Komi on 9x9 game

I don’t like playing Black on a 9x9 game because the Komi seems disproportionate. I just played a 9x9 with an opponent slightly higher ranked than I am, and it seemed rather uphill with a 5.5 komi… Does the Komi take the size of the game into account?

Yes it does, on 19x19 and 13x13 komi will be 6.5/7.5 depending on ruleset.

With the 5.5 komi black/white winrate is almost 50% for both.

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ok! I wish I could always be white then!

Well unless you are losing most of your games with black for like one or two points, I wouldn’t worry too much about it.

There are usually much bigger mistakes to focus on in our lower ranked games than the difference between now and perfect komi might be… playing first is a significant advantage. Maybe the problem is that you do not know how to utilize this advantage rather than in the komi itself… Let it not be an excuse but rather a motivation :stuck_out_tongue:


There is a ton of previous discussion on this.

These discussions usually end up with the original poster discovering it’s not as simple or obvious as they first thought.

And with the concensus being that it’s as good as it can be the way that it is.


Oh well I certainly beg your parsnips…

I opened a couple of your games, and I see mistakes worth 20 points or more. Compared to that, a couple points difference in the komi is just background noise. Maybe you just need to calm down, and not waste the advantage of your first move.

An example: https://online-go.com/game/10626194

You started at E5, but then let your opponent capture the stone, giving him/her overwhelming power on the board. Just playing E4 would have given black a very easy game.


On 9x9 the advantage of first move is huge, a lot more than it is on 19x19 board.

Basically on 9x9, black has the option of opening at tengen. This single black stone in the middle is effectively a 5-5 cornerstone on every corner of the board, meaning that first white stone being played has no other options than being an corner invasion somewhere under that 5-5 stone.
So unless black screws up his strategy, there should never be a situation on 9x9 where white is actually building something. That komi of 5.5 is actually the only thing giving white the chance of fighting back, otherwise it would be really hard to fight against tengen opening.

(5-5 might not be as common as 4-4 or 4-3, but it’s still a valid cornermove)

from Center Opening on 9x9

PS: i personally too rather play 9x9 games as w than b, but that is because i feel more confortable reacting on what my opponent is doing by playing to reduce and live, than i feel about building territory as black. I think this is more about question if my playing style that anything else.


Thank you -KoBa, that’s interesting, and very helpful to me! I think one issue for me is that I perceive the players as winning or losing the game as it appears on the board, and the Komi addition always takes me by surprise… slow learner.

Thanks, yes I make a lot of huge mistakes, I know. I’ll look at that game. But I am not uncalm particularly, just a poor player. I didn’t mean to imply that Kobi is my main reason for losing!