Hello, recently after playing various auto-handicapped 9x9 teaching games and tournaments, I have been wondering whether the OGS 9x9 handicapping system is inaccurate.
I feel the 9x9 handicapping system favours Black strongly.
Another dan player, who only plays 9x9 for the most part as their specialty, has also mentioned that the 9x9 handicaps feel equivalent to 6 stones or more on a 19x19, when in games as White with Black receiving handicap stones.
(for example, something like 3d vs 4k with 2 stones seemed too much to them as well)
See the discussion in these posts :
Is there a better handicap system adjustment, for example one of the systems giving one handicap per 6 or 7 ranks in this post ?
This would also be relevant if the rank restrictions for handicap games (less than 9 ranks of difference) became removed as in the recent proposition thread linked below, as the current handicap on 9x9s would very likely skew the rating of a player taking Black (if they are able to win against much more highly rated players in ranked games than they would on other board sizes).
(and potentially hinder beginners in getting a proper rank by inflating it too much – also relevant to that proposition made to help beginners, as beginners and DDK players may play 9x9 much more often by default, often taking Black as the weaker player)
And it would seem to be relevant to overall ranking accuracy also, as all tournament games, even with a large handicap on 9x9 above the usual handicap for >9 ranks of difference, are rated.
(Some groups I am a part of sometimes attempt to host 9x9 handicap tournaments. They often include beginner and DDK players ranging from 25k-10k as well as some stronger players, and from what I have seen when there is a more sizeable handicap of 2-3+ stones, it’s seemed to favour Black heavily.
After realising this, in one group, we’ve dropped all auto-handicap 9x9 tournaments. So, this makes it difficult to create interesting/evenly handicapped 9x9 tournaments for those who wish to. )