Frequently Asked Questions

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Dragon Introduction
  • What is this place?
    The Dragon Go Server (DGS) is a place where you can play turn-based Go with other players from around the world. It functions more or less the same way as playing Go via email would, but the Dragon Go Server provides a graphical representation of the board and handles things such as time limits, scoring and ratings.
    DGS players typically submit about five moves per week. Thus, games can be expected to take several weeks to complete. Some people play games much more quickly, and DGS enables a wide range of time limits. Playing Go in real time is not really possible here. Playing in "real time" means that both players are online at the same time and see their opponent's moves immediately, as they would when playing in person. A real-time game would take an hour or so to complete, and if two opponents are agreeable, that can be achieved on DGS, even though it is turn-based. If you prefer to play Go online in real time, you should try a real-time Go server such as KGS or IGS.
    DGS has a user access quota and users are responsible for keeping queries per time-interval within a normal level. This should not affect most players.
    DGS also provides discussion forums about Go generally and about DGS itself.

Dragon etiquette
  • How to behave on the server?
    Everyone wants to enjoy being around here to play this beautiful game named Go. By and large most users of this site behave appropriately and come here to have an enjoyable time. As it is a publicly available site, it is necessary to provide some policy on behaviour. It is a very friendly place, so the vast majority of DGS users will never need to read this.
    There is a basic set of DGS rules of behaviour in the form of the Dragon Go Server policy.
    DGS favours The Core Rules of Netiquette.
    DGS users are expected to conform to the above and to behave appropriately. Please remember that people of widely-varying ages and cultures use this site. All users can expect to be treated with proper respect.
  • How should the resources provided by DGS be used responsibly?
    The Dragon Go Server (DGS) is a free-to-end-user facility, that is kindly hosted by our provider Samuraj Data AB in Sweden. In order to make the best use of all the resources, it is important that DGS players act responsibly.
    Viewing a page on DGS blocks some of the resources the server can provide at any one time. That means, there is a limit of how many parallel requests the server can answer within a certain timeframe.
    Since DGS was founded in 2001 many new users joined the server, and there are currently 2000-3000 unique users each day.
    To prevent excessive usage of the server there are two features in place:
    • A user access quota monitors the number of hits by a user. If the quota is reached the account will be blocked for some time (usually a day). A warning will be shown on the web-site shortly before the quota is exceeded.
    • The access quota is NOT applied to the RSS-channel, the quick-status page, the WAP-channel and SGF-download.
      For the alternative interfaces (RSS-/WAP-channel and quick-status), a monitor is in place, that returns an error on excessive usage.

    DGS is not a real-time server, so it is not expected that you access pages or make requests too often. Every additional request to the server takes away resources from others.
    As a guideline:
    • Use mail-notification to inform yourself about updates (done twice per hour) instead of the other possibilities.
    • Avoid auto-refresh of DGS pages. It decreases the available access quota.
    • If you use auto-refresh or a regular request for RSS/WAP or quick-status be sure to disable it when you do not need it.
      It's a good thing, when your RSS-reader or DGS-notification client allow to configure it when and how often they poll the server.
    • More details about how to use RSS, WAP, quick-status, quick-play and SGF-download can be found in the FAQ-entry: Request limitations of alternative interfaces

    Currently DGS has an average of 1 Mio page-hits per day. As an extreme example, let's assume 2000 players all use RSS for the whole day asking every 5 secs. That would be 2000 users * 17200 requests/day = 3.4 Mio RSS-requests ONLY for that. The vast majority of results would be without updates. These would be wasted requests that have needlessly used server resources.
    It is the responsibility of all of us to choose wisely to ensure DGS remains an enjoyable place for everyone.
  • Is it okay to wish someone "good luck" when starting a new game?
    Yes, of course. Some players appreciate the traditional term onegaishimasu, too.
  • Can I use aids while playing a game?
    The Dragon-team would ask you to take the following to heart while playing a game:
    • You CAN use all kind of aids by doing research of your own.
      For example studying books, looking up joseki dictionaries, game databases, and analyzing your game in an SGF editor.
    • In light of fair play you SHOULD NOT ask another person or go-playing program to help you find your moves or strategy in the game.

    The above does not apply for games with a different agreement between the players. In teaching games it can make sense to ask for views from others. Tournament directors may have specific rule sets for their tournaments.
    We would consider it polite to clarify any different rules with your opponents before you start your games.
    Unless different rules are agreed, it will be assumed that players are operating as outlined above. To deviate from this without agreement from your opponent would be cheating.
    To give you a better understanding of this topic please look at: Can I seek help during play?
  • 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:
  • How do I file a complaint?
    If you consider that someone is not acting within DGS policy, or if you have any other query concerning DGS, please contact one of the Contributors to Dragon. They will be happy to help. There is some explanation of this page on topic Who are the people behind Dragon?
    Not all DGS contributors are frequently active on the site. The Forum Moderators tend to be here more often, so even if your query is not about the Forum, this may be a good place to start. Do not worry if you are not quite sure who to contact, your query will be passed to the correct person.
    Ideally, complaints should be kept to a minimum and it is best if players resolve issues between them.
    If issues are not resolved, public accusations in the Forum may lead to worsening the situation rather than a resolution, so please follow the above procedures.

Dragon site access
  • How do I log in to my account?
    Login via Dragon's main page by entering your user ID and personal password. The DGS server will create a cookie that is stored locally on your computer. This authentication cookie will let you stay logged in for 30 days.
  • How do I log out of my account?
    Click the "Logout" link at the bottom right on any page. If you are not active for 30 days, the authentication cookies set by the server will expire and log you out.
  • I forgot my password. What can I do?
    There are two scenarios. When you have entered a valid email in your account, go to the login page and follow the link "Forgotten password". On that page you need to enter your login-ID and Dragon will send a new password to the email you entered in the according account. Then login in with the new password and change your password. Please don't forget it this time!
    If the second scenario applies for you, having no valid email in your account, you can take the following emergency procedure:
    Login as guest and post a "request for a new password" in the Support forum providing your login-ID (userid) AND a valid(!) email to which the new password will be sent.
    Forum posts made by guests are not shown, because they have first to be approved by a forums admin. One of the Dragon administrators then creates another password for your account, which will be sent to the email you provided. It can take some hours up to several days. This depends on the administrators checking Dragon. They normally don't look every minute, if there is something to do for them ;)
    When you receive the new password per mail, login to Dragon and for security reasons immediately change your password. Don't forget it this time ;-)
    If you don't receive the new password, creating another password can only be done by an admin. So be careful to use a valid emailaddress.
    As final workaround solution, you might register a new account. But that is something you shouldn't do lightly.
  • Why are cookies needed?
    The authentication cookies are needed to recognize you. DGS uses the cookies sent by your browser to identify who has called a page.
  • What is my user access quota?
    To avoid excessive use of the server, a quota system (with a user access quota) to block users flooding DGS with requests was introduced.
    Keep a "normal" access profile and you will not be blocked for over-use:
    You are allowed to make 500 page requests per hour.
    Please read the Dragon guidelines: How should the resources provided by DGS be used responsibly?
    When your access quota runs low (<= 10), a warning is shown at the top of each web-page. When you got 1 hit left, you will be blocked for a day with the next request, so better stop right then.
    On the web-page, your current remaining quota and the quota expire time is shown in the center of the bottom bar. The quick-do suite returns the remaining user quota with each response. The quick-play page does not return a warning, so be careful not to exceed the quota by checking it from time to time by checking on the web-site or using the quick-do-suite.
    As DGS is not a real time server, it does not expect very frequent server checks (refreshes). As a guide:
    • check at most once every hour -> gold medal
    • check every 10 minutes to 1 hour -> silver medal
    • check every 5 to 10 minutes -> bronze medal
    • check every 1 to 5 minutes -> you win no medals
    • check more than once per minute -> you may not be allowed to play for a while

    For further description, see I'm blocked from accessing Dragon. What can I do?
  • I'm blocked from accessing DGS. What can I do?
    If you exceed your user access quota you may be blocked for a day.
    If you feel, that you have been blocked accidentally or for an undeserved reason, please login as guest and inform the DGS-crew in the Support Forum giving your blocked account user-id. Please do not publish your email address or any other personal details in the Forum.
  • How do I log in to my account faster?
    You can log in without entering your user ID and password every time by putting both the user ID and password in the URL itself. In other words direct your browser to
    Be aware that storing a password in plain text bears a considerable security risk. Do not distribute your login URL or store it as a bookmark on a public computer.

Go rules
  • Where can I learn to play Go?
    Take a look at The Interactive Way To Go and the British Go Association's Introduction to the game of Go.
  • What are the basic rules of Go?
    Two players compete in encircling territory on a square board. The board is 19x19 points, but both 9x9 and 13x13 are common as well. Alternating, they move by placing stones of their own colour on empty intersections. Black plays first, then white (except of a handicap game, where black gets additional stones to compensate being the weaker player).
    If - after a move - any of the opponent's groups have zero liberties the stones of these enemy groups are removed from the board (captured prisoners). A move is illegal if - after any captures - an own group has no liberties.
    When both players pass successively the game is finished and scored: Neutral points (dame) are filled in, and dead stones are removed. The black and white territory is scored as points surrounded minus the stones captured by the opponent.
    More via The Interactive Way To Go.
  • Which ruleset is used on Dragon?
    Basically Dragon is based upon Japanese Go rules. With the exception of predeterming the placement of handicap stones, the board size and time limits. These Dragon-suggested defaults do not follow the official Japanese Go rules, but seem to be useful turn-based default values...
    In short, Dragon
    • uses territory scoring based on the players' evaluation of the board,
    • has no superko rule,
    • forbids suicide, and
    • allows the free placement of handicap stones.
      However Dragon defaults to use a Standard handicap placement of stones.
  • Where can I learn more about a particular rule?
    Explain your query in the Go discussion forum. It's good if you mention both what kind of rule you want more information on, and what kind of situation during the course of play it would apply to.
  • How can I get a teaching game?
    If you want to improve, you might ask someone stronger to play a teaching game with you, or find someone who is willing to play with you and discuss the game.
    1. For that you may add a post with subject "request for a teaching game" in the forum to look for opponents, or ask there for other resources or places where to get one.
    2. You can set up a game offer in the waiting room, so that other players can join it. Post a game with "request teaching game" as comment. Restricting the level of the teacher would probably be a good idea. To accomplish that, use the option "Require Rated Opponent" and choose a rating range.
    3. The Go Teacher is an account that specialises in teaching go. Teachers provide comments during play and the game may be reviewed when finished. If you wish to start a game with The Go Teacher, please read the information about settings carefully.

Dragon games
  • What are the items on the Status page?
    A users own Status page can only be viewed by the user himself or herself.
    The top of the status page shows the user-id, name and rating of the current user. If the user is currently on vacation, additional vacation information in a format similar to the user-info page.
    Right below the first three unread bulletins are shown (if there are some).
    The next section shows new and unanswered messages of the user as configured in the Edit folders page.
    The next section contains a list of all the games, where it's your turn to move. Here's a brief explanation of the table columns:
    • ID: The game id.
    • sgf: A link to download the game (without all comments).
    • Notes: The starting part of your private notes optionally stored for a game.
    • Opponent: Your opponents full real name.
    • Userid: Your opponents userid.
    • Rating: Your opponents current rating.
    • Color: Your color in the game.
    • GameType: The game-type.
    • Size: The size of the goban for the game.
    • Handicap: The number of handicap stones for the game.
    • Komi: The komi for the game.
    • Moves: The number of moves made so far for the game.
    • Rated: Indicating, if the game is rated or unrated.
    • (img) (User online): The presence of this icon shows, that the user was online within the last 10 minutes. Hovering over it shows a tooltip with the precise last access in minutes.
    • Last move: Date of the last move of your opponent.
    • Prio: show optional game priority a user can set for own running games.
    • Time remaining: Indicates how much time you have left to play in the game. The format is similar to that in the waiting room (see "Time limit" in waiting room item descriptions). The difference is, that only the main-time is shown on the status page. When the main-time is up, then the extra time is displayed according to the waiting room item description.

    Worth noting for the status page is, that sorting of the game list is not possible at the moment, because the order must be bound to the "Skip to next game" on the respective game pages, which isn't that easy to do and almost always not very efficient using some different sorting.
  • What are the items on the Games page?
    The Games page actually is a page showing different views on all the games on the Dragon Go Server:
    • All running games
    • All finished games
    • My running games or that of another user: To see these games start on the corresponding user-info page -> Follow the link "Running games" from the right info-box
    • My finished games of that of another user: To see these games start on the corresponding user-info page -> Follow the link "Finished games" from the right info-box
    • Show Games I'm observing.
    • Show All observed games.

    The configuration of table columns for the different views can be very different: the "all" and "user-specific finished games" use the same set of added and hidden columns. If you add a column that is shared by both views, the column is added in both (same is true for removing a shared column). The same applies for the "all" and "user-specific running games".
    Here's a brief explanation of all used table columns shared or differently used for all the six views described above. Pick out the ones, you are interested in (they are not strictly ordered but grouped a bit to avoid redundancy):
    • ID: The game id.
    • (img) (game information): Linked to game-info page. If the game is a shape-game an extra-icon ((img)) is shown. With JavaScript enabled, hovering over the icons shows a thumbnail of the current game (or initial shape) with black and white moves and prisoners.
    • (img) (hidden game comments): The presence of this icon shows, that there are hidden comments for a finished game.
    • (img) (attached SGF): the presence of this icon signals, that there are attached SGFs stored for the game
    • sgf: A link to download the game (without all comments).
    • #Observers: Number of observers for observed games.
    • #Mine: Number of my games, that are observed.
    • Notes: The starting part of your private notes optionally stored for a game.
    • Black name, White name, Opponent: The full name of a player.
    • Black userid, White userid, Userid: The login-ID (nickname) of a player.
    • Black start rating, White start rating, Start rating: The rating of a player before the game has started.
    • Black end rating, White end rating, End rating: The new calculated rating of a player after a game has finished.
    • Black rating, White rating, Rating: The current rating of a player.
    • Black rating diff, White rating diff, Rating Diff: The rating difference applied on a player for a finished game.
    • Colors: Showing a two-colored stone icon for the running games of myself or another user.
    • Color: Showing a single-colored stone indicating the players color in the game, for which the game is shown (myself or another user).
    • GameType: The game-type.
    • Size: The size of the goban for the game.
    • Handicap: The number of handicap stones for the game.
    • Komi: The komi for the game.
    • Moves: The number of moves made so far in the game.
    • Score: The result of the game (won or lost by white or black or jigo). Valid formats for score are:
      • B+R or W+R : Black or White won by Resignation,
      • B+T or W+T : Black or White won by timeout,
      • B+<num> or W+<num> : Black or White won by points <num>-value, e.g. B+0.5, W+17 or
      • Jigo

    • Win?: Shows an icon for a players win-status (myself or for another user):
      • (img) (a green tickmark): won game
      • (img) (a red X-cross): lost game
      • (img) (a blue dash): jigo

    • Rated: Indicating, if the game is rated or unrated.
    • Last Move: Date of the last move in the game.
    • End date: Date of the last move in a finished game.
    • Opponents Last Access: Date of opponents last access in running games for myself or another user.
    • Weekend Clock: Showing the chosen Weekend clock option for the game.
    • Prio: show optional game priority a user can set for own running games.
    • My time remaining, Opponent time remaining: Time remaining for myself or opponent of my running games.
  • How can I change the order of the status games?
    Below the table listing with the status games on the status page you choose an order from the right select-box and click "Set Order" button to change the order.
    The order for table listings can normally be changed with a click on the table-column header description. For the status-games this standard way was not possible, because the order of the status games is "bound" to the "Submit and go to next game" on the game-page.
    Changing the status game order also changes the order for the other status game lists via RSS channel, via WAP channel, via Quick-Status and via the Quick-Do-Suite.
    Available status games orders are:
    • Last moved: This is the default order and sorts the games with the "oldest" move date first.
    • Moves: Sorts the status games by number of game moves. The game with the most moves is at the top of the list. This can be used to prefer the games that are to end soon.
    • Priority: Sorts the status games by a user customized priority, that can be set per game on the game-info page. The priority can also be shown for the my running games page.
    • Time remaining: Sorts the status games by your remaining time. The remaining time of your opponent can be viewed on the page with my running games.
  • How can I order the status games by a customized priority?
    Your running games can be ordered by a numeric priority, that can be set by the user on the respective game-info page for each of your own games. Below the Game settings section you find an input field to enter a numeric priority in the range of [-32768..32767] and the "Set priority" button to save it. Please note, that the priority value of "0" is shown as an empty field.
    When a game is finished, the game priority will be automatically deleted.
    The game priority can be used on the pages:
    • status page: The status games can be ordered by the game priority. In this case, the priority column is automatically shown. Otherwise the priority table column is normally hidden.
    • my running games page: The priority table column is normally hidden. Here a normal sort with a click on the table header is possible as no special handling is required like for the status page.
  • What are Observed games?
    This feature allows you to set up a bookmark list of running games. You can observe other players' and your own games.
    If a game is observed, a link "Show observers" shows up at the bottom on the game-page.
    To add a game to your observed game list, first find a game in progress and click on the "Add to observe list" link.
    To remove a game from your observed game list, look at the game you want to remove and click the "Remove from observe list" link.
    To see your observed game list, click on Status or Games and follow the page bottom link "Games I'm observing".
    A list of all observed games with the number of observers per game is available on the Games page when you follow the page bottom link "All observed games".
    You can only observe running games. When a game ends it is removed automatically from the observed games lists. When an observed game is finished Dragon sends you a message to notify you about the final score.
  • How can I find fair-komi games?
    To find or to search for fair-komi games you can use the filter-value "Fair Komi" in the select filter of the "Game Type" column in the game table listings on the waiting room or on the game list pages.
    Fair-komi games are shown as "Go (Fair Komi)" in the respective Game Type column (including the status page).
  • How can I add a game review (SGF) for a game?
    On the game page follow the bottom-link 'Attach SGF'. This opens a new page where you can add, update and delete a SGF with a game review. You can add public game reviews for running and finished games. A table listing on that page shows all available uploaded SGFs from yourself and other users. These SGFs can be downloaded by clicking on the according (img)-icon shown in the table.
    When you upload a SGF, various checks are performed to ensure the SGF matches the Dragon game:
    • The SGF must be syntactically valid.
    • The SGF must not be larger than 100 KB.
    • The board size, handicap, komi, handicap-setup, shape-setup and some of the moves are checked, from which all must be identical to the Dragon game.
    • Per game and user one SGF is allowed, so more than one user can upload game reviews. If you already uploaded a SGF it will be overwritten.

    So the best way to create a review is:
    1. Download the SGF. Please be careful what download you use, otherwise you may unintentionally publish private game comments. Therefore it's important you read about the different ways to download a SGF!
    2. Edit and save the downloaded SGF locally with your favorite SGF-editor
    3. Upload the edited SGF with the game review.
    4. The server checks the SGF. Validation errors are reported. If there are no problems, the uploaded SGF is stored under your name and is publicly available for download.

    Related topics:
  • How can I find game reviews (SGFs) attached to games?
    The game page and the various game listings shows a (img)-icon, if there are attached SGFs with game reviews to download. The icon is linked to the page to download the stored SGFs:
    • On the game page, the icon is shown below the game board to the right of the 'View move'-button and to the left of the 'Comments'-link. The tooltip of the icon shows how many attached SGFs are available.
    • On the game listings, the icon is shown in the separate column 'Attached SGF'.

    To find games with attached SGFs you can use the filter-checkbox in the 'Attached SGF'-column in the game listings. This is possible for all game listings (my/all running/finished/observing/observed games). Please be aware, that some of the game listings have further filter restrictions per default for the end-date.
    You can use the following links to find games with attached SGFs (without default end-date restrictions):
  • What is the meaning of the two-colored stones icon in my running games list?
    The two white and black stone on top of each other ((img) / (img) / (img) / (img)) in the running games list indicate, what your color in the game is and who is to play next. When you place your mouse (cursor) over the image, a hover text is shown describing the meaning.
    The color of the top stone shows your color.
    The color of the stone below shows which color has to make the next move.
    So, when both colors are the same, it's your turn!
  • What are the items on the game-info page?
    Each game has a game-info page showing additional information. On the game page the (img)-icon in the players info box as well as the bottom-link "Show game info" opens the respective game-info page for the game.
    The game-info page is divided into four sections. Here's a brief explanation of the most important fields for each section:
    Game settings: (not all fields are shown at all times)
    • Double Game ID: for games started as double game this field gives the game-id linked to the sister game. If the sister-game has been deleted, the game-ID is given but the link is disabled.
    • Message: if the game was started by invitation, this field is linked to the last message of the invitation-process for the game
    • Game Type: normal Go, Team-Go or Zen-Go
    • Status: game finished, running or in fair-komi negotiation phase
    • Score: game-result for finished games; if the game was finished by a game-admin the text "set by admin" is added.
    • Weekend Clock: No = weekend-clock stopped on weekend, Yes = clock also runs on weekend

    Time settings and Remaining time: shows the time-settings and remaining time for both colors
    • Color: the 2nd column shows which color (player) has to move currently

    Players: shows some information of the current black and white player
    • On vacation: vacation info of the players
    • Off-time: contains icons indicating if the clock of the players is ticking, see When are my game clocks counted down?
    • Start Rating: shows the rating of the players when the game was started
    • End Rating, Rating diff: shows the rating of the players and the rating-diff when the game ended.
    • Komi bid: contains information of fair-komi negotiation for fair-komi games.

    Section to set the games priority for running game lists:
    see How can I order the status games by a customized priority?
    The game-info page has also two bottom-links to start a new game or invitation with the same game settings.
  • What are all those items on the page showing a single game?
    The game page showing a single game of yourself is divided into three big sections. The parts may differ a bit, if your viewing a game as observer or player that made the last move:
    • The goban with the moves made so far in the game. If it's your turn you can play a move and submit it.
    • Private game notes to store additional information about the ongoing or finished game. Those notes can only be seen by you and nobody else. The notes can be shown to the right or below the goban and configured differently for smaller and larger board sizes.
      The notes can be hidden with "Hide notes" and made visible with "Show notes". Use the "Save notes" button to store them in the database or your changes are lost.
    • Below these items, there is selectbox to navigate to other moves in the game. Select a move, then press the "View move" button.
      When you have JavaScript enabled, simply selecting the move triggers the viewing of the move (no need to click the button nearby).
    • A separate comment link shows all the game messages in a separate window together with the corresponding move number, a colored stone indicating who made the comment and the comment itself. Hidden comments can only be seen by yourself. The same rules as for downloading a SGF with comments apply here.

    The next section contains a game info box with some game-related information and the competing players:
    • The first line shows a black stone with the black players full name, userid and current rating. To the right, the number of the imprisoned stones is shown.
      On a second line, the "Time remaining" is shown for the black player (the same format is used on the status page game list). The byo-yomi is only shown, when the main-time is up.
    • Below that, the same information is given for the white player.
    • The box is finalized below with information about the komi, number of handicap stones and if the game is rated or unrated. The last line provides the full time limit of the game. The format is the same as the "Time limit" in the waiting room game offer list.
    • An additional optional section is appended to show added time, that was granted by your opponent or that you granted your opponent.

    The last section describe the page bottom links. They differ over the lifetime of a game and are also dependent on who views the game page (the player to move next, the player who moved last or an observer).
    An observing user can only:
    • "Download the SGF" of the game
    • Add the game to his or her observe list

    The player who moved last in the game can only:
    • "Download the SGF" or "Download the SGF with all comments" of the game

    The player who is next to move can do more actions of course:
    • Skip to next game: Loads the next game in which the player has to move
    • Pass: Pass a move. This normally is the first step in scoring a game. Do this when you think the game is over and should be scored now. After passing you have to confirm the action (with an optional message).
    • Resign: Resign the game. This must be confirmed (with an optional message).
    • "Download the SGF" or "Download the SGF with all comments" of the game

    Both players can do at any time:
  • Will Dragon notify me when it is my turn?
    Yes, provided you have enabled Email notification and you have supplied your (confidential) email address in your user profile.
  • How do I know that there are hidden or secret game comments?
    A game can have hidden and secret comments written by the players using the <hidden>hidden comment</hidden> <mysecret>secret comment</mysecret> tags (or the short-forms <h>hidden comment</h> and <m>secret comment</m>) in move messages. The hidden comments are visible by the author and to other users only after the game has finished. The secret comments are visible by the author and to the game opponents only after the game has finished but are never visible to all other users.
    Hidden and secret comments for a game are shown:
    • On the list with all finished games and my finished games there's a column "(Hidden comments)" in the table listing, that can be added. In the column the (img)-icon appears for games with hidden or secret comments. Hover with the mouse over the icon to see the tooltip telling what kind of comments are in the game.
      With the filter in the table-header it's also possible to search for games with hidden/secret comments.
    • On the game-page right to the Comments link the (img)-icon appears if there are hidden or secret game comments (for finished games only).
    • In the game end message that the system sends to all players and observers after a game has been finished, a hint is included, that the game contains hidden comments. A hint for secret comments is also included in the mails to the players, but is not sent to the observers.
  • Can I reject a win of a game?
    When you are winning a rated game by a timeout of your opponent, the game will be changed to unrated ("timeout rejected") if the losing opponent did not move in any of his games for a certain amount of time (X days).
    The number of days the loser has not moved in any game can be configured in the user profile with the "Reject win by timeout" setting. To put the option into effect, it must also be activated with the checkbox for that option.
    The current state of that feature configuration is shown on the user-info page in the field "Reject win by timeout". It's a private data field, which is not shown to other users (to avoid that users are "pressed" into some behavior). Shown values are either "disabled" or "X days".
    The motivation for this feature option was to give the winner the chance to say:
    "I don't want points I have not earned (simply because my opponent timed out)."
    • Choose X=0 (days), if you ALWAYS want to reject wins on timeouts.
    • Choose X=7 (days), means that the game is counted as timeout when the opponent last moved within the last 7 days. The win will be "rejected" when the opponents last-move is older than 7 days.
    • The higher X is, the more likely it is, that the opponent is not returning or left the server.
      So choosing a X > 0 assumes the opponent does not want or waits finishing the game within the last X days. In which case you wouldn't want to treat it as timeout-rejection and take the (rated) win.

Dragon game setup
  • How do I start a new game?
    There are several ways to start a new game:
    • Join a game offered within the waiting room.
      Use this method if you are looking for a new opponent. First, click the waiting room link in the menu. Find a game that you want to join, and then click the "Info" button to the left of it. At the bottom of the page should be a detailed description of the game info. If you want to join it, press the "Join" button. It’s that easy.
    • Offer your own game within the waiting room.
      If none of the games in the waiting room suit your palate, then you can place your own game offer. To do this, use the new game page, fill in the form and press "Add Game" button and wait. You will probably be playing within a few days.
    • Invite your friends.
      If you know an opponent's user-id you can send an invitation by following the Invite link in the main menu. Fill in your desired game options, and send it. Your opponent can accept or dispute the game options.
      There is also an "Invite this user" link at the bottom of every user-info page. Following this link will accomplish the same as above, but quicker.
  • How can I invite a friend to a game?
    Open the Invite page from the main menu. For this you have to know the userid of the other player. As alternative you may open the players user info page and then follow the "Invite this user" link on the page bottom. You can also start an invitation from the contacts page by clicking the the (img)-icon for one of your buddies. Then you can configure your game invitation.
    You have to choose from several options. Most of those items are the same as in adding a new game in the waiting room and are not repeated here. But there are some important features, that are unique for invitations, so ensure you get to know them as well. The following list comprises the differences, which are briefly explained:
    • To (userid): Choose the player you want to invite.
      If you press the "Preview" button and you and your opponent have a valid rating, the probable handicap and komi is given for the Conventional and Proper handicap to the right of the particular option in the game-settings. To see them you may have to scroll up on the invitation page.
    • Message: Free text field. You may type in a nice greeting message, explaining why you invite the other player or just say "hello" ;-)
    • The Require rated opponent and Comment items known from the waiting room page are not needed for an invitation and are therefore omitted.

    If you want to invite users with similar game-settings, you can save the game-settings in a template.
    Submitting the invitation sends a message to your invited player. Your opponent player then can accept, reject or dispute your game invitation.
    A disputed invitation show also the differences between the original invitation and the disputed game-settings.
    When a game-invitation or dispute is not answered by accepting, rejecting or disputing for longer than 6 months, it will be deleted automatically. The text messages are still there, but they cannot be used to start a game any more. A new invitation must then be sent.
  • How can I add a new game offer in the waiting room?
    To create game offers in the waiting room, you have to open the New Game page, which contains a page of simple game settings. With the bottom-links you can choose how to create a new game offer:

    You have to make some choices (in order of appearance), which are briefly explained here. These are used for the new game views though not all are available for all views:
    • Number of games to add: You can offer up to 10 games with the same setting. 1 is the default.
    • Board size: You can choose between a size of 5 and 25. Standard sizes are 19x19, 13x13 and 9x9. Different sizes show different impacts on the players' ratings.
    • Handicap type: To choose the handicap type of the game, you have to choose one of Conventional handicap, Proper handicap or Manual setting. If you choose Manual setting, you can adjust handicap and komi. You must select from Nigiri, Double, Black or White.
    • Adjust Handicap: On the expert view you can choose a reduced or increased number of handicap stones, and you set a minimum and maximum limit for the handicap stones. This is most useful in combination with the Conventional or Proper handicap type.
    • Standard placement: Choose this option, when you want a standard placement of potential handicap stones.
    • Adjust Komi: On the expert view you can choose to reduce or increase the Komi. With the option "Jigo mode" you can choose if you want to enforce or forbid <home >Jigo. This is most useful in combination with the Conventional or Proper handicap type.
    • Main time: Choose the main time for your game. Then choose one of the overtime settings: Japanese byo-yomi, Canadian byo-yomi or Fischer time.
      Choosing "0" as overtime is possible. In that case, the game only runs with an absolute time. When it's up, the game is over.
    • Clock runs on weekends: Weekend setting for the game.
    • Rated game: Specify, if your game should be a rated game or not. To get rated game, also choose the option "Require rated opponent" and be sure that the other conditions are met.
    • Require rated opponent: Choose this option, if you require an opponent with a valid rating. Additionally you can choose the rating range for your opponent.
    • Min. rated finished games: With this option you can enforce, that your opponent can only join your game offer, if he or she has a minimum amount of rated finished games.
    • Accept same opponent: With this option you can prevent, that the same user joins your game offer more than once.
      See How can I prevent that the same user joins my waiting room game twice?
    • Comment: An optional free text comment, you can give about your game. For example: "teaching game offered" and "please make comments on your moves".

    To get a rated game, be sure that all the conditions for getting a rated game are met. You may want to choose the option Require rated opponent to ask for opponents within a certain rating range.
  • How can I delete my game offer from the waiting room?
    Click on the info button of your game offer. At the bottom of the resulting page is a button to delete the game. If no player accepts a game offer within a few weeks it is removed automatically.
  • How to start a fair-komi game?
    A fair-komi game can be started as an even game without handicap stones by an invitation or by creating a new fair-komi game offer in the waiting room.
    Fair-komi games are not supported for multi-player-games or for Dragon Tournaments.
    For a fair-komi game you must choose from one the four fair-komi handicap-types and choose from one of the options for "Jigo-Check". The other game-settings are described in How to add a game offer in the waiting room and are not repeated here.
    The options for Jigo-Check influence the checks on the komi bids during the komi negotation phase for fair-komi games:
    • No Jigo restrictions: the komi bids can increase by 0.5 point steps.
    • Enforce Jigo: the komi bids can only be whole numbers (no fractional part thereby allowing Jigo).
    • Forbid Jigo: the komi bids must be fractional always ending with a .5 to prevent a Jigo.

    When your game offer is accepted, the fair-komi game starts with the komi negotiation phase. From this point on forward, the game clocks are running. The game page (and game-info page) show instructions how to do the bidding on komi (or to choose the playing color).
    Finally here's a hint: If you are undecided how to do your komi bids, you should ask yourself: "Would I rather play White or Black with this komi?"
  • What are the items on the Waiting room page?
    The Waiting room page is divided into two sections:
    • A list with game offers by the users. Clicking on the "Info" button will show a detailed info box about that game offer. Then you may join it, or you may choose another game offer from the list above.
    • Links to show other views of the games in the waiting room page:
      • All waiting games: shows all game offers except your own, but including the ones you can not join.
      • Suitable waiting games: shows only games, that you can join matched by several criteria configured by the game-offer.
      • My waiting games: shows only your own game-offers.

    Here is a brief explanation of the columns in the waiting room game list waiting for players to join them. The term "game" in the following entries refers to the game offered by the listed user identified by "Userid". Some more details you will find on How to add a new game offer.
    • Info: Click to show detailed info about the game. This info box repeats some of the static parameters of the game offer, but is extended with more information: see What are the items for a game offer?
    • UserType: see User Type icons
    • Name: Real name of the user, that added the game.
    • Userid: Login-ID of the user, that added the game.
    • Country: Country, the user choose to live in.
    • Rating: Current rating of the user, that added the game.
    • Comment: Additional comment from the user about the game. Free text.
    • GameType: see Game types
    • Size: Board size to use for the game.
    • Type: see Handicap types
    • Settings: Probable game settings used for the game; see What is shown in the Settings column in the waiting room?
    • Handicap: Number of handicap stones
    • Komi: The Komi for the game.
    • Restrictions: This column shows the restrictions for the game offer. Normally only the suitable games, that you are allowed to join, are shown. If you view all waiting games and you are not allowed to join the game, the column field is filled with a red background.
    • Time limit: Time limit specification for the game with Japanese byo-yomi, Canadian byo-yomi or Fischer time.
    • Rated: Indicates, if the game is played as rated or unrated game.
    • #Games: Number of games with the same game settings. Can be in range of 1 to 10.
    • Weekend Clock: The weekend clock setting of the game. Yes = game clock runs on weekend, No = game clock stopped on weekend.
    • Standard Placement: Indicates, if handicap stones should be placed on the standard positions or can be placed freely on the board.
  • What are the items for a game offer?
    If you select the Info for one of the game offers in the waiting-room or you received a game invitation or dispute, an info table contains information about what game settings would be used if you join the particular game offer.
    Here's a brief explanation of the fields in the main Info section (in the order of appearance). Please take note, that not all fields are available for all views:
    • Number of games: number of offered games in waiting-room with same settings
    • Number of game-players: number of free slots for multi-player-game
    • Player: name and user-if of opponent
    • Rating: rating of opponent
    • Started games: number of already started and running games with opponent
    • Shape Game: information about shape for shape-game
    • Game Type: see Game Types
    • Ruleset: Japanese rules
    • Size: board size
    • Type: see Handicap Types
    • Colors: the colors given for the opponent and yourself in the game (if possible to calculate at the time)
    • Handicap: number of handicap stones from game-offer (may be different from actual handicap used for game, see "Game settings" below)
    • Komi: komi from game-offer (may be different from actual handicap used for game, see "Game settings" below)
    • Handicap adjustment: Adjustment for handicap stones (increase, reduction of stones); minimum and maximum handicap
    • Standard placement: free or standard placement of handicap stones
    • Komi adjustment: Adjustment for komi (increase, reduction of komi)
    • Rating restrictions: Accepted rating range of your rating; you are not allowed to join if red background is shown.
    • Accept same opponent: restrictions that show how often the same opponent can join the same game offer; you are not allowed to join if red background is shown
    • Main time: main-time used for game
    • Japanese byo-yomi, Canadian byo-yomi, Fischer time: extra time used for game
    • Rated game: if game is rated or unrated
    • Clock runs on weekends: Yes = clock runs on weekend, No = clock stopped on weekend
    • Comment: Comment of game-offer from waiting-room

    What follows is a section with the Game settings or Probable game settings:
    • The section "Probable game settings" contains a probable handicap calculus according to your current rating. It's called probable, because a lot of things can happen while you are just reading it, e.g. the rating of the user can be changed, which also changes the calculated settings.
    • Color: The color field may contain a nice image indicating which color you get in the game:
      • (img) : you get White color
      • (img) : you get Black color
      • (img) (yin-yang symbol) : your color is chosen by random indicating an even or handicap game with nigiri
      • (img) + (img) : double game, you get one game with White and one with Black color

    • Handicap: number of handicap stones used for the actual game
    • Komi: komi used for the actual game
    • Jigo-Check: Jigo mode for fair komi
  • What types are there for a game offer?
    A game offer (invitation or waiting-room) has two kind of types:
    • Go : the standard (non-multi-player) Go game
    • Team-Go : multi-player-game with two teams playing each other
    • Zen-Go : multi-player-game with odd number of players taking turns

    Handicap-Type: game-setting that influences the setup and start of a game; often referred to only as "Type":
    • Conventional: see Conventional handicap
    • Proper: see Proper handicap
    • Manual setting (even or handicap game):
      • Nigiri: see Nigiri (even or handicapped game)
      • Double: see Double game
      • Color Black: player that offers game gets Black color
      • Color White: player that offers game gets White color

    • Fair Komi (even game): see Fair-komi game
      • Open Auction: Fair-komi game with an open auction to negotiate komi
      • Secret Auction: Fair-komi game with a secret auction to negotiate komi
      • You cut, I choose: Fair-komi game with Divide&Choose, one player chooses komi, the other the color
      • I cut, You choose: Fair-komi game with Divide&Choose, one player chooses komi, the other the color
  • What is shown in the Settings column in the waiting room?
    The waiting room has a column Settings, that shows the probable game settings used for a particular game offer.
    For your own game offers, the Settings-field is empty or only contains "(FH)" to indicate free handicap placement.
    The Settings field basically consists of two parts:
    • A "color"-icon with a tooltip telling about the likely color for the player to join, if you hover with the mouse over it. This can be one of the following icons:
      • (img) = indicates, that the color can not be determined yet (it's decided later)
      • (img) = your color will (probable) be White
      • (img) = your color will (probable) be Black
      • (img) = you play a double-game, one as White and one as Black player

      Probable color means, that the color could when you join the game as in the meantime the players ratings could change which influences the color settings. If the word "probable" is omitted, the color-setting is clear (e.g. with a manual handicap-type and fix color).
    • Additional information about the handicap and komi.
      The 2nd part can consist of a short text description or a special format for fair-komi games and multi-player-games.

    Here are some examples of the Settings field:
    • (img) Even = Even game with Nigiri (no handicap stones)
    • (img) H3 K-2 = Game with 3 handicap stones, -2 points komi and color chosen by Nigiri, standard handicap placement is used.
    • (img) H7 K0.5 (FH) = Handicapped game with 7 handicap stones and 0.5 points Komi, free handicap placement is used.
    • (img) Even / Hx Ky [(FH)] = Double game (even / handicap game with x handicap stones and y points komi). The optional suffix of "(FH)" indicates, that free handicap placement is used.
    • (img) (img) (3/4) = multi-player-game, color is determined by the game-master that started the game-offer. The (img)-icon has a tooltip showing number of free slots to join when you hover with the mouse over it.
    • (img) Negotiate = fair-komi game, the color will be determined by fair-komi negotiation between the players.
  • What does a red background in the waiting room mean?
    A light red background in the column "Restrictions" in the waiting room means that you are not suitable and therefore are not allowed to join that particular game offer. There is one exception, which is explained below.
    The restrictions applied for a game offer are shown in an abbreviated form in the "Restrictions" column. The used abbreviations are given below as examples in green color.
    A waiting game offer is suitable when a player matches the requested game restrictions on:
    • Handicap-type: For Conventional or Proper handicap you need a valid rating for calculations.
    • Rating range: the players rating must be within the requested rating range, e.g. "25k-2d".
    • Number of rated finished games: the player must have at least the given number of rated finished games, e.g. "RG[2]"
    • Accept same opponent: the player may not be allowed to join the same game offer more than once. The different options and abbreviations are explained mode in How can I prevent that the same user joins my game offer more than once?
      Examples: "SOT[1]" or "SO[1x]" or "SO[>7d]".
    • Max. number of opponents started games: the number of the players started games must not exceed the server-specific limits; a violated restriction is indicated by "MXG".
    • Hide waiting room games: the player can use the contacts feature to hide game offers from certain users in the waiting room. Game offers that match this "restriction" are marked by "[H]".
      If the only matching restriction violation is Hide the waiting room games of a particular user, the game offer can still be joined, because that option only influences WHAT games are shown in the default search for suitable games. The player can still see and join the games via the "All waiting games".
      Do not mix the contact system category "Hide waiting room games" with the system category of "Protect waiting room games", which protects your game offers from joining. "Hidden" game offers can still be viewed searching for All waiting games, while "protected" game offers can not be found at all.

    If any of the above restrictions is not met, the red background indicates the game offer as non suitable. In that case, the game offer can not be joined (except if the only restriction is "[H]", see "Hide waiting room games" above).
  • How many games can I start at the same time?
    The number of simultaneous games you can start is currently 200 games. If the limits is reached you get an error when you want to join a game or invite another player to a game. Other players get an error as well if they want to invite you to more games if your limit is reached.
    If 75% of the maximum number of games is reached a warning is given when you want to start new games. We advise you not to start too much games, because then you have no reserves. It's also easy to loose track when there are too many games at once.
  • How can I prevent that the same user joins my game offer more than once?
    In the expert view for creating a new game offer for the waiting room, you can use the option "Accept same opponent" to prevent that the same user joins your game offer too often.
    You can choose from three types of restrictions.
    The text in green color gives the abbreviated form shown in the Restrictions column in the waiting room:
    • X total times = a player can NOT join your game offer, if the player have at least X running games with you.
      Example: If you currently play one game with user A and you choose "2 total times" as restriction, player A can join your game offer only one more time.
      Abbreviated form: SOT[2]
    • X times (same offer) = a player can NOT join the same game offer for more than X times.
      Example: "2 times (same offer)" means the same player can at most join 2 games for a particular game-offer.
      Abbreviated form: SO[2x]
    • after X days = a player can NOT join the same game offer unless X days have passed.
      Example: "after 3 days" means, that the same player need to wait at least 3 days before he can join the same game-offer again.
      Abbreviated form: SO[>3d]
  • Why is my game not rated?
    A game is rated and will affect your ratings, if all of the following conditions are met:
    • The game must be started as a rated game, whether offered in the waiting room or by invitation.
    • Both players must have a DGS rating when the game has started.

    DGS rating does not mean Rank info, but the rating managed by Dragon. You can set an initial rating in your user profile. Be careful choosing your rating as it can normally not be changed once you set it and you played a rated game. If your strength changed in a big step (over 6k of rating difference), then you may ask for a rating-change following the instructions of the Change DGS-rating and rank-info page.
  • What does handicap mean?
    If two players differ in strength, they can (and should) agree that their game will start with additional "handicap" stones for the weaker player. Handicap stones are always given to black, and -if chosen well- compensates for the difference in Go skill. With handicap stones the game will become more interesting and each player will have an equal chance to win.
    On a 19x19 goban the handicap is equal to the difference in ranks. For other goban sizes Dragon scales it appropriately.
    Traditionally, handicap stones are placed on hoshi in a set pattern depending on the number of stones. On Dragon Black is allowed to place handicap stones freely.
    Please note that many players prefer to have handicap stones placed on the hoshi points. So if you're the one getting the handicap it's good form to agree wether to use traditional or free placement with your opponent. Offering a game in the waiting room let you choose if you prefer standard handicap placement.
  • Where are (standard) handicap stones placed?
    According to chinese rules handicap stones are placed anywhere. According to japanese rules handicap stones are placed following a given pattern. If nothing is explicitly agreed upon, most players will expect black to use japanese rules. The following list gives the handicap stone positions on the 19x19 goban. This is also explained very well on Wikipedia at:
    • 1 stone: The weaker player plays black without komi.
    • 2 stones: D4 + Q16
    • 3 stones: D4 + Q4 + Q16
    • 4 stones: D4 + Q4 + D16 + Q16
    • 5 stones: D4 + Q4 + K10 + D16 + Q16
    • 6 stones: D4 + Q4 + D10 + Q10 + D16 + Q16
    • 7 stones: D4 + Q4 + D10 + K10 + Q10 + D16 + Q16
    • 8 stones: D4 + K4 + Q4 + D10 + Q10 + D16 + K16 + Q16
    • 9 stones: D4 + K4 + Q4 + D10 + K10 + Q10 + D16 + K16 + Q16

    In the waiting room and on the invite page there is an option to restrict a game to Standard handicap placement. This follows the outlined patterns above. For the other board sizes and more handicap stones similar patterns are used. On the 19x19 goban, the following pattern is used.
    The Standard handicap placement is available for
    • 19x19 boards
    • odd size boards above 7x7: up to 9 stones
    • other boards: up to 4 stones
  • What is the difference between conventional and proper handicap?
    Conventional handicap uses the rank difference (and the board size) to set the handicap. Komi is 0.5 for uneven games and 6.5 for even games. The board size is independent on this. So the komi would be the same 6.5 on a 9x9, 13x13 or 19x19 goban.
    Proper handicap uses finer komi intervals (..., 1.5, 2.0, 2.5, ...) to balance minor rating differences to a 50:50 chance for both players.
  • What is an even game with nigiri?
    Even game means that you offer to start a game without handicap stones. Nigiri means that your color is selected randomly.
  • What is a double game?
    With double game you start two new games against the same opponent. You play White in one game and Black in the other. The choosen handicap and komi will be used for both games. In the waiting room the number of handicap stones is shown on the info page for the game offer.
    To start a double game as invitation or as new game in the waiting-room you have to choose Double from the select-box right to My color with a choice for Manual setting.
  • What is a fair-komi game?
    A fair-komi game on Dragon is always played as even game (without handicap stones). The komi and the color of the player is not fixed but will be determined at the start of the game by a bidding system. On Dragon there are four ways how this can be done controlled by the handicap type:
    • Open Auction: negotiate komi with an Open Auction
      • Players openly give their komi-bids.
      • Komi-bids are shown to the other player.
      • Komi-bids are given in turn till one player starts the game:
        * Each komi-bid must be higher than the last bid of the opponent.
        * The player with the highest bid takes Black and is giving that number of komi to White.

    • Secret Auction: negotiate komi with a Secret Auction
      • Players secretly give their respective komi-bid (once per player).
      • Komi-bids are hidden from the other player.
      • After the 2nd komi-bid, the game will be started:
        * The player with the highest bid takes Black and is giving that number of komi to White.
        * If the komi-bids are equal, player color is determined by Nigiri.

    • You cut, I choose or I cut, You choose: negotiate komi and colors by Divide & Choose
      • The difference between the two handicap types is just who starts to bid the komi and who ends with choosing the color.
      • One player chooses the komi for White ("cut").
      • Then the other player chooses the color to play and the game starts ("choose")

    Related topics:
  • Can I start a game with the same settings of an existing game?
    Yes. There are two ways you can accomplish that:
    1. When you create a game or invite another player you can save the game settings in a template, then open the template for a new-game or invitation.
    2. On the game-info page for a game you find two links:
      • Rematch : This opens a new invitation with the same game-settings as the game was started with.
      • Copy as new game : This opens a new game-offer for the waiting-room with the same game-settings as the game was started with.

      On games started before Jun-2012 the original game-settings were not stored and so defaults are used for some of the game-settings.

    Important Note:
    It does not matter how the game was started or saved as template (invitation, new-game offer). The game-settings are adjusted accordingly for the operation (use saved template, rematch or copy new game).
  • Can I start a game by uploading a SGF?
    You have to create and save a shape from the game using the goban editor. Best save it as private shape as it is a very specific shape. After saving the shape, you can start a new shape-game with the saved shape.

Dragon game playing
  • How do I make moves in my game?
    On the status page is a list of games it's your turn to move in. A click on the game number will display the game.
    When viewing a game, a stone is placed (and a move is made) by clicking on an empty intersection. If this move kills any enemy stones, they get automatically removed by the server. For passing or resigning, follow the links below the board.
    When the game is refreshed with the new stone / pass / resign, press one of the submit buttons to confirm your choice. If you change your mind, press the go back button.
  • Can I make moves by entering a sequence of moves as a list?
    No. This has been discussed, among other places in the discussion suggested move.sequence.
  • Can I submit moves by email?
    No, it is not possible to submit moves by email.
    You have to log in to Dragon's web site to submit a move.
  • Can I undo a move?
    No, and such an option will not be considered for implementation in the foreseeable future.
    The reason for this is that DGS has a two-phase system for moves. A player makes a move and only submits the move if satisfied. If the player is not satisfied the player can retract the move and try different moves (as many as desired*) before submitting.
    *The only constraint on the number of moves a player may try is that the clock will continue to run until a move is submitted.
  • Where can I store private notes about one of my games?
    There are two areas where you can store notes within a game.
    The first area is in the message box that may be used to communicate with an opponent (for example to type things such as 'Hello, enjoy the game'). In this case you can use hidden comments . This may be done at each move, as desired. It cannot be done when it is not your turn. It cannot be done after a game has finished. To read your notes through completely would require you to go back to the first move at which moves were made, and then move the game forward move by move. This can be useful when reviewing a game.
    The second area is on the game page for one of your running or finished games. There is a private game note section, where you can enter notes about your game. Those notes are only visible by you. You can make or change notes in this area when it is your turn, when it is not your turn, and when the game is finished. On the game page there is a button "Show notes" to make the notes visible for you. Hiding the notes does not delete them. They simply do not appear on the screen. When the note section is hidden you are not able to create or change your notes in that area. After making or changing your notes they can be stored with with the "Save notes" button. If you do not do this your notes will not be saved. Making a move and submitting it does not automatically store new or changed notes.
    If there is no button "Show notes", you must first activate game notes in your user profile by unchecking the
    "Hidden" checkboxes for the board sizes of your choice. Other settings around the game notes are about the place for notes (right of the goban or below it) and the screen size of the note area. The width and height are only for display. They don't restrict the number of characters of your notes.
  • Can I communicate with my opponent?
    Once you place a stone in a game you will see a message box. If you wish to send a message with your move you should type this before clicking the submit button. Messages from your opponent sent with moves will appear onscreen when you open a game.
    You can also send private messages to your opponent (or anyone else on DGS) via the messaging system.
  • Can I download a SGF from a game?
    Yes, but it's very important you know the different ways to download a game record. Otherwise, if you are not careful, it can happen that you unintentionally publish private game messages or your private game notes.
    On the game page there is a link "Download SGF" to download a SGF at any stage of the shown game. If you are a player in that game an additional link "Download SGF with all comments" may be presented as well.
    On the attach SGF page for each game, links with all three ways to download a SGF are presented.
    The different ways to download a SGF have a close relationship with the usage of public and hidden tags in the game messages.
    The following remarks always apply regardless of what way you choose for the download:
    • Private comments (without surrounding <c> or <h> tags) are only visible to the game players regardless of the way to download or if the game is running or finished.
    • Hidden messages (enclosed in <h>..</h> tags) are always visible to the author, and visible to all users after the game is finished.
    • Private game notes can only be seen by the author.

    What parts of the game message and private game notes are included in the SGF depends on the game status and the downloading user ("player" in the game, "observer" = all other users):
    • Download sgf: Public comments are always included. The hidden comments are only included for the author, and for all users (players and observers) when the game is finished. Private game notes are NOT included.
    • Download sgf with all comments: All comments (private, public and hidden comments) are included for all users (players and observers). Private game notes of the downloading user are included.
    • Download sgf WITHOUT comments: No comments and no private game notes are included.

    IMPORTANT NOTE: To create a review and store it on DGS it's recommended to download the SGF without comments. If you want to include some or all of the game messages the players wrote during the game, choose the 1st or 2nd way to download the SGF as described above. But then double-check each text node in the SGF to ensure, that you remove message parts that should stay private before you publish it!

    Please note, that the SGF is cached by your browser. To download an uncached version (within 5 minutes till cache expiry), please refer to: Dragon Quick-Suite Specifications - Section [4.SGF] Request + Options. This should be interesting for Dragon client or robot developers.
    Please note, that there may be a difference of the move numbering on Dragon and in a SGF of a game, especially if it's a handicap game: Handicap stones are given a move number on DGS while in the SGF this may not be the case. Also the scoring steps on Dragon can show up on different move numbers in the SGF.
    So don't rely on identical move numbers when doing a review for example. On the game page, the respective move number for the SGF is shown to the left of the moves select-box for reference (e.g. "SGF-Move 42").
    A more detailed description how a downloaded SGF looks like, you can find in the Dragon Quick-Suite Specifications - Section [4.SGF] Response (SGF-properties). This should be interesting for Dragon client or robot developers.
  • How can I view SGF files?
    There are many programs that will let you view and edit SGF files. One choice is JagoClient, the Java Go client.
    The British Go Association has a long list of software for viewing SGF files.
    When you have an sgf-viewing program, you can set your browser to connect the mime-type 'application/x-go-sgf' with the program, so it can be launched with a single click.
    You can read more at this page:
  • How can I store text in the SGF?
    After you select a move in a game, a text box for a game message opens below the game board. You can enter your message and then submit the move with it.
    To control which users can read your message there are three methods to write game messages. These may be combined.
    • If the message should be visible to all users at all times (game still running or already finished):
      Enclose the text in public-comment tags: <c>public text</c>
      This is useful to let observers see your comments, e.g. the sensei account uses this way for teaching games.
    • If the message should be visible only to yourself while the game is still running, but be visible to your opponents after the game is finished and never be visible for any other user:
      Enclose the text in mysecret-comment tags: <m>text</m>
      This can be used to let your opponent know some hints or thinking on moves after the game has finished. Be careful that you close the hidden-tag correctly, otherwise the text is visible for the other player as well. To verify the correct syntax you may use the "Preview" button before you submit the move and message.
      If there are secret comments, the opponents will be informed about it at the end of the game.
    • If the message should be visible only to yourself while the game is still running, but be visible to all users after the game is finished:
      Enclose the text in hidden-comment tags: <h>text</h>
      This is similar to the mysecret game comments, but will also be shown to all other users after the game is finished.
      If there are hidden comments, the opponent and observers will be informed about it at the end of the game.
    • If the message should be visible only to the game players having a private talk with your opponent(s) at all times (game still running or already finished):
      Write normal text and do NOT enclose the text in <c> or <h> tags.

    Example text (the colors are the same as shown on a Preview:
    normal private text, <m>secret text,</m>
    normal private text, <h>hidden text,</h>
    normal private text, <c>public text</c>
    <c>public text <h>hidden nested part</h> more public text</c>
    Example steps to see game messages:
    • In one of your running games enter a game message (as described above).
    • Submit your move with the game message.
    • Download the SGF: There are several options how to download a SGF, that differ dependent on what markup you used.
    • View the SGF.

    The public and hidden tags can also be written in a longer form:
    * <comment> ... </comment> is the same as <c> ... </c>
    * <hidden> ... </hidden> is the same as <h> ... </h>
    * <mysecret> ... </mysecret> is the same as <m> ... </m>
  • How do I delete a running game?
    Until the tenth move (without handicap stones) a "delete link" appears below the board. Placing or placed handicap stones are not counted for the ten moves. The delete operation is also possible when it's NOT your turn to move in the game. Games can only be deleted if they are still in progress.
    If you delete a game this way, it will not effect your rating. After the tenth move a game cannot be deleted by the players. As other game actions, deleting is a two steps action: you need to validate your choice.
    If you can not delete a game any more because of the described restrictions, you may ask a game-admin to delete your game; but use this possibility only if you think it's absolutely necessary!
    In such a case please add a game-deletion request in the support forum explaining your wish.
  • How do I end a game?
    This can only be done when it is your turn.
    • Two consecutive passes from you and your opponent. This is the normal way to end a game. Next you both will be asked to mark dead stones. After this, Dragon will score the game and the winner is decided. You should ensure all borders are properly closed before passing.
    • Use the "resign" button. If you resign, the game is lost and your rating will reflect this.
      Resigning a game when it's NOT your turn is also possible.
    • Let the game time out. (But please! Choose one of the other options!) If your game times out you have lost, and your rating will reflect this.

    In cases of grave dispute or major problems (e.g. bugs or unclear situation caused by the used game rules) a game-admin can also end a game or make it rated/unrated. But please ask an admin only if you think it's absolutely necessary.
    In such a case please add a game-ending request in the support forum explaining your wish.
  • How can I remove dead stones at the end of a game?
    After both players have passed, dead stones have to be removed manually. A click on a stone toggles its status from alive to dead. Small black and white squares visualize who owns which territory.
    Both players have to agree which stones are dead and who owns which territory. To agree, please click on the "done" link below the board.
    If one player does not agree, then he can follow the "resume playing" link to decide a doubtful position by playing a few more moves. An alternative is to discuss it by sending a message to the opponent or to the Go discussion forum.
  • What do small green or red squares mean at the end of a game?
    Small red squares indicate that Dragon can not decide if that intersection is black or white territory. Possible reasons are:
    • Inside a territory there are still foreign stones which have not been marked as "dead" yet. Please click on those stones to toggle the status to "dead".
    • The borders of White's or Black's territory have not been closed. For human players it is obvious, but for Dragon it is difficult to decide who owns which territory. Please click on the "resume playing" link below the board and submit a move to close that border.
    • It is a seki position. Please click on that red square to toggle it into a dame. Dragon will visualize it with a small green square. This feature allows you to resolve a doubtful seki to a correct game result.
      In other words, if you see a green square, it is a dame.

Dragon multi-player-games
  • What is a multi-player-game?
    A multi-player-game on Dragon is an unrated game played by more than two unique players, alternately playing Black and White moves in two teams or in one team. The term multi-player-game is often abbreviated on the site with MPG or MP-game.
    There are two game-types that classify as multi-player-games:
    • Team-Go (N:M) = two teams (Black vs White), each team consists of at least one player with N + M > 2
    • Zen-Go (N) = one team with an odd number of players alternating Black and White with N > 2

    The most common form of a MP-game is Rengo or the officially played Pair-Go, both being special forms on Dragon's Team-Go.
    Restrictions for MP-games:
    • The game is always unrated.
    • The players must be unique per game, so no player can join a MP-game more than once.
    • All players must have a valid rating to calculate average ratings of the teams even though all MP-games are unrated.
    • At maximum 16 players can participate in a MP-game.
    • Double games, fair-komi, the opponents page and Tournaments are NOT supported with MP-games.

    Related topics:
  • What is Team-Go?
    Team-Go is a game played by more than two players in two teams, each team with a different color. Special cases with two players in each team are Rengo and Pair-Go.
    On Dragon the notation "Team-Go (N:M)" represents a Team-Go game played by two teams consisting of N players for Black and M players for White.
    The teams can be symmetrical (same number of players) or asymmetrical, e.g. "Team-Go (1:2)" = 1 (Black) vs 2 players (White).
    Team-Go can be a lot of fun, especially if the strength of the players vary a lot combining stronger with weaker players. The weaker players can learn on what to concentrate while the stronger players may find it amusing or fall into despair on counteracting inferior moves ;-)
    If a stronger player participates you may ask him to add a review of the game, which could make such a game into a good learning experience.
    You are able to start games with up to 16 players in total, though you should be aware, that playing with so many players, the likelihood of players going away thereby "ending" the game, or the time needed to find enough players may be tedious (especially if you are stronger you may find not so many players willing to play such non-standard games).
  • What is Zen-Go?
    Zen-Go is a game played by more than two and an odd number of players, that alternately play Black and White stones. That means, that after every full rotation you will play with the other color.
    On Dragon the notation "Zen-Go (5)" represents a Zen-Go game played by 5 players.
    This game type can be a lot of fun and can teach you to look on the whole board situation instead of relying on "hidden" tactics, because in the next rotation colors are switched and you have to make a move to counter your own tactics.
    If a stronger player participates you may ask him to add a review of the game, which could make such a game into a good learning experience.
    For more information on Zen-Go, see:
  • What is Rengo and Pair-Go?
    Rengo and Pair-Go are special forms of Dragon's Team-Go.
    Rengo is the most common form of a multi-player-game. Rengo is played by four players split into two teams, each with two players.
    Pair-Go is like Rengo with the additional restriction, that each team consist of one female and one male player. Additionally, the playing rotation (order of moves) is regulated: Black lady, White lady, Black man, White man.
    In handicap games, the rotation starts with the White lady playing first following the normal rotation: White lady, Black man, White man, Black lady, etc.
    For more information, see:
  • What are the rules for a multi-player-game?
    Normally during a multi-player-game it's not allowed to speak with each other about the moves to play. The only practical allowed consultation on Dragon is a greeting or to ask your partners if you can resign the game. Though officially forbidden, talk during the game can not be prevented anyway as there are other means to communicate, which is especially true for a turn-based server.
    It's considered to be much more fun in a multi-player-game NOT to speak about the moves in advance: if a weaker player always consults his stronger teammate, in the end, the weaker player would not much participate in the game. It can be a great learning experience for a weaker player, while stronger players may be able to use such games as teaching games.
    However, if you want to talk to the other players there are three ways, which are explained in: Can I talk to other players in a multi-player-game?
    Some "official rules" can be found on or
  • How can I talk to other players in a multi-player-game?
    Talking during a multi-player-game is normally not allowed by the official rules. So please ensure, you have studied "What are the rules for a multi-player-game?" before reading on.
    The following list gives a brief explanation of the normally allowed cases to talk with the other players:
    • Talk during setup of the game.
    • Talk before or after starting the game for a greeting.
    • Talk to ask your team partner(s) if it's ok to resign or to end the game.

    There are three ways to talk to the other players for a multi-player-game:
    • You can create a MPG-bulletin addressing ALL players of the game. This can be used for communication to start the game.
      On the game-page follow the (img)-icon (or "Show game-players" bottom-link), then use the "New bulletin" bottom-link to create a new bulletin.
    • Use normal game messages to address all players. Your game message can be seen by all players, though it may not be obvious to them that there is a message (as this is not notified). In a multi-player-game your team-partner need to browse back to your move to be able to see your message.
    • You can send a bulk-message to a list of users to ask your partners if it's acceptable to resign.
      This functionality can be easily used when you click on the "Resign"-link. Dragon then shows a warning to ask your team members about your resignation with a link to create a bulk-message (already filled in with your partners and a reference to the game with the allowed question as subject).
      Sending a bulk-message for non-admin users is only possible for multi-player-games.
  • How can I create a new multi-player-game?
    There are five ways to create a multi-player-game:

    On the new-multi-player-game page you have to specify some game-settings. Please note, that these settings can NOT be changed later:
    • Board-size
    • Placement of handicap stones must be set regardless if the game will be handicapped or not, because the handicap and Komi will be assigned after the players have been found which will happen in a later step.
    • Game Players defines, if you play Team-Go or Zen-Go and with how many players in each team. Here are some examples:
      • use "1:3" for Team-Go with 1 player vs 3 players (order doesn't matter, so "3:1" is an equivalent value)
      • use "2:2" for Rengo
      • use "5" for Zen-Go with 5 players

    • Time settings

    If you are finished, the game will be created by clicking on the "Add game" button, or the game-settings will be saved as template by clicking on the "Save Template" button.
    Adding a game will create the game in setup-mode and will forward you to the "game-players"-page where you can manage the multi-player-game.
    All multi-player-games you "manage" are listed on the status page as long as they are in setup-mode, i.e. not started or running yet.
  • How can I manage a multi-player-game?
    The player that created a multi-player-game is referred to as game-master. Right after creation of a multi-player-game it is in setup-mode, in which the game-master has to find other players, arrange the players into teams and configure the game-settings (handicap & komi). After those steps the game can be started switching into playing-mode. For each multi-player-game there is the so-called game-players page, that provide functions for these tasks, allowing to communicate with the other players and showing information about the participating players.
    MP-games are no ordinary games, that's why they are not always appearing within the game-lists for normal games, and why the game-page and game-info-page are not available yet during setup-mode.
    See also: How can I find my multi-player-games in setup-mode?
    MP-games in setup-mode can be managed on the game-players page providing the functions to:

    The contents of the list of participating players is explained in: What are the items in the list of participating players for multi-player-games?
  • How can I find my multi-player-games in setup-mode?
    The status-page (and the quick-status page) shows a list with MP-games currently in setup-mode, for which you are either the game-master or participate as a player.
    The list on the status-page contains the following columns:
    • Game ID = linked to the game-players page of the MP-game
    • GameType = describes the game-type and number of players of the MP-game: Team-Go (N:M) or Zen-Go (N)
    • Joined = gives number of joined players and total number of players in format "N / M". When all players have joined, the value is emphasized, so the game-master can easier spot when to finish up the teams, color and handicap/komi in order to start the game.
    • Game master = the game-master
    • Ruleset = used ruleset
    • Size = used board-size
    • Last changed = date when game-setup has been last changed

    MP-games that are in playing-mode are not shown in that list. To find those, please read: How can I find multi-player-games?
  • What are the items in the list of participating players for multi-player-games?
    Multi-player-games in setup-mode and playing-mode show almost the same amount of information: the most important game-settings and the average team-ratings at the top and a list of the participating players (or free slots) with the following columns:
    • # = playing order within the team
      For a running game some additional icons are shown:
      • (img) = Black player to move
      • (img) = White player to move
      • (img) = double-arrow indicating the 2nd-next player to move

    • Col = color identifying team the player takes part in and the playing-color
    • Player, Country, Rating, Last access = information about the participating player
    • Flags shown per user can be:
      • Master = game-master
      • Joined = game-master joined MP-game as player
      • Reserved[WR] = reserved slot for player waiting to join MP-game from waiting-room
      • Reserved[INV] = reserved slot for specific player for which invitation to join MP-game has been sent
      • Joined[WR|INV] = slot taken by player that already joined the MP-game via WR (waiting-room) or INV (invitation)

    • Actions (only for game-master in setup-mode):
      (img) = remove joined player (or reserved slot for invitation)
      (img) = invite player to MP-game (or send reminder for invitation)
    • Action for all participants:
      (img) = sending message to player
  • How can I find players for my multi-player-game?
    The game-master already joined the game taking a slot, and is marked as "master".
    There are two methods to find willing players for your multi-player-game:
    1. Invite a specific (single) known player.
    2. Add a game-offer in the waiting-room.

    Both methods can also be used at the same time, though if you want to start a MP-game with your usual buddy, first invite him or her, set up groups, then start with adding a game-offer in the waiting-room, so the users can see against whom they have to play and in which groups.
    Naturally you can also use only invitations, if you know all the players that should play with you or want to join your MP-game.
  • How can I invite a specific player to my multi-player-game?
    Inviting a player to your multi-player-game involves several steps from yourself and the invited user:
    1. Go to the "game-players"-page and select "Invite". This is different from a regular game invitation because of some special needs for MP-games.
    2. Specify the user-id of the user you want to invite.
      • The user is checked and potential errors are listed, e.g. the user must have a valid rating to participate.
      • If the user is valid, a reservation is added and you will be forwarded to the "send-message"-page to inform the user about the invitation.
      • A template-text is shown together with a preview. You may edit the text (or translate it) as you like, but be sure that the main information about the invitation with the original references stay included.
      • Sending it will forward the message to the invited user as normal private message.

    3. When the invited user receives your message and is following the link in the message, thereby entering the "game-players"-page, the user will see a reserved slot for his/her invitation. The user will be automatically asked to join the MP-game. Then the invited user can:
      • a) accept the invitation, or
      • b) reject the invitation

      Additionally the user might want to reply to your invitation-message with additional information or questions before or after acceptance or rejection of the invitation.
      The game-master will be informed about the users decision with a notification message.
    4. When the user does not respond, or as long as the invited user has not accepted or rejected the invitation, the game-master can:
      • c) send a reminder:
        To send a reminder, from the "game-players"-page click on the "Invite"-image in the Actions-column for the specific reserved-slot of the invited user.
        Re-enter/edit some text and send the message.
      • d) delete the reserved invitation:
        To delete the reservation, click on the "Trashcan"-image in the Actions-column for the invited user. You will be asked for confirmation of the deletion.
  • How can I offer my multi-player-game in the waiting-room?
    Select "Add to waiting-room" on the "game-players"-page of your multi-player-game:
    • Specify how many user-slots you wish to offer in the waiting-room.
    • If you want, specify some game-settings for: rating-range, number of rated finished games and a waiting-room comment.
    • After submitting your game-offer, a waiting-room entry is added.
      On the 'Info'-page and in the Settings-column in the waiting-room, a link to the corresponding "game-players"-page is shown to enable the users to find out the current setup and groups of your MP-game.

    When a user matches the game-offer criteria, the user can join the offer and will automatically take one of the free reserved waiting-room-slot in your MP-game.
    The game-master will be informed about a joined user with a notification message.
    To delete or replace the MP-game offer in the waiting-room, an existing MP-game-offer has to be either deleted or be fulfilled (by users joining it) first.
    • Only one waiting-room offer can be created at one time restricted to one set of game-offer-settings.
    • The waiting-room entry can be deleted at any time. All non-taken reserved waiting-room-slots on the "game-players"-page are freed with this.
    • The corresponding entry in the waiting-room can be easily found by the game-master via the "game-players"-page clicking on the bottom-link "Add to waiting-room". If there's an existing entry a link to it will be shown.
  • How can I remove a joined player from my multi-player-game?
    Only the game-master of a multi-player-game can remove players and only if the game has not started yet.
    A user may notify the game-master that he wants to be removed from the multi-player-game, or the game-master no longer wants the participation of an already joined player (for whatever reason). In the latter case politeness dictates, that the game-master informs the to-be-removed player about this decision.
    To remove a joined player open the game-players page for the multi-player-game and in the players list click on the "Trashcan"-icon ((img)) in the Actions-column for the joined player you want to remove. You will be asked for confirmation of the removal.
  • How can I make teams / groups for my multi-player-game?
    In Zen-Go there is only one group ("(img) BW") for all players, so there's no need to build teams and you're done.
    To play a game of Team-Go the game-master has to define the teams playing with each other.
    To do that, on the "game-players"-page the game-master has to follow the bottom-link "Change color" or "Change color & handicap" (appears after all players have joined). Teams can be built using the select-box in the "Set Group"-column setting one of the following group-colors and submitting with "Save selected settings":
    • (img) B = black
    • (img) W = white
    • (img) G1 = group #1
    • (img) G2 = group #2
    • (img) BW = black and white (only used for Zen-Go)

    The group-colors 'G1' and 'G2' can be useful to setup a certain team of starting players for Team-Go without setting a particular color of black or white yet.
    Setting up teams before finding other players can be useful to give other users a chance to see against whom they have to play, or they can ask the game-master to be put into a specific team. Though it's optional to setup teams this early.
    The game-master can change the teams at any time before the game is finally started. However, before the game can start, the colors for all players must be set to either 'B' or 'W'.
    When all required players have joined the MP-game, the average ratings of the teams are shown as well as "Group ratings", which can help in choosing a fair team structure with balanced strength distribution. If all players joined, it's also possible to choose the handicap stones and komi for the MP-game.
  • How can I choose the handicap and komi for my multi-player-game?
    After all players have joined a multi-player-game you as the game-master must follow the link "Choose color & handicap" (for Team-Go) or "Choose handicap" (for Zen-Go) on the "game-players"-page to set the handicap and komi for the game.
    For Zen-Go you only need to enter the wanted handicap and komi and press "Save selected settings".
    In classical games of Team-Go with players of different ratings, an average rating for each team is calculated and the difference in the group ratings define the game-settings for handicap and komi just as like two players would compete normally.
    A good guideline to setup the teams is to try finding a grouping that results in average group ratings, that are as close as possible. You can start with putting the two strongest persons in opposite teams, take the next two strongest, and so on.
    The page can assist with this process. However, this practice is optional, so you can choose whatever teams you like or whatever handicap and komi you prefer to play with.
    For Team-Go you can change the grouping of teams using the group-colors 'B/W/G1/G2'. This does recalculate the average "Group ratings" which are shown above the players-table. Additionally below the table you can find the conventional and proper handicap type applied on the group ratings resulting in a suggestion for handicap and komi. Using the "Preview"-button on the respective line will copy the handicap and komi to the input-fields, so that you can just press "Save selected settings" to finally save the values for handicap and komi.
    Naturally you can also manually change the handicap and komi to be used disregarding the suggestions.
  • How can I set the order of players in my multi-player-game?
    After all players have joined a multi-player-game you as the game-master follow the link "Choose order" on the "game-players"-page to set the order in which the players in each team plays.
    Each team has its own set of playing-order starting at 1. Use the select-boxes in the "Set Order"-column to choose the order in which you want the players to move within each group. If you are satisfied with the order, save it by clicking on "Save selected settings". If you used an invalid choice for the order, the orders are not saved and an error will tell you what you have to correct first.
    You might want to think strategically about the playing-order taking into considerations if stronger players have to play before or after weaker or stronger players. But as multi-player-games are for fun, don't overthink it and choose a fair setup!
  • How can I start my multi-player-game?
    To start the multi-player-game, the game-master should follow the link "Start game" on the "game-players"-page. Some errors might be shown, preventing that the game can be started. In that case, fix them first.
    To be able to start a game all free slots must be taken by joined players and the game-master had to complete the following steps:

    Before starting the game, the game-master may want to send a bulk-message to all game-players by clicking the link "Send message to all game-players". You may edit the message or recipients before sending it.
    This would be the last chance to back off from the game by telling the game-master, which is able to remove an already joined player. After this point, no player can be removed and the MP-game can NOT be deleted any longer (except by an admin).
    To finally start the game, press the "Start game"-button. This step will finish the setup-mode of the MP-game. Every game-player will be notified with a server-message about the game-start.
    You will find a list of your running multi-player-games on various places, but not necessarily in the normal running games lists.
  • How can I delete a multi-player-game?
    Deleting a multi-player-game by the players is not possible at the moment.
    Reasoning: One player shouldn't "destroy" a game, that all agreed upon.
    If the player does not want to play, he should say so before the game is started or refuse from joining in the first place.
    Maybe this policy will be changed later.
    Please ask an admin in the support forum to delete a multi-player-game if the need arises.
  • How can I play a multi-player-game with a shared team-account?
    The used approach on Dragon does not support team-accounts for multi-player-games, though the team-data is preserved (like the average start and end rating and who was on the teams). This means, there is no explicit history of the accomplishments of teams like a team-rating. This would make no sense for Zen-Go anyway, only for Team-Go.
    The current approach has been chosen, because of easier implementation avoiding all "team"-related stuff like ratings, team-handling, vacation-issues, etc.
  • How to play a multi-player-game?
    After all players have joined and the multi-player-game has been started, it is in playing-mode. When it's your turn to play a move, the MP-game will appear in your status-games along with your other games.
    For multi-player-games some more information is available:
    • While playing the game, the game-players page for the MP-game shows the game-settings, the list of participating players, which players has to move next, and it offers functions to contact the other players. The contents of the list of participating players is explained in:
      What are the items in the list of participating players for multi-player-games?
    • Comments on the game-comments page for a MP-game additionally contains the moving player.
    • The downloaded SGF of a MP-game contains extended game-info and also show the players user-id, name and rating on each move-node. This behavior can be deactivated with the URL-argument mpg=1. For difference in the SGF-output format, see also: Quick-suite specs, chapter "4.QST"
    • Deleting a game is not possible in playing-mode except for an admin.
    • Playing, resigning and ending a MP-game is only slightly different than a standard game.
    • The user-info page shows the current number of MP-games in setup-mode & running-mode, but only for yourself.
    • On the game-page the player of the last-move is added in the game-info box below the board.
  • How much time do I have in a multi-player-game?
    The available time in a multi-player-game starts with the time limits, that the game was set up with. While in setup-mode, the time is not running down. The clock starts to run only after the game has been started by the game-master.
    The remaining time is separately counted for the Black and White color. If Black is to move next, the Black time normally is counting down except for the following conditions:
    If the game was started with the weekend clock stopped, then the colors clock is not counted down on weekends. This is independent from the players, because the weekend-clock is based on the GMT timezone.
    If the current Black player has to move next, the time counting down depends on the characteristics of the particular player, that fulfills the Black players role at that moment (colors may change for Zen-Go). Is that particular player on vacation or in his sleeping time, then the Black time is not counting down. Similar applies for the White color.
  • How can I resign a multi-player-game?
    A game can be resigned at any time, even if it's not your move.
    But for resigning a multi-player-game, you normally should have the consent of your team-members, though it's not enforced by DGS.
    By official rules in Rengo, the current player wanting to resign, is inclined to ask the team-partner if it is ok with the phrase "May I resign?", on which the partner may answer with only "Yes" or "No".
    DGS is not enforcing this rule, but clicking "Resign" on the game-page shows a note with a link to send a bulk-message to the other players of the same team to ask if it's ok to resign. But this lies in the discretion of the player to move. The link leads to showing a preview of a bulk-message to the correct team-players with a link to the game.
    For Rengo it's pretty clear (only one answer is to be expected), but for other MP-games with more than two players in the same team, there might appear both answers (Yes & No). The interpretation of that is left to decide for the one who asked.
    If you are not using official rules, you may adjust the text and send that instead. But ensure, you keep the important information in there (reference to the game and the question to resign).
    After your team mates have answered per private message, you may go on with submitting the resignation.
    However, asking for resignation is not enforced, so you can resign regardless of asking your team-mates.
  • How can I find multi-player-games?
    A multi-player-game is no ordinary game, that's why it's not always listed in the game-lists for normal games.
    My MP-games in setup-mode can only be found in the list "Your multi-player-games to manage" on your status pages (status, quick-status, RSS status or WAP status). The number of your MP-games in playing-mode and setup-mode is shown on your user-info page.
    My running MP-games can be found in the bookmarks in the top bar, it is linked as "MP games" on your user-info page, and can be found in the site map.
    My running MP-games in which I have to move next are listed within the normal status game-lists: status, quick-status, RSS status or WAP status
    My finished MP-games can be found in the site map.
    My or user-specific running / finished MP-games, or MP-games I'm observing can be found with the games page. Enable the checkbox near the (img)-icon in the GameType-column and press Search and you will get the game-list restricted to MP-games.
    All running / finished / observed MP-games can be found with the games page. Select "Non-Std" in the GameType-filter and you will get the game-list restricted to MP-games.
    To view the managing page for a single MP-game, follow the linked (img)-icon near the games GameType-info.
  • How can I recognize a multi-player-game?
    On the various page there's a "Game Type" (as field or column) describing what type of game it is:
    • Go = normal games
    • Team-Go (N:M) = Team-Go multi-player-game
    • Zen-Go (N) = Zen-Go multi-player-game

    Additionally the shown team-icon ((img)) links to the corresponding "game-players"-page for the MP-game.
    On the game page this game-type can be found in the game-info box below the board. For MP-games the (img)-icon as well as the bottom-link "Show game-players" lead to the "game-players"-page that only exists for multi-player-games.
    On the game-info page the game-type can be found in the left "Game settings"-section.
    In the waiting room, there's also a "Game Type" column giving the type, though the (img)-icon linked to the "game-players"-page appears in the "Settings"-column.
    In the game lists with status-games, running, finished or observed games there's a "Game Type"-column.
    As multi-player-games are not always listed in the normal game-lists, please also read: How can I find multi-player-games?
  • Why does my multi-player-game not appear in my game lists?
    Multi-player-games are not always shown in the normal (all / user / my) (finished / running / observed / observing) game lists. They only show up if you are at a specific moment visible as black or white player. For multi-player-games, the black and white players rotate through all participating players. So when you are rotated out, the game will vanish from your normal game-lists.
    This design was chosen (even though it is less intuitive for the users), because integrating MP-games into the normal game-lists would basically require re-inventing major parts of the server and game-handling.
    To compensate there are special searches to find and list multi-player-games:

Dragon shape games
  • What is a shape-game?
    A shape-game can be played on DGS as an unrated game with an arbitrary setup of white and black stones. A saved shape can be used to either create a new game in the waiting-room or send an invitation to another player.
    Shape-games are marked with the (img)-icon on various pages with a goban thumbnail of the shape if you hover over the icon, and linked to the definition of the particular shape.
    To find shape-games in the games lists or in the waiting room, you can use the Game-Type filter with "Shape-Games" (to only show shape-games) or "No Shapes" (to exclude shape games).
  • What are the items on the Shapes page?
    The shapes page lists per default all public shapes to be used to create shape-games.
    In the Flags-column you can un-check the "Public"-flag to show private shapes as well, or you can use the bottom-link "All shapes".
    Here's a brief explanation of the most important columns of the shape table listing:

    The bottom-link "My shapes" only shows your own created shapes.
    The shapes page can be reached from several pages: the FAQ, the goban editor, sending an invitation, the new game page, the site map and from the other pages to view or edit a shape.
  • What are all those items on the page showing a single shape?
    Viewing a single shape from the list of shapes shows a table with the shape attributes, a view of the game board with the shape and to the right of it optional shape notes describing it.
    Here's a brief explanation of the shape attributes:
    • Source: shape-id used to identify a saved shape
    • Author: author of the shape with link to his or her user-info page. Only the author of a shape can change it, though other users can use it.
    • Shape Name: User-given name of the shape.
    • Board Size: the board dimension for the shape. This should not be changed, because it cuts off the shape in unpredictable ways.
    • Flags: shape flags:
      * W-First: indicates, that the White-player moves first for this shape.
      * Public: marks the shape as public, otherwise it's private and will not be shown per default on the shapes list
    • Created / Last changed: date when the shape was first created or last changed.
    • Shape Notes: description and notes about the shape. Will be shown on the shapes list as well marked by (img)-icon.

    To edit the shape, follow the bottom-link "Edit shape". All above shape attributes can be changed on the shape edit page, except of the goban itself.
    To change the goban (game-board) of the shape, you have use the bottom-link "Show in Goban Editor" and then re-save it.
    Follow the bottom-link "Invite" to start a new invitation with the current shape.
    Follow the bottom-link "New Shape-Game" to create a new game in the waiting-room with the current shape. On the new game page you then can switch to other views to create a shape-game as multi-player-game or as fair-komi game.
  • How can I create a shape or game-board?
    To start a game with a new shape or use a game-board in the forums or messages you first have to create a goban. To create or edit a shape you should use the goban editor. In the forums you can also use previewing to create or edit a shape, the goban editor has some helpful extra edit-features though.
    Using the Dragon goban editor there are roughly six ways to create a goban (game board):
    • Create a goban from scratch.
    • Create a goban from a Dragon game.
    • Upload a game from a SGF.
    • Copy from one of the existing DGS shapes.
    • Copy the raw-format of an existing goban on DGS.
    • Copy the raw-format of a board diagram from Sensei`s Library.
  • How can I create a game board in the forums or messages?
    To use a goban (game-board) in the forums, private messages or move messages, you should use the goban editor to edit the shape, then copy the raw-format with the <igoban>-tag to the target location you want to have it placed without saving it as shape (which is only needed when you want to create a shape-game). Use "Preview" on the target page to check if it's correctly formatted before you submit it.
    The full syntax of gobans is listed on the goban editor page. Also see: Are there examples of game boards?
  • How can I start a shape-game?
    To start a shape-game there are basically two ways:
    Create a new shape-game from an existing (running or finished) game OR from an existing shape either as invitation or as new-game for the waiting-room.
    If you want to start a game with a shape, that is not available in the shapes list, you first have to create a new shape.
    There are implicit game-settings involved, that cannot be changed:
    • a shape-game is always unrated
    • Once a shape has been opened as invitation or on the new-game page, the shape can not be altered. Also a invitation-dispute can not change this.
    • the board size is fix and comes along with the used shape
    • if additional handicap stones are allowed, only free placement of handicap stones is supported, because the standard placement could clash with other present stones.
    • if the shapes flags enforce the White player to move first, a Black PASS-move is added in the game (except if additional handicap is included)

    To create a new shape-game from an existing game, open the game-info page for it, then:
    • Use the bottom-link "Rematch" to start a shape-game as invitation (not possible for multi-player-games though).
    • Use the bottom-link "Copy as new game" to start a shape-game for the waiting-room.

    To create a new shape-game from an existing shape, view one of the existing shapes, then:
    • Use the bottom-link "Invite" to start a shape-game as invitation.
    • Use the bottom-link "New Shape-Game" to start a shape-game for the waiting-room. From the simple view you can switch to the other new-game expert, multi-player or fair-komi views.
  • What happens with running shape-games when I change the shape?
    The game continues with the original shape used to start the game.
    When a shape-game is started, a snapshot of the shape is stored with the game. Changing the original shape will only change the new version of the shape, older games with the same shape-id continue undisturbed.
    When you view the shape following the linked (img)-icon, a comparison is made and the differences shown on the shape-view page.
    The thumbnail of the (img)-icon is still showing the original snapshot the game was started with, while the shape-page for the shape-id might show a different shape then (with the differences).
  • How can I create a goban with the Goban Editor?
    The Goban Editor can be used to create a shape to start a shape-game or added as game-board in the forums, private messages or move messages. For a shape-game the shape must be saved and extended with attributes to describe and configure it for game-setup.
    There are several ways to create a shape with the Goban Editor:
    • Create new board of given size:
      Select the requested width and height for the game-board and press the "Create Board"-button to get an empty goban.
      To use a shape as shape-game the width and height must be equal to form a square.
      When using the goban in the forums the size dimensions can be different.
    • Load board from game:
      To create a goban from an existing (running or finished) Dragon game you need the game-id. The move-number is optional. If it's omitted, the last move is used to create the setup of the goban.
    • Create board by uploading a SGF:
      When you have a SGF, you can upload it to create a goban from it. Variations in the SGF are ignored, only the main-path is used.
      Uploaded SGF with a size exceeding 30KB are rejected. If the SGF is larger you first have to reduce its size by stripping away variations or comments for example.
    • Copy the raw-format of an existing game-board on DGS:
      When you see a goban (not a game-board from the game-page) on DGS you can add the URL-argument '&raw=1' to the page-request. This will show the raw-format of the goban to the right of the board diagram. To use this you have to create a new empty goban with the goban editor first (see above). Then copy the raw-format into the top right textarea and pressing "Preview".
    • Copy board from existing DGS shape:
      View one of the existing shapes on DGS. On viewing the single shape, follow the bottom-link "Show in Goban-Editor". Then in the goban editor if you are not the author of the copied shape, you have to press Preview once to extract the shape; otherwise you are not able to save it as it's still connected via the original shape-id.
    • Copy board from go diagram from Sensei's Library (SL):
      As the goban-syntax is based on the go diagram format of Sensei`s Library, you can copy the raw-format from there and edit it into the <igoban>-format used on DGS. For this you just have to surround the original format from SL with the following tags:
      <igoban SL1> ... </igoban>
      Note however, that not the full specification of the SL-format is supported. The supported DGS syntax is shown on the goban editor page.

    Once created, you can start to edit the goban in the Goban Editor.
  • How can I edit a goban in the Goban Editor?
    After creating an initial <igoban>-tag in the goban editor, you can continue to edit the goban (board) using the "Preview"-button to view if the syntax is correct.
    Links used in the diagram are all opening in new windows to avoid losing entered text.
    Here's a brief explanation of the other actions:
    • Switch Colors: Switches the color of the black and white stones on the goban.
    • Flatten: Cuts board to smaller dimension (width or height) to make it square. Removes all markup, text, links leaving only black and white stones ready to be saved as shape to be used for shape-games.
    • Save Shape: Flattens goban (see item before) and jumps to edit page to add additional attributes needed for shape. Also see: What are all those items on the page showing a single shape?
    • If you use the goban in the forums or for messages, just copy the <igoban>-tag to the target location. When you later want to edit the goban again, you only need to copy the raw-format of the goban again into the goban editor. This can be achieved by adding the URL-argument 'raw=1' to the web-request.
  • Are there examples of game boards?
    This entry shows some goban examples illustrating the supported syntax on DGS. The raw-format is based on the go diagram format from Sensei`s Library.
    The examples are separated by lines. Most of the examples are taken from Sensei`s Library - How Diagrams Work. Easiest is often to use the goban editor's "Preview" to test if the format is correctly showing what you want.
    To view the raw-format of the example please open the link: Are there examples of game boards? (with raw-format)

    Goban with board-size 11 and short-form edges with "+", with title, markup and some describing text to the right of the board.
     a b c d e f g h j k l
    11 11
    10 10
    9 9
    8 8
    7 7
    6 6
    5 5
    4 4
    3 3
    2 2
    1 1
     a b c d e f g h j k l
    Board Markup

    Text: (img) = Black territory, (img) = White territory, (img) = Neutral, (img) = Dame
    Text: (img) (img)


    Board with images in title and a link to Sensei's Library:
    Black to (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) BO (img) (img) (img) (img) joseki


    Incomplete boards with coordinates:
    a b c

     a b c


    Goban with move numbering starting with higher number:
    Move numbering starts at 67


    Comparing diagrams:
    . . . .
    . . . .
    . . . .
    . . . .
    . . . .
    . . . .
    . . . . . . . . . . . .


    Supported links in diagrams (on small board with size 13):
     a b c d e f g
    Links in diagrams

    The links are all opened in a new window for safety reasons (to avoid losing entered text).
    Link on "2" to Sensei's Library
    Link on "4" to DGS-page (short form)
    Link on "a" to external link
    Link on "(img)" to page-relative anchor


    Text at side and below diagram (cannot be mixed).

    Text at side of diagram (img) (img)

    Text below diagram (img) (img)

    Board with short-form edges.
    edge notation "++"


    Irregular boards: Strange boards do work, they just require lots of fiddling. Irregular boards are possible, but the syntax of Sensei's Library and DGS are incompatible here as the code-base is different.
    . . . .
    . . . .
    . . . .
    . . . .

    . . .
    . . .
    . . .
    A sample game played with a friend (neither of us are very good.)

    taken from Sensei's Library

Dragon users
  • What are the items on the Users page?
    Here is a brief explanation of the items in the table listing on the users page. Many of this fields are the same as on the user info page, so you may also take a look there, if no description is given here.
    • ID: A players (numerical) ID. Managed by Dragon. Can't be changed.
    • Name, Userid, Country, Rank info, Rating, Open for matches: see description of user info
    • Games: Number of all games of the user (running and finished, rated and unrated)
    • Running: same as "Running games" on user info
    • Finished: same as "Finished games" on user info
    • Rated: same as "Rated games" on user info
    • Won: same as "Won games" on user info
    • Lost: same as "Lost games" on user info
    • Percent, Activity, Last access, Last moved: see user info

    By default the users page only show the active users. To show all users, click on the link at the page bottom "Show all users". To return the link changes to "Only active users".
  • Why are some users not listed in the User list?
    By default Dragon does not list inactive players. There's a filter checkbox in the table header of the "Activity" column to switch between showing only the active or all users (i.e. active and inactive users).
  • How can I see who is currently online on the server?
    Follow one of this links to view a list of players "online" on Dragon:

    The number of minutes to search for can be adjusted in the "Last access"-filter.
    Though the above links provide what is asked for, nobody is "online" on the Dragon Go Server. Dragon only receives page requests and delivers them back to the requesting user. There is no active connection between a player and the server. What comes close to it being "online" is the last access time of a player.
    Other places, where the online-status and/or last-access is shown on Dragon:
    • column "(User online)" on the status page shows the (img)-icon if a user was "online" within the last 10 minutes. The tooltip of the icon shows the time when the opponent was last accessing the site (when hovering over the icon), e.g. "<3 mins".
    • Last access on the User info page of a certain user
    • check column Opponent's last access on running games table of a certain user: Status page -> Running games -> (column may need to be added and sorted).

Dragon user preferences
  • What are the items on the User info page?
    Here is a brief explanation of the items in the table on top of the user info page. Some of these items are managed by Dragon, some can be changed on your user profile page.
    • Name: User's real name, or similar. Free text, that can be changed at any time.
    • Userid: Whatever Login-ID the user created. Not editable.
    • Country: Country, the user chosen to live in. That information can also be shown to other players on the users page and on the waiting room page.
    • Open for matches: A free text field a user can use to tell if available for playing.
    • Activity: A users activity
    • Rating: The current rating of the user linked to the rating graph. Managed by Dragon.
    • Rank info: A free text field, where a user can give more info about his rank, e.g. 2d AGA or 4d EGF.
    • Registration date: Date when the user has created the account.
    • Last access: Date of the users last access viewing a page or making a move.
    • Last quick access: Date of the users last access using the quick-suite most likely from a mobile device.
    • Last move: Date when the user made the last move in one of the games
    • Vacation days left: How many days the user has left for going on vacation.
    • On vacation: This field is only showed, when the user is on vacation and is showing how long his vacation will last.
    • Time zone: Time zone of the user
    • User local time: The time local to the user
    • Night time: user-setting for night or sleeping time
    • Running games: Number of running games
    • Finished games: Number of finished games (rated and unrated). A special link is added opening the finished games that ended in timeouts.
    • Rated games: Number of finished rated games (= Won games + Lost games + Jigo)
    • Won games: Number of won rated games
    • Lost games: Number of lost rated games
    • Percent: Percentage of "Won games" / "Rated games" giving winning-percentage on rated games. Also taking Jigo into account.
    • MP-games: Number of own multi-player-games in setup-mode and playing-mode. The field name is linked to a list of your running MP-games.
    • Reject win by timeout: User-profile setting, see: Can I reject a win of a game?

    The fields showing numbers of games have links to the corresponding games list. Click on the field name.
    Below the info table, the user can show an optional user-picture and biographical entries with information about himself or herself or other information that he or she wants to share.
  • What are all the items in the user profile page?
    Here is a brief explanation of the profile settings on the user profile page, that can be changed by the user.
    There are the Personal settings to be shown on the user-info page and to influence some behavior of game-ending and bulletins:

    The next section is about preferences for site Appearance:
    • Table max rows: Sets the default number of rows for all table listings (users, game listings, etc). The default can be overridden on the respective pages by storing a search profile.
    • Enable JavaScript: The site provide some convenience functions if JavaScript is enabled: marking rows in table listings, showing game-thumbnails on the (img) and (img) icons, auto-selection for bookmarks or viewing a move on the game-page
    • Menu direction: The main-menu can be positioned on the left (vertically) or on the top (horizontally).
    • ID button: The button-graphics used for some identifier-columns in the table-listings of some pages. You can also choose "No button".

    The next section configures Board graphics:
    • Stone size: The size of the stones on a game-board.
    • Wood color: The color or textures of the game-board.
    • Smooth board edge: Controls if the game-board has smooth edges.
    • Move numbering: This includes a whole group of settings to number game-moves.

    The last section contains settings for the Private game notes:
    • Position: The position of the game-notes input-box on the game-page relative to the game-board (right or left of it). Enabling the Hidden flag defines the default state of the game notes for all games.
    • Size: The text width and height of the game-notes input-box.
    • The position and size can be configured differently for games of different board-size. The difference between Large and Small boards can be selected right to the "Large boards from" text.

    The settings of the last three sections (Appearance, Board graphics, Private game notes) can be saved only for your current browser (using a browser-cookie). To do this enable the checkbox right above the "Change profile" submit-button.
  • Why does Dragon want to know my email address?
    To send a new password. (If requested.) Sending a new password to the email address stored in the user profile is an easy method to ensure user authentification.
    Dragon can send you an email informing you about received messages and games, when it is your turn to move. These Email notifications can be activated in your user profile.
    Dragon respects privacy: DGS does not send unwanted mails. Mail addresses are not visible to anyone, neither will they be sold to anyone.
    Dragon allows users not to store their mail addresses. In this case please make sure not to forget the password!
  • I set the wrong language and can't find my way back now. What can I do?
    You can revert most DGS pages to English by adding "?language=en" as an argument to the end of its URL.
    This can be used:
    • To display the edit page for your user profile in English.
      This page can be used to recover from an erroneous language selection.
    • To verify whether the DGS translators have made an accurate translation of a page. For instance this link
      will take you to the DGS introduction in English.
    • To temporarily select another language, but remember that you must also have the appropriate character set installed. This feature is more useful to DGS translators. For instance, adding “?language=de” to the end of a DGS URL displays that page in German.
  • Why can't I edit the sleeping time in my user profile?
    Because editing your sleeping time three times a day would enable you to stop your game clocks. You can only edit it if you have not changed it recently.
  • How can I change the default number of rows for table lists?
    Go to your user profile and change the Table max rows to control how many rows are shown in table lists per default for the waiting room, message search, users, opponents and games pages. It's located in the user profile section that can locally be set browser dependent. The number of rows is temporarily changeable on the mentioned pages with table lists.
    Please Note:
    The higher the number, the more load is put on the server. Therefore it's recommended to use a low number per default and only switch to a higher number on the according page.
  • What are Email notifications?
    The Email notification process starts when an event (a message, a move or both) of the type you have selected in your profile settings occurs.
    If you have not visited the site before 30 minutes elapses, an email is sent to the address entered in your profile's Email field.
    Only one email will be sent to notify you that messages or moves are waiting for you since your last visit. Events occurring after this email is sent but before re-visiting the site, will not trigger another email.
    Note: If you use a program (e.g. robot) to scan some types of DGS pages, you may not receive the notifications you expect, because DGS will interpret each page call by the program as a visit to the site.
    The pages that influence your "visit" status are those that adjust your "Last access" time (rule of thumb: typically, most of the pages where "Logged in as: userid" appears will affect the userid's account).
    Naturally, this also applies to humans.
  • What does a user's "activity" mean?
    It indicates how often the player visited Dragon pages and how many moves the player submitted recently.
    2 green stars : many moves (more than 70 per month)
    1 orange star : some moves (5 - 70 per month)
    0 stars : very few moves (less than 5 per month)
  • What does a user's "percent" mean?
    It is the player's win-loss-ratio on the rated finished games, which can provide some additional information about the players current rating. Also jigo is taken into account.
    When a player has some finished rated games, a value of around 50 % indicates that it is probably an established rating. A value greater than 75 % indicates, that this rating is probably too low, while below 25 % means, that it is probably too high.
  • What is a user's hero %?
    Players tend to learn by playing those who are stronger. In addition, by playing such players they have the opportunity to increase their ratings (in rated games). Conversely, stronger players are unlikely to learn from such games and they have the possibility of dropping their ratings (in rated games).
    In view of the above, DGS recognizes those stronger players who help the community by playing those who are weaker. This recognition is known as 'Hero %' and is shown in the User info and user lists after 20 games have been finished.
    The metric is calculated by dividing the number of games played against weaker players by the number of finished games.
    A game against weaker players must match the following criteria to count for your Hero %:
    • you must have a DGS rating at the start of the game
    • at the start of the game your opponent must be weaker by at least 1kyu (>=100 Elo points) or your opponent has no rating.

    Games may be rated or unrated.
    Multi-player games are excluded.
    If the hero-percentage is over 62% the user is also awarded with a golden badge ((img)), over 50% with a silver badge ((img)) and over 38% with a bronze badge ((img)). If a user has such a badge, the percentage is shown as well.
    It is possible to filter the Waiting room list using Hero %. In the Waiting room the hero-badge is shown in the Userid column.
    Alongside the Hero % in the User info is the number of games against weaker players needed to get to the the next level: gold (img), silver (img) bronze (img). Hovering the cursor over the number will reveal a brief explanation. Keep in kind that this number is given 'other things being equal'. That is, if you have 10 games to go to the next level and you next play five stronger players the number is likely to change. It is a snapshot of the position at the time of looking.
  • Can the last N game moves be marked or numbered somehow?
    In your user profile page you can use the Move numbering option to accomplish that goal.
    Some notes around this feature:
    • It can make it easier for you to visualize how the game developed recently and to see what your strategy might have been. This goal can also be achieved using private game notes.
    • It could help to avoid silly mistakes during ko fights.
    • Numbers might make the display too confusing, so it's possible to deactivate this feature.
    • Numbers for moves on DGS always start with "1". The placing of handicap stones is also numbered.

    With an activated option, the last "N" moves are marked with their corresponding move number. However, the last move is always marked with a circle, with or without using the option.
    You can deactivate the option in your user profile by specifying "0" moves in the input element to the right of the option.
    To activate choose the number of last moves "N" you want to see with a move number. Additionally, you can activate the checkbox "Don't use numbers above 100": then move numbers greater than 100 are truncated to the two rightmost digits (move number modulo 100).
    The checkbox "Show numbers only on Hover" controls if the move numbering is replaced with a hover text giving the move number when you move the mouse cursor over a stone. This hovering option is most useful for users with really small screens (e.g. handheld devices like Palm, etc.) for which stone sizes of 5 or 7 have been chosen: at this size, the numbers on the stones are very hard to read, and more, they make all the stones gray :(
    The checkbox "Relative numbering" controls if the shown move-numbers always start with "1".
    The checkbox "Reverse numbering" controls if the move-numbers are shown in reverse order.
    Examples for move-numbering options with "N = 3" for move numbering. Assume you have a game with 51 moves played so far and you view the black move #40 of that game, then the numbers on the stones are ...
    • with Relative OFF, Reverse OFF => 37, 38, 39, (img) (move #40) - this is a good choice if you want to print the game and use move-numbering
    • with Relative OFF, Reverse ON => 14, 13, 12, (img) (move #40)
    • with Relative ON, Reverse OFF => 1, 2, 3, (img) (move #40) - this seems to be the most intuitive choice
    • with Relative ON, Reverse ON => 3, 2, 1, (img) (move #40)

    The checkbox "Mark Last Move Capture" if enabled additionally marks the empty board points with a cross-icon ((img)) if the last move captured some stones. The coordinates of the captured stones of the last move are also shown to the left of the board in a table with title "Last Move Capture".
    This option may be of help to remind you of an ongoing ko-fight, but still it is probably easier and more reliable to use the private game notes to make yourself aware of an ongoing ko (because a ko can be non-immediate not necessarily happening just on the last move).
  • Can I delete my account and are inactive userprofiles removed?
    Accounts cannot be deleted. There are lots of reasons for this.
    If someone has played ranked games it would involve deleting the records of every game that other DGS members had against that player. Their ranks would then have to be adjusted accordingly, as would the ranks of anyone they had played subsequent to playing the deleted account player.
    If that person had made entries in the Forum every entry by that person would have to be deleted, then someone would have to adjust all related posts for
    User profiles are not removed (for the same kinds of reasons). They become marked as inactive, and disappear from the normal user list, but they are still there and can be displayed in the full user list.

Dragon contacts

Dragon community features
  • How can I communicate with other users?
    Players can communicate in several way with each other, e.g. by
    • sending a private message to a particular user using Dragon's message system,
    • posting to Dragon's public discussion forums to address many users.
      The primary language for the forums should be English to ensure most users can follow the conversations and to allow moderators an easier task to check for violations of server policy.
    • adding (several types of) game comments to running games.

    Please note: No kinds of messages are ever removed from the server. Private messages are only removed from your list, but they stay in the database. Messages in a game stay there forever, the same applies for forum messages. Normal game messages will stay on the server as well.
  • What are the items on the Forums page?
    The forum starts on the Forum overview page. Main forum features include:
    • Write new and edit existing posts with a preview feature. The edited posts are kept in a history, but only the most recent entry is shown to other users. Before adding a post, check out the different forums to see in which one it fits best.
    • Moderation (by forum admins). For example posts by the guest user must be approved by one of the forum admins to be seen. The forum admin might choose to accept or reject the message post in the forums.
    • Indication of new posts in thread overview page
    • Searching posts

    The forums are comprised of several pages:

    The forum is built from a table with a top bar with navigational links, a (titled) content section and a bottom bar repeating the links in the top bar.
    Here are the field items in the content section on the forum overview page:
    • Forum name
    • Forum description
    • Number of Threads in a forum
    • Number of Posts in a forum
    • Date of last post in a forum (with author of last post, which can be hidden)
  • What are the items on a forums Thread overview page?
    The thread overview page shows an overview of threads for a selected forum showing the initial post message of the threads.
    Adding a New Topic from the navigation bar is making a new entry in this thread overview. The first post and answers to it are composed into a thread showing up on this page. Clicking on a thread will open the Thread reading page where all corresponding posts are presented in a threaded list.
    New threads you didn't read so far are marked with a "new" indicator. Reading a thread means to open the Thread Reading page for a particular thread.
    The navigational bar contains links to:
    • Return to the "Forums" overview page
    • Create a new thread writing a "New Topic"
    • Opening the forum "Search" page
    • "Mark all thread as read" to mark all "new"-entries as read (only available if there are some)
    • "Prev Page" and "Next Page" to navigate, if there are many entries.

    Here's a brief explanation of the field items in the content section:
    • Thread: The subject line of the initial post of a thread.
    • Author: The author who started the thread.
    • Posts: number of posts in the thread.
    • Hits: number of reads of the thread by other users
    • Lastpost: date of the last post in the thread (with author of last post, which can be hidden)

    Below the content table there's a select-box to change the number of shown rows.
  • What are the items on a forums Thread reading page?
    The thread reading page shows an overview of all the posts comprising a threaded list and shows input elements to reply to single posts.
    New posts you didn't read so far are marked with a "new" indicator. Opening this page for a thread will mark it as read. That means another view of this page or the Thread overview page makes the "new" disappear for the thread and posts.
    When opening the page and the thread overview tree is disabled, the focus will be placed on the first "new" post, if there is any. The "new" indicators are linked to the next new post on the current thread page.
    The navigational bar contains links to:

    In the second headline you can Show or Hide the thread overview providing an extra overview of all post subjects with their authors and last changed date linked to the respective posts. This thread subject overview has the advantage, that you can identify the "new" posts more easily especially if there is more than one. Your own posts are emphasized (in a bold blue font).
    In that headline there are also links to switch the posts order between Old First, New First and the default Tree View.
    Here's a brief explanation of the field items in the content section with the header line "Reading thread posts" followed by a reading hit count of the post:
    • The first line shows the subject of a post.
    • The second line shows the author of the post (with the rank and optional executives-icon (img)) and the creation date. An optional date showing the date of the last edit may be displayed with a link to show the revision history of your edits of your post. The last value in the line gives the index number of each post within the thread, for example "(No. 7)".
    • The main text body of the post follow
    • A line with icons to navigate within the thread and actions, that can be executed on a post.

    Each post has a "Reply" link. Click it to write an answer to a particular post. When you use the input box at the end of the page, the answer will be appended as last post in the thread.
    To add a new post, edit one of your submitted posts or replying to a post, you can type in your message in the input elements. You may keep the subject or change it. Use the "Preview" button to check, if your message is correctly displayed or contains any (format) error or typo. To send your post and store it on Dragon, finally press the "Post" button.
    For messages you have written an additional "Edit" is shown. If you want to change one of your entries, follow the "Edit" link. Only the most recent version is shown. Making an edit does not change the LastPost date on the thread or forum overview page and neither the "new" indicator is raised for the thread or posts.
    You or other users may view also older version in the revision history for one of your posts following the "edited" link in the content line where the author is displayed.

Dragon messaging
  • What are private messages?
    To talk privately with another user you can send a message using Dragon's messaging system.
    For that you only need to know the recipients user-id, which can be found in the "Userid"-row on the user info page.
    On same pages there are also direct links to open the page to send a message to a particular user.
    For other ways to communicate, see: How can I communicate with other users?
  • What are Message folders?
    The message folders enable you to organize messages according to your needs. You can move messages between folders as you like.
    Dragon provides these message folders by default:
    • All received: List of all received messages.
    • Main: List of read received messages.
    • New: List of unread received messages.
    • Reply!: List of messages which require a reply.
    • Trashcan: List of messsages marked for deletion.
    • Sent: List of messages you have sent.

    You can create additional message folders via the "edit folders" link at the bottom of the Message list page. If you use all the blank ones provided by the server, the server will add more blank ones next time you access the Edit folders page.
  • What are the items on the Messages page?
    The Messages page shows some colored lines with the standard and your additional message folders. Selecting one folder allows you to browse the messages that are stored within the selected folder.
    The messages are shown in a table listing with the following briefly explained columns:
    • Folder: The folder of the message.
    • From or To: The message correspondent (sender or recipient). Click on the user to show the message.
    • Subject: Subject of the message.
    • Column with message icon: There are four different icons, that are also shown on the page showing a single message, allowing to walk the message thread chain. The meaning of the message icons are:
      • (img) (envelope without arrows): Message starting a thread with no follow ups. Icon linked to current message.
      • (img) (envelope with arrow on the left): Message is an answer and has no follow up. Icon linked to parent message.
      • (img) (envelope with arrow on the right): Message started a thread and has a follow up message answering it. Icon linked to answer message(s).
      • (img) (envelope with arrows on left and right): Message that is an answer and has a follow up message. Icon linked to current message.

    • Date: Message creation date.
    • Mark: A checkbox that allows to select a message to perform some action on it (like moving it to another folder with the buttons below the table).

    The button "Marks toggle" allows to toggle all the selected and unselected "marks" in the message list. If a message is selected, the "Marks toggle" switches it to be unselected and vice versa.
  • What are all those items on the page showing a single message?
    When viewing a single message, there are several fields presented to you:
    • Date: The message creation date.
    • From or To: The message correspondent (sender or recipient).
    • Subject: Subject of the message.
    • Message: The main text body of the message.
    • Folder: The current folder the message is stored in.

    Below the "Message" header, there are none, one or two icons shown, that allow you to walk within the message chain:
    • If there is no icon shown, then the message has neither previous nor next message in the message thread.
    • Clicking on the envelope icon with an arrow from the left, you go to the previous message.
    • Clicking on the envelope with an arrow from the right, you go to the next message.

    There's a selectbox below the message that allows you to move the message into another folder.
    To send an answer (reply) to the current message there's a form at the page bottom with an additional Subject and Message input field. After writing your reply, you can preview how the message looks like (with all the HTML and special Dragon tags) without sending it. When you are done with checking your message, you can send it with a click on the "Send reply" button.
  • Why doesn't Dragon tell me my opponent's email address?
    This is because Dragon protects your opponent's (and your) privacy.
    If you would like know more than your opponents have already provided in their user profiles, you may ask, but users are not obliged to give personal information.

Dragon menus and options
  • What are the items on the Statistics page?
    The statistics page provides some statistical data about the users and games of the server.
    The standard view shows a table with the number of games and moves on the server showing how many games are in:

    The next Statistics graph shows the accumulated number of running games and users from the server foundation in 2001 till the present with one data-point per day.
    Next graph shows a Rating histogram with a distribution of ratings amoung the active users on DGS.
    On the top there is a link to a Statistics about user countries distribution. The table shows the country (represented by its flag) and the number of users that selected that particular country. Below the table the remaining countries with flags are shown, that are not chosen.
  • Are there any key shortcuts defined on Dragon?
    Yes, on some of the links and buttons on Dragon there are key shortcuts defined. When you place the mouse cursor over a link without moving it for a short time, a preset "accesskey" is shown in a hovering text, e.g. [&s] over the "Status" link in the main menu.
    How the shortcut is activated depends on your operating system. On many systems, you use the the Alt-key in combination with the "accesskey", e.g. Alt-s to access the Status page link. On Mac OS you would use Control-s instead.
    Key shortcuts defined as access keys are (the underline character is used as mnemonic to help in memorizing it):
    •  s : main menu Status
    •  r : main menu waiting Room
    •  p : main menu user info (Player)
    •  b : main menu messages (mail Box)
    •  m : main menu send a Message
    •  i : main menu Invite
    •  n : main menu New Game
    •  u : main menu Users
    •  c : main menu Contacts
    •  g : main menu Games
    •  h : main menu faq / Help
    •  d : main menu Docs
    •  f : main menu Forums
    •  v : main menu features (Voting)
    •  o : logOut
    •  l : bottom bar transLate (for translators only)
    •  1-9 : walk through the links at the bottom of the page (from left to right and from top to bottom)
    •  x : eXecute (if there is a submit button on a page)
    •  w : previeW (if there is a preview button on a page)
    •  e : filter-sEarch (if there is search button on a page)
    •  z : filter-reset (if there is reset button on a page)
    •  > : next page (if a list has multiple pages)
    •  < : previous page (if a list has multiple pages)
  • What are Bookmarks?
    Bookmarks on Dragon are used as shortcuts to certain pages and with interesting links, that otherwise would need several clicks to reach or would bloat other pages with too much text links.
    You can find the bookmarks in the select-box in the top Dragon bar on each page. If you have JavaScript enabled, selecting a bookmark will automatically take you to the page (without clicking on the "Show"-button).
    Comments about some of the available bookmarks:
    • My running MP-games : Your running multi-player-games
    • Latest forum posts : the latest forum posts from 4 weeks are shown using the forum search.
    • Opponents online : your opponents in running games being "online" within the last 10 minutes are shown using the opponents page
    • Users online : all users being "online" within the last 5 minutes are shown using the users page
  • What are Bulletins?
    Bulletins are global announcements of a certain category shown to all users or only to a selected group of people configured by a target type.
    When there are new bulletins for you, the number of unread bulletins is shown in red color in the main menu, for example "Bulletins (3)".
    Unread bulletins are shown on the top of the status page (or on the quick status) and must be marked as read to go away. Some bulletins also have an expire date on which they disappear automatically if not marked as read before that time.
    All bulletins are archived and can be viewed on the Bulletins page. In that list you can also see how many users viewed and read the bulletin, which is a useful information for some kind of announcements.
    Each bulletin has a category:
    • Maintenance: Announcement of site admins about a planned server maintenance, for which the server must be taken down. For example for software update or for bugfixes.
    • Admin Announcement: Announcement of site admins about general topics regarding the site without a server outage.
    • Tournament News: News about a specific DGS tournament using Dragons tournament feature (not enabled yet as of Dec-2012).
    • Tournament Announcement: Announcement about some form of tournament.
    • Feature Info: Used to spread information about specific features, e.g. after Dragon server upgrades, or to give hints and tips how to avoid often seen user mistakes.
    • Private Announcement: Announcements from users to other users. Only specific use cases are allowed or must be allowed by an admin. One main use case is to talk with the other players of a multi-player-game.
    • Advertisement: Advertisements from users to other users. Must be granted by an admin.

    The last four categories are more informal and can be unsubscribed from, if you are not interested in such announcements. To subscribe or unsubscribe them see "Show Bulletin Categories" in your user profile. You are unsubscribed from the category Advertisement per default as this must be an opt-in category regarding the server policy.
    Each bulletin also has a target type specifying the receiving users:
    • All users: bulletin is shown to all users.
    • User list: bulletin is only shown to a specific list of users.
    • MP-game: bulletin is only shown to the players of a multi-player-game. A link to the game-players page of the game is included in the bulletin.
    • Tournament directors: bulletin is only shown to tournament directors of a specific tournament given by the tournament-ID. A link to the tournament is included in the bulletin.
    • Tournament participants: bulletin is only shown to tournament participants of a specific tournament given by the tournament-ID. A link to the tournament is included in the bulletin.
  • What are Search Profiles?
    Below most of the table listings with filters on Dragon there's a "Search" button and a select-box to the left with actions to modify the used filter values for a search.
    There are actions to use the current filter values, clear or reset the values. The other actions in the select-box allows to save or load the filter values of the current search.
    Here's a brief explanation of the actions in the select-box:
    • Current values: The default-selection for a search, which is using all new filter-values, that a users enters. So the "current values" (from the filters) are used for a search.
    • Clear values: This is a search with all filters cleared (emptied). Also the default-values are cleared (e.g. the "Last move"-day restriction to avoid too heavy queries for the show-games-page). This does not change a saved profile, it's only changing the next search.
    • Reset values: This is a search with all filter-values reseted to their defaults (as it's provided in the site-code). This does not change a saved profile, it's only changing the next search.
    • Save as default: This selection saves the current used filter-values as the default-search. For example you can set the maximum rows in the waiting-room to 100 rows, select the action "Save as default" and press "Search". This will save this particular query as the default. So the next time you open the Waiting-room that default-search is used instead.
    • Save profile: This also saves the filter-values as search-profile, but the difference is, that it's not used implicitly when the page is opened anew (still the site-code default is used). Instead, it needs to be explicitly loaded with the "Load profile" action, that appears when a search is saved (either as non-default or default profile).
    • Load profile: Load saved filter-values from search-profile (default or non-default). There's only ONE search profile. The difference of usage is just, if it's used as default or not.
    • Delete profile: The saved search-profile will be deleted, which means on next page opening, the side-coded default search is used again.

    Besides the filter-values, also the max. rows, sort columns and sort order is saved in the search profile.
    Not all table listings support search profiles, and not all table listings support all actions.
  • What are Templates?
    Templates can be used to store standard input values for sending private messages, for the game-settings of invitations and waiting-room game-offers. Each user has its own templates; they are not shared.
    When you have a standard set of game-settings you use often, you can save it as a template, so you don't have to remember all the values.
    You can save a template under a given name, which must be unique per user and not exceed 10KB in text size. Each user can save up to 30 templates in total for the three types of templates (message, invitation, new-game).
    Related help entries:

    The templates page can be reached from various pages: FAQ, Send Message, New Game, Site map
  • How to save a template?
    Here's an explanation how to save a template:
    • Save game-invitation template: Open a game invitation, change the game-settings to your liking, then press "Save Template".
    • Save new-game template: Open one of the views for a new game-offer for the waiting-room, change the game-settings to your liking, then press "Save Template".
    • Save private message template: Open the dialog to send a private message, fill in the standard text you want, then press "Save Template".

    You are forwarded to the Templates page, where all your existing templates are shown. You can save the data in one of the 30 available slots:
    • New template: Select the radio-button "New template", enter a new (and unique) name, then press "Save Template".
    • Replace template: Select the radio-button of the template you want to overwrite. To use the same name, leave the name input field empty, otherwise enter a new name to rename it as well. Then press "Save Template".
  • How to use a template?
    After you saved the form data, you can use the template in the following ways:
    • For each template, the "Actions" column shows the template actions (see below) you can perform for the template.
    • With "New Game"-templates you can also open new invitations or vice versa, though not in all cases. For example, multi-player-game templates can not be used for invitations.
    • When you have a new invitation or private message with already entered recipient and you previewed it, the message page shows a bottom-link "Templates with user-id [...]". Following this link, you can choose a template for invitation or private message and the original recipient is included in the form-data. Like this you don't have to copy the user-id for later filling-in after choosing a template.

    The templates page lists all your saved templates. The table listing shows four columns:
    • Actions: linked icons with template actions:
      (img) : opens a new invitation with the saved template-data
      (img) : opens a new game-offer for waiting-room with the saved template-data
      (img) : opens the page to send a new private message with the saved template-data
      (img) : delete template asking for confirmation first
    • Type: template type: "Message", "Invite", "New Game"
    • Name: template name
    • Last changed: date of last change
  • How can I hide or show columns in table listings?
    This concerns all the following lists:

    To add a column select the one you want to add in the pull-down menu at the bottom of the page, and click the "Add Column" button next to it. To remove a column click on the red 'x' ((img)) next to the column header. There may be columns that are static and can't be removed.
  • How can I change the order of table listings?
    This concerns all the following lists:

    The order of the forum entries can be changed with a separate "Order" element placed in the forum search form.
    To change the order of a table listing, click on the table headers that are underlined. For these a sorting is defined and can be changed.
    Clicking another time on the same table header link switches the sort direction (between ascending and descending).
    Clicking on an other table column header makes the current (clicked) column the main-sort and the previous sort column the secondary sort. There are only two levels: a 1st (main-)sort that is marked with a dark blue arrow ((img) or (img)) and a 2nd (sub-)sort marked with a light blue arrow ((img) or (img)) used when the row values of the main-sort are identical.
  • Can I mark a row to get a better orientation in big tables?
    This is possible for those whose browser supports JavaScript (enabled in the browser configuration) and who have JavaScript enabled in the Dragon user profile.
    Double-clicking on a row at a place where there is no link in a table listing, e.g. the running games list, will highlight the row. Another double-click reverts the highlighting. This can be done on more than one row at once.
    The highlighting is not preserved when you reload the page with the same or new content.

Dragon ranks and ratings
  • How do I set my DGS rating?
    At the left hand menu is a link to your User info. There is space there for you to set your initial DGS rating.
    You may find this whole section about ranks and ratings helpful:
    Dragon ranks and ratings
  • I am new at Dragon. Which initial rank should I enter?
    When you register a new account, DGS asks if you already have a Go rank from elsewhere. For example, that could be from another Go server, your local Go club or the Go Association of your country. You may enter that rank, and, based on that, you will get an initial DGS rating.
    If you do not know how to enter your rating this should help:
    How do I set my DGS rating?
    Alternatively, you may wish to look at this table of rank comparisons and enter the DGS equivalent to the rank you have from elsewhere. You can use Dragon's rank converter to convert Go ranks or ratings known from other servers into the corresponding DGS rating.
    When setting up a new account, if you do not know your playing strength DO NOT enter anything in the rating field until you try some of the recommendations for figuring out what it is. This normally cannot be changed after you enter it. You will have to wait for your rating to adjust as you play.
  • What if I have no idea what my initial DGS rating should be?
    If you are new to the game of Go choose the rank 30 kyu. As you finish each rated game, learn how to play, and get stronger, your rank will increase automatically.
    If you already have played a few games and get to know the Rules, you may freely choose any value from 29 kyu to 26 kyu. As a guide, you should choose:
    29 kyu: if you have played 5 or less games
    28 kyu: if you have won at least 2 games
    27 kyu: if you have played 6 to 10 games
    26 kyu: if you have won at least 3 even games (without handicap).
    If you have won 2 or more even games (without handicap) against players stronger than 26 kyu, use their rank. If you don't know their rank, use 25 kyu.
    If you have a rank from another server, club, or Go association (for example AGA, EGF, or others) you may start with this rank, or, if possible, convert it in our Rank Converter.
    If you think you are stronger than 25k but are not sure how much, play two games against two different players of the level you think you should be. When the games end, ask the players what your rank is. Use their answer as your initial DGS rating.
    Please do not use high ranks (stronger than 15 kyu or any dan level rank), unless you are sure of your level.
    DGS will adjust your rank as you play more games. Once initialized, your initial DGS rank cannot be changed any more, so please be careful with your choice.
    If you are still unsure what to choose, ask for help in the Support forum.
  • Does it matter, if I start with a wrong initial rating?
    For many people it does not matter too much, but some players will say it matters a lot. Dragon will adjust the rating over time, based upon the results of your finished rated games.
    You can only set your initial DGS rating once. After you have set this it cannot be altered manually.
    If you intentionally start with a badly wrong initial rating you will annoy other users, and cause them have a wrong / undeserved / misleading drop or increase in their ratings. Remember you might want to play them again later ...
    Dragon tries to provide useful ratings, but this depends upon your cooperation. Please do not set the initial rating for your new Dragon account to a value far off from your real level. If you are unsure, there are ways to help. Please have a look at the rest of this section about ranks and ratings in the FAQ.
  • Is there a Rank converter?
    Dragon provides a rank converter, which is based on the rank comparisons from Sensei`s Library. It's useful to convert ranks or ratings from other go-servers or other rating-systems into a rating used on DGS. The page to enter an initial DGS rating has the same rank converter, so you can directly enter the other rank or rating there.
  • How does Dragon's rating system work?
    Dragon uses the EGF rating system for its calculus. You can find details on the EGF rating system algorithm at EGF Go Rating Pages.
    Given the board size, handicap and komi, the implied initial rating difference (the difference that would have given this <home faq.php?read=t&cat=357#Entry98 >Proper Handicap) can be calculated. This is compared with the final rating difference (at the end of the game) to decide the real advantage a player had. The probability of the result is calculated using the EGF algorithms in which the constants used are the existing values from EGF statistics. Knowing this probability, it is determined whether a player has done better or worse than expected, whether the rating should be increased or decreased. The magnitude of the change is calculated from this probability and weighted by a factor depending upon the board size, and the ratio of the confidence intervals (the Blue Area in the rating graph) of the two players.
    For example, in an even game where the rating of Black is less than White's, the probable result is that White will win.
    • If White wins, White's rating may increase slightly or possibly not at all, since this White's win was expected. Based on the same reasoning, Black's rating may a little or may remain the same.
    • If Black wins, Black's rating will be increased by a greater amount, since this was not expected. On the same basis, White will suffer a bigger drop in rating.

    The size of win is not taken into account. A player may win by half a point or by 100 points. In the same circumstances those wins would be equal in terms of rating change difference computed by DGS.
  • Does the board size impact the ratings?
    19x19 games have the biggest impact on ratings. The 19x19 goban serves as anchor for the impact on the rating. So a factor of 100% is used on the rating differences when new ratings are calculated.
    Games on larger boards have a smaller impact, as the 19x19 sized goban is the anchor. A 25x25 game therefore uses a size factor of 47% of the full rating difference.
    Two 13x13 games account as about one 19x19 game. The precise value is about using a size factor of 47%.
    Two 9x9 games account as about one 13x13 game. The precise value is about using a size factor of 22%.
    The exact formula to calculate the impact factor is: ( 19 - |size-19| )^2 / 19^2
  • Does it matter, if I win by 0.5 points, 100 points, resign or time-out?
    In terms of Dragon's ratings, it doesn't matter. A won game is just a won game, and a lost game is just a lost game.
  • What happens with my rating on a draw (jigo)?
    When both players have an equal amount of points, which can happen when a non-fractional komi is used, then the game is a draw (jigo). In this case, the impact on the new calculated rating is equally shared.
    When the rating difference for a game is about zero, your new ratings will not be changed (+0.00 rating diff).
    However, When your rating difference is greater than zero, for example a 1 dan player plays a 10 kyu player on an even game or with less than 9 stones handicap and normal komi, then there is a difference in rating. Then also the winning propability changes and when the game ends in jigo, the lower ranked player gets an increase in rating while the higher ranked gets a decrease. The difference is just smaller compared to the case, when the lower ranked player would have won.
  • Which games will affect my rating?
    Dragon's rating system considers only games
    • for which both players have a rating,
    • have agreed that it will be a rated game,
    • in which White has submitted at least 5 moves (that means, placing handicap stones are not counted to determine if a game is rated or not)
  • What does the rating-column in the user list mean?
    The first part of your rating is the current dan or kyu rank. The second part (within the brackets) indicates how strong or weak this rank is.
    The corresponding Elo points of a rating is shown in the tooltip when hovering over a linked rating-value.
    For example, "1 kyu (+40%)" is a strong 1 kyu rating (almost strong enough to be a weak 1 dan).
  • What does + or - after a rating mean?
    Internally Dragon uses a rating system, where a difference of one Go rank is equivalent to a difference of 100 points (or Elo points).
    The format with kyu and dan ranks, e.g. "3 kyu (-5%)", is used because it's easier to comprehend. The Elo points are shown in the tooltip when you hover over a rating value, that is linked to the users rating-graph, e.g. "Elo rating 1795".
    6 kyu ( 0%) = 1500 points
    6 kyu (-48%) = 1452 points
    7 kyu (+30%) = 1430 points
    7 kyu ( 0%) = 1400 points
  • Why do some new users get a fractional rating?
    If the new user used an initial rating-type of 'eurorating' or 'igs' when joining, then the dgs-rating-conversion may produce some in-between ranks. To test this yourself you can play around a bit with rank-conversions either on the Change rating & rank page or on the DGS Rank Converter page.
  • What does the blue area in the rating graph mean?
    It is an indication of how close a user's current rating is expected to be to Dragon's Go rank. When a new user enters an initial Go rank, Dragon does not know how well that initial value relates to Dragon's rank. World-wide-valid definitions of Go ranks do not exist. Dragon does its best to provide reliable and comparable Go ratings. On a user's rating graph the width of the blue background, which is similar to a confidence interval, estimates how close a new user's Dragon rating might be to Go ranks established by Dragon. The confidence intervals of both players in a game have an effect. A larger confidence width of one player increases rating change for that player and at the same time decreases rating change of the other player (and vice versa).

Dragon time features
  • How does Dragon count time?
    On our turn-based server, the games clocks are designed mainly to avoid never ending games.
    The server maintains game clocks continuously, but the smallest displayed time unit for a game is one hour. Internally running game clocks are updated every 5 minutes.
    Caution: This means that when your clock displays one hour of time remaining, you might have only seconds left to play before your count will reach 0 and you will lose by time.
    The game clocks start as soon the game is accepted and they stop when the score is agreed upon.
    Caution: This means you can still lose by time during the final PASS or SCORE steps of a game.
  • What is main time?
    An initial time limit specified by main time is granted to each player.
    If the main time has run out, the game ...
  • When are my game clocks counted down?
    Your game clocks are counted down only, when it is your turn.
    They do not count down

    For a specific game a stopped game-clock is indicated with the following icons shown in the players info section on either the game-page right to the user names, or on the game-info page in the "Off-time"-row:
  • Does my opponent's clock count down when my clock is paused?
    If it is your turn to submit the next move: No.
    If it is the opponent's turn: Yes, provided it is not his sleeping time,
    it is not a weekend (in a game with disabled weekend clock) and he has not announced a vacation himself.
  • Can I submit a move while my game clock is paused?
    You can always submit a move when it's your turn -- even during your sleeping time, during your vacation and on weekends.
  • What is Dragon's weekend clock?
    When you offer to start a new game, you have an option, that the clock will not count down on Saturdays and Sundays.
    When the clock is stopped because of an ongoing weekend, this is shown with the (img)-icon in the players section:
    * on the game-page right to players name
    * on the game-info page in the Players table in the "Off-Time"-row
  • How does the Japanese byo-yomi time system work?
    When a player's main time is used up, there's a fixed time limit for each single move. Additionally there are several periods:
    • When the player moves within time, the countdown jumps to its initial value, and the number of periods is not changed.
    • When the player does not move in time, then the number of periods is decreased by one, and the countdown immediately starts again.

    When a player has no periods and no time left, the game is lost.
    Time limit format for Japanese byo-yomi (for example "J: 30d + 1d * 10"):
    "J: M"         : M=main-time, Absolute time (without byo-yomi)
    "J: M + B * P" : M=main-time, B=Byo-yomi-time, P=Byo-yomi-periods

    Time remaining format for Japanese byo-yomi:
    "J: m (-)"       : m main-time left (absolute time, no extra-periods)
    "J: m (+ B * p)" : m main-time left + extra-time (B time per move and p extra byo-yomi-periods left)
    "J: b (B * p)" : in byo-yomi (no '+'), b byo-yomi-time left + extra-time (B time per move and p extra byo-yomi-periods left)
    "J: b (B * 0)" : in byo-yomi (no '+'), b byo-yomi-time left, last byo-yomi-period
  • How does the Canadian byo-yomi time system work?
    When a player's main time is used up, there is a time limit to play several stones.
    Example: 10 stones within 15 days:
    If the player has submitted the 10th stone within time, then the countdown starts again (with 15 days for the next 10 stones).
    If the player does not move in time, the game is lost.
    Time limit format for Canadian byo-yomi (for example "C: 14d + 7d / 5"):
    "C: M"         : M=main-time, Absolute time (without byo-yomi)
    "C: M + B / P" : M=main-time, B=Byo-yomi-time, P=Byo-yomi-stones

    Time remaining format for Canadian byo-yomi:
    "C: m (-)"         : m main-time left (absolute time, no extra-time)
    "C: m (+ B / P)" : m main-time left + extra-time (B time per P stones)
    "C: b / p (B / P)" : in byo-yomi (no '+'), b byo-yomi-time left for p stones to play (extra-time is B time per P stones)
  • How does the Fischer time system work?
    After a player has submitted a move, the agreed upon "extra time per move" is added to the clock, up to a maximum specified by main time. See also game clock countdown.
    When a player has no time remaining the game is lost.
    This implements the "Capped Fischer time system", though DGS refers to this simply as "Fischer time".
    Time limit format for Fischer time (for example "F: 21d + 3d"):
    "F: M"     : M=main-time, Absolute time (without extra-time)
    "F: M + B" : M=main-time, B=extra-time per move

    Time remaining format for Fischer time:
    "F: m (-)"   : m main-time left (absolute time, no extra-time)
    "F: m (+ B)" : m main-time left + extra-time (B time extra per move)
  • What is sleeping time or night time?
    During the hours specified as "night time" (or "sleeping time") in your user profile your game clocks are paused and your remaining time does not count down. On the game page and game-info page this is indicated by the (img)-icon.
  • What time zone is used for my sleeping time?
    Dragon uses your local time zone (and daylight-saving time), set by yourself in your user profile.
  • Why did my game clock jump 9 hours down within 10 minutes?
    If you see jumping clocks, you should consider to take some sleep. ;-)
    When a game clock says you have 3 days time left, that means:
    You have 3 * (24-9) = 45 hours of non-sleeping time.
    When a game clock says you have 2 days and 14 hours left, that means:
    You have 2 * (24-9) + 14 = 44 hours of non-sleeping time.
  • How does sleeping time affect Fischer time?
    To explain it, an example:
    You want an average of 3 moves for each week, and you do not want the game to time out on Saturdays or Sundays.
    That is (7 - 2) days * (24 h - 9 h sleeping time) / 3 moves = 25 hours extra per move Fischer time with disabled weekend clock.
  • What are vacation days?
    You can pause your game clocks when you enjoy your holidays or if an (unexpected) business trip interferes with your running games.
    Please use the Start vacation link on your Userinfo page to schedule and start your vacation. Your "On Vacation status" will be announced on your Status and User Info pages, for example: 4 days and 3 hours left.
  • How many vacation days do I have at Dragon?
    Up to 30 (maximum per year). Each month 2.5 vacation days are added to your account.
  • Why is the use of vacation days limited?
    If there were no limits, then you (or your opponent) could repeatedly take just one vacation day to avoid a time-out. That would make the previously negotiated time limits meaningless.
    Thus Dragon limits the use of vacation days as follows:
    • already started vacations can not be canceled.
    • if you started a vacation you are allowed to reduce the amount of days you are on vacation to a minimum of 2 days.
  • Can I add time to my opponent's game clock?
    Yes, you can add more time to your opponent's game clock at any time except for tournament games. Follow the link at the bottom on the game-page. Set up the additional time you want to give your opponent below the Go board. You can add days to the main-time for all time-systems (Japanese/Canadian byo-yomi and Fischer time) and/or reset the byo-yomi periods (for Japanese/Canadian byo-yomi). Notes about added time is displayed in the game-info box on the game-page.
    For tournament games, adding time by the players is not allowed, so that the tournament-director can limit the estimated amount of time that players will spend on the tournament-games. Some tournament director are allowed to add time to a tournament game on their own discretion.
  • Can I add time to my own game clock?
    No, you can't, but your opponent may be willing to grant you more time.
    It's uncommon and impolite to beg for more time just to get more thinking time, so don't be upset when your opponent denies such a request.
  • Can a timed-out game be revived?
    No. Please start your new games with appropiate time limits!

Dragon searching
  • Can I search Dragon?
    Yes, there are search pages to search for specific data.
    The most search pages show a table list with all the available data for the specific page (games or users for example). For some search pages there are additional form elements above or below the table list containing filter-elements. Most tables also have filters in the table-header below the column fieldnames.
    Controlling elements for filters are:
    • A filter can be an input box, a selection element, a radio button, a checkbox or a combined input element. Entering or choosing a value for a filter of a column and pressing ENTER or the "Search"-button will restrict the shown table data matching the chosen filter-values while reloading the data.
      On most search pages you can also do the search by using the key-shortcut 'x' (Execute).
    • If you enter an invalid value, the erroneous filter-element is marked with a red border and an error message is shown.
    • The "Reset Search" resets the values in the search form to its default state. Almost all table lists also have a "Show Rows"-button to show less or more rows of data. The default number of rows can be set in your user profile ("Table Max Rows").
    • Most of the filters are always visible. Only some of them, like the country-selection can be hidden to save displaying space when clicking on the 'x'-link ((img)) right beside a filter. A hidden filter can be shown by selecting the '+'-link in the corresponding column.
    • Search terms for fulltext filters are going to be highlighted within some texts for messages, forum posts and contact notes.

    There are different filters specialized for the according column or search page. If the filter-element has an input-box, a hover text shows a short syntax description of the filter, for example:
    Syntax[NUM]: 3, -14, 1-5, 9-

    Syntactical help for filters: The text-part in square-brackets (here 'NUM') can be looked up in the FAQ under the topic "What is the syntax of a NUM-filter?" to get a more detailed description about the syntax for the particular filter.
    There are specific search pages with filter elements for:
  • How can I search the FAQ / Help page?
    There is an input-box for Search Terms on the FAQ / Help page. Enter the words you want to find and press the Search button. The result shows all entries that contain at least one of the words. The found words are marked with a green background in the texts.
    However, you may also show the whole FAQ in one page and use your browser search capabilities to find what you are looking for.
  • How can I search in the waiting room?
    Searching in the games in the waiting room is possible using the filters in the table-head of the table list.
    The default search shows the games, that are suitable to join. That search is built by checking the restrictions of the game offer. Non-suitable games are shown with a red background.
    The links at the page bottom let you switch between showing all games and all games suitable for you. The page title reflects the current selection with "Suitable waiting games" or "All waiting games".
  • How can I search my messages?
    Besides browsing through your messages, there is a search option. You can reach this by going to your Messages page (from the main menu, on the left), and scrolling down to the bottom to find the "Search messages" link.
    In the Search page, the heading ‘Subject’ includes in-body text search. For example, you may have a message with the subject ‘Hello!’ In the main text of that message may be the phrase ‘Yes, the weather is good here’. Entering ‘weather’ in the Subject field would find this message.
  • How can I search for users?
    Go to the users page, on which you also can search for specific users. Be aware, that the default search only shows "active" users, which is reflected in the page title. This can be changed with the checkbox-filter in the Activity-column.
    As additional feature, you can follow the link "Show my opponents" on the page-bottom to only show users you have played with or you currently play. There's also a link "Show opponents" on each user info page, that shows all opponents of that particular user.
    That search page contain more filters above the table, that can place restrictions on the games with your opponents. Following the "Info"-button on a player opens a statistical page about the games between you and the selected opponent.
  • How can I find a certain user?
    Beside of the following two old-way options and browsing, you now can go to the users page and directly search for the users in the filter-elements of the corresponding columns.
    If you know the ID of the user, you can open the following link user ID link template and replace the '1' in 'uid=1' with the ID you know.
    If you know the userid (nickname) of the user, you can open the following link userid link template and replace the 'guest' in 'user=guest' with the userid you know.
    Or you may ask in one of the forums. Maybe someone other knows the player you are looking for.
  • How can I search in my contact list?
    Go to your contact list browsing your contacts directly or using the filter-elements in the table-header fieldnames and the checkboxes below the table to search for specific system and user categories.
  • How can I search games?
    In the respective games list, you can use the filter-elements in the table-headers below the column fieldnames to restrict the list of shown games. Be aware that switching between finished, running and observed games with the links on the page bottom the filter-values are not shared.
  • How can I search the forums?
    Go to the forum search page and enter the terms you are looking for in the form-element "Search terms". For the terms a special search technique is used, that is known as full-text search for the underlying database. The term is only searched in the text elements that are comprised of the Subject and Body of a post message in the forums.
    The found text passages are highlighted (but only for search terms).
    The forum term search uses a special full-text search.
    To find a message written on a certain date, date range or written by a certain user, you have to use the filter-elements "Date" and "Author" respectively.
    With the "Order"-element you are allowed to change the order of the shown posts.
    With the "Number of hits"-element you can specify how many found posts per page are shown. The total number of found posts will be shown in the top bar. At the right side in the top and bottom bar you will find links to navigate to the previous or next page of results.
  • How can I search for the most recent forum entries?
    To search for the most recently created forum entries go to the forum search page and enter how many days back you want to search in the Date-field. Then change the Order to "Creation Date (new first)" and Search for that.
    You can use the select-option "Latest forum posts" from the Dragon bookmarks.
    However, it is not possible to distinguish between new posts (unread) or read posts, but at least you have the candidates to check.
    In case you want to bookmark such a request, you can use the following link: DGS forums recent posts (30d)
  • What is a full-text search?
    You can use that search on the forum search page (Search terms), on the message search page (Subject & implicitly Text) and the contact list page (notes).
    A full-text search is a special search feature of the underlying database (using a full-text index). The behavior of that search may be not very intuitive for the unexperienced, but it's extremely fast and performs much better when compared to a "normal" search. Therefore it has been chosen on Dragon.
    This search uses the full-text index of the subject and text in the body of the forum post messages. You can compare it with the index of a book. Imagine the forum posts (subject and message bodies) to be the content of that book, while searching then is a lookup in its index. An index does not contain every word that appears in the book, but only the most important and more relevant.
    Every word in the index and in the query is weighted according to its significance. A word that is present in many forum posts has a lower weight (maybe even zero). Conversely, if the word is rare, it receives a higher weight. The weights of the words are combined to compute the relevance, which is displayed as Score.
    That has the implication that some words cannot be found with the search. Just as in a book, where words that appear on every page wouldn't make it into the books index. Words omitted from the index are:
    • Words that appears in more than 50% of the forum posts are not listed in the index and cannot be found as well. That may be the most unintuitive condition to be understood when trying to find something. It helps when you remember the book analogy: "not every word is indexed".
    • A static list of words (hard coded in the database), the so-called "stop-words". A full list you can find at:
      If a stop-word is used as search term, an error is shown that must be corrected, e.g. "Warning: Can't search for stopwords [go]!"
    • All words that have less than 4 characters normally can't be found. But the IT-provider of DGS (Samuraj Data) reduced that limitation (applause!), so you can also find "words" consisting of less than 4 chars (in fact also the 1-char words ;-)

    For example, if you search for "my go board is on fire", an equivalent search would be "board fire" (the other words are stop-words).
    Then the database checks how often the word "board" appears in the index (on post subject and post body-text). If it's rare, it receives a higher score. The same is done for "fire". This is done on each post that matches. Then the weights (scores) of the words in the matched posts are combined and all matched posts are sorted according to that score. That makes up the "relevance sort", that is used to display the search result.
    See also Examples and the query-syntax used for a full-text search with or without using expert-mode (boolean-mode).
    And if you are still not satisfied, you can read more technical details about full-text searching at:
  • How can I do a full-text search?
    Before doing a search you should have read what a full-text search is, because there are some restrictions on what can be searched.
    Having the expert-mode (also known as boolean-mode) deactivated, you just enter words you want to search separated by spaces. For example: "teaching game".
    When you use the expert-mode (boolean-mode) the query syntax can be more complex changing the weight of a word within the query:
        word   - an optional word to search for
    +word - the word must be present
    -word - the word shouldn't be present
    >word - the word should have higher relevance
    <word - the word should have less relevance
    ~word - the words relevance is negated
    (...) - can group words and weight-operators
    sub* - search also for words that begin with 'sub', not only full words
    "..." - search for literal string

    Examples for queries (non expert-mode):
       "Where is that damn book about chinese fuseki i saw yesterday"
    the same and better search-query would be: "book chinese fuseki"
    Examples for export-mode queries:
       +tesuji book
    +wooden board shop
    +teaching game
    "teaching game"
    +book +(>tesuji <joseki)
    This search terms find posts that contain the words "book" and "tesuji",
    or "book" and "joseki:" (in any order), but rank "book tesuji"
    higher than "book joseki"
    Best practice using a full-text search:
    This syntax may not get what you want to find. You shouldn't expect to get exactly what you want with the first query. Try to start with fewer but important words, prefixed with '+'. Then continue with reducing the search-result by reducing the weight of some words with '-' prefix.
    For example, you want to search for "Go Seigen, analyzed games":
       seigen analy* game
    -> the "analy*" is used to find "analysis", "analyzed", "analyze"
    The result is not satisfying, so let's reduce it by outruling words
    you don't want to see:
    seig* analy* game -admin
    seig* analy* game -admin -rating
    seig* analy* game -admin -rating -retiring
    With every new (more detailed) query you isolate more the posts you want to find.
  • What is the syntax of a NUM-filter?
    Syntax for this kind of filter allows searching for numerical values (integer or floating point, for example 4711 or 3.14) or a value-range.
    Possible syntaxes in the hover text of a specific filter:
    1. Syntax[NUM]: 314
    2. Syntax[NUM]: 3, -14, 1-5, 9-

    The first syntax only allows exact searches, while the second syntax also allows to search for values that lies in ranges of numeric values. The '-' is used as a special character to indicate a range:
    • -14 = search for values <= 14
    • 9- = search for values >= 9
    • 1-5 = search for values between 1 and 5 (inclusive)

    As '-' is a special character it can't be used to indicate a negative sign. Therefore if ever needed (and that is a rare case), you use single quotes to escape the special meaning. For example: '-3'-9 searches for values between -3 (three negative) and 9.
  • What is the syntax of a TEXT-filter?
    Syntax for this kind of filter allows searching for textual values (for example 'game'). Optional additional syntaxes allows a substring-search, text-ranges or a search for text with wildcards.
    Possible syntaxes in the hover text of a specific filter:
    1. Syntax[TEXT]: foo
    2. Syntax[TEXT]: foo, -bar, baz-, boo-far
    3. Syntax[TEXT]: ... fa*z* ...
    4. Syntax[TEXT]: ... *goo ...
    5. Syntax[TEXT]: [substring] ...

    The first syntax only allows an exact search for a specific text, while the second syntax also allows to search for text values that cover ranges in alpha-numeric order. The '-' is used as a special character to indicate a range:
    • -bar = search for values <= 'bar'
    • baz- = search for values >= 'baz'
    • boo-far, d-f = search for values between 'boo' and 'far', or 'd' and 'f' (inclusive)

    The third and fourth syntax allow to use wildcards to search for a text-value. The '*' represents the special wildcard character.
    • fa*z* = search for texts beginning with 'fa', followed by none or any other characters up to a 'z' and some optional trailing text. The wildcard character can be escaped using single quotes: fa'*'z* or 'fa*z'*
    • *goo, *goo{3} = search for text that begins with an arbitrary text and ends in the text 'goo'. Normally a leading wildcard character is not allowed, because that is an expensive search in terms of server-load. So it is only allowed, if '*goo' appears in the hover-text for a filter-element.
      If the '*goo' is followed by a number in curly braces in the hover-text, then there must be at least that count of non-wildcard characters in the search-text to allow the search to use an optimized search.
    • As '-' and '*' are special characters indicating a range search or wildcard search, they can't be used for the respective characters. You can use single quotes to escape the special meaning.
      For example: 'd-jig' would find exactly that text (not a range). '-a'-'-c' searches for a text range from '-a' up to '-c', 'd*star' or d'*'star would escape the wildcard.
    • The '*'-wildcard has precedence over the '-'-range character, so a '-' used together with a wildcard-character results in the '-' character and not in a range search.

    The fifth syntax allows a search for a substring and is a shortcut to write '*text*' with the fourth syntax.
  • What is the syntax of a RATING-filter?
    Syntax for this kind of filter allows searching for rank values (rating, for example '7k') or a rating-range.
    Possible syntaxes in the hover text of a specific filter:
    1. Syntax[RATING]: 2d, 7k
    2. Syntax[RATING]: 8k (+28%), 8k 28%, 4k (-39%), 4k-39%
    3. Syntax[RATING]: 2d, -7k, 18k-, 28k-1d

    The first and second syntax gives a full rank syntax and a percentaged rank:
    • 2d = 2dan = 2 dan = search for rank '2 dan', i.e. ranks between 2d-50% until 2d+50%
    • 7k = 7kyu = 7 kyu = 7 gup = search for rank '7 kyu'
    • 8k (+28%) = search for rank 8k+28%

    The third syntax only allows to search for values that lies in rating ranges. The '-' is a special character to indicate a range, but need not to be escaped for this filter-element.
    • -7k = search for ranks up to 7 kyu
    • 2d- = search for ranks from 2 dan upwards
    • 28k-1d = search for ranks between 28k and 1d
    • 8k (+28%)-4k (-39%) = search for ranks between 8k+28% and 4k-39%.
      No need to escape the '-'-range-character.
  • What is the syntax of a SCORE-filter?
    This filter is built from two elements: a selection box and an input box. The selection box shows the following choices to be able to search for ('B'=black player, 'W'=white player):
    • All = no restriction on the games score
    • ?+R, B+R, W+R = searches for games won by resignation, the '?' represents both black or white
    • ?+T, B+T, W+T = searches for games won by timeout, the '?' represents both black or white
    • ?+?, B+?, W+? = searches for games won by score, the first '?' represents both black or white.
      For these choices a score value has to be entered in the input box, for example 0.5 (search for exactly 0.5), -3.5 (range search up to 3.5 points) or 0.5-2 (range search between 0.5 and 2 points).
      The syntax of this score value is that of a NUM-filter allowing a range-search.
    • Jigo = search for games, that resulted in jigo
  • What is the syntax of a DATE-filter?
    Syntax for this kind of filter allows searching for absolute date values or a date-range (for example 20070921, 2003, 2001-200404).
    Possible syntaxes in the hover text of a specific filter:
    1. Syntax[DATE]: date=Y(M(D(h(m(s
    2. Syntax[DATE]: date, -date, date-, date1-date2; date=Y(M(D(h(m(s

    A date can be written in a prefixed form omitting the smaller date-parts:
    • YYYY = represents whole year, for example 2007 finds all dates in the year 2007
    • YYYYMM = year and month, for example 200704
    • YYYYMMDD = year + month + day, for example 20070421
    • YYYYMMDD hh = day in year + hours, for example 20070421 17
    • YYYYMMDD hhmm = day in year + hours + minutes, for example 20070421 1751

    The first syntax only allows exact searches, while the second syntax also allows to search for values that lies in ranges of absolute date values. The '-' is used as a special character to indicate a range:
    • -200704 = search for dates up to April 2007
    • 2003- = search for dates since year 2003 forward
    • 200503-20060718 = search for dates between March 2005 and July, 18th of 2006
  • What is the syntax of a RELDATE-filter?
    This filter consists of two elements: an input box and a selection box. The selection box shows the following choices controlling the format for the date value in the input box (dependent on the specific filter; not all of them may be available):
    • absolute: the format of the value in the input box is expected to be that of an absolute date, see DATE-filter
    • years, months, weeks, days, hours, mins: one of these indicate the time-unit used for the relative date in the input box written as (assume 'days' as selected time-unit):
      • 30 or <30 = search date value from 30 days (or selected time-unit) ago until today
      • >30 = search value before 30 days (or selected time-unit) ago
  • What is the syntax of a MATCHINDEX-filter?
    This filter consists of two elements: an input box for entering search terms and a checkbox to select expert-mode (boolean-mode). The checkbox may not always be available. Then the hover-text gives the available syntax. A simple 'word' would indicate an deactivated expert-mode.
    Syntax for this kind of filter is explained in FAQ-entry How can I do a full-text search?.

Dragon codes and markup
  • Can I use HTML tags on Dragon?
    Dragon allows the use of some HTML tags. There are also some tags that are specific to Dragon. A tag is a special code within the text of a webpage. A tag tells the web-browser how to display or what to do with a given part of the webpage. Normally a tag has this format:
    <tag>Text that gets affected by the tag</tag>

    Tags are usable at the following places on Dragon:
    • in the user bio
    • in the user info, the field "Rank Info"
    • in the user info, the field "Open for matches"
    • in messages directly to another member
    • in messages in an ongoing game
    • in the forums
    • in the comment of the game offerings in the waiting room

    If you include HTML tags and entities or use any of the Dragon tags please remember to adhere to the rules and syntax of HTML. Mostly this will mean including end-tags where that is proper.
  • Which HTML tags can I use on Dragon?
    Here is a list of HTML tags that can be used on Dragon, with examples. Giving complete descriptions of the various HTML tags is not within the scope of the FAQ. For reference on HTML, visit The World Wide Web Consortium.
    <b>This is bold text</b>
    This is bold text
    <u>This is underlined text</u>
    This is underlined text
    <i>This is italic text</i>
    This is italic text
    <em>This is emphasized text</em>
    This is emphasized text
    <strong>This is strong text</strong>
    This is strong text
    <tt>This is single-line text in a fixed-width font</tt>
    This is single-line text in a fixed-width font
    <strike>This is striked text</strike>
    This is striked text
    <pre>This is multi-line
    preformatted text
    in a fixed-width font.</pre>
    This is mulit-line
    preformatted text
    in a fixed-width font.

    <font color="red">This is red text</font>
    <font color="orange">This is orange text</font>
    <font color="yellow">This is yellow text</font>
    <font color="green">This is green text</font>
    <font color="blue">This is blue text</font>
    <font color="indigo">This is indigo text</font>
    <font color="violet">This is violet text</font>
    <font color="white">This is white text</font>
    <font color="black">This is black text</font>
    This is red text
    This is orange text
    This is yellow text
    This is green text
    This is blue text
    This is indigo text
    This is violet text
    This is white text
    This is black text
    Brackets: &lt; &gt;
    Brackets: < >
    Ampersand: &amp;
    Ampersand: &
    Non-breaking space: >&nbsp;<
    Non-breaking space: > <
    Horizontal Line: <hr>

    <li>This is an unordered list
    <li>This is an unordered list
    <li>This is an unordered list
    <li>This is an unordered list
    <li>This is an unordered list
    • This is an unordered list
    • This is an unordered list
    • This is an unordered list
    • This is an unordered list
    • This is an unordered list

    <li>This is an ordered list
    <li>This is an ordered list
    <li>This is an ordered list
    <li>This is an ordered list
    <li>This is an ordered list
    1. This is an ordered list
    2. This is an ordered list
    3. This is an ordered list
    4. This is an ordered list
    5. This is an ordered list

    This is an ordinary link:
    < |Dragon Go Server>
    This is an ordinary link: Dragon Go Server
    This is another ordinary link:
    <a href="">Dragon Go Server</a>
    This is another ordinary link: Dragon Go Server
  • Which Dragon tags can I use?
    This is a simple link: <>
    This is a simple link:
    <color #c07f32>Other color</color>
    <color #acacac>Other color</color>
    <color #f03571>Other color</color>
    <color #003399>Other color</color>
    Other color
    Other color
    Other color
    Other color
    Complete description of color codes available at
    <quote>This is some quoted text</quote>
    This is some quoted text

    <image board/b.gif>
    <image board/w.gif>
    <image board/y.gif>
    <image send.gif>
    The tag for Dragon images shows images from the Dragon images directory. The board-prefix shows board-images of size 17. No remote images can be shown.
    All the grey rectangles are generated using the <code> tag. Text within the <code> and </code> tags is displayed "as is" with one exception; the </code> tag itself.
    <code>Example of code</code> will display as:
    Example of code
  • How can I create a link to an arbitrary Dragon page?
    Use the <home> and </home> Dragon tags. Here are a few examples.
    <home userinfo.php>User info page</home>
    User info page
    <home forum/index.php>Forum main page</home>
    Forum main page
    <home faq.php>FAQ</home>
    <home people.php>Contributors to Dragon</home>
    Contributors to Dragon
  • How can I create a link to a users info page?
    Use the <user> Dragon tag. Here are a few examples.
    <user 1>
    Guest (guest)
    <user =guest>
    Guest (guest)
    With a "=" it is the user-ID (handle) that must be entered.
    Without a "=" it is the numeric ID of a user that must be entered.
  • How can I create a link to send a message to a user?
    Use the <send> Dragon tag. Here are a few examples.
    <send 1>
    Guest (guest)
    <send =guest>
    Guest (guest)
    NB! The Guest user is only used as example here. You can't actually send a message to the guest account.
    With a "=" it is the user-ID (handle) that must be entered.
    Without a "=" it is the numeric ID of a user that must be entered.
  • How can I create a link to a game?
    Use the <game GID> - Dragon tag to link to a game.
    Use the <game GID,move> - Dragon tag to link to a certain move in a game.
    Use the <game GID,S> - Dragon tag to link to the setup-position of a shape-game.
    If you are in the context of submitting a move for a game, you can also use the shorter form to link to a specific move of the game with:
    <move 45> or <move S> respectively
    This will be substituted with the corresponding markup of the current game: <game GID,move>
    Here are a few examples:
    <game 13339>
    Go: Erik O (W) vs. Ragnar Ouchterlony (B)
    <game 13339,40>
    Go: Erik O (W) vs. Ragnar Ouchterlony (B), Move #40
    <game 774894,S>
    Go: Ayashii (W) vs. Julio Martinez (B), Shape-Setup
    Examples in context of the current game (13339) you may also use:
    <move 40>
    Go: Erik O (W) vs. Ragnar Ouchterlony (B), Move #40
    <move S>
    Go: Erik O (W) vs. Ragnar Ouchterlony (B), Shape-Setup
  • How can I make a link open a new window?
    Add a "_" (underscore) to the Dragon tag name at the right place in the tag-name.
    These links will open in the current window:
    <home faq.php>FAQ</home>
    <user 1>
    <send 1>
    <game 13339>
    < |Sensei`s Library>
    Guest (guest)
    Guest (guest)
    Go: Erik O (W) vs. Ragnar Ouchterlony (B)
    Sensei`s Library
    These links will open in a new window:
    <home_ faq.php>FAQ</home>
    <user_ 1>
    <send_ 1>
    <game_ 13339>
    <_ |Sensei`s Library>
    Guest (guest)
    Guest (guest)
    Go: Erik O (W) vs. Ragnar Ouchterlony (B)
    Sensei`s Library
    Dragon automatically colors these links olive to distinguish them from normal links.
  • How can I embed images in texts?
    An image tag is available, but it can only show the images on Dragon (not from remote images). For description see Which Dragon tags can I use?.
  • How can I create a game diagram?
    Dragon allows to embed game diagrams in messages, the forums and to use for shape-games using a simple text-based format. This so-called "goban-format" is basically the same format used on Sensei`s Library to draw go diagram.
    Also see help entries:

    A goban is constructed by using the <igoban>-tag. In the example below you can see an example for the notation.
    The SL1 attribute in the tag stands for Sensei's Library version 1:
    <igoban SL1>
    $$ Nadare joseki
    $$ +-
    $$ . . . . . . .
    $$ . . . . . . .
    $$ . . . 1 6 . .
    $$ . . 5 4 . . .
    $$ . . 3 2 . . .
    $$ . . . . . . .
    Nadare joseki

Dragon icons and images
  • General icons
    • (img) : edit an object (depends on the page)
    • (img) : delete an object (depends on the page)
    • (img) : info-page of an object (depends on the page)
    • (img) : indicates if there is a description for a shape on the shapes list page.
    • (img) : RSS-feed of the page it appears on
    • (img) : table-listing (context dependent)
    • (img) : opens tournament-info page
    • (img) : represents "NO" (negative)
    • (img) : represents "YES" (positive)
  • Table-listing icons
    Icons used on pages containing a list of rows in a tabular structure (e.g. the users page):
    • (img) (first), (img) (previous), (img) (next), (img) (last) : icons in table-header and footer linked to navigate in the row data jumping to the 1st, previous, next and last page
    • (img) : icon in table-header to remove a specific table-column. The column can be re-added with the select-box and "Add column" button below the table.
    • (img) (img) (1st sort criteria), (img) (img) (2nd sort criteria) : icon in table-header to indicate the 1st and 2nd sort criteria of table-columns. See also help entry: How can I change the order of table listings?
  • Game icons
  • Game board images
    • Images for playing:
      (img) / (img) : black / white stone
      (img) / (img) : black / white last move marker
      (img) (img) : move capture
    • Numbered stones (for move numbering):
      (img) ... (img) : numbered black stones 1..500
      (img) ... (img) : numbered white stones 1..500
    • Images for scoring phase:
      (img) : black territory
      (img) : white territory
      (img) : dame (neutral points)
      (img) : undecided points (e.g. in a seki)
      (img) - dead black stone (counted as white prisoner)
      (img) - dead white stone (counted as black prisoner)
  • User icons
    User-Type icons (can be set by an admin):
    • (img) : indicates that user is a professional player
    • (img) : indicates that user is a robot player
    • (img) : indicates that user is a teacher and can give lessons (free or commercial teacher)

    Other user-related icons:
    • (img) : indicates that user is a dragon executive (admin) (shown on forum posts and user-info page)
    • (img) : shows if user is "online"
    • (img) : indicates that user is in his/her sleeping time (shown on user-info page, game-page and game-info-page)
    • (img) : indicates that user is on vacation (shown on user-info page, game-page and game-info page)
    • (img) : indicates that user has a user-picture on the user-info page
    • (img) (more active), (img) (less active): activity-level on the users page and user-info page
  • Message icons
    Some of the message icons are also explained in the help entry: What do the items on the Messages page mean?.
    • (img) : send a new message
    • (img) : message without parent message or answer. Icon is often linked to current message.
    • (img) : message that is an answer (has a parent message) and has at least one answer. Icon is linked to current message.
    • (img) : message that is an answer. Icon is linked to parent message.
    • (img) : message that has at least one answer. Icon is linked to next answer(s).
    • (img) : message thread view showing bifurcations of the message thread. Icon is linked.
    • (img) : first message of a thread. Icon is linked.
    • (img) : message is part of a bulk-message, and pointing to the message that must be used to further process it.
  • Forum icons
    Forum navigation icons on the Thread reading page:
    • (img) : jumps to the 1st post (at the top)
    • (img) : jumps to the previous parent post
    • (img) : jumps to the previous answer
    • (img) : jumps to the next answer
    • (img) : jumps to the next parent
    • (img) : jumps to the last post (at the bottom)
    • (img) : jumps to the 1st answer to a post
  • FAQ-editor icons
    The following icons can only be seen by FAQ-editors:
    • (img) / (img) : expand / collapse the FAQ category sections
    • (img) / (img) : move FAQ-entries up / down in the same category
    • (img) / (img) : move FAQ-entries into the parent / next category
    • (img) : create a new FAQ-category or FAQ-entry
    • (img) / (img) : hide / unhide a FAQ-entry
    • (img) / (img) : mark a FAQ-entry as translatable / untranslatable

Learning and teaching
  • How can I get stronger?
    There are a range of approaches, such as:
    • reviewing your own games
    • using an sgf editor to try different options
    • getting games reviewed
    • practice reading
    • practising problems.

    There are many Go sites that can help.
    Some useful Go problems may be found at these sites:

    The latter site has the option to choose the type of problem. Various Go players have different views on this, but life and death problems are generally considered useful for building strength.
  • What is The Go Teacher?
    Here on Dragon there is a shared game account The Go Teacher (sensei) with some friendly folks that can play a teaching game with you. Read their bio entries "Who is Sensei", "How to" and "Advice to students" to see if you meet the conditions and how to get in contact with them. Then you can start a teaching game using their game preferences as described in the bio entries.


Dragon tournaments

Dragon alternative interfaces
  • Request limitations of alternative interfaces
    Before you use one of the alternative interfaces, please ensure, that you read the FAQ entry: How should the resources provided by DGS be used responsibly?
    We were forced to establish some limitations, because the alternative interfaces were used too often, in particular the RSS channel. A limitation may be necessary for the others interfaces as well if there are too many requests.
    Below you find the "allowed" minimum limitations. However, you should not use those minimums just because it is the minimum. Instead responsibly choose a request interval, that you can live with and does not stress the server too much.
    • RSS-Status and WAP-Status: The minimum request interval for the RSS and WAP channel is one request in 5 minutes. Requesting it more often results in an error message. At least one result per hour will be returned even if the request linit has been exceeded.
    • Quick-Status: Access is not restricted, though the content is cached on the server using different expire times for the returned data sections. For details see Quick-Suite Specification - Section [4.QST] Quick-Status.
    • Quick-Do Suite: Restricted by user access quota.
    • Quick-Play: Restricted by user access quota.
    • SGF-Download: Currently unrestricted
  • Does Dragon support RSS?
    Yes, partly. The status page can be retrieved using a RSS feed.
    The URL to use is:
    Before you can use that, you have to login yourself by one of the following ways:
  • Does Dragon support WAP?
    Yes, partly. The status page can be retrieved using WAP.
    The URL to use is:
    Before you can use that, you have to login yourself by one of the following ways: Either way, you will have a button to change your identification.
  • Does Dragon have a robot interface?
    Yes. You are able to use the quick_status.php and quick_do.php (or deprecated quick_play.php) to:
    • connect your user (or set the cookies)
    • use quick_status.php to retrieve new bulletins, your status-games, your new messages and multi-player-games in setup-mode
    • use sgf.php to download games to move in
    • use quick_do.php (or the outdated quick_play.php) to do your moves or other actions.
    • disconnect

    For a detailed specification how to use the new quick-suite quick_do.php, the quick_status.php page, the sgf.php download script and the old quick_play.php, please read the respective chapters in the Quick-Suite Specifications.
    Important notes about the different quick-suite scripts:
    • quick_do.php: uses HTTP-POST requests and JSON-based output to control a variety of actions with object-handlers for: games, users, messages, folders, contacts, waiting-room, bulletins. This interface will be extended on demand if more functions are required for mobile devices or other external clients.
    • quick_status.php: A "not-logged-in" feature had been added. You may obtain the list of games of any user by specifying the players ID ( ?uid=... ) or his nick name ( ?user=... ).
      For instance: quick_status.php?user=guest
      Important note:
      Be aware that with this "not-logged-in" features, all times are GMT because DGS can't know YOUR timezone. In fact, this assumes that you are logged in as guest.
    • quick_play.php: You can only use quick_play to answer a move WITH coordinates by a move WITH coordinates. This excludes all particular steps of the game like placing handicap stones, passing, resigning and scoring. Either use the new quick_do.php quick-suite or use the conventional manual website Dragon interface to resolve these steps.

    A full session of "quick" features is, for instance:
  • Does Dragon support GTP or GMP?
    No. The GTP (Go Text protocol) or GMP (Go modem protocol are not supported by Dragon.
    However, you may have a look on the other interfaces (RSS, WAP, quick-play suite) provided by Dragon, that are discussed in this category alternative interfaces on Dragon.

What's new in the last update?
  • Overview of release DGS 1.0.15 (08-June-2012)
    It's recommended to get an detailed overview of the new and changed features first by reading the document Release Notes 1.0.15. You'll find that page also in the Docs menu (now available from the main-menu). There are various hints in there that are not repeated here.
    For some major changes and recommendations you will find additional information and links in the FAQ-entries in the current FAQ-category ("What's new in the last update?").
    However, if you are experiencing a strange behaviour of DGS it might be a bug. Then don't hesitate to report the bug in the forum as other users might have the same problem and wonder about it.
    The topic "Known bugs" in this FAQ-category lists known bugs of this release that have been freshly identified and not yet been fixed and uploaded to the server.
  • Overview of release DGS 1.0.14 (14-December-2008)
    The release DGS 1.0.14 was an intermediate release to add some administrative functions.
    The most important change is the addition of the Dragon Go Server policy.
    A full list of implemented functions and bugfixes you can find in the document Release Notes 1.0.14.
    All changes from this release have been integrated in the FAQ by now.
  • Overview of release DGS 1.0.13 (07-October-2007)
    Find a detailed overview of the features by reading the document Release Notes 1.0.13.
    All changes from this release have been integrated in the FAQ by now.
  • CSS
    The DGS-site is now fully CSSed. Some format and styles of CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) are displayed differently for the various browsers. We tried to keep the former layout, though it might look slightly different.
    The CSS-files are also cached in your browser. After a release it may be neccessary to reload the CSS from the server and not from your browser cache. Try a SHIFT-Reload to accomplish that, or if that is not available, clear your cache.
    On older browsers and on some PDA-devices, the pages may look misaligned or not properly formatted. If that is the case, please report it in the Discussion Forum giving the browser or product you use to view DGS. That gives us hints to adjust the layout and also helps others that might have the same problem.
  • Code improvements and recommendations
    The code has been optimized (see also Release notes 1.0.15).
    As searching and table navigation has been extended, we don't know the dynamics yet this will have on the server load.
    Some database queries have been optimized and indexes have been added, but we urge you to be gentle to Dragon by not using too extensive searching. Concentrate on what you want to find and try to avoid massive activities looking around without a clear goal. Thank you!
  • Former updates
    If you are interested, there's also a summary of the previous releases, see Release Notes 1.0.14 and below there.
  • Known bugs
    Keeping a list of known bugs of this release (DGS 1.0.15) with a status (reported, in work, fixed in CVS, released on DGS):

    Dragon development

    Dragon bugs and problems
    • How to report a problem or a bug?
      • Check the FAQ and the forums for information on your problem. It can be a good idea to search the forums rather than browse them. There are many postings and sometimes they go in the wrong forum.
      • Put a message detailing your problem in the Support forum, or
      • Send a private message detailing your problem to one of the active developers. A report in the forums is preferred though as then also others might be able to help you with your problem.
    • Are all bugs discussed in the FAQ?
      No. And they never will be. The bugs, errors and problems described here are recurring or static faults that are well known, as well as having been discussed in depth or several times in the forums. Bugs will be fixed (to give room to other bugs?) but in the meantime some of them will be discussed here.
    • Duplicated messages and Duplicated posts
      The Duplicated moves bug is fixed.
      The related "Duplicated messages" and "Duplicated posts" problems are still on our desktop:
      All these problems are mainly based on the fact that the user had clicked two (or more) times on a submit button. For instance, if the net suddenly slows down when you click on the Post button you will not receive an immediate response. This may let you think that you have not or have badly clicked the Post button. Then when you hit it a second time, you have sent your post a second time!
      A hint: In such a case, try first to open an other window to keep your message or post as it is. Then have a look at your "sent message" box or at the forum list. Watch the time the pages need to show up. Whatever the speed of the net is when you'll receive those pages, will reflect the fact that you have (or not) sent your message or post.
    • Connection to database failed. Too many connections
      This error can arise when there are too many users viewing pages of the DGS-site at the same time. The site appears to respond very slowly. The database can only work with a limited number of parallel connections (=max_user_connections).
      When a user requests a DGS-page, data from the database is needed. For each request a separate database-connection is used. When one database-query needed for a page lasts longer than normal (>1 sec for example), it can quickly happen that requests from other users have to wait because the number of connections exceeds the limit. In this cases it's good to wait a few minutes to avoid making it worse, then try it again later.
      At the moment max_user_connections is set to allow 280 concurrent connections (after migrating to the new server in Oct-2012 the limit has been increased from 124 to 280).
      But to this situation not only page requests from ordinary users are relevant, but any query performed on the database. That means, also administrative tasks like the database backup strongly influences this.
      Since Oct-2012 the database of DGS is only locked for 5 minutes during backup time because of a very large database-table. The daily backup is running each day at 02:15 GMT, but the problem can also happen at other times when too many users ask pages that create long lasting queries.
      The full error text for this kind of error is either:
      Connection to database failed. Please wait a few minutes and test again.
      Mysql error: User ... already has more than 'max_user_connections' active connections
      Connection to database failed. Please wait a few minutes and test again.
      MySQL error: Too many connections

      More detailed information you'll find in:
    • I'm swarmed! There are bugs everywhere!
      You have been sitting at the computer playing go on DGS for too long. Take a shower and put on clean clothes. :-)

    Some common Go terms
    • I found a go term not listed in the FAQ. What does it mean?
      The Dragon FAQ is not a full-fledged dictionary of all Go terms. Only the most commonly used Go terms are covered.
      Sensei's Library provides a very useful list of Go terms.
      Other useful links are in the General Infos section on the links page.
      Please feel free to ask questions in the Go discussion forum.
    • Aji
      Latent possibilities, or potential. There can be bad aji and good aji.
    • Atari
      Atari is a situation in which a stone or group of stones has only one liberty. As things stand, the stone or stones could be captured on the opponent's next move.
    • Byo-yomi / Byoyomi
      Time-limit rules that apply when a game's main time is over.
    • Dame
      Neutral intersections on the goban. This 'no man's land' does not give any points to either player.
    • Dan
      Dan means "a master's rank". The dan ranks span from 1 and up, a higher number is a stronger player. A 5 dan amateur is said to be about the same strength as a 1 dan pro (professional). Pros do not have kyu ranks.
    • DDK
      Double digit kyu - from 10 kyu to 30 kyu inclusive. Refers to a rating, but commonly used in regard to a player with a DDK rating.
    • Even game
      A game without handicap. Komi is set by the inviting player.
    • Fuseki
      Established patterns of arraying stones during opening play.
    • Geta
      A net of stones.
    • Goban
      The (real or virtual) Go board.
    • Gote
      A gote move loses the initiative. The state of having lost the initiative. Typically a move that the opponent need not answer, thus giving the opponent sente (the opposite of gote).
    • Handicap
      This is discussed here: Handicap
    • Hane
      A diagnonal connecting stone placed to reach around the opponent's stone or stones.
    • Hoshi
      Hoshi is Japanese for "star" and has two meanings. In general, it is the nine handicap "star points" on the board. More specifically, it is any 4,4 point in any corner of a 19x19 board.
    • Jigo
      Japanese Go term describing the game situation of a draw: both players have the same number of points.
    • Joseki
      Known play sequences, usually in corners, often resulting in 'fair' outcomes for both players.
    • Ko
      A ko is a situation on the board with repetitive capture of one single stone. Ko literally means "eternity".
    • Komi
      An extra number of points (moku) given to White, which may be used in various ways:
      1. To compensate for the alleged advantage Black has when playing the first stone.
      2. To avoid a draw (jigo) as a game result by using a fractional number (for example 6.5 komi).
      3. To act as a form of compensation between players of different strength.
        For further explanations see: What is the difference between conventional and proper handicap?
    • Kyu
      Kyu means "a beginner's or any non-master's rank". The kyu ranks span from 30k to 1k, with 1k being the strongest. The definition of a 30 kyu is someone who has learned and understood the rules, but has not played a single game yet. The Korean go term for "kyu" is "gup".
      Kyu ranks do not really get reliable until about 10 kyu, where the player can be matched with a 1k dan in a 9 stone handicapped game.
    • Liberty
      An empty intersection adjacent to a stone or a chain of stones.
    • Moku
      A point of territory.
    • Nigiri
      Nigiri means your colour is selected randomly.
    • Onegaishimasu
      A greeting at the start, roughly meaning 'Have a good game'.
    • Real-time
      Real-time gaming is a synchronous way of playing games. Both players need to be present or playing at the same time. An entire game is finished in one sitting. Examples of real-time go are playing go on a real board, or via one of the various real-time servers. See also Turn-based.
    • Sanrensei
      A common opening where the player has occupied three star points along a side. On a 19x19 board this would be two 4,4 points on the same line, plus the point midway between them.
    • SDK
      Single digit kyu - from 1 kyu to 9 kyu inclusive. Refers to a rating, but commonly used in regard to a player with a SDK rating.
    • Shicho
      A ladder of stones.
    • Seki
      Seki means "dual life". Seki is a local impasse in which two groups share liberties, and neither side can capture the other.
    • Sensei
      The term for a teacher. Also the form of address, as in 'Thank you for teaching me, Sensei'.
    • Sente
      Holding the initiative. If a player has sente they do no need to respond to the opponent's last move, so can play anywhere on the board. A sente move is one which the opponent needs to answer immediately. Sente is the opposite of gote.
    • SGF
      SGF is an abbreviation for the Smart Game Format, a file format to store Go (and other) games. There are several clients that can support you in viewing a SGF.
      For details, see the official specification of the SGF FF[4] specification.
    • Tengen
      The centre point of the board. The 10-10 point on a 19x19 board.
    • Tenuki
      Playing somewhere else. Black plays tenuki by not answering White's last move locally. Instead black plays elsewhere on the board.
    • Tesuji
      Skillful tactical play.
    • Turn-based
      Turn-based gaming is an asynchronous way of playing games. Both players do not need to be present or playing at the same time. Instead each player can make moves when they have the time for it. Examples of turn-based go are playing go via snail-mail, via email, or here on Dragongoserver. See also Real-time.
    • Yose
      Endgame. The last phase of the game, where strategic moves to attack groups are no longer made, but only the best moves found to extend existing territories.
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