Why no handicap?

I’ve been playing on OGS a lot these last few days and it’s a nice server, however there is one thing I’ve noticed that I feel isn’t that great, and that’s the lack of handicap usage.

I believe all the scheduled tournaments are without handicap and ranked games are usually without handicap too, it seems like this is the norm but it really shouldn’t be like this on a serious server imho. Games without proper handicap can’t really be taken seriously, at least if it’s more than 2 ranks difference between the players, and thus shouldn’t be ranked. Also, I suggest that tournaments use at least proper handicap-2, which is usual in real-life egf tournaments, or the games just won’t be any interesting for either player as the game will be over rather quickly and then pointlessly drag on, instead of being challenging for both.

Not using handicap messes up the ratings too, and is probably a reason for why there is such a high variance in the ranks here. I feel that more stronger players would play here if proper handicap was being used, and the site should encourage this. On other servers, like KGS or IGS, playing a ranked game without proper handicap is very rare.

Anyway that’s just my thoughts on that, I like the site I just wanted to share these thoughts. :slight_smile:

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With/without handicap is a personal preference too. You can put challenges with handicap yourself, maybe there are more players like you and you don’t know. :smiley:

And about the ranking system, handicap is taken into consideration when calculating the new ratings. I garantee you that a no handicap game with more than 2 ranks difference makes virtually no change to the rating system.

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I garantee you that a no handicap game with more than 2 ranks difference makes virtually no change to the rating system.

Unless the lower rated player wins, in which case it will have a large effect. As it should.

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Exactly. In that case, the adjustment is more than desired. Remember: no handicap means the game is more difficult to the lower ranked player.

Handicap games become the norm when the rating system is reliable in representing playing strength. Although the rating system here has improved a great deal after the Great Intervention, it is still not reliable. We are getting there gradually.

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