In Rengo, do you talk with your team?

Is the attraction of Rengo

a) Seeing how well 2 minds can do better than one (so we collaborate on each move)

  • In which case what is the point of alternating “who places the stone”?

b) Seeing how well a team of 2 (or more) can understand each other and play together just by looking at what the other played

  • Like team card games, in which case how in practical terms does this work online?

Generally you don’t talk to your team mate at all. I suppose some mild taunting of your opponent may be ok, but it could also easily grey into the area of giving hints to your teammate.

Typically I would say the norm would be no talking at all during the game, but obviously this could be flexible in more casual situations… I would compare it very similarly to how a team would play 500 or bridge.


You don’t talk during go, rengo included. All the talking is going on on the board. We aren’t here to make friends after all. If it’s not a completely casual game, of course.

The point of rengo is to see or feel how teammates are gonna foil and screw over each other’s plans, like a cat and a dog confined to one body. It is the surprise of seeing completely nonsensical move played and having to play on from there.

Of course, there’re teaching benefits of having to play different style.


The use is to not talk at all besides asking your partner if it’s time to resign or not.


Cool - makes sense to me.

Does this mean that in an online setting it would be helpful if you were not able to readily know the identity of your partner(s)?

I have this feeling that in online Rengo “hey, these guys are talking to each other” would be as common as “hey, that person is using AI”…


While talking on rengo it’s interesting to think about time settings too . Most face to face rengo use absolute time, 30mn or 45mn by team is common.
Time has been a kind of problem as it seems that more is generally used as usual or expected. Maybe because players are under more pressure or have to analyse the moves of their partners during their move time (not possible before like in a 1vs1 game). So absolute time could have earned preference as a cohercitive way against endless rengo. What is your opinion ? In the full of freedom world of OGS, maybe simply putting the default time with an absolute time will be enough incentive or do you think that’s just nosense let’s put default like in 1vs1 game?

My observation has been that absolute time is mostly only used by cheaters on OGS, who use it with fast time settings to just win by being quicker at clicking at the end.

I’m not really sure about how it would help for Rengo, though I do see that Rengo brings new considerations in this respect (as in all others!)


A huge majority of face to face rengo use absolute timer. Check the tournaments for example.

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Right, I’m talking about online though, where moderation is harder, cheating is easier, and you generally don’t even know your opponent, or have to face them after you cheated them: you just outclick them (if they were silly enough to accept your absolute time game) and run away never to see them again.

It happens fairly regularly - a new player discovers this trick (or similar ones), pisses off a bunch of people with it, then they get reported and usually persuaded to stop. Then a new player discovers this trick…

You might equally say that a huge majority of rengo tournaments disallow player conversation, just like normal tournaments disallow AI. And online we have the same kind of problem to reproduce these kind of play conditions…


Yeah but we are talking still about rengo, not about blitzing. In my experience time is an underlying problem in rengo which many discover when playing it the first time (Even more when everyone is novice and didn’t really care to fix an appropriate setting )

Second guess is that unranked 4 people rengo will encounter much less bad behaviors, let’s be a bit optimistic on that.


Could you explain some more about what the problem is - the specific problem that rengo brings, and how absolute time is a better solution in this context than the normal time controls?


The problem is that players tend to use much more time. As i explained it could be due to the fact that you can less anticipate and have to reinterpret the game at each move. It can be because you want to understand your partner.

Whatever the reason without some well fixed time setting the game can just go too long to be appreciated.

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A radical solution is to disallow the chat and only keep preformated text for politeness and resign offers.


The “cheating” players won’t use the game chat to cheat, obviously.

They will be PMing each other.

A truly radical solution would be to “chat-ban” the players while they are playing, so no OGS communication could be done by them. I almost like this :slight_smile:

Which raises another question - is Rengo of any interest in correspondence? I think the temptation to communicate in that scenario is even higher, as are the opportunities…


In rengo and pair go tournaments I’ve played in in Britain, the rules are no talking except “Shall we resign?” (which could be replaced with a feature that when 1 player presses resign it doesn’t resign for the pair, but pops up a message “The other player wants to resign. Do you agree?” and only resigns if you click Yes) and “Time is passing” (i.e. hurry up and play).


Well i dunno. The more you put protection at the same time the more you create incentive to avoid them in some minds. And communicating is so easy on internet, outside ogs. Very basic no chat in game could be just enough to avoid to cross the line and makes it clear what is the rule.


I think It’s still an interesting option. As unranked between civilized players i don’t think it will be so more tempting to communicate. At least an interesting new experience, i dunno if that exist somewhere else. (DGS maybe?)

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I contest this claim. It might be regional, so that in your geographical region face to face rengo uses absolute time, but that does not seem to be the case worldwide. I have played three or four pair go tournaments in Argentina, none of them used absolute time, and I am pretty sure that we never use absolute in our tournaments. The last I remember was 45 minutes main time + 5 periods of 30 seconds Byo Yomi.

Also, I googled several International Pair Go events and they don’t seem to use absolute time, either.


Times change maybe. (For the CJK pro world at least). From my sure memory (happens) in the first world mind sports games event in 2008 which gathered an impressive quantity of pros and amateurs from all around the world, pairgo was the only championship with an absolute 45mn.

I remember that some national rengo championship in Europe (french, german) did use absolute timing too.
As of today i dunno, being away, but maybe someone could confirm (or not)
I’ll check on it anyway.

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I think this is the solution. There should be no ability to message partners during live rengo. If the partners know each other and have other ways of contacting research other then we can’t do anything about that. (Or for that matter one person with two accounts playing as one team…)

I’d less worried about game chat since all players would see it.

This is how I imagined resigning to work.

Also I think correspondence rengo could be of interest and just be a matter of honour as I can’t see any way of enforcing communication bans in this case.

The element that I’m less sure about is the turn management. My limited understanding of IRL rengo is that one of the difficulties is paying attention to when it’s your turn. Since no communication is allowed it’s on each player to know for themselves when they should and shouldn’t play. And playing out of turn is a immediate loss. I imagine that online you’d be told that it’s your turn but I wonder if it could be implemented without this information. So black or white’s clock is running and the right player in the pair needs to know to play.

Of course I could be totally wrong about this (and uberdude’s time is running comment makes me think that prompting your partner that it’s their turn is ok)