Why do I ended up as W against stronger players?

It seems as if often I ended up playing W against a stronger player when they accept a challenge I have created. I choose Ranked and then auto for Komi, handicap, and colour. Shouldn’t I always end up up as B when a stronger player accepts a challenge? What don’t I understand about challenges?

If the rank difference is less than 1 kyu (for instance if you are 11.8 kyu and your opponent 10.9 kyu), then the game will be without handicap, and colors will be assigned randomly.

Is there an issue with getting White?

Do weaker players actually win more with Black, even though White has komi? I find that hard to believe.

I think it depends on the rank difference. If it’s as @jlt says and less than 1 rank difference then I guess there’s no real problem. If it’s that one player is, say 5 ranks weaker and gets white with Komi instead of black with 5 stones then that could affect the outcome!
Maybe @ribblehead can point to specific games where there was a difference of more than 1 rank at the start?

Hmmm if you created the challenge you can decide which color you take or if it’s random.

You can choose between “automatic” “black/white” and “random”. But if you don’t know who/how strong your opponent will be then you likely don’t want to select a specific colour or have it be random.

Ohh sorry. I misunderstood the first post as OP challenges someone stronger and doesn’t want to get white.

What is the meaning of “automatic” in colors?

I never explored these differences that much.

To me you either want a handicapped game (where you expect the stronger player to be white) or you want an even game where I expect colors to be random (since the game is unbalanced anyway).

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That’s a good point. Maybe if you choose “automatic” for handicap then “Komi” and “your colour” options should be unavailable.

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Very much agree. Automatic handicap should include automatic colour assignment. The following should not be allowed:

We have had users tricking others with this setup in the past. I can’t think of any scenario where it makes sense to allow it.


This has not been my experience, at least in tournaments. The weaker player should always get black for automatic handicap, even if they are close.

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It does seem to happen only when the rank difference is 1. My expectation from playing elsewhere is that the weaker player always takes B. So, now I know.

Correction: this very day I ended up W against a (provisional) 6k.
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