion of players playing on phones? I guess nowadays it is a vast majority (there are certainly stats on that on the servers), so I would suppose that interface should be mobile-friendly. If the chat is not immediately visible, I suppose it was not a priiority for developers in a reduced space.

1 Like

Most of the time I don´t talk during correspondence games (It feels weird to me), but if I´m playing a live game on desktop I´m happy to talk, although I don´t like to initiate the conversation, but when I play on mobile I usually say hello and gg, but it´s a bit of a bother to do so.

I’m a strong believer in the formalities, I open out with Hi :slight_smile: let’s have a good game!
And close with thanks for the game!

It doesn’t personally bother me if one of my opponents doesn’t say anything, and I’ll often leave it at that unless my opponent says something else :slight_smile:

Smart phones are such a limited real estate that they’ve put everything they can into making the play experience itself the primary screen occupant. Making chat visible at all times would make game play impossible.


I only recently got into Go again and have been playing with a couple guys who offered a game after I posted on Reddit. Those two games are very social and we chat(ted) while playing. I quite enjoy the interaction as it simulates a social OTB atmosphere. But in games that I play with “random” players that accepted a game offer, there hasn’t been much chatting, just the standard greeting.

If I played on a phone or had a lot of games going on simultaneously, I’d be less chatty because it’d get too much or be inconvenient (phone). :slight_smile:

1 Like

The same applies to me somehow, when I know people in real life I tend to chit chat a little. If I play a game with an unknown and we do a review that is nice, I could befriend him/her and chatting in other games in future is easier.
I do like to start end the game with a greeting, and I appreciate the return. If the other person doesn’t reply it could be that he doesn’t understand or doesn’t care or didn’t see it on his phone or just wants to play and say nothing, or some other reason, that’s just how it is sometimes.


Like you, I very much enjoy chatting during a correspondence game. During a recent game I took a “Streetview” tour of my opponent’s country (Singapore), and we talked about some of the features. Perhaps it’s our age (I’m 63); things were a bit more leisurely in my youth. I also can’t imagine playing on a phone. It takes me about 5 minutes just to type a phone number, because of my large fingers.


I like chatting during correspondence games. I don’t always engage in conversation though. But if I do, I don’t feel insulted if I don’t get any reply. Most of the time I open with a greeting, and close with thanks. After live games I sometimes like to talk about the game I just played. Again I don’t feel insulted if my opponent doesn’t greet back, doesn’t returns the thanks, or doesn’t reply the game comments after a live game.

There are multiple reasons why an opponent might not reply: Perhaps they don’t speak English, perhaps they don‘t see the comment, perhaps they are shy, perhaps they find me annoying, they might even believe it brakes the etiquette of go to talk during the game. Whatever the reason, I’m fine with it and will continue to enjoy the game.


Since the game is referred as “hand talk”(手談) in Chinese and Japanese, I assume one cannot be criticized for only saying hello/thanks for the game. Still, it would be great if I can practice Japanese one day with my opponent.

Wait, I was pretty sure the Chinese name for go was WéiQí (trad. 圍棋 simp. 围棋) which meant “surrounding game”, or colloquially BāiHēiQí (白黑棋) which means " black white game"…
I’m not aware or familiar with the term Shou(3)Tán (as you have said) as a reference to Go.

EDIT: after some light digging I have found a some uses of it like that, so I stand corrected.

1 Like

I definately prefer some light conversation to nothing. I will definitely always answer and be polite, but Id prefer if the conversation is there for a reason, and not just ‘how is the weather?’.

I also almost always play on a smartphone, and have no real trouble in using the chat.

I think people should make more use of the chat in general, I enjoy it, but do you think there should perhaps be a setting to switch it off when creating a custom game? Then if one does not want to converse and have to deal with being impolite or not, can simply switch it off. (Maybe its been mentioned above, didnt read all responses.)


I used to like chatting in correspondence and live games but as my competitive spirit take over, I rarely chat with my opponent unless I know them before the game. I will just greet them and start playing.

When I have a strong urge to win the game, I just don’t feel like chatting until the game is over. I also find it a little bit frustrating that most people don’t stay for aftergame review.


If my opponent makes a really good play I will mention it, and if I really goof up I will mention it, but because I am of the “pre-texting” generation, I write out my comments in grammatically correct English, and this can take more time away from the game than I can afford. I have chatted after the game if my opponent doesn’t run away too fast.

Standard comments, like my greeting at the start of the game, are written out in WORD, copied, and are then pasted in when someone accepts the game.

How anyone can watch a game on a smartphone is beyond me. That is so SMALL! I need my 17" screen. My own phone is a “special needs” phone and will only make phone calls.

1 Like

hmm, I play 9 by 9 live game or 19 by 19 correspondence game on my 4.7 inch phone when I’m on subway. I think it’s frustrating that I can’t see the timer and the board at the same time but the size of the board is fine for me. It’s a great way to kill time on transit.

You have the eyesight of a falcon.