Western Dan Challenge (Kyu player prizes too!) UPDATE: $1550 in prizes now!

How will you keep track of games played on-stream? Will it be self-reported? VODs only last 14 days for most streamers, or 60 for streamers with Prime. I guess streamers could make highlights of each game played on stream? I’m told you can make collections of highlights so they’re conveniently grouped


I reckon KGS would be more popular if there was a phone app and/or browser interface…

Here are a few other important notes I took from the video:

  • Remember to be polite and not rush your opponents by asking them to play faster or resign sooner.
  • It seems that the original challenge was “play 100 ranked games in February”, with an extra bonus for the player who played the most. Playing 100 ranked games can remain a goal and a challenge for everyone, even if you’re not trying to win cash.
  • The original purpose behind calling it the Western Dan Challenge is because Clossius thinks that many dan players drift over to the Asian servers where there are more high level players, leaving the “Western” servers with a dearth of dans. While he still recommends trying the Asian servers for variety of play styles and challenge, the aim is to get more high level players back onto KGS and OGS, at least for a little while.

I think those points are worth keeping in mind for promoting an active and polite go community. I’m going to try for 100 ranked games in February, and maybe even start streaming!


This is a good idea, but from a similar experience in organising League of Legends community events ( we were giving free skins for those that upheld the summoner’s code and streaming 5vs5 games) there are these following issues that you should expect, come February:

a) While the Go community is incomparably less toxic than the LoL community, expect a lot of participants trying to break the rules and then complain if you dismiss their efforts as “rule bending”. Also expect a lot of participants to actually try to force people to resign. Turning something into a competition, sometimes gets the worst out of some people, regardless of what group they belong.

b) People will either boost their “games per day” just for the event, but will return to their normal output afterwards. Heck they might even reduce the games they play, after going “hardcore mode” for a month.

c) If you plan on having leaderboards that update once per week, that might dissuade a lot of the participants in continuing with the challenge (e.g. if the top 3 are WAY too far ahead, people in spots below will probably abandon the effort). If you make the leaderboards AFTER the event then you run the risk of people not keeping their interest in the event through such a large timespan and after it is done, there will be people that will dispute the results. Both choices are a two edged sword, alas.

d) Opening the brackets for lower rankings is great, but be prepared for an organisational tornado sweeping through your emails. Try to find people to help you with the arrangements and the tracking of the participants and the results, preferably people that are in the mod/dev teams of the two servers.

e) You really have to have a “post-event” strategy if you want to keep the results rolling and not creating just a playtime-spike in a particular month. If you are open to a suggestion that would solve some of the aforementioned problems, you could suggest to the servers to make the competition span the whole year, reduce the prizes per month, announce rankings per month automatically (each month resets the monthly counter for a player, but keeps his yearly counter intact) and have the “big prices” at the end of the year sum total of games. That would reduce the organizational stress on you and there will be incentives for all the year and each month :slight_smile:
Involving the people that run the servers is really making all the difference in the world, in such matters.

Good luck and have fun, everyone :slight_smile:


I think the other points are very good and worth keeping in mind.

I don’t think spreading it out over a year will work any better than a month. A month is already long enough, that I would be debating if I even want to try it for that long.

The positive thing though, is that at least it’s not like a tournament where when you sign up you have to commit to a certain number of games. This one you can treat casually, and play at your own leisure or not play at all if life is too busy, or you can of course go for the win.

I don’t think the onus has to be on Clossius to do something about participation on both servers. That’s a big ask for anyone to try to actively promote something they’re not directly working for.


As far as OGS is concerned, this is a thing that is not allowed here in general, so these cases can be reported and will be dealt with like the usual reports we get.


Good point, but it is just a ladder that counts games played, instead of games won (and ranking). If you want to make it even more interesting and not have people drop off the “play more games” ladder through the year, then you can make it randomised and say “all the people that have completed more than one hundred 19x19 games in a server within the year, are eligible to win the following prizes:”

And for the prizes you can give free subscriptions with the AI analysis, so that wouldn’t really cost OGS money that they’d have to send, but a service that they already provide to paying members. :slight_smile:

There are a lot of ideas, variations and augmentations that can be done, I just provided the basic idea of a year-long competition focused on volume of games.

Yeah, that is why I said that including the people that run the services is very important.
In the events I had run, the company that owned the game pretended we didn’t even exist because our events made total fools of the “greek localization experts” and “greek community manager” which the company then employed, paid, but organised nothing. OGS and KGS are not like that and Go servers are not billion dollar multinationals that people can hide in a chain of command and pretend that nothing is happening, so, my guess is that they will be much more open into incorporating new ideas, if this event works :slight_smile:

True. I just said that it might cause an increase in the instances of such things. At the end of the day, even if a player complains to the event organiser or the server itself, the fact of the matter remains that it is still someone that tried to have a good time and someone else turned it into a bad experience.

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about the handicap suggestion. i strongly advice against playing handicap games on OGS, there is something incredibly wrong about how OGS calculates ratings from those games. today i randomly found an sdk who ranked up to 7d by winning games with wrong handicap settings (I will not go into detail here).


I would try to put you in SDK bracket but if most of your games are DDK then that will be okay too.

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I would highly recommend talking to @Anoek
There is an update coming soon so hopefully that should help.


I will be making plans in the event that things produce really good results. As someone mentioned I am not directly responsible for making the servers grow as I am not employed by them But as a Go advocate I do want to push things. If it is received well I am “considering” paying $100 a month to the Dan division to increase Dan games for the long term. It will have to have a different title and it’s own approach but I am looking at long term ideas as well.


I think a leader board will be too much work and I feel it shouldn’t be needed for the event.

I know a lot of people will want one because of competition but that’s really not the spirit of the event and I would like to encourage people to play 100 games to support their community not just for a prize.


1: I would really hope a streamer wouldn’t cheat. xD

2: Not all the games have to be played on stream. It is good enough if they are promoting the event on stream and playing ‘some’ of the games.

3: If would be helpful if the streamers can highlight their streams.

Let me know if you have any more questions!


I added Fischer 5/5 time to the rules above thanks to receiving some advice.


They are working on it :slight_smile:


I heard this through a friend. Although many dan players are expected to temporarily participate and not return, it is an event in a positive meaning. It is not yet known how this event will go and end, but it is likely to get some meaningful feedback after the event is over. However, my personal expectation is that the barriers to the dan player pool that are actually available will be very high and will not attract many people because of the most serious and biggest problem of OGS, the breakdown of the ranking system. I can promote it to the Korean community and gather more people, but the reason I hesitate is that most people are confused about how to match games when they come here for the first time. These two things need to be improved first to be a successful event.


I think once we have a good place to collect all the feedback as well, hopefully a lot of positive changes can be made.

It’s tempting to make a big list of suggested changes and add them to the github as ideas (I mean there also was a big survey for 2020 Early discussion of the 2020 survey). Maybe there can be a 2021 survey?

There is also a thread to discuss issues with using OGS, that it can be unintuitive to do X or use Y on the site. How intuitive is OGS for new users? - #98 by shinuito


The ranking system on OGS is currently being overhauled as far as I remember, but I’m more curious about the user interface comment. I have played on KGS, OGS, and IGS, and the OGS interface doesn’t seem notably more convoluted than any of those three. What would make it significantly more convoluted than Fox or Tygem? The nice thing about OGS is that there’s an ongoing discussion about what needs improvement and why.


In my opinion, playing 100 or more games should equate to a ticket in a prize-raffle. If the prizes are only awarded to the players with the most games, a lot of us will simply see that the leaderboard is unattainable and we will drop off before the month is over.

As it stands, I’d love to participate but I don’t think I will. Setting a goal of 100 games sounds fun, and I can envision committing to that, but I’m not interested in attempting to play the most games.

To be fair to those competitive players who want the 1st place prize or higher odds of winning, give an additional raffle ticket for every 50 games past the initial 100.


Resigning already? That new generation is not as I expected :rofl:

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