Game settings - handicap

Pardon if this question has been raised before: I am setting handicap, komi, and color to ‘automatic’ in settings. Why does this allow for a game where a 1kyu player gets white and a 1d player gets black? Seems strange that all other rank differences are handicapped appropriately, except for the the one rank difference, which allows for the higher ranked player to get assigned black randomly.

Maybe the rank difference was 0.9 so considered as 0.

It doesn’t work like that as far as I know.

Do you have a specific game you can link to?

The link says “Round down to a whole number (or zero).”

That’s for calculating the stones. The stronger player should always be white. But I wrote that based on limited data, so who knows.

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From the rating history API for you and your opponent it looks like:

  • you were at 1918.65 = 1.0019d
  • they were at 1843.59 = 0.9219k

Seems like you should have taken White. Are you sure it was a handicap game? Anyone want to check my numbers?

Maybe there is a bug around 1d.

I’m far from understanding any of this but if there is rounding down then 1d = 1 and 1k = 0 in this case. And then is there some weirdery so that 0=1 because there’s no 0k/d?
Something to do with that?

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See also

With a rating difference less than 100 aren’t the players treated as of equal strength?
Then, since it is a game with komi, the colours can be choosen randomly?

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That’s what it always says when handicap is zero. For example here’s a game in a handicap tournament that says “None”:

Color automatic =

  • random if rank difference < 1 stone
  • stronger player white if rank difference >= 1 stone
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Is it possible that “color automatic” is different from what handicap tournament games do then? I analyzed a bunch of tournament games earlier and found that the strongest player always got white, even for < 1 stone difference.

I just didn’t realize that OGS sets handicap based on fractional ranks, which would explain it.

I just tested this with the following “Custom game” settings:

I started the experiment at 6.7k so 7k players are all within 1k of me.

  1. 6.3k White vs. me 6.7k Black
  2. 6.3k White vs. me 6.5k Black
  3. 6.5k Black vs me 6.3k White
  4. 6.2k Black vs me 6.1k White


Do you still think it’s random within 1k?

It was so 2019. Maybe something was changed in between, international or not.

Edit: Yes, I still think it’s the way I described it:

How do you know that was set to auto handicap? Also, judging by the name, that was an Automatch game, right? There isn’t even a setting there for automatic color. Maybe it works differently.

It would be strange to implement an additional color assignment method and not expose it to the user,
but here are 2 games on beta with completely identical settings

I the games in the run are unranked and cancled, so in both games both players have the same rank as in the other.

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