Handicap

PageType: Path   Difficulty: Beginner   Keywords: Rules, Go term

Chinese: 让子 (rang4 zi3), 授子 (shou3 zi3)
Japanese: 手合い (te ai)
Korean: 접바둑 (jeop-baduk)

If two players differ in strength (see rank), the weaker player gets handicap stones to compensate for the difference. That way, both players have a chance to win. In general, the ideal handicap is equal to the difference in kyu or dan ranks.

[Diagram]
Handicaps on the nine Star Points (typical)  

Traditionally, handicap stones are placed on the star points, but one can also play with free placement of the handicap stones. In contrast to an even game it is White's turn to play the first "real" stone (after the black handicap stones have been placed on the board), except in an one-handicap-stone game where black makes the first move.

Before the adoption of komi, a different handicap system was in use among top ("pro") players. See: tagai-sen, sen-ai-sen and josen.

Many Go clubs and salons in Japan use a handicap system integrated into a rating system.


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Handicap last edited by Tokumoto on June 10, 2015 - 07:26
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