Which rank decides on automatic handicap/komi?

So I’ve seen it officially stated that your overall rank is always used, and that the individual category ranks (such as 13 x 13 correspondence) only have informational purpose. I don’t think this is true, however.

In ranked games with automatic handicap/komi, it’s happened to me a lot of times now that, for instance, I’m playing someone whose overall rank is lower than mine, and they still get white with reduced komi. The reverse also happens - their overall rank is higher than mine, but they get black and handicap stones. I think this is because the site actually uses your individual category rank to determine handicap/komi. Here’s a current example in which I think this is a likely explanation (13 x 13 correspondence rank used to determine automatic handicap/komi): https://online-go.com/game/10680158

Now I’m not complaining - I actually like that system. It’s just that it has been officially stated that only your overall rank is ever used, and based on my own experience, this is simply not true. Could someone clarify, please?


I have had the same suspicion.

@anoek ?

Pinging @anoek again since you’re done moving :slight_smile:

1 Like

With the (not so) recent rating system change, your overall rank is used for everything now :slight_smile: (I can’t remember if it was like that with the old system or not, I thought it was… But I couldn’t swear by it)


Did you select random assignment of color or did you accidentally assign yourself as black in the referenced game? Perhaps in the cases you have seen, if the opponent created the game, they chose the colors. That’s the only alternative explanation I can think of.

1 Like

I always have colour, handicap and komi set to automatic.

The problem described in this thread also feels like it could have to do with individual category ranks being used. Creating games with Limited Ranking for opponents, it doesn't work right!

So anoek, what else could have caused these issues then?

I’m sorry I keep bothering you @anoek, but in this game for instance, I got negative komi as white and black got two handicap stones. Our overall ranks were 20k at the time, but my 13 x 13 correspondence ELO was 1500 (the equivalent of 13k) since I hadn’t played a game in that category yet. Doesn’t this seem like a likely explanation for what could otherwise only be considered a glitch?

Negative komi is never given automatically. if the system gives an automatic handicap, white always has 0.5 komi.

These settings were specifically chosen by your opponent. If this is a great concern of yours, I advise you to check the game settings before you play a move (I assume this was some kind of automatch), that way if they are not to your liking you may cancel without consequence.

I’m sorry, but this is simply untrue. When I play handicap, I always have it set to automatic, and in 13 x 13, I have gotten white with -4.5 komi and 2 handicap stones for black several times (just as often as the reverse). Even when the automatic komi wasn’t negative, it definitely wasn’t 0.5 at all times but varied depending on the relative strengths of my opponent and me.

Colour was set to “automatic”. My opponent got black even though their overall rank is stronger than mine. However, my 9 x 9 correspondence rating is higher than theirs. Coincidence?

Yes, coincidence. Random colour is assigned before automatic handicap is calculated.

If the stronger player gets black, they play an even game. If the weaker player gets black, they get the appropriate number of handicap stones.

The colour was set to “automatic”, not “random”. Automatic colour always gives the player with the lower Elo black (with unexplained exceptions such as showcased in this thread).

This topic was automatically closed 91 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.