Seeking documentation during long game?


I just joined this server and I’m very interested in playing long games (though I’m looking forwards to trying live games to).
I was wondering if it was considered fair play here to use documentation during a long game (e.g., consult joseki databases)? I would naturally tend to do it as long games seem to be a great opportunity to investigate different outcomes and learn from this.
However I would like to make sure that this is not viewed as cheating.

PS: I’m not sure under which category to file this, please feel free to tell me to change categories.
PPS: I hope this has not been addressed in the past, I attempted a search and could not find any matching threads.

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I think so; I wouldn’t, but I don’t think it’s cheating.

General Discussion seems like a good category imo.

Don’t worry too much about duplicate threads. Try not to make them, but on the off-chance you do, it’s not a big deal. I hesitate to say this because it sounds like I’m just giving mods more work, but if you do make a duplicate thread and it’s important enough, a mod can merge the threads. I’m not sure how that works, though. If there’s a button or something? Not sure how easy or hard it is for them.

PS – Based on my experience in this forum, this sort of thread will probably get a good number of replies. :slight_smile: I’ll look forward to weighing in when some more opinions have been given.

Thanks a lot for your answer!
Looking forwards to read other answers if they do come!

Hey chlorine. My practice is to make my move, then go off and do research.


Thanks for your input, saxmaam!
It sounds like a much better way to learn than what I was considering. :slight_smile:

chlorine, I think that as far as fairness is concerned it is a good idea to use or not use aids consistently, so that your rank corresponds to your actual game play. Otherwise, I think that people who play joseki at me are doing me a service because I am too lazy to look them up all the time.

My own experience is that my rating changes surprisingly little if I use or don’t use joseki databases and analysis.

I suggest that you make a second account and consistently use joseki databases for one of them and then report back to us how different your rank is.



that’s very interesting insight about consistency.
However the idea of creating two accounts is a bit daunting for me, and the thing is I’ll most probably be too lazy to look up all josekis (or other kind of documentation) for any game.

I think sticking to saxmaam’s solution when I’m brave enough to do any kind of research would not alter my rank, as the research would be done after the fact, and I find it very appealing, so I think I’ll go with this.

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DGS has a a couple of sections in their FAQ dealing with this question. The short version is:

You CAN use all kind of aids by doing research of your own.
For example studying books, looking up joseki dictionaries, game databases, and analyzing your game in an SGF editor.

In light of fair play you SHOULD NOT ask another person or go-playing program to help you find your moves or strategy in the game.

That’s a pretty typical example of correspondence play guidelines. Keep in mind, though, that on OGS some tournaments have analysis disabled. While there is no consensus, in such tournaments you’re probably better not to use any aids.

Personally, I do sometimes consult josekipedia or fuseki database, especially when I’m against stronger players. And while I do not use engines myself, as long as my opponent has a more or less accurate rating, I do not particularly care whether he/she/it is a human, computer, or combination of both with some books on top of it. :smile:


Thanks for your answer temifar.

Actually I’m coming from DGS where I also registered an account a few days ago.
I did see those guidelines wich I find very reasonable, and actually they are the cause of my question here: I figured the consensus might not be the same on all servers. :smile:

Thanks for the warning about tournaments. If I do ever participate in one I’ll refrain from research if analysis is disabled.
Actually a double thanks for this warning, because I was unaware of the analysis feature, and it seems like I’ll be using it a lot. :smile:

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Just be aware that analysis can be a crutch. Better to play your move, then analyze.


You may want to look at this thread

My opinion is that it’s fine to use whatever tools you have. It really depends on why you are playing and what you are trying to learn. Just know that if you ever play live or real life games and you are dependent on them you are going to be at a disadvantage.


Again, very insightful advice that I will try to follow. :slight_smile:

If you want to focus on joseki, you should play without and research after. If you want to focus on something else, joseki databases give you a nice base to start the game. Sometimes it’s better not to put all your eggs in one basket. While the opening is important, I find that it is not as important as other things like middle game fighting, but to each their own.

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Joseki was just an example of using documentation during a game.
I do intend to study other things, and in particular some my games currently going on at DGS show that I really need to improve in the midlle game. :wink:

Tom_Newman, somehow I missed your answer.

Thanks for the link to the thread.
I would like to play live games but I don’t know when I’ll have the time! :confused:

There was a discussion about this in a Life In 19x19 forum several months ago, but it wasn’t necessarily about long games.

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Thanks for the link Marathon!
Interesting discussion there.