Mistaken Handicaps

Recently I have been playing games where the handicap was wrong. I selected “automatic” for handicaps, so I don’t understand. For example, I played a 9K, whose numerical rating was 1703. I am a 4K. My numerical rating is 1974, My weaker opponent should have received 4 or 5 stones. They only got 2.

Comments? Explanations?

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I guess 4k and 9k are considered to be closer than like 9d and 4d.

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Can you link the game. I don’t want to wild guess my way through.

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If anything it’s the other way around.

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Are you sure the handicap is set to ‘auto’?

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Yes

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How to link. The game info is 10-19; Black was La Day (9K). White was me, Jim Walsh (4K). I won by 77.5 points. Black got 2 handicap stones. Should have gotten 4 or 5.

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It looks like the handicap may have been worked out using one of the sub-category rankings though I’m sure I’ve read somewhere that the overall ranking is used for everything.

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That is the official statement, but you’re not the only one to make this observation.

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s://online-go.com/game/14911440

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linked below. Won’t let me link in two places.

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Thank you.

I would blame your high deviation (144).

In my experience this (too few handicap stones) happened only when I played against rather new players (with high deviation).

In your case however this started sometime between October 15, 2018 1:57 PM (Europe: Paris), October 15, 2018 4:57 AM (America: Los Angeles) and October 17, 2018 10:23 AM (Europe: Paris), October 17, 2018 1:23 AM (America: Los Angeles). There were a lot of updates around this time. I think one of them introduced a change in what the handicap calculator treats as high deviation.

At least handicap is correct for the 2 games I started yesterday. So I think this is no error in the OGS codebase.


I haven’t observed something like that. Contrary in my experience it is always the overall rank. I look the ratings up all time a game starts, therefor I’m pretty sure about that.

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Yeah not my personal experience just a belief I’ve seen stated a few times in these forums.

If I were to guess…

  • They were 9k but close to 8k
  • You’re 4k, but close to 5k
  • The game was played with 0.5 komi, which I think is treated similarly to 1 handicap

My guess is that the system said “2h + 0.5 komi = 3”, which was closer to the difference in Glicko rating than whatever 3 handicap translates to.

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1 handicap = (1 stone for black) + komi 0.5
2 handicap = 2 stones for black + komi 0.5
3 handicap = 3 stones for black + komi 0.5
4 handicap …

the displayed rank is always rounded down to the next lower. So 4k is always >= 4k and <3k
rank difference here is at least 4 and max 5.99…

To be more precise the ranks are 3.7k and 8.3k with a rank difference of 4.61…

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I won by 77 points. That’s some evidence the handicap was wrong, eh? And not by a little bit.

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Please play some ranked games until your deviation falls below 100.
I would like to see if this fixes your problem.

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Not really, I don’t think so… Handicap is already kind of an approximation, and HC play expects sort of a different playstyle to make use of the extra stones. All in all it should give both players more equal opportunity for a victory, but that does not equal 0,5 difference in end result. Something big can die just as much in an equal game. Does not mean the chance wasn’t there. Maybe it is just more usual to see the game ended by resignation rather than a huge point score.

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Ok, I will.

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I won an equal rank game by 77.5 last week. Big score gaps happen: https://online-go.com/game/14850857

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