Strange: player is offended to take white

You can see the interesting, very short chat here:

Now, of course, the player could be a troll, but it would be strange if it was so: He would have kept arguing and trying to annoy me, not accepting simple solutions, if he really was trolling. Instead, he immediately accepted my offer to cancel the game and left, seemingly proud of teaching me good manners. The part where he says “it is advantage” is pretty absurd, and seems to show ignorance about how komi works. The etiquette part might be right, since etiquette is simply governed by tradition and is therefore arbitrary.

Is this belief that it is important etiquette for the strongest player to take white on even games (that is, no handicap) something common in go culture? Is it common here on this site? I started creating my games with that random-color setting just 2 or 3 matches ago, so the appearance of somebody who was bothered by such change strikes me as really fast, which supports the idea that it might be something important that I’ve missed.

Anyway, what are your thoughts? Does it depend on the country maybe? Do people really feel this is important?

PS: I was not sure at all where to post this. I ended up posting it under support, since it concerns the site itself, good manners, etc. Feel free to move it to a more appropriate category if you want!

Yeah, that’s pretty weird. Komi is well-established; it’s the amount of komi that’s debated. I guess the white player didn’t understand komi. But it’s also possible that he knows about komi yet believes that black is still preferable. (some pros prefer black with 6.5 komi, but some prefer white too) It’s really strange that someone would get upset over a random assignment of color, but I really have no idea. I’ve never seen anyone complain about it.

On a related note, professional players often choose color in this way: one player grabs a handful of stones, and the other chooses odd or even. If he guesses right, he chooses his color, or vice versa. The “random color” feature here on OGS serves to approximate that element of randomness, and it’s not leaving anytime soon. :slight_smile:


I don’t think it’s important and I prefer random-color assignment in even games :wink:

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Yep, it is traditionally the stronger player who takes the white stones. This tradition has been around much longer than mainstream use of komi.

Etiquette is not all arbitrary. It may be good manners to follow the tradition in some east Asian countries, but on this website, we are not obliged to follow that practice.

Your opponent wants to impose their standards of conduct on you. I’d say that is unreasonable.

I also predict that if you’re going to open a thread for every unreasonable person you meet on the internet, you will soon have the highest post count in this forum ;)


Well, the post is not about an unreasonable person in itself, but an honest question about tradition and etiquette.

Your answer is most helpful in this regard: It seems now that there IS a strong tradition on eastern countries of the strongest player taking white (unless it is a tournament where it is explicitly stated by rules that nigiri should be performed, or something similar), but it is not so extremely adhered to on this particular go server (although it is still default behaviour), or in the western countries, for that matter.

In fact the game was created with AGA rules, which I state explicitly on the game title (I find it odd that right now you can’t otherwise know the rules used in a match before accepting it: I even suggested the simple feature in I guess the person did not even notice that, otherwise would have probably been offended also about that if they were so much worried about eastern tradition.


I think if you set the game to auto-handicap this situation would never happen. After all, it’s unlikely to be a very even (fun?) game with a 10k vs a 17k…

I think there are not enough handicap games on here - traditionally because the rating system was so messed up (I think) but things should be fine for handicaps now IMO…

But I also think his/her attitude was a bit off… Could have seen what the setup for the game was, and not taken it (or resigned after first move) if not to his/her liking…

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I prefer to take black against stronger players, of course I would never be offended if the opposite were to happen.

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I think your opponent thought you were taking advantage of him.)
f you were playing in a club as 10k and 17k then the weaker player would be offered a 7 stone handicap worth 70 points!
This ensures an interesting game for both sides. If black then wins very easily then the handicap would be reduced.
It would usually be regarded as bad manners for someone who needs 7 stones to want to play white as this would be extremely boring for his opponent
so I think you would be better to choose the. Handicap according to strength.
Showing consideration is a very important go tradition

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I don’t think that applies, since it was me who created the game. It was my opponent who accepted an even game against 10kyu.

I never accept open even games against someone too many (7 is way too many) ranks away from me. I generally create my even games without rank restrictions, trusting that my opponent knows what he is doing (perhaps he is 17 kyu here, but has not played on this site for ages, but he did play outside the site, and so believes his true strength is near 10kyu). Apparently I should create my even games with a small maximum rank difference.