Let's aim for more communal analysis while spectating games!

I love OGS, but one thing that seems cool about KGS is the way people actively analyze games that they’re spectating (especially stronger players). It’d be super cool if that became part of the culture here at OGS-- we have the “share variation” tool and everything.

Anyone have ideas on how to encourage this new cultural norm?


i think there are a fair number of people who would be interested in kgs style kibitzing
based on the interactions i’ve had with many players around our rank.

i have seen a few people drop on on live games, but they generally don’t say anything.

i don’t much un-interrupted time to pitch in, but maybe just a heads up in the english
room encouraging people to observe and comment on a high-ish level game
would be enough to get things started? i mean all it takes is 2-3 people to
bring up a game and chime in when they have something to say.

but i agree completely, the tools are there, people here seem interested in learning,
its a great opportunity to have some discussion. frankly i think that kind of
back and forth around some key moves is more interesting than reading and writing reviews


I spectate a lot of games, but generally don’t say any thing because (other than being just a beginner) I’ve always assumed that it’s bad form to comment on a game when it’s still being played. Maybe a semi-private room for the game (anyone can join but the players) would help.

@educatog ah, don’t worry – spectators’ chat is invisible to the players until the game ends


Oh, I didn’t know that! And variations too?

@educatog yep!


I wholeheartedly agree with the general sentiment of this topic.

As I am more frequently among the stronger 50% of spectators, let me share my perspective. :slight_smile:

I like to explain and comment especially if there is an audience and the game is interesting or surprising. When someone asks a question, like “why did black move there?”, I often try to answer it.

On the other hand, if the game is very one-sided or decided early by a blunder, I tend to keep silent. You cannot really criticise the player who is behind for playing crazy after that. The same goes for other situations in which the conversation revolves around criticising the player instead of the game.

The big hurdle is getting the conversation started. When there is something comment-worthy, like a move that surprises me and is not an obvious blunder, I might do that. Also if I like someone’s style. The only suggestion that I have is that if you want to have talk about the game, you should do it yourself.

I used to be too shy to ask stupid questions in the company of much stronger players on KGS. “Why doesn’t white capture that stone?” - “It’s just one small insignificant stone, DUH!” - enough embarrassment for one day. :slight_smile:

But really, if you have a question, ask away. You don’t have to “keep quiet” and “leave room” for the stronger spectators to discuss important stuff. It would not occur to someone who is 5-10 stones above your level to just go ahead and explain some moves that seem weird to you on his own initiative. The moves are simply natural at a higher level.

I’m not as afraid to do that nowadays. I might misread a semeai and say “white is dead”. All the weaker players will just believe it. It might turn out that I was just wrong. Who cares? At least I shared my thoughts!

Sometimes I try to count before the end of the game and say “W+3.5!”. I usually get no reply. Then it ends with B+12.5. shrug


I tend to comment and encourage others to do so in chat if there are a couple of people watching.

I think being able to sort the live games being played would draw more spectators to the games. We should be able to sort the list of games being played by number of spectators and by rank. On KGS, games with high ranked players get a lot of viewers, and hence more discussion. On ogs, finding that game takes more effort.


That’s correct, and increasing the prominence/visibility of high ranked games is one of the top priorities for the next stage of OGS development.


I also noticed that spectators don’t talk on OGS. Despite shyness I tried to initiate conversations in almost every game I spec, only to be met with silence or simple “haha”.

I have even tried different approaches to see what work best: asking question, sharing possible variation, commenting on players play style, saying rude thing, commenting on other spectators’ nickname, etc. None seems to work. Except for site-wide promoted games (like Ten’s games) with hundreds of people spectating, other high levels game with 10 to 20 people usually just stay quiet. I find it pretty awkward.

I wish people were more talkative on OGS as well, since kibitzing is a huge part of the fun :frowning:


I agree. Maybe show the number of spectators for live games. On KGS, when I wanted to just watch a game (and kibitzing), I would look in the active game list for the one with the most spectators (more chance for lots of discussion), and join. Here, I’m not sure how to find the games with the most spectators.

oh yeah, the counting game. i’m really bad at it, and it is kind of pointless…but it does get you practicing counting. I think that would be worth trying in and of itself…everyone try to estimate the final score. maybe, unlike the normal KGS version where you just blurt out the final scope…we could have discussion about the pieces (i.e. the upper right…that middle group)

I agree with what you’re saying in general though, the best fodder is weaker players asking stupid questions, or people making unfounded assertions…otherwise no one has any reason to say thing at all.

we had alot of high level games today and alot of kibitz. posting game urls in the chat
room really helped get people in.

one other* feature request in this regard is that, unlike kgs, not only do you
not know how many other observers there might be, but you dont really know
what games are starting, in yose, or even finished…so you really have to click around.

some indication that a game is already over would help

1 Like

Well unlike with Tygem, yes they say if its early/middle/late game but OGS shows you the board in the games current state so you can tell from that.

oh well, nevermind. i never use the ‘games’ page and didn’t realize that
it was sorted by rank…i’ve been using the heatmap…thanks

  1. Technical solution: Easy access to the five most spectated games would change the situation a lot. (The full games site is hard on my browser, so I never load it.)

  2. DIY solution: Make a kibitz group where people point out games in chat and make appointments for kibitzing.