Question about playing branches during a game

I often visit ogs, as a guest, to watch games currently going on and will play branches of the moves actually played. Recently, the players commented in chat that the guest was distracting. Can players see the new branches that a guest or logged in user makes during the game? If so, I will stop, as I do not want to disturb players and will wait until the game is done and review it privately.


I don’t think they can see your variations (or if they can, its a bug), but they can see that you’re watching

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Note that the players in theory can’t even see the comments you make in chat, let alone branches you explore.

So in theory we have done everything we can to prevent onlookers distracting the players.

As benjito said, it is most likely the mere presence (which they can see) that distracted them.

I wonder what we all think about “should the players be able to tell that there are people watching?”


Absolutely IMO. :slight_smile:


If it bothers players that someone is watching their game, they have the choice to play in zen mode. In that case everything but the goban and play controls are hidden.

Zen mode looks like this

Zen mode can be activated via the game control panel.

Schermafbeelding 2022-09-07 om 08.36.04

Deactivation by clicking the encircled Z in the top right corner.


Also, if you don’t like being watched, you can make a game private.


In a custom game (when you create a challenge) you can opt for a private game.

Schermafbeelding 2022-09-07 om 09.01.08

Is there, when you accept a challenge or participate in a tournament, an option for a private game?
Not sure about it, but I think it is not possible in this case.


But you can’t make private rated games.

Probably if you’re above 1d I can imagine there being a chance of there being a small audience watching, since they’d be sorted to the top of the games pages.


This seems very strange to me.
I wonder how a player could be distracted by that small number being more than 2.
That’s the only thing players can see during the game.


Is it possible that one of the third party apps allows players to see more than they should?


i have had the players talk about me in chat while i was spectating a game before. apparently some do notice


Thanks for all the replies! I should have just asked “Can players see comments or alternative branches that I do while their game is ongoing?”.

The answer is

“No (or if they can, it’s a bug)”.


A post was split to a new topic: Ability to negotiate challenge terms

Or if they cheat by using a second device or browser (¿tab?), Under a different user or logged out.

They can find out who is watching by clicking on the number of participants.

But it could easily be that people unused to playing in public are just uncomfortable with the thought of being watched.