New ethic rules at OGS?

Hello all
there has been several issues recently where players did not follow the rules of sportsmanship and moderator had to step in, or hard feelings arose. I would like to remind everyone, that Go is a game with a very long tradition and certain codex of ethics should be followed.
I have taken the liberty of copying several rules from that could inspire you on how to behave - especially if you are playing against a stronger player.

  1. Ask the stronger player to take a handicap. Make sure to say something like “I’ve seen your game records on so-and-so-server and I think you need some help.”
  2. Say “Atari” with each threat to capture. This maybe can considered some type of “psychological warfare” so it’s valid in the game. This is especially effective when threatening to capture a large group of stones and saying “atari” for each stone in the group. In these cases vary your voice to sound like differing personalities.
  3. Take a long time to make your move. Are you really sure that you want to move there? Think it over and over no matter how simple or wrong. Do you even really want to move? Why get the game over so quickly? Wasting time is even more effective if you make intense looks of concentration while “thinking”. Frown a lot and finally smile and cockily place your (hopefully stupid) move. An occasional “Hmm” or chuckle will add to the effect. If you find it hard to drag out your move then concentrate on the board or playing pieces. Think thoughts like “I wonder
    what type of wood the board is made of?” or “Are these stones really slate? They look like hard black plastic to me.” Another good technique is to excuse yourself during your move to use the bathroom.
  4. Occasionally be indecisive with your move. When you finally decide to move, start to place your stone and then pull away to reconsider. Then feign deep thought (see 3 above). Repeat as necessary.
  5. When your opponent is making their move act impatient. Look at your watch or strum your fingers. Humming the Jeopardy theme tune off-key is also useful.
  6. When your opponent finally makes his move, comment on it with exclamation: “Ah. The Bean Frying Tesuji”. If you don’t know a term then invent one. Mention that you saw the move in an 1893 issue of Go World. Try to impress him with your knowledge of Go terms or Asian philosophy.
  7. Realign the pieces at every chance. Remember: each piece must be placed perfectly for it to count. A piece that isn’t precisely centered to within 3 Angstrom units is really not there. The best time to adjust pieces is during your opponents move. Help their concentration by fixing their pieces. They’ll really appreciate it!
  8. If you somehow (by luck) manage to capture an opponents stone, make screaming sounds to the stones as they are removed from the board. If you find your stones almost captured, add some excitement by making them say “Oh- no!!!” or “we’re not quite dead yet!” If caught in a ladder then have your stones scream “Run away! Run away!” This always adds a sense of realism to any game!
  9. Play with the stones in the bowl. Make sure to constantly move them around. Pick them up and drop them one by one back into the bowl. One could even try juggling the stones to show your opponent how “skilled you are with the stones.” Better yet, put the lid on the bowl and start to shake the bowl to make the most pleasant marimba-like sound. This adds a festive mood to most games!
  10. If your opponent becomes annoyed at any of this, deny doing it while saying “but I just wanted to learn…” Pouting or crying is sometimes useful. Since most stronger players have the guilt to always help beginners, this technique is sure to work.

@anoek will soon add the support to displace the stones slightly off center and add mandatory microphone support so you could really scream at your opponent insted of just using the chat option.

P.S.: If you somehow hadn’t by now gathered that this is a satire please note that this is funny only in theory, not in real-life and there is really nothing to be gained by playing like a retard and annoying other players… and please don’t ban me :smiley:



I think I’d rather have this in some other category than “Announcements”, though. Perhaps you know how often people take The Onion seriously even though everything on that page screams “satire” … we may have such people here, too (and they may be the same people who also play that way :wink: )

BTW, I like to whistle the tune of “Twilight Zone” when playing my move :stuck_out_tongue:


Yeah I though as much and believe me that I had a long inner moral dispute. However the cheeky bastard side of me which thoutght it would be funnier like this won :-D. I apologize, feel free to move it elsewhere if you can.

Well, let’s see how it goes … maybe others, users as well as team members, have opinions on this, too :slight_smile: It’s not as if it were really problematic :wink:

Meanwhile, you may want to listen to this while pondering over your next move :imp:

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Adam, I realize your posting is just trying to help using humor, but I do believe that newcomers to OGS who state that they are beginners should be shown a short list of required civil behavior expected here. This is not done currently. It might help make the site more enjoyable for everyone.


Great idea, @david265, what about compiling such a short list and posting it in That would be cool!

Oh, David, you misunderstand, I am not trying to help at all :smiley:
But to repent, and to support a good idea and beginners, I will translate rules of ethics from one of my books so we have something to start from. :slight_smile: And if someone will eventually post it for beginners, I think it would be prudent to first discuss those rules here so we would agree upfront and everyone has a say before making it “official”

  • It is customary and polite to greet your opponent before starting a game
  • It is impolite to unnecesarily bother your opponent while he/she is trying to focus. However it is ok to occasionaly compliment him/her on an especially clever move, or if the opponent is significantly weaker to explain his/her most severe mistakes so he/she could improve faster.
  • If you are losing by too big a margin, it is more polite to resign, rather than trying many trick moves and unecesarily prolonging the unevitable. There is no enjoyment in playing such a game for either of the players.
  • Or, to make it simpler for beginners to remember:

Nice, and if I may expand …

[quote=“Adam3141, post:7, topic:9409”]

  • […] However it is ok to occasionaly compliment him/her on an especially clever move, or if the opponent is significantly weaker to explain his/her most severe mistakes so he/she could improve faster.[/quote]
    ONLY if this is a teaching game, otherwise: after the game is finished, please.

Well, yes, sort of … this assumes that people realize that they are losing “by too big a margin”. Please be nice to people, they may NOT realize that it is so.

And “Asshöle” is quite relative, as in: black box. Different people think different things are bad. So I’d prefer to leave it at your first (expanded :wink: ) points.

This suggestions makes me inclined to be against such a list, unless it comes with certain qualifiers.

  1. Greeting: I absolutely agree with this sentence, however, many people don’t greet, and it is not a good idea to make an issue of it.

So “It is customary and polite to greet your opponent before starting a game. However, if you opponent does not greet you back, it is also customary and polite to simply ignore this because they might have trouble typing on their smartphone or come from a server with different customs”.

  1. It is certainly not ok to explain severe mistakes to an opponent during a game. Most especially the severe ones that people notice themselves. And this should be in the guidelines. Compliments are borderline, but I think that the best thing is if the two players review their game together afterwards if they want to give out advice or compliments.
    “It is customary not to comment on your opponent’s move during the game, especially not on mistakes. Note that you can take notes in your Malkovich log (link to explanation) and that you and your opponent can review the game afterwards together.”

  2. Don’t use the word “trick moves” in the guidelines, it assumes too much. “Don’t play moves that you are sure will accomplish nothing except prolonging the game.”. and “Be patient when an opponent plays moves that you know will accomplish nothing, because they might not know. However, if this goes on for too long, remember that you can always call a moderator for help (link to explanation).”

  3. If there are rules, they have to be formulated for everyone, not for “beginners” who have to be told “not to be assholes”. Especially, as there is no consensus at all on the points you list. Guidelines should be formulated with people in mind who actually want to be polite and want to know what is customary here. The others won’t change because of some text.


Very well, I concede on almost all of your points and especially apologize on my second point that was some seriously wrong articulation on my part. So how about:

  • It is customary and polite to greet your opponent before starting a game if possible.
  • Do not unnecesarily bother your opponent during the game. If you feel like you need to say something or want to compliment your opponent on a clever move, wait until the end of the game, or use the malkovich log (link to a page I cannot find)
  • If you see that you have lost the game, it is more polite to resign than to try every legal move in a hope that your opponent will make a careless mistake.

But to be completely honest (for once) do you really feel that stating such “rules” is necesarry? It just seems to me that all of those are quite obvious/natural, unless you are the proverbial backside of a donkey (maybe apart from nr. 2). and as @Wulfenia quite accurately indicated

right? So I will just post my original rules for the begginers as well and let’s be done with it :smiley: (And by original I meant the ones in the first post that I copied from elsewhere anyway :smiley: )

What bothers me is the “It is polite to resign” - rule

“It is okay to resign, you dont have to play to the end.” or
"It is not unpolite when you resign"
would maybe implement a better behavoir.

I think “Its polite…” implies to often a quitting-behavoir what feels more frustrating then get treated polite.


PS @trohde :

‘asshöle’ ist viel bildlicher und sollte ab sofort immer verwendet werden :smiley:

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I would love to see a rule that states, that abandoning a correspondence game for it to timeout is extremely unpolite as being extremly frustrating for the other side (at least me). This goes especially for games that have just been accepted, and have 1 or 2 moves. Abandoning longer games is also annoying as it ruins the rank system. I never lost by timeout but won like 30% of my games “thanks” to it.

Something that beginners also do a lot is to accept a correspondence game just to quit after joining, sometimes leaving a joyful comment like “47h !? seriously dude?”.

There should be a rule stating - start the game only when you know you want to play it, check time and handicap settings before starting!


I want add one (I think important) “rule” for more politness

The winnner shows his respect to his opponent with a “thank you for the game”.

This “rule” is more important then one could think.
It is a sozial/psychological thing what shows the weaker person respect on an interhuman level (and helps him/her to deal with his/her emotions).

(something like this, should be a basic behavoir for everyone in ervery situation and would make the world to a better place)

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I like your rules, and believe that they are a good start, and worthy of posting as given and adding to over time. However, I would eliminate your final rule, “Don’t be an asshole”. This will be viewed by many as uncivil and insulting, even if you do not yourself interpret the statement this way.

I definitely agree with you and others here that beginners need an introduction to greeting their opponent (when language use allows) and other fundamental guidelines for acceptable textual and other conduct during go games.

I have played many beginners in my off and on amateur go ‘career’ since I first learned from Bruce Wilcox in 1971. My experience is quite different from yours. I believe that almost every beginner would benefit from seeing a list of guidelines or suggestions for literate, or at least polite, go playing behavior before they are allowed to start playing for the first time.


This is very important, I missed this in my reply.

There are indeed quite a few people who have issues with typing. Also, some players may have been chatbanned for some or other reasons …

Therefore, if your opponent does not greet you or thank you for the game, don’t jump to conclusions!


I will add that I have played on many servers where you rarely get any comments in the chat, or similar feature.

I will usually say something, but I have been know to see if the other player will say something first. I’ve been on other servers where the players found chatty players annoying. Some have little or no facility in the language of the other player.

I try to follow the lead of the other player. I like to talk, so I can get going at times. Others may not enjoy that as much.


Well, I kinda like that. Only not quite sure how it could and should be implemented …

I have been in many mailing lists since 1991, owning one myself (a German Mac-/Apple-related mailing list), and it is usual (or used to be usual?) that newly registered receive a welcoming mail that includes some text or URLs about netiquette, which I like a LOT.


I see a repeated assumption that people actually read these things. I think that is even less true than in 1991 because we have all been trained to ignore the legalese you have to click through to install updates of one of hundreds of apps.


Well, ja, you may be right … I am a dinosaur from times when people actually read ReadMe files …

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