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.
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).
Before the adoption of komi, a different handicap system was in use among top ("pro") players. See: tagai-sen, sen-ai-sen and josen. Various Go clubs in Tokyo use a similar point ranking scheme to track players' results and determine the handicap in games.
- Large Handicap Games Discussion
- Handicaps beyond nine stones
- It is considered a Bad Habit to Refuse To Take Handicap
- Handicap Alternative
- Rank first comments
- Steps between ranks
- Rank - amateur and professional
- Amateur Honinbo vs Pro Honinbo 2002
- Ten Commandments of Handicap Go
- Following the opponent around
- Bermuda triangle
- Use Handicap Stones
- Force White Into The Center
- High Handicap Games - White is weak
- Live small
- How To Respond To Kakari In a four Stone Handicap Game
- Playing White In Handicap
- How to win against 9 stone handicap
- How to win with a 9 stone handicap
- Handicap Fuseki Questions
- Chess Whiz against lavalyn
- Teaching Game 53
- Teaching Game 361
- Game 33
- Get Strong At Handicap Go
- Handicap Go - the book
- Basic Techniques of Go
- Kage's Secret Chronicles Of Handicap Go
- Pro Pro Handicap Go
- The breakthrough to shodan
- How to Play Against the Stronger Player, two volumes downloadable from the Wings Go Club
- Handicap Go Strategy (in Japanese).
- Sanzi Pu by Guo Bailing, translated into English under the title "Three-Stone Games"