Thursday, August 04, 2005

Go Server Curiosities

Every so often I try to get in a few games of go before heading out to the office. Since I don't have much time and it's still usually easier to find a game on IGS, and since I'm still competing in the Cho Chikun Judan Cup, I've been exclusively playing on IGS during these hours. I managed to play two games today which really illustrate to me how different IGS and KGS are for my level. Remember that I'm 22k on IGS and 21k on KGS. I am probably still a bit overrated on KGS due to having beaten GNUGo (13k) in a 6 stone handicap match but that doesn't really change things.

Anyway, the first game was against a 22k player from Taiwan. I was absolutely crushed and outplayed all over the board. At the very end, I tried to play out a somewhat complicated border attack and ended up failing. Just as I was about to click the pass button to begin scoring, he resigned, despite the fact that he was probably ahead by over 100 points! Immediately I chatted with him to apologize for the bad game and to explain that I'm still learning. He did not seem upset, but he must have been peeved enough to resign. I don't think he knows me personally, so it couldn't have been a birthday present. :^) This type of thing has happened before to me at IGS...I was playing someone who, by his rank, is a beginner like I am. However, near the end of a game he was (by my count) leading, he chose to resign rather than let me finish it out. Perhaps I'm reading too much into the resignation, but I feel like it's his way of saying that I'm insulting him by not resigning myself.

This has never happened to me on KGS and, personally, I don't quite understand why playing out a game or trying to exploit some weak stones would be bad etiquette, at least at our beginner level. We're all learning, after all, and obvious defeat is not always so obvious. I've been on the other side of this situation a few times and have welcomed the opportunity to defend against what appear to be somewhat hopeless attacks. I've defended against most, but have failed in a couple, too. All have been at least mildly educational.

Either way, I played a second game, this time against a 21k from Japan. This game I won by 18.5 points. And here is the whole interesting thing about IGS. At my level, anyway, it seems like a 50-50 proposition whether I'll have a closely matched game or not. I'll win an even match against a 20k+ then badly lose an even match against a 22k. Some 22k players have played (and won) hundreds of games, which doesn't quite make sense to me. Some 21k players have thousands. On KGS, it seems like this just doesn't happen. The better players move up over time, as I would expect.

In the end, it was fun, I chalked up two more games toward my CCJC score, and enjoyed a nice cup of coffee. Hopefully I learned something, too...


frankiii said...

Courtesy of Panties @ KGS, here is an interesting chart on the topic of statistics for even games.

scsiduck said...

this sounds like sandbagger-type behaviour, frankiii.... deliberately resigning a won game in order to keep the ranking artificially low.