Stone Removal Phase: Scoring Errors, Abuse

Hey everybody,

the Stone Removal Phase is a topic that comes up here every other day, therefore I’d like to explain a few things:

  1. Scoring is not trivial, and since OGS doesn’t have a HUGE artificial intelligence behind it, there can always be errors, much the more …
    if the borders are not totally closed, or …
    if there are neutral points which have not been filled and there perhaps are some weak spots that would be exposed only when the neutral points would be filled.
    Therefore, this phase often needs human interaction, i.e. clicking or shift-clicking on stones to mark them as alive, and you should proceed only after everything on the board is marked correctly as alive or dead.

  2. Sometimes your opponent will not accept your correct marking of stones, usually because of being confused and/or being new to the game, but sometimes also out of bad will.
    In such a case please call a moderator to help clarify the situation, using the button on the right side flyout menu:

Hope this helps,



It doesn’t even have to be malicious. Counting of Seki is a common source of contention, even between stronger players. Keep in mind that OGS allows games under different rule sets and that they don’t agree on all the fine points.

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Agreed, and I’d subsume that under … [quote=“trohde, post:1, topic:9407”]
usually because of being confused


Tom, I don’t agree with calling for a moderator so quickly, on the first disagreement with scoring. The moderators may all be playing games themselves, or busy away from their computer.

We need a better procedure for disagreeing during scoring and continuing to play. If this is done right, the opponent will be informed in their own language and timing will continue, putting pressure to continue play until the next occurrence of two successive passes and the next scoring phase. The current programming is almost good enough, just needs a couple of tweaks, in my opinion.

As to seki, the pressure to continue to play should make a seki clear (or induce a learning experience in a beginner).

Only if the cycle of passing and scoring continues beyond making sense should a moderator be called, since it does show a misunderstanding of how to score go games, malicious or not.

There are some difficulties with the strategy of always resuming gameplay (and avoiding use of the moderators) if the players can’t agree on scoring, I think. Most notably, my understanding is that this is not in compliance with Japanese rules, which require special handling for scoring disagreements that happen after two passes have occurred (and don’t always give the same answer, in that situation, as continued play would.)

My understanding is that with Chinese rules, you should always be able to resolve disputes by resuming play, but I can easily see this becoming confusing to new players, who may already have a weak understanding of the scoring phase, and giving unfair results for that reason.