Why are we not allowed to play games vs vastly different ranked bots even if it's not a ranked game?


There is no reason for this at all, and the system even seems to acknowledge that: when I challenge minusGo or RoyalLeela to a ranked game, it says “Can not play a ranked game with rank difference >9” but when it’s an unranked game I just get “game offer was rejected” with no explanation. Pls fix.


Each bot has differents setting you must use before they accept the game. This is normally found in the description of their profile.


As far as I know this is always a decision of robot owners (they are run externally, not by OGS) thus I am uncertain your wish will be fulfilled.

The reasons for such behaviour of course exist and there can be more, but the most prominent one probably being that computing power of such “small” robots is not endless. So they “save” their strength for stronger players who may be in need of a stronger opponent, as it would be more or less meaningless for Leela to play against DDK anyway for example… She would just crush him/her and neither one would get much from such a match.

If you desire to play against Leela, note that you can download her for free and play offline if you have any decent hardware.


Just to clarify, DDKs are accepted as opponents by RoyalLeela provided that they’re at least 15k. If you’re weaker than that and looking for another dan bot to play, there’s DarkGo as well – I’ve never heard that DarkGo has a rank cutoff.


I am 11k and RoyalLeela won’t accept me as an opponent.


From Leela’s profile:

All games: Minimum period or increment 10 seconds (for Canadian this means time per stone >= 10 seconds). 19x19 only. 15k or higher. No pauses allowed at the moment, because pondering (thinking during opponent’s turn) is being tested. Now accepting correspondence. Will reject all matches if doing a special game against a strong opponent.

She has several active games with DDK players, so it is surely possible. Probably just check your time-settings


I am new to the site, and this may be a really stupid question, but how do you even find say minusgo’s profile? I find no way of searching for users on the site. I also want to start a game with minusgo or other bots, but are always rejected. I would therefore like to see what settings it accepts.


Search bar on the left when you open the menu is to search users. I believe it’s case insensitive.

For minusGo

It will only accept blitz or live challenges on a 9x9 board with Japanese byo-yomi, Canadian byo-yomi, or fischer time control, and it requires at least 3 5-second byo-yomi periods and at most 5 periods. In order to save precious computation resources and considering how weak it is, it will also only accept challenges from players ranked up to 10k.


Thank you! ;didn’t even notice it.

Wow, thats restrictive. I understand the ‘saving of computing resources’-perspective, but imo, as long as a game is unranked, shouldn’t that also be the only incentive for restricting challenges? Are there other reasons one might not want people to play against them?

Question(s).) For a beginner like me, would anyone recommend an AI (20-30 kyu), that I can actually play against unrestricted, anywhere (android app, web or windows/linux program)? I have only tried GnuGo on lowest setting on android which is ok on 13x13 (but I would prefer to at least have an even lower setting), but for some reason it is still too hard for me to beat on 19x19. Also, what would be an estimation of the level of GnuGo at setting 1/10?


@Christopher.L if you read the entire thread you notice Adam3141 said that decisions about how the robots play (accepting/rejecting players’ challenges, types of games accepted, time limits accepted, etc.) are not made by OGS, but rather by the robot authors. You need to contact them and ask these questions.

On Android there are several different Go apps that cost nothing to download and test to see if they are offering you strength levels that you are seeking. Simply install them and try them out. If you don’t like them then just uninstall them.


Ok, thank you, I guess I thought I was missing some more or less obvious reasons that people here in general knew, which is why I asked. It’s of course up to them to decide.

I have been trying out different apps and haven’t found anyone I like except for GnuGo, most either don’t have Ai, or have Ai better than 18kyu, or are just more for puzzles, etc, but I’ll keep looking.

Thank you!


Hey, as far as I know there are two worthwile android apps for playing go for beginners:

  • Go free (I think this one might offer the lower settings out of the two)
  • CS lite (or Crazy Stone lite)

both are free and offer some very low AI levels (don’t believe the actuall rank numbers, they are VERY approximate). The most notable difference is that CS offers also 19x19 games while for Go free they are paid. I do not know any such programs for PC, but if you are at the computer I recommend playing humans :slight_smile: it’s the most fun and there are tons of people of a similar level to yours and it is best to improve if you find someone to improve with. Also we can easily review your games afterwards if you want and point out the places you need to work on.

You can also check this topic:


Thank you so much for that elaborate answer! I know I may have run a bit OT with the question, so I didn’t deserve it ;). Many thanks for the CS lite recommendation, it seems to be much more what I was after. At the lowest setting it plays poorly even for me, and thats precisely what I wanted; some leg room =). Godroid is great and light/simple though, but I felt it was toying with me even on its lowest setting.

A review would really be like a dream. If anyone has the time and effort, that would be awsome. Maybe I’ll ask someone after the correspondence game I’m playing now. I pretty much have noone afk to play with, so it’s been hard to learn, which is why I’m now here. I feel I especially need to improve my midgame, attack, defence, fighting and so on, which I’m really useless at imo. Anyways, thanks again for making me feel welcome.


Just post it here at the forums when you find a good game. Someone usually writes a nice review within hours :). The usual advice is to post games that you have lost (easier to identify mistakes if they were challenged) and were neither blitz nor handicapped, but whatever game is fine…

I know how you feel :smiley:


LOL, I think that is the case for perhaps 90% or more of us! :rofl:

Welcome to the club and have fun here on OGS.

– Musash1