PSA concerning beginners


Welcome to the community, and if you ever want a teaching game or ideas to improve your game a little hit me up.


I actually like this solution a lot. As you said, its not perfect but then no single system
will be perfect unless we all knew our ranks when we first came on here… but this works i think.


Go easy on the reply button. You can use @ mentions to notify people you replied to something they said, like so: @DanielLordSpoonJones .


The reply button is quite useful for linking back to the content that one is replying to. Clicking on the name in the top right of the post shows the context being referred to.

I think it is a useful middle ground between quoting someone directly and using just an @ mention. It helps to reduce the clutter of replicated content, while still providing a way to clarify the context.


Maybe OGS can apply some quick fixes.

If two players cannot agree on the status of dead groups, the game’s result is undecided. But if one of the players go on to do the same thing in two other games, the other players wins that game and any rating points awarded or reduced will end up doubled. This should create a two-game buffer at any one time that acts as a benefit of the doubt for all players.

If a player keeps playing after a game is all but done in the opinion of one player, then why not a 50-move rule like in chess? It seems best for it to only apply after 200 moves have been played. If one player passes, then either player must capture a stone by the 25th move since the pass, or the passing player wins.

Not perfect, but still helpful for beginners and veterans alike.


The spirit of this PSA wasn’t so much a call for automated methods to adjucate results, but a call to uphold etiquette and promote friendly behavior:

“When in doubt, assume your opponent is a beginner. If their game history says otherwise, call a moderator. Either way, be courteous and let mods deal with cases of abusive behavior, instead of being abusive towards other players.”



  1. Trolling does not have to be verbal. It can be through playing random moves, refusing to end the game, wasting time. All of which does not require a text box.
  2. It will reduce the instances of trolling by creating a greater barrier to entry. If someone want to go ahead a keep making new emails to register than that can’t be helped. That is one VERY sad pathetic individual.


This thread is quite repetitive already, but i would just like to throw my weight behind what other people are saying, speaking specifically as someone who submitted a mod request (and complained in the chatroom) about a player who I understood to be trolling. I asked the player to resign at move 165 after they had played ~30 straight stones which had no chance of living. Perhaps I was a bit terse, but I did say “please”. Because I didn’t realize that OGS started beginners at 13k, and from looking at games they had won which seemed to fit the pattern of playing bizarrely until their opponent resigned out of boredom, I then assumed this person playing as an 11k (no ?) was trolling. My opponent said that they were new and needed the practice. I replied (twice) that the game was over, that no more new stones could be made to live, and that if they were indeed not trolling, they should take my word as a stronger player and resign. Eventually (at move 266) they passed, and refused to accept the proper scoring for like 10 min. instead, as the counter approached 0 for them to accept removed stones, they would again mark all their stones as alive, resetting us to 5 min.

To summarize: Playing an absolute beginner without intending to or being aware that that is what you are about to do is very frustrating. I could and should have been more polite in my language, and in offering to give them some help with learning if they resigned. I don’t think I was being abusive. I regret my approach. Alas, the internet does not generally instill good faith in people who are behaving frustratingly. I am happy to play beginners, but someone identified as an 11k without understanding the concept of 2 eyes demonstrates a failure in the ranking system. I’m very glad not be 15-11k when this is happening. That must be incredibly frustrating. I understand there are difficulties here, but having people play beginners without knowing that they are beginners does a disservice to both players (especially the beginner) and the community in general.

Thanks for the the PSA! Thanks for all the hard work everyone does to build and maintain this wonderful website for this wonderful game! I do think there are structural improvements to be made in this area. I will assume good faith naivete more quickly than trolling in the future.

P.S. I like that you don’t have to give an email because I dislike websites demanding information they do not need. It seems like the point of this PSA is that trolling is actually not a significant problem on OGS, but rather beginners being mistaken for trolls. Requiring an email address seems to me to be an attempt to correct a problem that doesn’t exist. [sorry this post is so friggin long!]


Basically it would really help if newcomers had a big badge that shows up during the game and in challenges list. Some people like to teach new people, and some want super serious game, but now there’s no quick way to distinguish who is who.


Sorry for hitting the reply button so much. I’m not to great at remembering commands and such in websites, and tend to always send multiple replied , especially if they are toward several different people. I will however do my best to avoid “Spamming” the reply button in the future.

@gohiontach : i agree on the repetition on this thread. and also that this isn’t a suggestion page. I think people are looking to solve these problems int he most efficient way possible. because of the various annoyances that they may have experienced. perhaps not all the suggestions are good ones, perhaps some are good suggestions, either way, this really isn’t the place.

Thankfully i have been fortunate to not have come across anything like this. The new player i played earlier on today wasn’t exactly talkative, but hit the pass button when i think he realized he had lost the game. He did however leave the game leaving me to wait for the time to elapse for the counting phase to end, but then that may be a lack in understanding how to do things.

I did however send him a message telling him that if he needed any help improving his game at all that he could hit me up and i would direct him to some handy resources.

I think it is better that people simply give everyone we play the benefit of the doubt and simply assume they don’t know better.


I must admit that I am still quite new and my ignorance has led to behavior that I now know to be regrettable. However like many others I’ve resolved to learn and am enjoying my experience on the whole. As a rule I try to treat everyone with courtesy and respect even if it seems to me that they are being discourteous. Frankly I’ve seen plenty of bad behavior from new and veteran players alike. It’s always disappointing but you never truly know the reasons (trolling, bad day, ignorance, etc.) and it’s best for everyone to just be polite at any rate. Getting frustrated and slagging someone off for what you perceive to be an affront serves no real purpose. Trolls die when they aren’t fed and I think it remains in the prevailing interest of the community to provide the most open, friendly and stable environment possible to maximize the influx and retention of fresh blood. I rather like go and I’ve seen far too many online communities die over the years because of the evolution of toxic behaviors. We shouldn’t let our standards be dictated by the worst of inclinations.


I always advise the so called BEGINNERS to go through mark5000’s “Exercises for Beginners”, which is amazing and helped me a lot when I started learning Go. So I think maybe making new puzzles that emphasize on two-eye and “pass” may help. Yet the problem of inviting them to these puzzles still remains.


Thanks for the shout out!


I too always direct beginners to the tutorials on the first couple pages of the puzzles. There are several by @mark5000, as well as a few by others. I think these should be separated from the puzzles page and put under a tab called “Tutorials for Beginners.” Beginners are not likely to go to a “Puzzles” page when they know little about the game, A separate tab will make these easier to find, and an automatic message could be sent to new players suggesting that they take a look at these resources. Also, a tutorial about etiquette could be placed there, which might help ameliorate the problems mentioned in this thread.


Super suggestions, @Conrad_Melville !!


How do you hide text? I can’t find a command or an option to do it.

Oh, I found it in a message from trohde.


Tried to tell a possible newbie why leaving in the middle of the game is not polite.

The reply was in Spanish (?). I used Google Translate, but it seemed off… Maybe someone can help me translate?


google translate works better here if you set the original as portugese.


OK, so he didn’t drop the f-bomb. :slight_smile:


To me OGS is already one of the favourite place to discover and try to play go on the net, I am happy to see so many newcomers here.
Offering a weak bot to play to them is not the way to go, avoiding to communicate with them and even worse giving them some wrong idea on how to play the game.

My 2cents from reading the thread.