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gomad361
PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2007 17:29    Post subject: Does rating adjust for handicap? Reply with quote

I just won a 9-stone handicap game when rated 2105 against someone rated 1928. It seemed that the points added to my rating (5) were exactly the same as if it had been an even game. This renders the important and integral part that the handicap system plays in go ineffective. This may be a reason why go is not catching on on this server.
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Netherlands
PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2007 18:36    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is correct, we do not adjust for the handicap. The handicap is in the first place added for teaching new players. If you play only for rating you should play without the handicap.
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gomad361
PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2007 19:15    Post subject: Reply with quote

This also renders the ratings system virtually meaningless for go - it takes too many games to establish any appropriate relative levels.
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Zapmeister
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2007 8:31    Post subject: Reply with quote

bram wrote:
That is correct, we do not adjust for the handicap. The handicap is in the first place added for teaching new players. If you play only for rating you should play without the handicap.


The handicap in go is not just for teaching new players. A player that is 2-3 stones stronger than his opponent will never lose an even game, so the handicap is indispensible if you want an interesting game.

gomad361 is stronger by that margin than any other player on the site - his win-draw-loss record is 66-0-0, so there's no point in him playing here without handicaps.
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Zapmeister
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2007 8:52    Post subject: Reply with quote

A simple solution is to increase the effective rating (i.e. the rating used for the adjustment calculation) of the player receiving a handicap. Some fixed amount between 20 and 50 rating points (at a guess) should be added for each handicap stone received.

Note that in an even game with no komi (the site doesn't support komi) the person playing black has received a 1-stone handicap, and that should be taken into account when ratings are adjusted.

Using handicaps (and handling ratings appropriately) would make go much more popular on the site, I'm sure. I for one would start playing it. The other major improvement that's really needed (I think I've mentioned this before) is to offer the game on a smaller board, say 13x13, to bring the length of the game down and make go tournaments viable.
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gomad361
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2007 14:54    Post subject: enhancements Reply with quote

Thanks Zap, you covered most of the salient points there I think.

I strongly support the 13x13 suggestion, and wonder if one of the more effective already existing rating systems, such as the one used by dragongoserver, might not be used as a template. The NEED for handicap stones in go is not something that can be easily ignored - every experienced go player knows that an even game between players of only moderately different levels (3 grades or so) is not much of a challenge for the stronger player and gives the weaker player little chance of winning.
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