Handicap going the wrong way?

I played a game last night:

I was 23k, my opponent is 18k and yet he/she was given 5 stones at the beginning! It appears that the handicapping was applied in the wrong direction.

Or did I misunderstand some parameter of the challenge prior to accepting it?

When you see this type of thing, it usually means that the opponent set the handicap when creating the game.
If you look at the game information, you can see that the handicap says 5, instead of Automatic, so that means he chose the handicap himself.
Why anyone would do this is a mystery to me, but it is most likely they were trying to get an easy win, (more common in the lower ranks). If you ever see this again, just cancel the game and find a new one. (You can tell if they have a higher rank then you, but still have handicap stones.)
Hope this helped, and sorry that he might have wasted your time.

Just looking at the game settings (haven’t tested it out) it seems possible to set automatic handicap with ‘random’ color association.

correct. setting colors to random in a handicap game is possible and messes things up entirely… i wonder when we can change this. seems like a minor thing to just disable random colors for handicap games?

@kickaha whenever you select “Random” colors, white will always go to the stronger player.

So even in handicap games, there’s really no problem.

This is incorrect. When you select automatic colors, it will give the stronger player white. Random is actually random. If you select automatic handicaps, you should also select automatic colors.

Oh, yes.

Sorry. Somehow, I missed “random” vs “automatic”.

Any way you slice this, the user interface can use a rethink.

  1. I noticed the “5 point handicap”, but no reasonable person would assume anything other than it being applied “correctly”.
  2. Two options are related in a non-obvious way (automatic handicap, automatic color). At best this can lead to innocent mistakes if misconfigured by a player.

Going forward, I will just use the “automatic game finder” rather than trying to accept any random challenge. Challenges come and go so fast that there is no time to really consider all of the parameters and whether they are fair. The automatic game finder in contrast “just works” (at least it has yet to produce an unfair or oddball match for me).

Thanks anyway.