I propose adding “Automatic - 1” and “Automatic - 2” handicap settings, which are both used in real life tournaments. “Automatic - N” means you reduce rank difference by N.
For example, with “Automatic - 1”, a player that is 4kyu would:
- Play even against 4kyu, 3kyu, and 5kyu.
- Play as black with no komi against 2kyu.
- Play as black with a 2-stone handicap against 1kyu.
- Play as white with a 5-stone handicap against 10kyu.
Previously discussed a long time ago in this forum post: Tournaments with reduced handicap
This is a popular configuration for real life handicap tournaments that use the McMahon system. Having handicaps give more players a chance to win. But reducing the handicap by 1 or 2 allows stronger players to retain a small advantage and helps to counteract rank error/volatility. It’s a nice balance between an even tournament (where weaker players are generally slaughtered by strong ones) and handicap (where strong players have no advantage and rank error/volatility has too much impact).
(If there’s interest in the feature, I might have a look have a look at implementing it myself!)
I’m participating in the Handicap Arena group which has been organizing handicap tournaments, and I’ve been seriously considering organizing an additional handicap tournament there more to my liking (analysis disabled, faster clock on the correspondence tournament).
I’d love to have options like these available when I get to the point of actually doing this.
Cool. Not sure how many responses we need to establish consensus…
I had a quick look at how to implement, and the online-go.com / interface side wouldn’t be hard for me to implement myself. Games that haven’t been created yet (challenges and tournaments) use
-1 as a placeholder for “Automatic”. It’d be straightforward to update use successive negative numbers for “Automatic - N” (i.e.,
-1 - N for “Automatic - N” (probably only worth supporting “Auto-1” and “Auto-2” to start)), and update all the interfaces to show the right thing.
I don’t think I have access to the server code, which would have to be updated as well, I think, to “realize” the handicaps correctly when the games get created. I imagine that’d be a straightforward tweak, but without access, I’m not really sure.
I’ve suggested the same thing too but IIRC the main issue is that OGS doesnt count handicaps from mcmahon points, but from rank. So probably bit more work than just a straightfoward tweak ://
Usually those reduced handicaps are used in tournaments as it reduces handicaps between players of the same rank but different different win/loss-record, but that mostly makes sense if players are stuck with the same rank thru the entire tournament. If ranks do change during the tournament, there would probably be a lot of weird cases where stronger player receives a handicap from weaker one.
I’ve suggested the same thing too but IIRC the main issue is that OGS doesnt count handicaps from mcmahon points, but from rank.
Good point, in a tournament the handicaps should follow the McMahon points; I forgot this detail; I still suspect the change wouldn’t be too intrusive, but not sure of course…
If ranks do change during the tournament, there would probably be a lot of weird cases where stronger player receives a handicap from weaker one.
Yeah, this can happen even IRL if a strong player racks up a few losses in a row and their McMahon points dry up, while a weaker player has been winning their games.
On balance, do you think Auto-2 makes sense? And should OGS count handicaps from McMahon points?