Go handicap and rating


Go handicap and rating

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Lionel Vidal    (2006-11-20)
Go handicap and rating

Is handicap Go really nonsensical in rated tournaments?
While it seems so in a world championship, where the aim is to determine the stronger player in an absolute sense, why should it be so in a tournament, where the aim is to determine the best player in a relative sense... hum, not a very clean or clear sentence, but I hope you got the idea :-)

In face to face Go, in most amateur tournaments, it is not a problem, and you can win or loose a tournament, win or loose points, playing with an handicap (some tournaments set a limit lower than 9 in the number of handicap stones). I do not know the formulae used to compute the knew ratings, but in practice it works well. (and the same thing works also in Shogi tournaments)

Before WWII, even pros played with handicap (one or two stones at most, more commonly with a fixed color and no komi) and that *for money*!! Nowadays this is not the case anymore: maybe the increase of pro-tournament prizes change the noble way to be the best of two players fighting *their best* at their *respective* level!

Anyway, I think such an idea may be interresting to motivate players: when weaker, I will fight my best because I have a chance to win, and when stronger, I *have* to fight well :-)

We could think of a rating system where you play your first, say, 20 games without handicap to get a starting rating, and then to receive or give handicaps automatically in tournaments. We could then consider a rating as fixed after a bunch of 20 more games...
Or any other system that will always generate tense and dangerous games! That will be, at least for me, a great motivation to play more :-)
(but then I do not care much for my rating :-))

Thibault de Vassal    (2006-11-21 11:22:58)
Go handicap and rating

It makes sense. That's an interesting idea.

However I feel it could be quite difficult to balance the handicap with ratings and to keep the results of the games coherent. Finally, it is another rating system. Thinking about that...

Previous thread - http://www.ficgs.com/forum_read_1611-Go-Komi.html

Lionel Vidal    (2006-11-21 14:00:19)
French Go Federation rating

Here is a link that shows an example of rating that include handicap-go games


Just food for thought, but I like this system because of the balance betwenn fairness and challenge involved.
(sorry but these pages are in french only, but maybe we could check the ratings formulae in AGA?)