Long Game vs Correspondence

Hello, I am pretty new to Go and I have only played a few games on OGS. I apologize if I am not utilizing the forum correctly but I have a quick question: What is the difference between the “long games” and the correspondence” games?

I understand the difference between a “short game” and a “long game” as a “short game” is essentially live and a “long game” gives each player days to complete their move. But what are the “correspondence” games that involve multiple player?

How do the OGS “correspondence” games work? Does everyone make a move and the most popular one is used? Or does each player get their own turn? I am confused because I can’t seem to find this information on line since every time I look up “correspondence” it just describes something more like a one-on-one “long game”.


A “long game” is synonymous with “correspondence game”. It broadly means a game that may last days or weeks (and sometimes even months or years), depending on the specific time settings and the pace of the players. The game does not have to all be played at once, and instead of a player might only make a few (or one or zero) moves per day, depending on what the time settings allow.

“Short games” are also synonymous with “Live Games” and “Blitz” just refers to the very fastest of “Live Games”. We should probably be more consistent in the interface design about how we use these terms.

On the play page, the group of open games are divided into normal (two-player) games under the heading “Custom Games”, and “Rengo” (where each color is controlled by a team of players). I guess the source of confusion is that “Correspondence” appears only under the Rengo heading, while “Long” is used for the normal (one-on-one) games.

In a Rengo game, the players on each turn rotate on who gets to play. For example, if there is a Rengo game involve Alice and Bob on Team Black, while Charlie and Dave are on Team White, the move order would go like:

  1. Alice plays for Black
  2. Charlie plays for White
  3. Bob plays for Black
  4. Dave plays for White
    … repeating this pattern

Oh I see, “correspondence” is a category under the “Rengo” banner. Thank you very much for pointing that out to me. And thank you for explaining the process of play for a Rengo game. That really cleared up a lot of confusion I was having. Thank you again!

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This could answer you (put aside the rengo format)

In short if you can wait a long time in front of the board, that’s a long LIVE game. If instead you are more inspired by sending a move after another and doing something else between that’s correspondance. Short correspondance may be similar as a long live considering how long it takes globally.

Not sure what you mean by “a category under the ‘Rengo’ banner” … correspondence is simply a game that can be played over days, weeks, months, and—as is often the case with me :smiley:—YEARS.

Here are the three common general kinds of games, as can be seen on https://online-go.com/play:

And I think the other important distinguishment is between

  • “live” games and
  • “correspondence” games,

… “live” being a game where you’re supposed to play it to the end in one sitting (visits to the toilet etc. included), and “correspondence” being a game that can go on for much longer, as explained further above.

Also, a corr. game can become a live game whenever both players are online at the same time, notice each other’s presence, and decide just to play live for however long they want.

And then we also have custom games with no time setting at all … and thus also no loss on time.

On that page, under the open challenge lists, you see the following:


and further down…


Basically, we’re not consistent about whether we say “Short vs Long” or “Live vs Correspondence” on that part of the page.


Oh DANG, I didn’t even notice that :sweat_smile: … probably b/c I don’t ever use that page—I’ve always been playing enough (often too many) tournament games on one hand and custom games with specific people on the other.


And this,

… of course, is horrenduous! :wink:


Off topic but this makes me think that the label for live games shouldn’t be “normal” as this rather implies that the other ones are abnormal. And in OGS a normal game would be correspondence wouldn’t it?!