Is there a polite way to ask a player to take a handicap?

Inspired by this thread I feel it’s a bit same problem.
Although in some cases like automatic handicap there is no difficulty.
There could be differences if you ask a beginner or a SDK. Or a pro lol…
So what’s your way?

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If you are planning a game with a specific opponent, you just discuss before the game is created details such as who, if anyone, gets handicap and/or komi and how much… I’ve never encountered a problem with this discussion as long as the two are reasonable, as essentially the numbers are dictated more or less by your ranks unless you’re trying something unusual, which again, would have already been discussed.


The handicap system is a common practice and part of go culture. Even more on internet because there is a calculated precise rating system well respected.

Now still I met players refusing to take it. Beginners who fully don’t understand why on hell they would start with that? Or after losing a bit too often in unranked even games, you want to propose an handicap. Or just not so tasty… I agree That’s something you may meet more often in real life.

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It surprised me that on OGS there are so few handicap games / tournaments.


I think it’s a byproduct of how poor our rating system used to be, people couldn’t rely on it for a good handicap and so we just developed into an even game culture…

hopefully as we hone in our rating system we can get some more handicap games happening


maybe OGS could stimulate more handicap games by converting one of the automatic tournaments to a handicap tournament?

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does the handicap system on OGS use the overall rank/rating or the one specific to the board size? i think it uses the overall rank, doesn’t it?

i had an experience earlier this year when i first started playing 19x19, where my opponent was a couple ranks stronger overall and we matched via auto with handicap, so i was black with i think 2 stones. the game felt quite easy to me, and afterwards i noticed their rating on 19x19 was weaker than mine, and they’d mostly played smaller boards. after that, i never used handicap again as it seemed to me it was not always going to serve the purpose of providing an even game.

it’s possible i misunderstood something or misremembering, and it was only one game between people around 20k, so maybe not representative. but i thought i’d offer the anecdote, sorry for the derail

maybe i should try it again… i do find the existence of the handicap system in Go in general very intriguing

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Rating system is not perfect (but getting better). Unfortunately that is for a lot of players reason to avoid handicap. In some tournaments you see from 25 kyu to 10 kyu. Not fair (and a lot of times the 25 kyu sees the difference and decides not to play, often without resigning).

Yeah I think you just discuss the specifics of the game. Some people just don’t like playing with handicap stones though so maybe komi/reverse komi might be better for some people. I imagine it would be quite a skill (strong endgame counting etc) though to play an even game with a weaker player and still beat them only by a low margin :slight_smile:


is this an example of a polite opening or an impolite opening?

If you think that “Yo” is impolite, you can use “Hi”


just wanted to be sure :slight_smile: