There is no handicap stones

In this game of handicap tournament player with a lower kyu (flovo) did not get his handicap stones, and he playing white. Can this be fixed?

Thank you in advance for your help.


Yes, it’s a thereifixedit solution but other than that, the answer in the short run is “No”. If it was scheduled as an even game your rating will adjust accordingly, as well, though I suppose you’re not playing someone 10 stones weaker in a tournament setting for the rating gainz.

1 Like

@smurph Thank you for your answer, but, unfortunately, I still do not understand how to solve this problem.

Here we have bigger level difference, but handicap set correctly:

Well, regardless of whether the tournament wasn’ set up correctly or whether there’s a bug, there’s nothing you could do except for restarting the tournament (in the former case) or… waiting for a backend fix (which also wouldn’t solve the issue right now).

So all you can do is to pass 9-10 times and imagine w was b.


FWIW, you probably know already, but the problem is not “it is a handicap game and he did not get his stones”.

The problem is “it was supposed to be a handicap game, but it isn’t”

So it looks like a bug in the tournament game setting up mechanism (or something we don’t know about “handicap auto”).


1 Like

My understanding is that PlayerColour:Random executes before Handicap:Auto and thus if the weaker player randomly gets white, then no stones is the most accurate. I believe a player will also not get any handicap stones if the rank difference is greater than 9.


For reference: I created an issue on github


The game you linked also only features a 9 stone handicap for a 20 stone difference in rank. I guess reverse komi is a matter of taste, but 45% of the nominally required handicap is about as bad as 0% if it’s 11 stones fewer compared to 10. :slight_smile:

By the way, to make my temp solution a little more accurate, you can play out the passing variant (b passes until w has 9 stones on the board) and if endgame finishes, w places 7 stones in black’s territory. That way it would pretty accurately reflect 9 stones for the weaker and 0.5 komi for the stronger player.

I see you’ve chosen to play without handicap though. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:


It seems that it’s time to call @anoek here.

I think BHyden nailed the problem: the tourney setup magic has given white to the lower ranking player, which means no handicap can be applied.


Yep I think that’s exactly what is happening. I think it’s been like this for a very long time, although I don’t think right now I like this behavior, seems like if it’s a handicap tournament, white should always be the stronger player.


@anoek This is how it should be, regardless of the system of the tournament (Olympic, McMahon, etc.) But what happened to the game? Was it a bug? If so, will it be corrected and when will it happen?

Existing games cannot be edited, bug or no.


I understand it. I asked about the future. Situations where the weakest player is playing white in a game with a handicap will be repeated?


We can predict that this situation will repeat until the bug is fixed.

I’m not sure what determines who gets black or white - clearly it it somewhat random. If it’s fully random then you’d expect about half the games not to have a handicap until the bug is fixed.

I had a look at the current round of your tourney, and it seems that the pair you reported is the only one where the stronger player got black, out of 5 pairs. I can’t see any reason why that pair was special.



Well the bug was in how the game was created (stronger player getting black), but after that everything was created as expected… since white was weaker, 0 handicap was awarded.

As for future games created, I’m going to look at the pairing code today and see if i can get to the bottom of it, so future games should be created more appropriately.


@anoek It would be great! Thank you very much!


Well since we are on the topic, I want to post the question: do you think one stone handicap for each kyu is appropriate? I’m 8 and he’s 14, and he’s given six stones handicap. I am looking at the board and literally stoned. Black everywhere. I’m really not prepared to handle this. In my opinion 3 or 4 stones is fair game.

1 Like

You should be expected to win 50% of all games. If you’re not practicing handicap play, of course you won’t know where to begin. It’s a different kind of game.

However, assuming a 250 move game (global average) and an initial advantage of about 60-72 points, you only need to gain about 1-2 points per move (more than your opponent).


Alrighty I found the root of the issue, when we switch to the new glicko rating system we missed a spot in the tournament match code where we were still using the old rating system columns (which are no longer updated), whoops! That’s been fixed and deployed, so the next round should look better.