Need help to setup for teaching

Could someone please share the steps for setting up a teaching game please? I tried to set one up, but it just disappeared. I could use some help in this. And how can I get together at OGS with my student in private? I will be talking with my student using Zoom, so I don’t think I need OGS chat.

A teaching game is typically just set up as a regular game issued as a direct challenge (from either the teacher to the student or vice versa) in order to select the opponent. Typically, the game should be unranked (if the aim is to discuss and jointly analyze during the game) and analysis is enabled, to allow for sharing variations. Also time controls could be made more lax and the pause feature can be used, in order to have time for discussion, if that’s desired. The game can also be set to be private if you don’t want others to see it and the chat within.

You can issue a direct challenge by clicking on the player’s name and then clicking on the challenge button. If you need to find someone, you can search for them with the player search function on the left side of the interface, or they can send you a link to their profile page.


Just adding, in review mode you can freely make changes in the board that your student will see in real time. This suits very well when chatting in parallel, via Zoom.

1 Like

This links you to setting up challenge with a particular player.
Good luck & welcome on this forum.

I just tried running my first teaching session here and it was a nightmare! My first game challenge was answered by a stranger and I had to cancel. It took about four tries before we could both accept the same challenge and see the same board, then we could only play a normal game. If I switched to Analyze or Review (don’t understand the difference), my student could not see any of the stones that I placed!

Does anyone else have suggestions for how to set up an ordinary Go board here, with stones that can be placed and removed? I don’t need scoring or chat, just the ability to teach with stones. PLEASE.

Or is perhaps KGS or some other website better for teaching beginners?

when you review a game, they have to click on the link that appears in chat in order to see the review. Analyze is something that only you can see, unless you press the ‘share variation’ option.

If you have a chat opened with your student, you can challenge them to a game directly instead of posting a game that anyone can choose.
when you’re in the private chat, the icon you click is to the right of the name, and looks like a little square with two circles on it…
hope this helps.

1 Like

Oh, I think you are creating public challenges.

You should create a private direct challenge at your student.

  1. Find your student’s profile page. On the home page of the OGS site, you can search for them by user name, or if they can find their own profile page, they can just email you a link to it.
  2. Then, on that page, you can click on their username and box will pop up, and there will be a button labeled “challenge”, clicking on that button will open up the dialog to send a challenge.

See also this helpful tip on the wiki:

OGS has amazing features for teaching games, reviews, and analysis. I think far better than you’ll find on any other server.

Reviews/demo boards is one way to simply share a board (outside of a game context) where you can fully lead the discussion. See:


Now with pictures for clarity

Here, I have searched for yebellz; and then clicked on his username. Were I to send him a challenge, it would send a game request to him directly.


The “demo board” option here, gives you a fully controllable, non-game goban. You can provide access to the demo board by sharing the url with your student.


Here is an example of a finished game - you can see the two options to review and analyze, as well as a link in the chat labelled “Review: ##523236”.

As others have explained, analyze is an in-game tool to be used by players indivudally. It allows you to examine potential sequences both during the game and afterwards - but it does not reveal your played out sequence to anyone else looking at the game, unless you choose to “share variation”, as shown below.

Lastly, review takes you to a separate url, that operates exactly as a review normally does. The one thing I can’t show through a picture, that you have to be wary of - is that if your student is in the review, and cannot see your moves; they may not be synced to your position. In that situation, there will be a little button directly above the move tree labelled “sync”, pressing that syncs your position with the location on the move tree of the person in control of the review.


Should be found just below the triangle and the square.

URL of the game I have been showing
URL of the review of the same game

Hopefully that clears some things up. A few of OGS’s features are not totally intuitive (but then, the same can be said of all Go clients) - but once you get to grips with it, it really is quite easy to use.


Looks like you don’t know how the site works. Quite odd for a teacher. I apologise for that.

As you can see there are lots of people willing to help, so please try some tests beforehand and ask for more detailed instructions on what you actually would do.

“Teaching game” is a name that we see very often in this forum, but I fear it has a different meaning from what you are trying to do.

Ogs main goal is to play games, that’s why “reviews” are done after the game is finished and “demo” are one-direction.

If you want both players making moves and also sharing variations while the game is still in progress, I don’t know if this is possible. But probably someone will give hints or workarounds to get there.
Just be clear about what you want to do.

1 Like

@lys, maybe it’s a language issue but this sounds rather rude. I think it’s completely understandable for someone to ask how to set up a teaching game where both players can see each others variations.

Hopefully yebellz and legault’s answers above help and David might still feel able to post any follow ups.

Let’s be the friendly and supportive place we like to think we are!


I would also add that you can pass control to the other person. Sorry I can’t provide pictures etc.

In summary I suspect that what is trying to be achieved can be done but in a rather clunky way (sharing variations in chat) rather than in the natural way one might expect. I think it would be a great feature for two people (or more? That could get out of hand) to be able to place stones which are seen by all observers. A kind of double or shared demo board? Anyway, hopefully it can be added to the future feature list!


I think it should be clear to anyone that knowing how to teach go and knowing how to use a specific website are two completely different things. I’d also hope that it would be obvious how rude and unnecessary this comment was, but apparently not to you. 💁

That being said, David, if you’d like to elaborate on your specific objectives and what features you’re looking for, I’m certain we can help direct you towards the best use of OGS for your purposes, or - in the unlikely event that such functionality does not yet exist here - a suitable alternative.


Yes, I think that’s exactly the case.
Probably I misunderstood the whole “teaching” and “student” and “private” and “could use help” and “nightmare” and “PLEASE” and “is KGS better” thing.

Perhaps I don’t actually know the weight of the words “quite odd”. I just wanted to express my astonishment.

A question: if I removed the first line of my comment, would it still sound rude?


That would be very helpful in softening the tone! Sorry to reply so late.


Thank you for all your replies! I should mention that I am not getting email notifications when replies are made. This accounts for long periods of time going by until I again respond. (This is strange; on most fora on the web, I get instant notifications so I can respond quickly.)

Several posts ask what it is that I’m trying to do. I probably shouldn’t have used the phrase “teaching games” because that’s not what I do at first with a beginner. I start by showing how the rules work, illustrating liberties, strings, and the other basic concepts. Then I discuss links, life and death, etc. I don’t use games to teach any of these things because it is asking the beginner to actually play when they (or I) may not feel comfortable playing as yet.

So what I’m looking for is the equivalent of a real Go board, where one can setup positions quickly, and clear them away quickly. One has the ability to play illegal moves to indicate what not to do. I don’t want to play Go at first. I want to lay down a string of black stones, for example, and a string of white stones, and then add stones to illustrate basic principles, such as how groups with two or more eyes cannot be captured.

Once I have discussed and illustrated a certain level of tactics and strategy, the beginner is ready to try playing, and the paradigm of playing a game and then analyzing it and its variations (as usual) works great.

I think I’ve been missing some of the less obvious features of OGS, such as how to share a review between two people, how to share a demo board, and how to synchronize game trees. Someone commented that these things are not obvious, and I must agree with that!

Perhaps someone would volunteer to meet me at OGS and guide me through this learning hurdle that I am having? I would appreciate it. Just let me know how to contact you, if you can do this for me.

Thanks for everyone’s patience with me, and for forgiving my ignorance of the finer points of OGS. I haven’t played here in years, but a beginner accepted my offer of free teaching and so far we have met twice here yet accomplished nothing due to the difficulty in making random experiments with OGS work. I meet with him again tomorrow.


Use the “Demo Board”, and use the tree navigation to revert and/or clear the board.

Send the URL of the demo board/game/review to the person.


Thank you! I think a shared demo board is the answer. I’ll have to test it out with my student and make sure we can see each other’s stones. Is there a way to get a click sound? None of my experiments made a click sound when placing stones.


My Settings > email address is “user-303491@e44862…” instead of a valid address. I can’t edit this. How do I fix my email address so I can get notifications?

Normally when you move the mouse over to the right side of the screen a menu shows up with lots of extra buttons like analyse review etc. I think one of these is a volume slider for stone sounds. It’s under the board for me on mobile and for some reason not being at a pc for a few days made me forget the pc layout :slight_smile:

1 Like

Schermafbeelding 2020-08-17 om 01.03.13

1 Like