Various Improvement Ideas/Requests


because the online-go server is so really awesome, I took some time & energy to find, describe and report bugs, and I would also like to propose some improvements.

Particularly important improvements I labelled with [!], [!!] and [!!!].

  1. Game Challenge Graph or List:

###1a) [!!!]
Show the RULES (e.g. AGA, Chinese, Japanese, NZ, etc.) directly in the list and in the “onMouseOver” display of the game graph.

Show check boxes to be able to show (hide):

  • the rules that I am (not) interested to play
  • the type of time-controls that I am (not) interested to play (e.g. I only want to see Canadian and Byo-Yomi)
  • show only (un)ranked games
  • show/hide select board sizes of interest (19x19, 13x13, 9x9, other)
  • Show games with/without handicap

###1c) [!!]
Use “shape” coding on top of “color” coding:

  • Triangle = Japanese, Korean (i.e. games where seki doesn’t count and territory count is applied)
  • Square = Chinese, AGA (i.e. games where seki areas count and area count is applied)
  • Circle = SST Ing, New Zealand (games where suicide is allowed)


  • Solid shape = ranked games
  • Hollow shape = unranked games


  • black dot inside = games with handicap allowed


  • Size of triangle/square/circle = board size: 4 sizes: 19, 13, 9, other

Add a “help” or “?” button (just next to the already existing “create” and “play” buttons) that shows a little pop-up with a short legend of what the colours and shapes mean (acc. to “1c” above).

###1e) - Automatic Handicap and Komi Calculation, Color Assignment Strategy:
What komi will the server calculate if I specify in my game challenge that I am white (instead of “automatic color”), but then the black opponent turns out to be stronger than me? (or I select black but the opponent is weaker)

Will white get more than 7.5 komi in this case? Then this becomes “non-standard”! Probably it is better when the pre-specified color gets ignored in this case by the go server, to avoid such a strange situation.

Then the dialog in the game challenge for color should be labelled “Your PREFERRED color” instead of “Your color”, to respect the fact that under certain constellations like the one above the system will have to ignore your preferred color to do komi/handicap settings appropriately and respect the general GO rule that the weaker player plays with black. To get handicap/komi bonus.

A help text (like the help text for “Private”) for the “Preferred Color” settings field could read: “If you play against a stronger [weaker] player and handicap or komi (or both) is set to ‘automatic’, then the server will force your color to be set to Black [White].”

Summary Illustration:

  1. Game Challenge Dialog Window (=my game search settings):

###2a) [!!] Challenge Pre-sets:
Allow the user to specify a certain number of challenge “pre-sets” that are easily selectable in the challenge dialog window.

For example I have 3 sets of preferences for my favorite fast/slow or large/small board game settings, and I want to access them readily without the error-prone and tedious procedure of setting each individual parameter.

How to realize:

Preferably, there are three new “load/save/delete presets” buttons in the challenge dialog window:

  • When hitting the save preset button, a small window appears to enter the name for the preset profile to store current settings. If the name already exists, an extra query dialog appears to confirm that old settings are overwritten.
  • When hitting the load preset button, a drop-down-menu appears with a list of formerly saved presets.
  • When hitting the delete preset button, the same drop-down-menu appears with the list of formerly saved presets. Selecting one shows a confirmation dialog “do you really want to delete this preset?”


Add an option in the game challenge dialog window that if this game is accepted, then all my other open game seeks are cancelled (or at least “paused”) immediately (such that I don’t suddenly find myself with having to play two games simultaneously, which is undesired esp. for Live/Blitz).

Option: Only cancel my game seeks for the other Blitz games, or Blitz and Live games. I.e. the seeks for the other multi-day Correspondence games are not cancelled because they are not time critical.

  1. Info displayed in Game Display:

###3a) [!!!]
Show the most important game infos directly in the game window:

  • The rules (AGA/Jap./Chin./…) applicable for this game (e.g. to know seki and scoring methods and suicide rules). Example Illustration:

Example illustration:

So everybody observing (or playing) a particular game can immediately judge the current board situation correctly, considering seki rules, suicide rules and scoring method appropriately.

  1. Pass Stones for AGA Rules:

When a player passes in a game with AGA rules, increment the opponent’s captured stones count acc. to AGA rules (“pass stones”, “”, point 7).

This ensures that if a player uses territory count DURING the game to evaluate the position, this gives the correct result for AGA rules (which at the end uses area scoring to evaluate the position).

Note: AGA rule’s “3rd pass stone” in case of “white passes first” does not need to be implemented because the final scoring is done by the “” server using AREA scoring.

  1. Game History data base:

###5a) [!]
In the Game History, save the players’ ranks and ratings as applicable at the time of play. This gives a better impression of what the balance of forces was like at the time when the game was actually played! This is better for documentation and to understand how rating was adjusted after each game based on each player’s ranks, the handicaps & komis and who won/lost.

  1. Documentation:

On “” there are separate columns for Japanese and Korean rules. But they are 100% identical everywhere. So either merge them to one column (smaller table with less redundance eases reading), or add another line on that aspect by which Japanese and Korean rules differ (personally I don’t know what the difference between Korean and Japanese rules is).

On “”, re-order the columns to have similar rule sets next to each other, this eases comprehension:

  • Columns 1, 2 = Japanese, Korean (rules with territory score and seki territory doesn’t count)
  • Columns 3, 4 = AGA, Chinese (rules with area scoring and where seki areas count)
  • Columns 5, 6 = Ing SST, New Zealand (rules where suicide is allowed [otherwise similar to AGA/Chinese])

Note: Consider this ordering (instead of alphabetical order) also in the drop-down menu in the “create game challenge” dialog window.



Consider using dedicated space for feature requests:

Some of your ideas are already there and some of them are even worked on. You can vote for them and try to rally votes for them in chat/on the forum.

I would very much welcome some work on the Graph (I think this is the critical feature that needs most work on, because it is basically the first thing new user sees and it has more potential). See for my old ideas.
The problem I’ve encountered later is that the symbols need to combine when there are more challenges open on the same point. This could make things more complicated and reduce readability.
Using shape coding is a splendid idea. We should work out absolutely necessary information that should be presented in the Graph.
However, I’ve found little love for the Graph in the hearts and minds of other people which is a pity, because a good graph conveys information quicker than a table.

1 Like

Is there any way to see the ruleset of a challenge before accepting it ? If not, I feel that it is a really needed feature.

Love the server


When you click an open challenge in the graph you get a “pop up” of the game information. It shows the rules. There you can finally accept the challenge.


Sorry for the lack of precision, I meant the scoring rules (japanese, chinese, …)


You are correct. It seems it only shows time settings and they are confusingly named almost the say way as scoring/rules. My bad :confused:

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