Frequently Asked Questions

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Dragon etiquette
  • Can I seek help during play?
    Before you continue reading you should be familiar with the more general view on this topic in the FAQ-entry:

    Using books, solving Go problems, playing against computers and discussing games with other players are generally accepted and encouraged. Forum discussions have shown that many (possibly all) players here do one or more of these things. For a game in play, some, all, or none of these could cause concern for some opponents, and this issue is discussed below.
    Many players would consider it inappropriate to consult others or use certain aids for a game in progress. Some players do not object to this, particularly for weak players. Very few players would object to the use of books or an SGF editor whilst playing a game. Using a computer to choose your moves for you would be frowned upon by some players and would be accepted by others. Using a computer to help understand the options and then choose a move yourself is different, but some players might not accept this as reasonable.
    There are some strong views about these kinds of issues. Some players would take different views if a game were ranked, unranked, or in a tournament. In an unranked teaching game you might be encouraged to seek help during play.
    If you intend to use a computer or consult others about which moves to make during a game it would be polite to notify your potential opponent in advance, as they may not wish to play in those circumstances. If you have not asked about this in advance, and subsequently find you would like to use a computer or consult someone during play about possible moves, it would be considered polite by some players to ask first. If your opponent objects, some people would feel the fair way to continue play would be to do it without such help, since the opponent did not know you intended to do this when they took the game.
    Despite differences in opinion as to what kind of aids are legitimate to use during play (if any), there is a commonly shared view that you will not help yourself to improve if you do not understand and choose your own moves.
    Much of this is about custom and practice, culture, and what individual players feel is reasonable.
    However, in the interest of fair play we ask you to follow what is outlined in

    and if you want to derive from that, to reach an agreement on different rules with your opponents before starting your game.
    Some players choose to put entries in their Bios to indicate what kinds of aids they use and what their expectations of other players are in this regard.
    If you find this topic to be of interest, you may wish to look at some of the debates in the Forum, listed at the following URL, and on the page to which the link refers:
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